Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hyperventilating humanism

Steven Carr said:


I liked Davis comment about the seed and the plant ' But they are numerically the same because there is material continuity between them…'

Gosh, perhaps Adam and Eve were the same person, because the material of the rib of Adam was turned into Eve. There was material continuity between them :-)


Does Steven Carr believe there is no point of numerical continuity between the seed I plant in the ground and the tree that grows out of that particular seed?

Isn’t it that seed in particular which gave rise to that tree in particular—rather than some other, unrelated seed?

Is Carr asserting complete discontinuity between the seed which germinates and the tree which grows out of the decaying seed?

Is he saying that we cannot trace that particular tree back to that particular seed? Is he denying an internal relation between a given seed and a given tree? Is he denying a one-to-one correspondence between the tree and the seed from which it springs?

Carr’s problem is that he’s reasoning back from his denial of the Resurrection to a denial of numerical continuity between a seed and its resultant growth.

He’s too blinded by his religious hostility to see straight.



Perhaps though, we should not take claims of material continity too literally (unlike Davis), especially bearing in mind the words of Davis's Lord and Saviour who seemed to doubt the assertions of Davis that there is a numerical similarity between the seed and a plant.

John 12:24 'I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.'

And , rather more importantly, Paul uses the analogy to tell his converted Jesus-worshippers in Corinth, who still scoffed at the idea that a corpse could rise, that they were idiots for thinking that the resurrection of mortals involved the raising of a corpse. Paul tells them that the corpse is just a seed which dies. Paul tells the Corinthians that the seed is dead.

1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

This is the same Peter who tells people that 'all flesh is grass', presumably to persuade them that flesh will be made eternal.

All ignored by Davis, of course, who cannot bear to think that people are idiots for imagining that resurrection is about a decayed corpse being restored into something amazing.


How does any of this undermine Davis’ interpretation?

Davis believes that the body of Christ expired. How is that inconsistent with the Johannine, Pauline, and Petrine imagery of a “perishable” seed which also “dies”?



And , of course, there is no word for 'it' in speireita, which just means 'sown'.

'Sown in dishonour' is a perfectly acceptable translation.

Meaning that the dead are sown in dishonour.

And this is what Carrier says in his chapter. The dead are sown in dishonour, the dead are raised in glory. (Or to be more precise, 'one of the dead' ,as it is singular)

But Paul simply never says that dead bodies are sown in dishonour and the same bodies are raised in glory. That is a fact.

There is no word which means 'it', in verses 43-44. There is no word 'it' , which has a referent, let alone the same referent.

There is no prounoun in those 2 verses.

This is a plain fact that no amount of rewriting of the Bible can change.


“The clauses [1 Cor 15:42-43] have no expressed subject: ‘body’ is most likely intended as the subject for both verbs in each set, thus implying genuine continuity between the present body and its future expression,”

G. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Eerdmans 1987), 784.

“This is in fact specified in the fourth set, where ‘body’ is the subject or predicate apposition,” ibid. 784, n.37.

Incidentally, why does Carr even care about the correct interpretation of 1 Cor 15? He wouldn’t believe in 1 Cor 15 on any interpretation.

Even if he thinks that Carrier’s interpretation is correct, he still doesn’t believe that 1 Cor 15 is true.

So why is he getting so exercised over this issue? At this rate we will need to break out the smelling salts.


  1. Hey, what happened to Pressing The
    Antithesis? I know I've been kind of inactive lately, but I'm surprised one of my favorite, inexhaustive Christian types is no longer there.

  2. Vile sinner... lol... you never fail to make me smile, Paul.

  3. How's it going, Mr. Vile! Where ya been?

  4. I've been away on business a few times since we last encountered.

  5. I'm saddened that you didn't send me a post card!


  6. Well, I don't have your address.

    Oops, I forgot that serious stuff is going on here, let's get back on the debate track:

    YAAHHHH!!! Complain! Argue! Finger point! Ad hominem! False charge! Threat! Internet futility! ARRRGGGHHH!

    You may resume.

  7. The Green Man knows the truth.

  8. It would appear that the other Steve thinks that you really have to still have a corpse before you can have a resurrection.

    Perhaps he thinks God can change water into wine, even if there is no water left!

    And he still cannot find any word 'it' in verse 44 of 1 Corinthians 15, despite taunting atheists to tell him what the referent of the word 'it' is.

    The referent is clearly 'elephant'. An elephant is sown and an elephant is raised.

    Of course, Steve will probably object that there is no word 'elephant' in 1 Corinthians 15.

    Just like there is no word 'it' in verse 44, and just like the last noun before that verse is not 'body', although he claims that it is.

    John 12:24 'I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.'

    Gosh, who would have thought Jesus was so ignorant about the numerical continuity between a seed and a plant.

  9. G. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Eerdmans 1987), 784.

    “This is in fact specified in the fourth set, where ‘body’ is the subject or predicate apposition,” ibid. 784, n.37


    Time to quote the verse where Fee says 'body' is THE subject, as though there was only one subject.

    1 Corinthians 15
    If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

    Paul clearly says there are two bodies. The 'also' is a give away. There are TWO subjects in that verse, while Fee pretends there is just one.

    And then Oaul says Jesus became a life-giving spirit, and implies that we too will share the nature of this second Adam and become life-giving spirits.

  10. If we said that if there is an egg yoke, there is also an egg white, are we talking about 2 different subjects? Or two parts of the one object? An egg would be the one subject of our statement.

    Notice the conditional proposition of the verse in question, "IF there is a natural body, THERE IS ALSO a spiritual body--2 parts of one object--body and spirit (or soul, if you like). You can't have the spiritual body without the physical body in the resurrection. If anything, this verse proves the intimate connection between them....