The Two Modes Of Humanity, Part 3: Objections And Responses -- By: Philippe R. Sterling

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 27:53 (Autumn 2014)
Article: The Two Modes Of Humanity, Part 3: Objections And Responses
Author: Philippe R. Sterling

The Two Modes Of Humanity,
Part 3: Objections And Responses

Philippe R. Sterling

Vista Ridge Bible Fellowship Lewisville, TX

I. Introduction

As stated in part one of this three-part series, most Evangelicals do not believe that there will be children born in the eternal state. In this article, I will consider the objections they raise and will respond to those objections.

The objections to the view from interpreters such as John Walvoord, Craig Blaising, Tony Garland, David L. Turner, Floyd S. Elmore, and Joseph Dillow will be considered. It will be proposed that a lingering influence of Platonism and Neo- Platonism may have contributed to some of the objections.

II. Objections And Responses

The modern commentary tradition rarely addresses the view of two humanities in the eternal state. When it has been addressed, it has sometimes been misrepresented or simply mentioned, and then dismissed. Rarely has it been accurately represented and seriously engaged.

Among revised dispensational premillennialists, the possibility of two modes of humanity in the eternal state is rarely brought up. For example, in essays in a Festschrift dedicated to J. Dwight Pentecost, neither Donald K. Campbell nor Louis A. Barbieri Jr., address the possibility when writing about the

eternal state.1 The pattern is usually simply to assert that all humanity will be in glorified bodies in the new heaven and earth. Barbieri reflects this in the following comment:

Though it cannot be dogmatically asserted, it appears that at this time there will be a total remaking of the present world system... Regenerated people in physical bodies who did not follow Satan in his rebellion could not survive such an intense refinement of the earth. Although the Bible does not say what will happen to these people while this process is taking place, it is reasonable to conclude that they will experience a “rapture” into the heavenly city, Jerusalem. In order for these people to enter the heavenly city, they must experience a change from human bodies to glorified bodies...With the completing of these events all mankind will be in one of two places: either eternally separated from God in the lake of fire, or eternally present with God in glorified bodies in the new heaven and the new earth.2

Someone as significant as John F. Walvoord, president of Dallas Theological Seminary from 1952 to 1986, misrepresented the view in his commentary on...

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