Soul language

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By Dave Henning / February 1, 2015

Part I of Soul Keeping focuses on what the soul is.  In Chapter 1 (“The Soul Nobody Knows”), author John Ortberg asserts that soul is one of the most important words in the Bible.  Yet, if the average man or woman on the street is asked to explain exactly what the word soul means, Pastor Ortberg states that the following questions might arise:

1.  Why should I pay attention to my soul?

2.  Isn’t the soul the province of robe-wearing, herbal-tea drinkers?

3.  Won’t it mean preoccupation with navel-gazing?  Will I have to go to Big Sur or look some stranger in the eyes?  Will I have to journal?

Even though we may not be sure what the word soul means, it’s a word that won’t go away, even though it’s used less and less.  Yale psychologist and minister Jeffrey Boyd writes that about half of churchgoers view the soul as a translucent image rising from a dead body, having wings and carrying a harp.  Pastor Ortberg then emphasizes the importance of “soul language”:

“I think the most important aspect of ‘soul language’ is that it affirms human beings as moral agents, with the capacity for free choice and therefore accountability, who will be resurrected by God and therefore are created for an eternal existence in his great universe.”

Today’s question: How would you define the word soul?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “Lessons from an amaryllis”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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