In this sermon I will tell about what are soul and spirit of a human and how they are related with the brain.
First I will tell some widespread concepts about soul and spirit. I do not agree with these concepts because they contradict to the modern science (and don’t quite agree with Bible).
After this I will put forth my new concepts what is the soul (and what I understand about the spirit). In my opinion, my concepts well agrees both with science and with Bible.
Some Christians think that soul is our mind and feelings and spirit is the link with God. So for example famous China Protestant preacher Watchman Nee taught.
In the opinion of Watchman Nee, spirit consists of conscience, intuition, and communication with God. Watchman thought that conscience, intuition, and communication are the entities through we receive God’s guidance, not our own mind or feelings.
Once I asked questions to bishop Eduard Grabovenko: What in his opinion are soul and spirit. He said that soul is our mind and feelings and spirit is the entity which connects us to God. On my question what in a human receives salvation he responded that only the spirit, not the soul.
Such salvation does not suit me! If this were true, it would mean that my thoughts and senses will die, and what remains from me is unrelated to my “self”. This would be very sad, but Bible teaches about salvation differently. Salvation means that our thoughts and senses will continue to exist in the eternity. I think, no need to persuade that Bible teaches about such “real” salvation,
Another widespread viewpoint is that the soul is the entity containing feelings and the spirit of a human is the entity containing his mind (logic). Should I say that this contradicts to the modern science, which taught us that the logic of a human is contained in the left part of his brain?
Partisans of this viewpoint like to say “A human is a spirit, he has a soul, and he dwells in a body.” I will allow myself (in the course of this sermon) disagree with this motto. Moreover I will almost heretically claim: “Human is flesh” (not spirit and not soul). But so Bible teaches: see for example (Gen. 6:3) “Yahweh said, “My Spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh…”
This way both above theories don’t endure checking by the modern science. We know that a human thinks and feels by the brain. The proof of this scientific fact is easy: We know that if the brain of a human is damaged this changes his thoughts and feelings. So thoughts and feelings belong to the brain.
Now after the excursus into history of theologies of other authors, I will now acquaint you with my own theories about what is soul and what is spirit. Honestly speaking, I cannot prove that I understand this topic correctly. But it seems to me, that my theory is the only way to coordinate together without contradictions modern science about functions of brain with Bible, including what Bible says about the soul of a human.
I think that the soul is the backup copy of the brain. (God makes backups of brains of people in the same way as we do a backup copy of data in our computer.) Originally the man was created to till the ground: (Gen. 2:15) “Yahweh God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it.” That is originally the man was created by God as a robot for tilling the ground. It’s quite natural that with his creation God also gave its backup.
For whom did God create the man? Originally the man was created to serve Baal. (“Baal” in Hebrew means “an owner” that is he was the original owner of the man.) Afterwards after the Fall into sin the man was re-purposed to serve his creator God Yahweh. Well, see my other sermons and books about this.
Thus: A human thinks, feels, and is controlled by the brain and the hormones (It is a scientific fact.) but he has eternal soul which is given by God, preserving his memories, feelings, and thoughts even after the death.
Note that the soul is not just some, as now they say, “thin astral body”. The soul exists with God, not as a continuation of the body of a human, not where the human resides. Soul is immaterial, it is even not some “thin” matter. Soul is pure information.
We dealt with the soul. Now about the spirit of a human.
What is the spirit? Honestly, I poorly understand this.
But in one thing we can be sure: The spirit is something higher than our mind: (1Cor. 14:2) “For he who speaks in another language speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries.” The spirit of a man knows a language which is unknown to his mind. So the aforementioned concept that the spirit is the mind of a human does not stand up to criticism.
So the truth about the spirit is more like to the concept of Watchman Nee: the spirit is something higher what connects us to God. But I consider not right to equate the spirit with intuition and conscience, because often what we call intuition and conscience are just functions of the brain.
So, I presented my theory of the soul which does not contradict the data of the modern science and also well agrees with Bible. I also touched the question what is the spirit.
Some more notes:
Consider the verse (Rom. 8:24) “we were saved in hope”. Or I can propose another well suited within it meaning: “we were saved in a dream”. One of the meanings of this verse is the following: Our salvation consists of dream just like as a table may consist of wood. It is our dreams which come to the heaven, where they will be fulfilled. The dream is what remains from a man after the death. Let us dream.
Consider also the verse (1Cor. 13:13) “But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three.” One of the meanings of this verse is that faith, hope, and love cannot be destroyed. Even if galaxies will be burned up by some destructive force, these three will remain after destroyed universe. This is what God salvages from the world: faith, hope, and love. This is what remains from our soul forever. Let us enjoy that our dreams (and also faith and love) will survive this universe.
And the last: Speaking about the soul, I meant only what is called by Greek word “psyche” in New Testament. The word “nephesh” from Old Testament (which is also translated as “soul”) is something other. As it is clear from the first chapter of Genesis, “nephesh” belongs to all living organisms, but probably only human has soul (psyche).