Friday, June 19, 2009

The meaning of destiny conferred

The soul's value as an ever-present, ever-living reality

Men will still hear of the soul if it be a true soul that speaks — no smatterer, and no self-seeker. They will still hear of the great value of the soul. They will even hear of its absolute value, its pearl of price for whose sake all other pearls are but a currency, and all other ends but means… This is the Christian, the New Testament faith.

The Hebrew idea was different [than the Hellenstic]. The Jews thought of the soul as immortal not in itself but in a destiny conferred on it. They thought of its immortality and perfection as given by God. Its destiny was there as the result of the will and choice of God. That destiny was due to the divine purpose, and it existed there, not in the soul’s fibre, so to say. It was written not in the soul’s creation but in its Creator, not in its germ but in its Maker. Accordingly what was said to pre-exist was not the soul in its independent nature, as a sort of fiery particle forming an exception from the great universe of inert existence, but the will of God for the soul, its destiny as a purpose and choice of God. And as the purpose is that of God, to whom all things future are present, therefore in Him our destiny is an ever-present and ever-living reality. Thus the soul’s absolute and final value was found in Christ, in the pre-existent Christ, eternally chosen, God’s personal purpose, eternal and unbegotten, in whom we were and are created.


P.T. Forsyth, "The Preacher and the Age," Positive Preaching and the Modern Mind (Independent Press LTD: London, 1953), 94-95.

No comments: