Friday, February 25, 2011

Bumper Sticker Theology

I saw this bumper sticker on a car while I was in Charlottesville, VA with some friends last week. It was yet another view of what in the world we are and of what we are made. This bumper sticker communicates the idea that we are predominantly spiritual beings, though we are in the physical world. I have to assume that this was not a Christian bumper sticker, and so I found the emphasis on the spiritual world to be surprising.

In class, we talked about what makes up a person and whether a person is material or immaterial. We concluded that a person is both material and immaterial. 2 Corinthians 5:15 agrees with this by speaking of the body as a tent: a person is both a tent and the occupant. The danger we run into is when we find ourselves focusing too much on one and neglecting the other.

My interpretation of this bumper sticker is that its writer has a fairly good view of what a person is. He understands that we are both spiritual and physical and that you cannot have one without the other. Counseling does not help a person by only focusing on the spiritual aspect or only focusing on the physical aspect. Why? Because we are both and we are both quite beautifully. On the other hand, one could argue that this bumper sticker is too focused on the spiritual aspect of people and that we are also a physical being, not just having a physical experience. Though this is true, I think it is fair and good to put emphasis on the spiritual, immaterial part, because these bodies will come and go, but the soul and the immaterial part lasts forever.


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  2. This is a really interesting post and I can't help but wonder what the word "spiritual" means to the writer and the driver that matter. We discussed in class that many religions and even atheists can consider themselves to be spiritual and yet are not focused on gaining a closer relationship with God. I looked up a few definitions for the word and one stated that spirituality is the process of getting to know your inner sense of being. But what does your inner sense of being consist of apart from God? Who is it that you are getting to know? Like you I think these types of sayings can be extremely misleading and somewhat deceptive.

  3. I found this bumper sticker to be pretty amusing, as it seems to be something straight from a fortune cookie. While the quote is thought provoking, I would have to be one of those “ones” that would argue that the bumper sticker is too focused on the spiritual. I think that throughout the Scriptures you can see the importance of the body/flesh/etc. You made the point that bodies will come and go, however I believe that this aspect of humanity was not always so. Remember, Adam and Eve had a physical body before the induction of sin, which would lead to the cessation of the body, death. In addition, 1 Corinthians 15 discusses the whole idea of the resurrected body of Christ, as well as followers of Christ. So even through death, humans, particularly believers, will be reunited with a body (a new body in Christ). Ultimately, the whole of humanity is woven so closely between the body and spirit that I think it is an understatement to say that humans are solely spiritual with only physical experiences.


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