Christian theologians differ on how many components make up the human being.
- One part (Monism) – the view that humans are not composed of various components (i.e. body, soul), but rather as a radical unity.
- Two parts (Dichotomism) - the belief that humans are comprised of a material component (body) and a nonmaterial component (soul, or spirit).
- Three parts (Trichotomism) – holds that humans are comprised of three different elements: body, soul, spirit.
Dualism is the traditional Christian view… that the human being is made up of 2 components: material (body/flesh) and spiritual (soul/spirit). The soul or spirit departs from the body at death, and will be reunited with the body at the resurrection.
We will examine the following claims by Monists:
- Their view is closer to that of the Hebrew OT and Dichotomism and Trichotomism are derived from Greek philosophy.
- The Bible doesn’t teach that man has a separate eternal soul and the Hebrew word translated as “spirit” (ruach) simply means “breath”.
- Soul sleep: The soul/spirit dies when the body dies. Or alternatively the soul sleeps - there is no consciousness.
- Monism appears to be more consistent with modern neuroscience.
- The unrighteous soul will cease to exist instead of suffering eternally (annihilationism).