BODY, SOUL & LIFE EVERLASTING by John W. Cooper

Years ago while I was still in ignorance over the fundamental heresy of modern American churches signing secular covenants with the State, churches becoming “unequally yoked,” “double-minded and unstable in all their ways,” etc.; “churches” signing contracts in order to receive “gifts from the Gentiles” in the form of tax-exempt status and the blind, heretical madness of declaring that the State is their incorporator and not the Lord–and that…gulp…something like 99% of “churches” in America have nowadays…(gulp)…committed this heinous and craven crime unto the Lord—yes, before I found out about all that and more, I used to go to a 501c3/State Incorporated church. I used to go to several actually, for a number of years. I always sensed something was missing from them, like, oh, the Lord and the ability to speak freely about the world, but then as I have said, I later I found out why this was so. But it was about 2004 when I was attending a very small, weekly “men’s Bible study”–and this was before I found out that the Tyndale and KJB were real Bibles, but the “new bible versions” the other men were bringing along with them and reading from were rank frauds, mere bastardized paraphrases of the Word of God with thousands upon thousands of words removed and many others added or changed. Yes, this was before I learned of that, too. And my Lord, are evangelicals ever duped out of their minds by the Enemy nowadays. But getting back to this weekly Bible study. My friend at the time, an older man, a deacon at the church (oh, and this “conservative” “church” also unbiblically allowed females to be deacons as well–oh wow, are we ever lost nowadays!), and this man was also a…gulp…lawyer…although he was an okay, jovial fellow for a lawyer, and was and is quite stimulating to speak with because he possesses a very literal genius-level IQ–well, this friend of mine, and the hireling shepherd “pastor” who was also there, got to speaking and speculating momentarily about the nature of the human soul. I remember I had told them both that, as I had heard it somewhere previously, humans were not just “body and soul,” but rather, humans were “body and soul and spirit,” and so I asked these men what they thought would be the actual difference here, if any. Well, my older, lawyer, deacon-friend with the genius IQ, he suggested immediately that I should read this book (which was published in 1989). And so here it is, a full decade later, and I finally got around to obtaining a copy of this. Hey, it may take me awhile, but at least I get around to it eventually. At least I do not forget, and at least I do check things out, unlike most people.
 
Okay, so I read most of this book, and I do not think I can go on. It is interesting in parts; certainly, it started out rather interesting. But there is now a growing trend in the text which I find troublesome and may–and probably will–preclude me from being able to read anymore. The author has been citing bogus “new translation” bibles all along, typically the Jesuitical Westcott and Hort-inspired RSV, and I had expected that going in; however, now, suddenly, on the last five or ten pages in the middle of the book, the author is suddenly…gulp…citing various and sundry verses from the APOCRYPHAL books. Yes, he prefaces it with a footnoted disclaimer, but even here it is rather troubling that the disclaimer should be relegated to a footnote and not found in the main text;  this is especially unsettling as the man says he is of the “Dutch Reformed” faith. And make no mistake about it: This book is written in a quite erudite manner, and has been very well researched ACADEMICALLY. But theologically and historically?? The Apocrypha and Popery? Really?
 
Yes, another warning sign even before he started throwing out verses from the Apocrypha was that he often cites Romanist “church fathers” such as Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Jerome, etc.–all the usual high-priestly inquisitors and corruptors of God’s True Word. Aquinas was in favor of burning people alive. How Christ-like of him. Jerome was commissioned by the Woman that Rides the Beast to write a bogus “Latin Vulgate” to supplant the original, legitimate, and true Vulgate that was in the possession of at least the Waldenses. And Augustine?–Do not even get me started.
 
So in all candor, yes, that is about it, I can only get through about 2/3 of this book before I have to put it down. The confusion of the different “bible versions” he was using was really what did me in. It has become an impediment to me, so I stopped reading.
 
But before I go I should at least give a clue as to what and where this book was headed before I jumped ship. The author explores some basic and surprising fundamental differences between how modern “Christianity” (and here the author would lump together Romanism with Protestantism, etc.) views the  Resurrection of Believers as compared to and contrasted with how the Hebrews understood the Resurrection in Old Testament times. The nature of the soul itself, the Afterlife, specifically as pertains to bodily resurrection as differentiated from spiritual resurrection, is the subject matter under investigation here. It is a worthy but of course daunting investigation and I was initially enjoying it somewhat. But I remain dubious of the usefulness of consulting Apocryphal texts and counterfeit bibles and heroes of Popery in an investigation of this nature.
 
At times this well-lettered but foundationally flawed work reminds me of those medieval, recondite theologians who would argue interminably about the nature of angels and just how many angels could fit on the head of a pin, etc.  All those monks and priests and hireling shepherd academics straining away at gnats and needlepoint esotericisms while not having any clue at all that they were following a gigantic, satanic, paganized monstrosity of a State-incorporated imitation of the True Ecclesia of Christ.  And now here we have this author conducting a scholarly 230-page investigation of the specific and respective natures of the human soul versus the human body at the moment of the Resurrection in Christ, and yet he does not know what a real Bible is and he does not know what the True Ecclesia is–why, herein is a marvellous thing.
 
And the same goes for most American “churches” nowadays, too. And the same goes for my erstwhile lawyer friend with the genius IQ. My sandals are dust-free from all of that.
 
Nevertheless I have some genuinely mixed estimations about this: I do have some appreciation for this author’s ambitious enterprise. It is a subject about which I have often wondered myself, as have probably nearly all believers in Jesus Christ. It is an exquisitely perplexing philosophical/theological conundrum which he is seeking to solve. I just wish he could have done it without including and promoting the trappings and heroes of popery in his investigation. He often also quotes more recent or contemporary non-papist theologians and “Christian philosophers.” This I deem acceptable. Another acceptable non-Canonical source which he rarely utilized at all are the extant writings (if there even are any?) from those sects of Christians down through the centuries who were persecuted by the Catholics AND the Protestants. Now THERE is a remnant view that he should have investigated and did not. I mean groups like the Waldenses and the Anabaptists and Mennonites and Moravians. Of course, one thing all those groups had in common was that even the most intellectual of them tended to not spend much time speculating over the impenetrable mysteries of the Scriptures, and on the whole preferred instead to dwell upon more practical affairs. Ah, then maybe there is a lesson in that: especially since I did fast forward to the last few pages of the book to see the author’s final conclusion about the nature of body, soul, and spirit, and lo and behold, it is rather exactly like I would have guessed and would have agreed with myself before I had even endeavored to read the very first page of this. Ecclesiastes 12:12-13.

Rating: Δ Δ
6/2014

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