The Body - John A. E. Robinson
I THE BODY OF THE FLESH
II THE BODY OF THE GROSS
III THE BODY OF THE RESURRECTION
Index of Biblical References
Index of Names
This means, among other things, that our ideal of freedom, and of the free society, cannot be defined simply in terms of //dependence. The redemption of man to-day means his release to become, not an individual—for in independence he is powerless in the face of the giant State—but a person, who may find rather than lose himself in the interdependence of the community. The content of social salvation for the modern man is to discover himself as a person, as one who freely chooses interdependence because his nature is to be made for others, rather than as one who is engulfed in it because the pressures of his age demand it. The alternative to the "They' is not the T but the "We".
The second basic conviction from which this book springs is that in the Pauline concept of the body there is something of profound implication and relevance both for the understanding of this problem (which, it must be remembered, is nothing less than the social, political and religious problem of our age) and for its Christian solution.
Paul starts, as we do, from the fact that man is bound up in a vast solidarity of historical existence which denies him freedom to control his own destiny or achieve his true end. This is the 'body* of sin and death, in which he is involved at every level of his being, physical, political and even cosmic.
The great corporations of modem society are expressions of this all-embracing solidarity. The temptation of Western man is to seek salvation by exalting the individual against such collectives or by seeking withdrawal from the body of socio-historical existence. Paul saw that the Christian gospel is very different. For the body is not simply evil: it is made by God and for God. Solidarity is the divinely ordained structure in which personal life is to be lived.
Man's freedom does not lie in the fact that he is not bound, nor his individuality in the fact that he is not social. Both derive from № unconditional and inalienable responsibility to God, which is not denied by the solidarities of the body and can indeed be discharged only in and through them. Christians should be the last people to be found clinging to the wrecks of an atomistic individualism, which has no foundation in the Bible.
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