Which one is the correct answer?
1.) Our salvation has “already” elements (e.g. regeneration) and only “not yet” aspects concerning bodily resurrection.
2.) Our salvation has “already but not yet” elements (e.g. regeneration) and only “not yet” aspects concerning bodily resurrection.
First, let me point out something, that the Westminster Confession of faith Chapter XXXII:1 says: “Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead …the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens”. This short answer here allows for the *already but not yet view* from the present to the future, and it does it within two sentences. It is very clear.
Now, when I go through the booklet Questions About The Afterlife (QATA), I went through the whole book and could not find anything “already but not yet” in it concerning the souls of the righteous being made perfect for a process. But rather what I did find is below is rather that after a believer is born-again there is no change to his soul directly implies, but only to his body:
QATA Pg. 39 “Not everything about the seed changes, only the outer shell or body form.
QATA Pg. 39 “But there is total continuity between the inner person, which has been quickened by God and made alive with immortality and the new body we will have when our inner man rises into its new body form after the death of the outer shell.”
QATA Pg. 38 “It is not the inner germ of life which dies.”
QATA Pg. 40 “The inner man posses “eternal life” or immortality out of which the new body arises.”
QATA Pg. 41 “The inner man of the seed lives on and “puts on” its new body form in which it will dwell forever with God.”
QATA Pg. 36 “We get a new spiritual body which arises out of the inner man.”
QATA Pg. 35 “He shows that this new kind of body arises out of the inner life of the seed/person.”
QATA Pg. 34 “The inner man was quickened by Christ to have spiritual life. But the outer shell (the physical body), because it is corruptible and corrupted, had to die.”
QATA Pg. 33 “Our spiritual life has been restored. This does not mean the physical body will escape corruption, any more than forgiveness of a convicted killer means we let him get out of paying his penalties.”
QATA Pg. 32 “God told Adam that he would die “on the day” he ate. He didn’t die physically that day. The death was spiritual and moral. So, why should we expect that at our resurrection to spiritual life we will be made physically alive? [< implied H.P.] The resurrection is the event which reverses the original curse which was spiritual death. [<implied H.P. because you are refferring to born-again resurrection as without the already-but-not-yet.] If the original death was spiritual, why would we expect the resurrection which it reverses to be physical?” [<implies H.P. because we are in the already but not yet.] At our conversion our inner man is quickened and made alive and given immortality, out of which will arise our new immortal body form when the outer shell dies at physical death. [<implied H.P. because there is no already but not yet.]
So therefore, do you see that there is no *already but not yet* future other than a change in physical bodies, the same as if you were going on a train to see your departed father, nothing more nothing less. And your seed change-life only concerns the date on which you were born-again.
I think this is an incorrect view. Rather the seed shows that the Christian entombs the flesh in ongoing death as he should, and at the same time understands true life is rather to be lived with Christ in heaven. At physical death then comes all the things you talk about in your book, in that there is no change only at that point.
Calvin on Romans 6: 7 “For if death destroys all the actions of life, we who have died to sin ought to cease from those actions which it exercised during its life.”
Calvin on verse Romans 6:8 “… And hereby he teaches us that newness of life is to be pursued by Christians as long as they live; for since they ought to represent in themselves an image of Christ, both by crucifying the flesh and by a spiritual life, it is necessary that the former should be done once for all, and that the latter should be carried on continually: not that the flesh, as we have already said, dies in us in a moment, but that we ought not to retrograde in the work of crucifying it. For if we roll again in our own filth, we deny Christ; of whom we cannot be the participators except through newness of life, inasmuch as he lives an incorruptible life. “
Calvin verse Romans 6:9 Death no more rules over him, &c. He seems to imply that death once ruled over Christ; and indeed when he gave himself up to death for us, he in a manner surrendered and subjected himself to its power; it was however in such a way that it was impossible that he should be kept bound by its pangs, so as to succumb to or to be swallowed up by them. He, therefore, by submitting to its dominion, as it were, for a moment, destroyed it for ever. Yet, to speak more simply, the dominion of death is to be referred to the state of death voluntarily undergone, which the resurrection terminated. The meaning is, that Christ, who now vivifies the faithful by his Spirit, or breathes his own life into them by his secret power from heaven, was freed from the dominion of death when he arose, that by virtue of the same dominion he might render free all his people.
In other words, Calvin see’s that in all Paul is impressing naturally upon the believer the weight of the already but not yet. There is much in between being born again and physical resurrection.
The problem I am having is that I can not find any way to see how this booklet explains the life of the believer the same way Calvin does in Romans 6 when it comes to where the born-again man is now. It is talking about only what I perceive as ultimately irrelevant elements having to do with location rather than transformation of the born-again nature of man. The way I see it man is like gold mixed up with a lot of dirt and impurities that needs ongoing refining if we are indeed being saved 2 Cor. 2:15 “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing”. It droops off that from the explanation, there is no past present and future aspects. Rather the answers eem to want to agree with a Hyper-Preterist view, that change only has to do with the body, and change will not effect the born-again nature of the believer. It makes it sound like that ultimately we will be sitting in heaven with the same kind of mindset regarding sin and the holiness of God and needing ongoing sanctification and needing forgiveness as we do right now. When John saw Christ in heaven he fell down as dead. Jesus says there will be no marriage, that would require predominately unknown separation from the world and born-again mindset, yet somewhat viable as through a glass darkly. These are things that we can only see as we put to death the born-again man, putting him where he is supposed to be according to Calvin and Paul in Romans 6. The book is indirectly inferring we are in His living presence now by not spelling this out. It is only giving us physical bodies as far as I can tell.
Nevertheless, Full Preterists are not the only ones what to this, it appears that many Reformed believers make this same mistake.