The Resurrection Of The Body: Affirming The Integrity Of Our Creatureliness -- By: Cornelis P. Venema

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 07:3 (Summer 1998)
Article: The Resurrection Of The Body: Affirming The Integrity Of Our Creatureliness
Author: Cornelis P. Venema


The Resurrection Of The Body: Affirming
The Integrity Of Our Creatureliness

Cornelis P. Venema

One of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith is the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. This doctrine, which constitutes a significant feature of the believer’s expectation for the future, correlates with the basic Christian affirmation of the integrity and goodness of the creation. When the triune God redeems His people through Jesus Christ, this redemption issues in the restoration of the whole person—body and soul—in the new heavens and earth. It is, accordingly, fitting that we consider the doctrine of the resurrection of the body in this issue of Reformation & Revival Journal. For the doctrine of the resurrection is illustrative of many of the biblical principles that pertain to our understanding of the world as created by God.

The Resurrection Of The Body And Biblical Eschatology

The Bible’s teaching about the future may be divided into two broad areas, individual eschatology and general eschatology. Individual eschatology, as the language suggests, addresses the Bible’s teaching about what happens to individuals, particularly believers, in the state between death and resurrection at the end of the age. General eschatology addresses the Bible’s teaching on the future in general or in terms of the unfolding of the triune God’s purposes in history, leading up to the

return of Christ at the end of the age.

Within the broader compass of general eschatology, the doctrine of the resurrection of the body is usually treated as one of the concomitants of the second advent of Christ, to use the phrase chosen by Charles Hodge in his Systematic Theology to describe the events that will accompany the return of Christ at the end of the age.1 Though this language is not the kind we might use over the counter at the coffee shop, it nicely captures the idea: we are looking at an event that, according to the Scriptures, will occur in the company of Christ’s return at the end of the age. When Christ returns, the Bible teaches that His reign as King will be consummated by means of a series of great acts of redemption and judgment. These events will draw this present age to a close and introduce the consummation of God’s purposes in the new heavens and earth. They will precede the final and enduring state of God’s kingdom.

The resurrection of the dead, including the just and the unjust, is the first of these great events or concomitants of Christ’s return at the end of the age. The biblical expectation for the fut...

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