Catholic vs. Protestant - 2019-09-14 - Chris Date

Author Recorded Saturday September 14th, 2019

There are 31 episodes in the Versus:Protestant series.


A listener recommended I interview Chris because of his unorthodox position on the doctrine of Hell. As I discovered during our chat, he also does not believe in an immaterial soul or in free will, as I understand it. But he's a nice guy.


Catholic vs. Protestant - 2019-09-14 - Chris Date

Author Recorded August 14th, 2016

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hi my name is Chris date and you're listening to Catholic versus Protestant tell us a little bit about yourself if you would please who you are what you believe and why you believe it Who I am I am first of all a born-again believer in Jesus Christ I'll get into what I believe in a moment but secondarily I am a software engineer by trade have been an engineer for about 20 years basically my entire adult life I'm just about 40 now and I am married to my wife Starr we've been married 20 years this coming May we have four kids all boys ranging in age from 18 at our oldest down to six years old at our youngest and they're spread about four years apart I was an atheist as was my wife until we got married back in 2000 I think it was and then shortly after the birth of our first child I became a believer in Jesus Christ the next few years were fairly difficult between my wife and me I was an entirely different person as one becomes when one follows Jesus Christ and after a few years my wife by God's grace became a believer as well and we have been a Christian family ever since not long long after I became a believer I became very passionate about theology and exegesis and apologetics and it's been something that I've been podcasting gay at a higher education in Christian theology and in biblical studies but I didn't think that I would be able to I didn't think I'd be able to afford it either in time either in terms of money or in terms of time but by 2014 I learned because a friend of mine began a seminary education at Liberty University seminary there and I discovered through him that getting a higher education in Christian theology and biblical studies is not impractical is not implausible even for a married full-time working man like myself and so I began a bachelor's religion bachelor's in religion specializing in biblical and theological studies at Liberty University in 2014 is when I began that and I graduated in her early 2017 later that year I began a master's of in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary which I will be graduating Lord willing in early next year 2020 at which PI at which point my dream is to relocate my family to the UK for a few years while I pursue a PhD in Old Testament at a school like Oxford or Cambridge something like that or Daman reformed Protestant leading specific specifically Reformed Baptist at least that's the denomination if you will with which I most identify so I believe in the so-called doctrines of grace the the Tulip of Calvinism I believe in meticulous divine providence penal substitutionary atonement but what most distinguishes me from Presbyterians I suppose would be that I don't believe that infants are the proper subjects of baptism I'm a young earth creationist I'm a continuationist but I don't believe that tongues are a heavenly prayer language or something I believe they worthy and are the supernatural gift of being able to speak human languages one hasn't already learned and that's why I don't or that's one of the reasons I have not a charismatic I am a partial preterist which means that I believe that most Biblical prophecy was fulfilled in the first century not in our future as futurists and others believe I'm an AMA lenio list which means that I believe the thousand years in John's apocalyptic vision recorded in the book of Revelation is a period of time or symbolizes the period of time in which we find ourselves right now and finally and this is hopefully but we'll spend most of our time today on I am what's called a believer in conditional immortality sometimes called annihilationism which we'll get into over the course of this conversation I suppose why do I believe those things in numerous others I I don't have a good explanation for why I began to believe 20 years ago or almost 20 years ago and there's not really much of a story there but it's because after I began to believe I took very seriously whether or not there was good reason to believe what I believe and I discovered over the course of years of study and I think there are good reasons not only to believe in biblical Christianity but also not to believe in either Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy and so I think that the reason I believe in a Protestant Christianity is because I think it's most consistent with what the Bible teaches and with what God's will is for us as reflected in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ and the teachings of his apostles so I suppose that's me in a nutshell mm-hmm I often ask Protestants about the minimum requirements to be a Christian just to be a Christian if you don't have these minimum requirements you're just not Christian from your perspective well I would want to distinguish at least between two phases of the Christian life that the first phase being conversion and the second phase being sanctification over time and the reason I want to make that a distinction is because I think that all needs in order to become a Christian and is riffles died in our place if we are believers and because he suffered the punishment that we deserved which is death forever because he suffered death we therefore will live and if we embrace that if we put our trust in his person and his in his saving work on our behalf I think that's enough that having been said I think that there are a number of things indicated by both Scripture itself and by the ecumenical Creed's of the early church that indicate that there's more to what it means to be a there's more to what is to be believed by Christians than just that and which are definitional of the faith and so for example Paul says in 1st Corinthians 15 that if Jesus Christ has not been raised then our faith is in vain thereby seemingly indicating that the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is an essential of the faith Paul writes to Timothy I believe it is about a couple of characters named hymenaeus and philetus who began telling spreading a heresy that the resurrection of the dead had already happened and Paul calls that teaching gangrenous cancer that is ship-wrecking people's faith and so there you have belief that the general resurrection has not happened yet as an essential of the faith and then in you have Jesus saying that if you do not believe that I am self appropriating the divine name you will die in your sins and so it seems as though belief in the deity of Christ is an essential of the faith and then of course in the ecumenical Creed's you have a few other things as well and so what I would say is that after becoming a believer in sort of the in just the saving gospel of Jesus Christ there are these other essentials that I've just mentioned which if persistently disbelieved despite being taught the truth and and having had it revealed to you by you know through the pages of Scripture continued resistance to that I think would be an indication that one is not saved I wouldn't say it's a hard and fast rule I'm not prepared to say authoritative Lee that somebody is or is not a Christian because they persist in disbelieving one at least things that I consider to be an essential but it is it would mean that I wouldn't feel comfortable fellowshipping with them and I would have to divide from them and I would and I would suspect that such a person is not saved and so for example I'm completing a book right now a two views debate book with a Unitarian that I debated a few months ago on the deity of Christ I I defended it he argued against it and because he persists in rebellion and in disbelief of this essential of the faith I think he's probably not a believer and I wouldn't feel comfortable fellowshiping with them so I just wanted a distinguish between sort of the bare minimum gospel caught the content of the gospel that I think is critical to to being converted and then I think that there is a there are other additional definitional essential beliefs that if persistent persistently denied would suggest that one is not part of the faith okay so yeah let's dive right in now to the conditional immortality and like I told you in our email exchange beforehand I don't really have a lot to offer here in terms of arguments because I just have a dogma of the church that tells me that the torments of hell our eternal there's no way to make it stop it's a nasty place you don't want to go there because it's never ever going to end what do you think of this dogmatic defense it's not much of a defense is it well I mean as somebody who's not a Roman Catholic I don't think it's much of a defense but for somebody who is I would imagine it's a great defense provided that it's accurate and the reason why I want to the reason why I say that is because I'm this is simply a claim I am NOT able to evaluate sufficiently but there are Roman Catholics who think that the church has not dogma ties to the doctrine of eternal torment there's an author by the name of Paul Griffiths and another author by the name of Robert Wilde both of whom make the claim and this is something you'll have to tell me if this is true or not claim that the church makes a distinction the Roman Catholic Church makes a distinction between dogma and theologia leguminous a difference between what is required to believe because it's been dogma ties by the church versus what the Church teaches but is not at the same level as dogma and the authors that I've mentioned argued that the doctrine of eternal torment is in the latter category not the former it's not Dogma its SIA lagu mana if they're right then they would argue that one can be a good Roman Catholic and embrace conditional immortality even if they're going against the general teaching of the Roman Catholic Church because they're not violating any dogma so I think I understand that you want your ultimate authority to be Holy Scripture and that any sort of speculation no matter how pious will take a secondary role in your thinking is that correct yes okay so what are the best arguments then that you've heard in terms of biblical arguments against your position that you've discovered recently or that you've discovered because you've only been in this position for how many years now I've been convinced for approaching eight years okay that's a substantial amount of time so in that in that time what would you say is the best biblical argument that you've ever honestly revelation 20:10 215 and keep in mind I'm answering your question the way it was worded which is what is the best and the best of a long list of very bad arguments is still the best and I would say that's true of this passage as well so if your readers aren't familiar revelation 20:10 2:15 this tale you know toward this tail end of John's apocalyptic vision that he's writing down in the book of Revelation while he's exiled in the island of Patmos he sees the devil which is symbolized in his vision by a dragon and he sees the Beast this seven headed ten horn beast upon which was earlier had been earlier writing the Mystery Babylon this blood-drunk vampiric prostitute representing the great city and the prot the false prophet is - horned beast that has some sort of a collaborate a collaborative relationship with the Beast these three figures John's he's thrown into a lake of fire and sulfur and they're tormented for ever and ever and then shortly thereafter he sees death and Hades in the sea give up the dead that are in them and then death and Hades are thrown into that same lake of fire and so too are those that had just come out of that lake of fire sorry just come out of death and Hades and whose names are in the Lamb's Book of Life and so the reasoning goes well first of all if assuming that the beast and false prophet represent one or more human beings then then right there you have the explicit statement that they will suffer in the lake of fire forever and ever and then of course human beings are thrown into that same lake of fire shortly thereafter and so it's assumed that therefore they too must suffer eternal torment but even if one doesn't make those assumptions you at the very least have the devil and perhaps demonic beings represented by the Beast and false prophet tormented forever and ever in the lake of fire as well so if one thinks that that apocalyptic vision is meant to be taken to a much more literal - to a degree of literal literalism that is goes far beyond I think is actually meant if one wants to go that far then yeah I think that's a challenging text for my view as it stands I don't think that the book is meant to be taken with such literalism so before we proceed with talking about Hell versus conditional immortality and this sort of thing can you just comment on your perspective on the mystery of iniquity why and how could Satan make such a silly silly decision the the closest indication I can find in Scripture is that he was prideful you know pride is at the root I think of virtually all sin and I think that the God you know created Satan with the capacity for pride if not for ordained it as I believe being a Calvinist myself but why you know why did God choose four or four ordained is true why did he permit Satan acts besides pride in the way he that he did I would not even begin to want to speculate oh do you believe in free will or do you think that God's grace and sovereignty completely out rules that possibility of making a truly free choice so I'm a believer in what philosophers call compatible istic freewill it's not that I don't believe in free will although you might think I don't I don't believe in what is called libertarian free will and so what I believe is that freedom is the ability to do or to do not you know what you wish to do or what you wish not to do and I believe we have that freedom but I also think that that freedom is compatible and that moral responsibility based on what one exercise I want exercises that freedom is compatible with the very strong view that I think scripture has of divine sovereignty and predestination well since you're open to compatibilism which i think is silly no offense to you or anyone that adheres to it but I think it's just absurd trying to have your cake and eat it too but since you're amenable to that sort of thinking what do you think about this sort of compatibilism where i could say well i do believe in annihilationism and it just so happens that that process of being annihilated subjectively never ends would you be comfortable with that as a form of compatibilism don't think that's an intelligible statement or an intelligible position I'm going to compatibilism well of course I don't think you compatibilism isn't is unintelligible but yes if I thought compatibilism were unintelligible then I wouldn't believe it and in the same way I don't think one should embrace what you've just described because it's unintelligible so you don't think there's any possible way where God could annihilate someone body and soul but give them an enduring subjective experience whereby they can never escape from that well as I don't think they escape from it either but but putting aside the question of whether completely ceasing to be is an escape from anything no I don't see how you know human beings are they experience duration in time and and so if there comes a point in time at which the body and soul have ceased to function or cease to be out right then there isn't the capability I think for such a human person to continue to experience duration space and time will end right so we're gonna enter eternity you know no absolutely not the doctrine of resurrection makes that I think a metaphysical impossibility well I thought we were going to be in glorified bodies whereby we can play with time but we're above time we're sort of entered into that daya fide realm where we we will be able to look at space-time in that four dimensional thing as a plaything like you know you have an object sitting on your desk and you can pick it up and look at it well I think that's how space-time will be for us because we'll sort of have that godlike perspective on space-time and those who are annihilated will just be at that tail end of that history of humanity from beginning to end they'll just be at the tail end of it there and they're sort of trapped on that tail end of this four dimensional object that's sitting on our desk as we're enjoying a life in heaven this is just really wild speculation but I was just wondering what you thought of it well it's you've already answered your own question I think it's wild speculation but what I will say is that even if that speculation has some some truth to it you've described the resurrected believers as having deified believers as having the ability to transcend a time and space in the way that you described it so I think it's conceivable if your speculation is true or substantially true at least it would be possible for glorified deified believers to as you say play around with time and space but it wouldn't follow that therefore the annihilated wicked could because unless you think day2 are glorified in DNA I think they're trapped in that 4d object there are plenty of images in the early church of saints who have talked about the the joy with which we will look down on those suffering in hell and this is sort of as the final thought in a thought experiment about how could it be compatible to be up in heaven and to know that your loved ones are down in hell and yet still have the the beatific vision and being enjoying that and being perfectly happy without any anxiety any fear any suffering so there are plenty of images of those who are speculating in that way what do you make of that well if you mean what do I make of the speculation I prefer to stick with what the Bible says but if what you mean is what do I make of that particular speculation and in this case the speculation you have you talk about I think there's a phrase for it it's called like the terrible fancy or something like that this idea that the Saints in eternal bliss will be to some degree experiencing joy as a result of looking down so to speak on the suffering and penitence in Hell what do I think of that I think it's absolutely absurd and the reason is because is precisely because of the process of deification as you called it god it says in the Old Testament I believe it is that he takes no pleasure in the deck of the death of the wicked God does not relish meeting out judgment he does it because it's right and he loves justice but I don't think he relishes in it and so as hard as it is for us to conceive of experiencing joy as a direct result of seeing the suffering of others as hard as that is to imagine now I think it would be all the more so to imagine that's experiencing that kind of joy when we're made like God and and should all the more experienced grief at the knowledge that people are suffering their just desserts and so I think that conditional immortality and annihilationism makes the beatific vision much more feasible because I know from personal experience that one can lose a loved one and eventually move on and I think that the beatific mission makes that possible if one's unbelieving loved ones have been destroyed and have faced the the justice of the death penalty and then they can grieve and move on I think it would be much more difficult and requires to kind of imagine that the speculations you're describing to say that we are somehow experiencing joy looking down on our suffering unbelieving loved ones so let's make sure that you get all of your points in because I know you wanted to touch on some of the biblical and the patristic arguments or the texts so I'll just give you the floor and you can sort of flesh out everything that you want it to say there well since you are a Roman Catholic and your show is at least in part meant for Roman Catholic listeners I probably the traditional evidence that I'll offer first is probably going to be of if not greater interest than fairly equivalent interest and so I think it's worth looking at the writings of people like Ignatius of Antioch who died I think in around 110 AD and in his writings he is very clearly a conditional list he says that the he says that there are people who are denying that Jesus literally came as a human being and that he literally died and literally rose and he says that if you it would be better for such people to embrace the truth Jesus was truly human truly died and truly raised so that they too might Rea be raised in any talks all throughout his writings he talks about death and mortality being something that the lost are invariably they variably suffer from whereas life and immortality are given only to the saved so Ignatius of Antioch is is as far as I know one of the earliest absolute earliest post-apostolic testimonies and and so I think his writings are really worth considering Irenaeus of lyon from the mid-second century and his against harris fees he writes in book 2 chapter 34 section 3 I think it is that he who rejects God's gift of salvation deprives to himself of continuance for ever and ever shall justly not receive from him length of days forever and ever and it's very clear here that he's not talking about a duration of some sort of quality of experience because what he's just done leading up to this is defended the idea that God can preserve the things and people in existence and as proof of that he points to the Sun and the moon and the stars and he says look in the same way that God keeps them existing so too can and will he do for the saved granting them continuance for ever and ever in length of days forever and ever but a loss to pride themselves of those things and then two other church fathers are no b.s of sicka he is of course a a bit of a redheaded stepchild so to speak when it comes to the fathers of the church but he did have a following and he did he was and I think is at least in some circles so respected today and he was very explicit that Christ told us what must be done that his enemies might escape destruction and obtain an immortality in which they knew not of and he tells his pagan readers he dare to laugh at us when we speak of Hell and fires which cannot be quenched the last end annihilation that's against the heathen that are no b.s wrote and then one other example I'll give is athenais just a great you know afternoon athenais just contra mundum the the stalwart defender of Trinitarian orthodoxy from the first Council of Nicaea in 325 to the Constantinople I think it was council in 381 when much of the church during those intervening years had you know was increasingly straying into Aryan aesthetic heresy Athanasius the great he said in his on the incarnation of the word that human beings were called into being from nothing and when they became bereft of the knowledge of God it was appropriate that they be everlastingly bereft even of being but that Christ became a human so that all through him might truly abide forever risen from the dead and clothed in immortality and in corruption so you had this idea that human beings by virtue of their sin had merited a return to the nothingness whence they came but that Christ became a human being so that in him people might instead receive immortality and everlasting life so I think that these are just a sampling of some of the Church Fathers who held this view I there are of course other fathers who taught the traditional view I've already mentioned tation also Athen Acuras I think did totally and I think did of course Agustin did as well so it's you know it's I'm not at all suggesting that the only that the only view of Hell amongst the Church Fathers was the view I hold but it is I think the earliest extant view the view that is found in the earliest writings of the Christian tradition and I think that's worth observing as for biblical reasons there's I could go on and on for hours I won't I'll just I'll just offer a few texts that I think provide the grounding for the fundamental thing that I've been here arguing which is the immortality that is endless life endless embodied life is something that the Bible says is only coming to the saved and this is a theme that literally spans the Bible from cover to cover because at one end of the Bible you have the account of Adam and Eve and the tree of life in Genesis 1 through 3 and however one wants to understand the death that God had warned Adam would happen on the day that you eat of the fruit however one however one wants to understand that what is very clear is that in Genesis 3 got boots Adam and Eve out of the garden so that they won't have access to the Tree of Life so that they won't eat of it and live forever so the tree of life would have made it possible for Adam and Eve to live everlastingly but they were excluded their access to the tree was revoked so that they couldn't live forever and that tree of life reappears at the other end of the Bible in the book of Revelation where only two saved have access to its fruit you also see in first Corinthians 15 what I call Paul's Mack resurrection magnum that's in it he talks about immortality and in corruptibility being something that is meant to make one fit to inherit the kingdom of God but but if you if one is not going to inherit the kingdom of God then one would not therefore need or deserve immortality and eternal life it wouldn't be appropriate for what they're heading heading for one could also look at Luke chapter 20 I think it's verses 35 and 36 where the Sadducees are asking Jesus about the resurrection and he says the those who are deemed worthy of the resurrection and of the age to come cannot die any more implying of course those who are not so counted worthy will remain able to die and of course you know numerous other passages I could cite Romans 6:23 the wages of sin is death and only a verse or two later it's clear that he's talking about ordinary death because he says that one who dies or one who spouse dies is free to remarry and you've got the most famous verse in all of the Bible John 3:16 that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in him would not be made immortal and live forever in hell sorry I misread that would not perish but have eternal life and I could go on and on but I think that that's a good starting point if people would like to research further sure you know if you think about people like Origen the Catholic Church did not canonize origin as a saint because of you know as universalism and different teachings that were not orthodox and that were already established by his lifetime but is it the case that some of the early church fathers that you cited are universally understood to have embraced fully at the exclusion of the traditional doctrine of hell that they've embraced conditional ISM is that fair to say or no I can't speak to the Roman Catholic Church or any of its scholars but the scholars that I've interacted with in my time on the topic of hell many of them do dispute the claim that I've made that people like your Aeneas of Lyon and the issues of Antioch and athenais Chester great they do dispute that they held to my view they don't dispute that aren't obvious did and I'd be very interested to see what the Roman Catholic Church what status of our no biases in Roman Catholic Church but everybody acknowledges that he believed in my view whole-hog so we'll put that we'll put on Tobias aside but the thing is is when when people claim that Athanasius Irenaeus and Ignatius among others actually held the traditional view the only texts they can really point to that have any sort of the Connaught that could be seen at all persuasive are ones in which they're simply echoing the biblical text they'll speak of unquenchable fire or eternal punishment or what have you but that's language that I think supports my view you know you can't say well look they're repeating typical phrases they must have held my view well no that's the very thing that's in dispute right but meanwhile when you let them speak for themselves when you look at what they write that isn't merely regurgitating or echoing the biblical text they speak in very condition less terms as I've quoted them as doing so I don't I I think the evidence is that Athanasius Irenaeus and and nation among others whole-hog believed in my view even if some of them if not all the ones I've mentioned to believed in a conscious intermediate state which I do not but that's another question and if you want to press me on that we can so it's not as if they believed entirely everything that I do when it comes to the nature of human well the nature of human nature but but they do all appear to believe that immortality and ever lasting enduring life is something that will be given only to the saved and I will add that whatever the status of our no BS of sicka in the Roman Catholic Church I'm fairly confident that the Roman Catholic Church has a very high view of Athanasian Irenaeus and Ignatius oh yeah I'm sure you believe that Adam and Eve are saved right I don't think I could point to actually any biblical text off the top of my head that would support that but I assume that they probably were yeah okay but my whole point is that when Jesus died and he went down to rescue when he did the harrowing of hell or harrowing of the underworld you believe at least that much that he went down and there were just people waiting for him and that the he has stopped is at the moment that Jesus established opened the gates of heaven so to speak I don't actually think that Jesus did in fact descend into Hades and in the way that you've described that's one reading of a very difficult to understand text and Peter if I'm not mistaken a text that seems to make more sense to me as referring to what he did after his resurrection not between his death and resurrection so so no I I don't think I would not sign on to that view but but there are many duelists who are conditional ist's who you know do list meaning they believe that human beings have the material souls that remain conscious and death and and yeah some of them would even appeal to the historic tradition of the harrowing of hell to say that Jesus by descending into hell and proclaiming the gospel to you know that the Saints they hold then busted open the gates of Hades or something like that for them and ushered them into heaven and that ever since then Hades is the abode of only the unsaved they there are those who believe something like that is that kind of what you're getting at yeah I just want to know I don't really care about the timeline so much before or after the the resurrection I'm more interested in that intermediate state where the just who died like the patriarchs and I would say because I'm Catholic I would say Adam and Eve all of the just between Adam and Eve and Christ's death were waiting in the place of the just in an underworld so called Abraham's bosom right and yeah my point here really is about I'm trying to get a handle on your perspective but unfortunately I'm being distracted by the fact that you said you don't believe in an immaterial soul it's a dogma of the church that we have an immaterial soul so I have to believe in that and I'm happy to believe in that I don't see any alternative the Mormons don't believe in that either they believe that God Himself is just a bigger better man and that he could in principle be surpassed by another being in the future so I'm a little bit shocked and horrified by can you explain what your belief is regarding the soul yeah so in in philosophy of mind there are a number of different positions one of which is called substance ilysm and substance dualism is the view that human beings have material bodies and immaterial souls and under that main category there are a host of secondary categories and so you've got cartesian dualism and you've got sort of dualistic holism or holistic dualism however you want to describe it and you've got people who believe that the body the soul in the spirit are three different things but anyway regardless of all the various subcategories you do have that sort of substance dualism category of answers to the question of philosophy of mind I fall into another category and there are still others idealists for example who are really out to lunch but but I'm I fall under the category of physicalist and more specifically non reductive physicalist and here's what I mean by that physicalists which would include I think most atheists but also a number a small but growing number of Christians physicalists believe that humans are material creatures that you know going back to the picture of Adam in Genesis 2 he is you know an inanimate body is formed from the dust of the ground and then God breathes life into it and he is from that that point on called a living being using the exact same language that is used to describe mammals and and other creatures and so the the the the biblical picture of humanity appears to be that we are material bodies animated by the life-giving breath of God and that when one dies that breath returns to God who gave it so this is my view I'm a physicalist but the reason I'm a non reductive physicalist is because I don't think that the mind is identical to the brain or can be reduced to mere to merely brain functioning in other words so one of the objections that is often leveled at my view by particularly dualist Christians is that if the mind if thoughts if qualia to use the language of philosophers which just refers to conscious experience of things I suppose if that is the result of the firing of neurons in the brain then you have sort of a unidirectional chain of cause and effect so that stimuli outside of the body are sensed by the sensory organs of the body translated into firing neurons which produce thoughts and and that's sort of where the chain ends so we are just sort of automatons blindly reacting to stimuli or whatever and I think that's a legitimate objection to reductive physicalism which is what a lot of atheists are non reductive physicalism however says that the thoughts mental states aren't in fact identical to brain States they are something more like a property or a field right in in in a gravitational or magnetic field you have a field that is distinguishable from the object that is generating it but which is nevertheless not sort of its own concrete thing that can be separated from the object from which it arises so likewise I think the mind arises from the firing of the neurons in the brain but that the but that the cause and effect chain if you will is bi-directional so yes it's indisputable scientifically that changes to the brain produce changes to the mind there's simply no way around that what we say is that the reverse is true as well that mind the changes in mind state can produce changes in brain state so that we are affected by our brains our minds they're affected by our brains but our minds also affect our brains in turn and that is what can account for will for example so yeah that's that's my view it's sometimes included under the category that is sort of majority called soul sleep but when you don't believe we have immaterial souls it's hard to see why ones call that soul sleep but the point is is that we are material creatures and that when our brain cease to function we cease to function mentally as well okay is it safe to say that the mind is an epiphenomenon of the brain is a the right language well there are people who do not hold the substance dualism who would use that kind of language I'm not philosophically educated enough to be able to answer that question you know the like I think what you're describing is something like what is sometimes called property dualism but again I just don't think I can answer it with any sort of authority okay so what is what is deaf again for you it's the cessation and privation of embodied life okay wow this is really shocking this is way more shocking than your hell doctrine that's better I know and I also hold far more loosely than I do my view of hell is I don't think scripture is anywhere near as clear about human Constitution as it is about Hell okay so you don't dig your heels in rapidly to defend this know it quite the contrary whenever I'm on shows like this or in any other sort of forum and I'm asked about it I'm reluctant because I want to make very clear to your listeners that this is not at all what motivates my conditional ISM or or it's not at all the cases that's who go hand in hand there are many duelists who hold the conditional ISM as well I've already named some Irenaeus is a good example of it so it's not a so no I don't want people to think that the two go hand in hand but I'm also not the kind of person who just wants to not answer some of these questions questions yeah there's a hierarchy there's a hierarchy of dogmas in your worldview as well as in mine right that's right and God the Father would you say God the Father is the top of the food chain I'm not convinced that there is functional subordination within the Godhead I think that since the Incarnation the Incarnate Word is subordinate to God the Father because he's a human being I mean I mean he's an incarnate he's incarnate and all humans are subordinate to God the Father but at the very least in eternity past I'm open to the possibility that Father Son and spirit are are functionally and not just ontological e equal co-equal in dignity and in power in essence and all that right okay so I guess we shouldn't dwell too much on this soul stuff but it is fascinating maybe I'll have you back for part two and we'll all think of some questions that will deal specifically with the soul but then again it's not really your primary interest is it no but I can recommend offline you know after the interview is over I can make and recommend some people including friends of mine might be more interested in joining you to discuss that sure yeah that'd be fun so just for the record do you consider me if I am a Catholic a faithful Catholic do you consider me an all faithful Catholics to be Christians and if not what do we need to add or remove in order to qualify I think that one needs to embrace that salvation is by faith through grace alone and that it is not contingent upon one's good deeds or one's willingness to submit to the sacraments and I would also say although this is really important to me but I'm not quite as sure I can say that it's as critical as belief in salvation by faith alone I would say that when the Bible says that Christ's sacrifice was once for all that makes it really hard for me to understand how it could possibly be a good thing to believe that he's his sacrifice is being repeated or represented over and over again by an alter Christus in in the mass and and that he and that God would ask his people to eat the literal flesh and blood of Christ these are things that I think demean the incarnation and atonement of Christ so I guess those are my two biggest concerns is number one salvation by faith alone and number two the ones for also the sacrificial atonement of Christ that that does not need to be represented and his flesh and blood actually eaten and drank yeah obviously we disagree but if you read the Council of Trent you'll get your answer to the first one everything is Grace and that's been resolved and there's actually a joint declaration on justification the doctrine of justification between the Catholics and the Lutheran's and some other bodies so that's been pretty roundly solved that misunderstanding has been fairly well addressed and then in terms of the the mass is a repressing of an eternal reality which we tap into every day through prayer and the sacraments and it's not some repetition obviously and in terms of eating the flesh and drinking the blood John 6 so I think I think we're on solid ground but of course this is a debate for another day but have any of your family and friends convert - conditional ISM because of you yeah not just friends and family but um you know plenty of other people as well that have followed my ministry Hollywood celebrities and stuff like that I don't slip at ease but it is funny to say that because there is one of the contestants of one season of Survivor I don't know if she converted because of my work but at the very least she reached out to me a few years ago and said she's an enormous fan of the rethinking hell podcast so I've been I've been touting that credential for quite some you know ever since I heard about it you gotta send her my way you've got to send them away I'm a huge fan of Survivor the Who I am as well I I will I will let her know about your podcast Michele Schubert survivor this was initially part of the vanilla majority Alliance Michele oh this was this was survivor Millennials versus Jeanette season and yeah I will definitely send her your email address very cool we also watch Australian survivor I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it I'll try to check it out I do have a lot more questions but I have to unfortunately have to wrap things up here so I don't know if you are aware of the fact but I do ask my guests to give the closing thought just something positive and nice so bearing in mind that a lot of my listeners are atheist but of course many are Christian to Protestants and Catholics and everything in between what do you think you might be able to say to anyone that's out there listening now I would say that all throughout human history humans have been deathly terrified of death and even when they've understood death as anihilation 20th century agnostic poet Philip Larkin in his poem Alba describes his Terror at the prospect of dying and ceasing to be it's a fear that all of us have experienced at least before becoming Christians and it's the greatest human fear I would argue it may not be the most immediate because we've managed through the use of technology to extend our lives so long that death does not always loom at our door as closely as perhaps has been the case in times past but whatever whatever we think of death we all desperately longed for life and that's why humans are pouring so much money into transhumanist efforts to extend life indefinitely in things like the transference of our consciousnesses into digital form or artificial bodies or cryogenic freezing until technology is able to cure currently terminal diseases and the like so we as humans we fear death and even if we don't want to admit we fear death we long for life but we long for life that is better than it is now far better than it is now and if we were if the prospect if we were faced with the prospect of living forever in the current conditions of life I can understand why somebody wouldn't want to imagine if those transhumanists efforts that I just described were to succeed well all that's going to do is further the divide between rich and poor between the haves and have-nots because the rich are going to be able to afford immortality and the poor will not be able to what Christianity offers is the very immortality and escape from death that we so desperately seek but more but at least well at least as important as that it offers immortality and everlasting life in absolute bliss and I don't just mean sort of the blissful blissful presence of God I do think that that will be blissful but I also think that the Bible teaches that resurrected eternity will be an embodied eternity one in a restored universe and when we are when we no longer lack immortality and we're no longer limited by whatever the technology is at our current point in time the day might come where we can explore the distant reaches of the cosmos and we can explore the BEP of steth depths of the ocean and our learning and our study and our experimentation will go on and on forever it's such without all of the pain and the disease and the grief and the sadness and the and the inequity and the hatred and everything that so ravages our life today and so I just want listeners especially the atheistic ones see look inside and see if you really don't care that much about death and and if you would in fact love to be able to live forever but think if you really want to live forever when that living forever has accomplished through technology and the problem of all those various problems I just described haven't actually been dealt with we as in Christians the Christian faith through the saving gospel of Jesus Christ we have the ability to offer everlasting immortal life in absolute bliss and with all those joyous things that I've just described and far more so I would just encourage you to to place your faith in Jesus Christ and to turn to him as your Savior and receive that promised destiny I don't want to say to anything negative about the Roman Catholic Church at least in this interview maybe we can do it another time I would hope that you would turn to a Protestant faith but I'm happy to just encourage you to turn to Christ and embrace that future everlasting life that can be yours through saving faith in Him

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