An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 130 of 297
Professor Dr. J. Agar Beet wrote:
'His arguments (Plato's) move us to pity.  For they are the painful
efforts of a good man straining his eyes, in the twilight and
uncertainty of Greek philosophy, to catch a glimpse of a ray of light
from beyond the grave: and for us walking in the light of "the promise
of life in Christ Jesus" they have no practical value.  In these
arguments we find the phrase "The soul is immortal"; it occurs ... not
less than 20 times in the whole dialogue (the Phaedo).  Moreover, its
meaning is indisputable.  Plato uses the phrase to assert that every
human soul, by its very nature, will continue in existence for endless
ages.  This teaching is put to noble moral uses' (The Immortality of
the Soul: a protest pp. 6,7).
The Rev. H. A. Barnes concludes as follows:
'Some of the consequences of the infiltration of the Platonic tradition
into Christian teaching are:
The theory of the inalienable immortality of every human soul is
treated as an axiom of orthodox belief.
It teaches that the embodied state is one of humiliation, that
the body is a prison of the soul, something to be rid of.
It introduces the idea of a purgatory.
It teaches the doctrine of eternal torment (in Gehenna).
Although it uses the same terms as those of Scripture for
destruction, etc., it teaches in opposition to Scripture that the
wicked are not destroyed, and causes the perversion of the true
meaning of important Scriptural terms.
The strange confusion of mind regarding souls that have never
died, could not possibly die, living on in an unseen world, and
then at a given time returning to a body, is a result of Platonic
teaching, i.e. that the soul cannot die, and that the body is a
mere "prison" or "tomb" of the soul, which results in the modern
disregard of, and unbelief in the resurrection'.
The reader will realize from these quotations and the summary already
given, that the doctrine of the Resurrection raises many controversial
issues.  These are by no means academical or doctrinaire, but vital.  No one
can ever accuse the martyr Tyndale of trifling, one who sealed his testimony
with his blood.  Among other evidences of his recognition of the supreme
importance of the resurrection, can be cited his refutation of the opinions
held by Sir Thomas More.
'And when he proveth that the saints be in heaven in glory with Christ
already, saying, "If God be their God, they be in heaven, for He is not
the God of the dead": there he stealeth away Christ's argument,
wherewith he proveth the resurrection: that Abraham and all saints
should rise again, and not that their souls were in heaven: which
doctrine was not yet in the world.  And with that doctrine he taketh
away the resurrection quite, and maketh Christ's argument of none