Episode 56: Everlasting God

Dr. Glenn Peoples joins me to discuss Christology, philosophy of mind and the crucifixion of Christ. Was God the Son alive and conscious while the man, Jesus, lay dead and unconscious in the tomb? Or did the Godman die both as man and as God? And can either of these views be considered orthodox?


Promoted Resources

  • Stand to Reasonwith Greg Koukl
    • The Stand to Reason radio program is live on the air every Sunday 2-5 pm PST AM on 740 KBRT.
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  • Say Hello to my Little Friend, aka the Beretta Cast, with Glenn Peoples.

One thought on “Episode 56: Everlasting God

  1. I have recently been considering physicalism and its implications, and while the view appeals to me for many reasons (not the least of which is my belief in conditional immortality), I must say that I’m having a hard time getting over the hump because this view is absolutely revolutionary in its scope! It puts the gospel in a whole new light. Christ’s sacrifice seen in the light of physicalism is nothing less than overwhelmingly astonishing, which may be the whole reason the early church set the world ablaze.

    I’m just having a problem understanding God as being not only able to die, but as being one who can in some respect only exist physically at his death. At least that would be true of ‘part’ of God (for lack of a better term). What I mean is that if I understand this view correctly, then at one point in history the eternally existing Trinity went from three live persons in the Godhead to two live persons and one dead person in the Godhead. One person of the Trinity therefore only existed physically as a corpse. How does this not change the nature of God? Or does it not matter that God changes in this regard?

    Besides this, I’m curious about God’s essential nature because if God – who is spirit – cannot die (?), but the God who became flesh did die, then what exactly happened to the spirit ‘part’ (again, for lack of a better term) when Jesus became flesh? Is this what scripture means when it says “he emptied himself”? The preincarnate person of the Son ceased being spirit at the incarnation? Therefore, when he died the only way he could die was physically. Isn’t this tantamount to saying his spirit died (or ceased to exist) at the incarnation? Or am I making the dualist mistake of interpreting “God is spirit” as meaning God is ‘a’ spirit, which equates to God has a spirit?

    Is it heretical to surmise, then, that the preincarnate Son of God actually emptied himself in the sense that he became a mere creature – unGod, as it were, but in what he emptied himself (deity) he would one day be restored at least in honor (glory): “Now, Father, glorify me together with Yourself with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” To my untrained eye this seems fraught with theological peril. I guess I don’t see how any person of the Trinity can cease being spirit (as God is spirit) and die physically without ceasing to exist in a way that means God becomes unGod, forever changing the nature of God.

    If this is what God did in the incarnation/crucifiction/resurrection, if this is what he willingly sacrificed to save me, then I am seriously without words thinking about the synopsis offered in John 3:16!

    As you can tell by all the question marks I employed I need a little help with understanding this position.

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