Replacement Hope

“The hope of the early church centered on the resurrection of the Last Day. It is this which first calls the dead into eternal life (I Cor. 15; Phil 3:21). This resurrection happens to the man and not only to the body. Paul speaks of the resurrection not ‘of the body’ but ‘of the dead.’ This understanding of the resurrection implicitly understands death as also affecting the whole man...Thus the original Biblical concepts have been REPLACED by ideas from Hellenistic, Gnostic dualism. The New Testament idea of the resurrection which affects the whole man has had to give way to the immortality of the soul. The Last Day also LOSES its significance, for souls have received all that is decisively important long before this. Eschatological tension is no longer strongly directed to the day of Jesus’ Coming. The difference between this and the Hope of the New Testament is very great.”
Dr. Paul Althaus in, The Theology of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 1966, pp. 413, 414).

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