Do today’s Christians have a theology of the body?

Trapped in a prism, in a prism of light
Alone in the darkness, darkness of white
We fell in love, alone on a stage
In the reflective age
– from ‘Reflektor’ by Arcade Fire

Does Christianity today have anything to say about the human body? Yes, of course the Bible does, but do any Christians actually believe it? Do we actually believe that our bodies will be raised from the dead?

I know that I don’t (even if I want to). Isn’t the body just a cage?

Aren’t our bodies just a cage as, again, Arcade Fire says or the ancient poet, Rumi?

Neither words, nor any natural fact
Can express this

I know these dancers
Day and night I sing their songs
In this phenomenal cage

My soul, don’t try to answer now!
Find a friend, and hide

Should a Christian have their body cremated? What could it possibly matter? Think about how this relates to the idea that one may claim to be a man/woman trapped in the ‘wrong’ body. Check out this audio of a sermon by Pastor Stephen Baker on the subject. Note: It’s essential for Christians to get this doctrine right in order to perform good works with the right spirit. “…knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (See the full passage down below.)

The sermon specifically covers this text from 1 Corinthians:

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;[a] the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall[b] also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Mystery and Victory

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:35-58 ESV)


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