Skip to comments.Poll: Most Americans Reject Resurrection of the Body
Posted on 04/13/2006 7:47:00 AM PDT by xzins
Poll: Most Americans Reject Resurrection of the Body
Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006 Posted: 9:13:14AM EST
The results of a recent poll interviewing more than a thousand adults show that most Americans do not believe in the resurrection of their bodies after death.
Some 1,007 adults were interviewed by phone from Feb. 19 to Mar. 3 by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University and asked the question, Do you believe that, after you die, your physical body will be resurrected someday? Results indicate that out of those interviewed only 36 percent replied yes to the question while 54 percent said they do not believe in the statement and 10 percent remained undecided.
Poll findings have dismayed some theologians including the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., while other Christian leaders have expressed surprise and curiosity.
I dont know what to make of this, said retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, author of Resurrection: Myth or Reality, according to Scripps Howard News Service. Maybe the old Greek idea of an immortal soul has taken over and the idea of a resurrected body has fallen into disrepute.
Robert Wuthnow, director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University, displayed interest in the poll result saying that the findings may help in understanding Americas popular theology.
This is definitely interesting. I havent seen a similar question asked before, said Wuthnow. In a way, though, it doesnt surprise me. I can think of interpretations of the creeds that would suggest a spiritual resurrection rather than one of the physical body.
According to the poll, 90 percent of Americans believe in God or a Supreme Being, with 65 percent indicating that they were absolutely certain that God exists. Seventy-two percent replied they believe in an afterlife with some sort of consciousness with 47 percent of being absolutely certain of this.
The poll also found that half of those who attend church recently said they believe they will undergo a physical resurrection compared to a quarter of those who have not attended service recently.
Maybe most of them thought it was a trick question, and were saying that they think they'll be more than just "this" physical body.
After all, Paul says in 1 Co 15: "44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. "
There are going to be some very surprised people later on...
While that's true that some believe the way you have said, it would have had no impact on this study...at least as far as I understood their question.
In the long run, CYTDay is right. Lots of folks will be surprised.
I'm not sure, though, given the theology of 1 Co 15 that the general response wasn't correct in light of "this" physical body being no more.
What body did Christ have when he was resurrected? It was the same body--nail marks, spear wound--but it was no longer mortal.
He said, "Follow me." We will.
Why? It is a very odd question. I am not sure the Bible says your physical bodies will be resurrected. I think most Christians view it as a spiritual resurrection.
The natural body is what is "sown" in the grave, and the spiritual body is what is raised up (1 Corinthians 15: 37, 42-44).
Who was the first person in heaven after Christ?
The Good Thief: "Today thou shalt be with me in paradise."
And Christ asked Thomas to thrust his hand in the side of Jesus' spiritual body?
I understand they did a real exit poll with the Mary's, Peter and John and a bunch of the disciples in a conference room soon after the event and it was unanimous that there was a real bodily resurrection. Let's see, an exit poll immediately after the event or a poll taken some 2,000 years after. Which is more reliable?
All I know is that whatever gets resurrected, I'm hoping for a new set of knees...
1 Cor 15:44 it is sown a physikon body, it is raised a pneumatikon body. The use of physis or any of its cognates in the Bible is always confusing to me. But translating physikon as "natural" begs the question. Phyo has, I think, a sense of growing and changing, whiole anyone who can give a good one sentence notion of what pneumatic means is a genius.
The simple things that we know are that our Lord's resurrected body was recognizable, sometimes, it had palpable wounds, He could eat and breathe.
Bodies not only do all the stuff that we get upset with them for, but they also give us a way to be identified. When I talk to you, you know the idea didn't just come up in your mind, it was that idiot over there ... It's hard to imagine a "self" without some kind of location attached to it.
That's why I think Christians answering this survey would have been cautious around the word "physical."
No longer mortal is something I'd call a significant difference from "this" body.
And I could definitely use a more tolerable mug.
In terms of this survey, I do think folks were being cautious regarding the use of the word "physical." If they were taking it to mean: "this physical body with no differences," then I agree with them.
This is a controversial point, which is why it is not odd that opinion is split. It does not show disbelief, but different understandings of concepts that we may not be able to understand from our earthly perspectives.
You and me both. And a better hairline.
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have."
And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.
Maybe most of them thought it was a trick question
As you point out, it's hard to know what to think without the survey details.
Of course, there are all those Barna surveys about the lack of a Biblical world view even among those describing themselves as born again. In that light, maybe 36% is actually a big number.
I agree with you about pneumatikon. I've always thought that Jesus post-resurrection appearances demonstrate that what we think of as the physical universe is a subset of the spiritual universe which seems to encompass, at a minimum, both of those worlds; while the physical universe seems only to barely "intersect" the spiritual realm.
We don't know what body we will have because we don't know what body Jesus will have...
But it won't be the body we have now..
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Our flesh (and blood) is corrupt...Hence; the spiritual circumcism...
The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus -- Dr. William Lane Craig http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/bodily.html
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