The Soul of Christianity: Restoring the Great Tradition by.
"I have tried to describe a Christianity which is fully compatible with everything we now know, and to indicate why Christians feel privileged to give their lives to it." —Huston SmithIn his most personal and passionate book on the

"I have tried to describe a Christianity which is fully compatible with everything we now know, and to indicate why Christians feel privileged to give their lives to it."
—Huston Smith

In his most personal and passionate book on the spiritual life, renowned author, scholar, and teacher of world religions Huston Smith turns to his own life-long religion, Christianity. With stories and personal anecdotes, Smith not only presents the basic beliefs and essential teachings of Christianity, but argues why religious belief matters in today's secular world.

Though the situation is grave, these modern misapprehensions can be corrected, says Smith, by reexamining the great tradition of Christianity's first millennium and reaping the lessons it holds for us today. This fresh examination of the Christian worldview, its history, and its major branches provides the deepest, most authentic vision of Christianity—one that is both tolerant and substantial, traditional and relevant.

The correlation between concepts of human spirit, soul, heaven, and God presented by Greek philosophers and the fundamental principles of Christianity is awing. If there were such a thing as copyright laws at the time, Christianity would be battling a tough legal case. While the parallels are evident, Christianity’s perversion or adaptation of the soul, building upon Platonists’ intent of abstract concepts (Forms), morphed the religion into a new way of life and perspective of the soul and world.

The Old Testament is largely a creation story and description of God. God is a single true reasonable being (relatable to the embodiment of Parmenides’ cosmic heaven and Plato’s Forms), existing as a perfect conception unlimited by the material / empirical world. God created heaven and earth; the reasonable and empirical. Man is introduced upon earth and created in God’s image, but having no knowledge, or need of knowledge. Man is then stricken with peril as he becomes aware of himself through sin—disobeying God by eating from the tree of knowledge and gaining an understanding of “good” and “bad” (reasonable and empirical). This self-awareness hints of an “I”, consciousness, or spirit.

The New Testament attempts to explain man’s spirit (soul) and its obligation of atonement for his sin (self-awareness—knowledge of the reasonable and empirical). The soul is defined as pre-existent to the body and otherworldly, just as Platonists described; and exists as a dualism, the body and soul being separate from each other (reasonable and empirical).

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The traditional concept of an immaterial and immortal soul distinct from the body was not found in Judaism before the Babylonian exile , [1] but developed as a result of interaction with Persian and Hellenistic philosophies. [2] Accordingly, the Hebrew word נֶ֫פֶשׁ ‬, nephesh , although translated as "soul" in some older English Bibles, actually has a meaning closer to "living being". Nephesh was rendered in the Septuagint as ψυχή ( psūchê ), the Greek word for soul. The New Testament also uses the word ψυχή , but with the Hebrew meaning and not the Greek. [3]

The only Hebrew word traditionally translated "soul" ( nephesh ) in English language Bibles refers to a living, breathing conscious body, rather than to an immortal soul. [4] In the New Testament, the Greek word traditionally translated "soul" ( ψυχή ) "psyche", has substantially the same meaning as the Hebrew, without reference to an immortal soul. In the Greek Septuagent psyche is used to translate each instance of nephesh. [5]

According to Genesis 2:7 God did not make a body and put a soul into it like a letter into an envelope of dust; rather he formed man's body from the dust, then, by breathing divine breath into it, he made the body of dust live, i.e. the dust did not embody a soul, but it became a soul—a whole creature. [7]

"I have tried to describe a Christianity which is fully compatible with everything we now know, and to indicate why Christians feel privileged to give their lives to it."
—Huston Smith

In his most personal and passionate book on the spiritual life, renowned author, scholar, and teacher of world religions Huston Smith turns to his own life-long religion, Christianity. With stories and personal anecdotes, Smith not only presents the basic beliefs and essential teachings of Christianity, but argues why religious belief matters in today's secular world.

Though the situation is grave, these modern misapprehensions can be corrected, says Smith, by reexamining the great tradition of Christianity's first millennium and reaping the lessons it holds for us today. This fresh examination of the Christian worldview, its history, and its major branches provides the deepest, most authentic vision of Christianity—one that is both tolerant and substantial, traditional and relevant.

"I have tried to describe a Christianity which is fully compatible with everything we now know, and to indicate why Christians feel privileged to give their lives to it."
—Huston Smith

In his most personal and passionate book on the spiritual life, renowned author, scholar, and teacher of world religions Huston Smith turns to his own life-long religion, Christianity. With stories and personal anecdotes, Smith not only presents the basic beliefs and essential teachings of Christianity, but argues why religious belief matters in today's secular world.

Though the situation is grave, these modern misapprehensions can be corrected, says Smith, by reexamining the great tradition of Christianity's first millennium and reaping the lessons it holds for us today. This fresh examination of the Christian worldview, its history, and its major branches provides the deepest, most authentic vision of Christianity—one that is both tolerant and substantial, traditional and relevant.

The correlation between concepts of human spirit, soul, heaven, and God presented by Greek philosophers and the fundamental principles of Christianity is awing. If there were such a thing as copyright laws at the time, Christianity would be battling a tough legal case. While the parallels are evident, Christianity’s perversion or adaptation of the soul, building upon Platonists’ intent of abstract concepts (Forms), morphed the religion into a new way of life and perspective of the soul and world.

The Old Testament is largely a creation story and description of God. God is a single true reasonable being (relatable to the embodiment of Parmenides’ cosmic heaven and Plato’s Forms), existing as a perfect conception unlimited by the material / empirical world. God created heaven and earth; the reasonable and empirical. Man is introduced upon earth and created in God’s image, but having no knowledge, or need of knowledge. Man is then stricken with peril as he becomes aware of himself through sin—disobeying God by eating from the tree of knowledge and gaining an understanding of “good” and “bad” (reasonable and empirical). This self-awareness hints of an “I”, consciousness, or spirit.

The New Testament attempts to explain man’s spirit (soul) and its obligation of atonement for his sin (self-awareness—knowledge of the reasonable and empirical). The soul is defined as pre-existent to the body and otherworldly, just as Platonists described; and exists as a dualism, the body and soul being separate from each other (reasonable and empirical).

"I have tried to describe a Christianity which is fully compatible with everything we now know, and to indicate why Christians feel privileged to give their lives to it."
—Huston Smith

In his most personal and passionate book on the spiritual life, renowned author, scholar, and teacher of world religions Huston Smith turns to his own life-long religion, Christianity. With stories and personal anecdotes, Smith not only presents the basic beliefs and essential teachings of Christianity, but argues why religious belief matters in today's secular world.

Though the situation is grave, these modern misapprehensions can be corrected, says Smith, by reexamining the great tradition of Christianity's first millennium and reaping the lessons it holds for us today. This fresh examination of the Christian worldview, its history, and its major branches provides the deepest, most authentic vision of Christianity—one that is both tolerant and substantial, traditional and relevant.

The correlation between concepts of human spirit, soul, heaven, and God presented by Greek philosophers and the fundamental principles of Christianity is awing. If there were such a thing as copyright laws at the time, Christianity would be battling a tough legal case. While the parallels are evident, Christianity’s perversion or adaptation of the soul, building upon Platonists’ intent of abstract concepts (Forms), morphed the religion into a new way of life and perspective of the soul and world.

The Old Testament is largely a creation story and description of God. God is a single true reasonable being (relatable to the embodiment of Parmenides’ cosmic heaven and Plato’s Forms), existing as a perfect conception unlimited by the material / empirical world. God created heaven and earth; the reasonable and empirical. Man is introduced upon earth and created in God’s image, but having no knowledge, or need of knowledge. Man is then stricken with peril as he becomes aware of himself through sin—disobeying God by eating from the tree of knowledge and gaining an understanding of “good” and “bad” (reasonable and empirical). This self-awareness hints of an “I”, consciousness, or spirit.

The New Testament attempts to explain man’s spirit (soul) and its obligation of atonement for his sin (self-awareness—knowledge of the reasonable and empirical). The soul is defined as pre-existent to the body and otherworldly, just as Platonists described; and exists as a dualism, the body and soul being separate from each other (reasonable and empirical).

Sign up today for our newsletter: Christianity Today Weekly Newsletter. CTWeekly delivers the best content from ChristianityToday.com to your inbox each week.

"I have tried to describe a Christianity which is fully compatible with everything we now know, and to indicate why Christians feel privileged to give their lives to it."
—Huston Smith

In his most personal and passionate book on the spiritual life, renowned author, scholar, and teacher of world religions Huston Smith turns to his own life-long religion, Christianity. With stories and personal anecdotes, Smith not only presents the basic beliefs and essential teachings of Christianity, but argues why religious belief matters in today's secular world.

Though the situation is grave, these modern misapprehensions can be corrected, says Smith, by reexamining the great tradition of Christianity's first millennium and reaping the lessons it holds for us today. This fresh examination of the Christian worldview, its history, and its major branches provides the deepest, most authentic vision of Christianity—one that is both tolerant and substantial, traditional and relevant.

The correlation between concepts of human spirit, soul, heaven, and God presented by Greek philosophers and the fundamental principles of Christianity is awing. If there were such a thing as copyright laws at the time, Christianity would be battling a tough legal case. While the parallels are evident, Christianity’s perversion or adaptation of the soul, building upon Platonists’ intent of abstract concepts (Forms), morphed the religion into a new way of life and perspective of the soul and world.

The Old Testament is largely a creation story and description of God. God is a single true reasonable being (relatable to the embodiment of Parmenides’ cosmic heaven and Plato’s Forms), existing as a perfect conception unlimited by the material / empirical world. God created heaven and earth; the reasonable and empirical. Man is introduced upon earth and created in God’s image, but having no knowledge, or need of knowledge. Man is then stricken with peril as he becomes aware of himself through sin—disobeying God by eating from the tree of knowledge and gaining an understanding of “good” and “bad” (reasonable and empirical). This self-awareness hints of an “I”, consciousness, or spirit.

The New Testament attempts to explain man’s spirit (soul) and its obligation of atonement for his sin (self-awareness—knowledge of the reasonable and empirical). The soul is defined as pre-existent to the body and otherworldly, just as Platonists described; and exists as a dualism, the body and soul being separate from each other (reasonable and empirical).

Sign up today for our newsletter: Christianity Today Weekly Newsletter. CTWeekly delivers the best content from ChristianityToday.com to your inbox each week.

The traditional concept of an immaterial and immortal soul distinct from the body was not found in Judaism before the Babylonian exile , [1] but developed as a result of interaction with Persian and Hellenistic philosophies. [2] Accordingly, the Hebrew word נֶ֫פֶשׁ ‬, nephesh , although translated as "soul" in some older English Bibles, actually has a meaning closer to "living being". Nephesh was rendered in the Septuagint as ψυχή ( psūchê ), the Greek word for soul. The New Testament also uses the word ψυχή , but with the Hebrew meaning and not the Greek. [3]

The only Hebrew word traditionally translated "soul" ( nephesh ) in English language Bibles refers to a living, breathing conscious body, rather than to an immortal soul. [4] In the New Testament, the Greek word traditionally translated "soul" ( ψυχή ) "psyche", has substantially the same meaning as the Hebrew, without reference to an immortal soul. In the Greek Septuagent psyche is used to translate each instance of nephesh. [5]

According to Genesis 2:7 God did not make a body and put a soul into it like a letter into an envelope of dust; rather he formed man's body from the dust, then, by breathing divine breath into it, he made the body of dust live, i.e. the dust did not embody a soul, but it became a soul—a whole creature. [7]

Bethany Hamilton suffered one of the worst accidents that you can imagine. She was a good Christian Kid who loved the Lord and Loved to surf. She had a bright and promising potential future as a professional surfer… then the Unthinkable Happened.

A 14 foot Tiger Shark rose out of the reef and attacked her. The One Massive Clean bite that it took, sheared through her board and ripped her left arm off. Many a soul would have just fainted and given up and died, but she did not. She started paddling for shore with her right arm and called out for help from her friends. Amazingly she survived.

PS. This amazingly is one of our most visited pages. In a world where the real importance and greatness in life comes with our connection to God… there are very few recent movies that really show this and show young folks learning to love the Lord. Real life is heartbreak, trials & learning… blended with victories, understanding and acceptance . So many Christian Movies really lack this and sadly many just aren't that interesting.

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