I wrote years ago on a personal theory about “when” resurrection occurs in “’Soul Sleep’ or Immediate Resurrection?” Over the years it has, for obvious reasons, become a subject I have thought about often, but until this week no one had pointed out other scholars with similar views. I never thought I was original in my thinking, nor particularly articulate. This week Charles Miller commented on that previous post and shared this quote from Emil Brunner’s The Eternal Hope. I am not familiar with his work (a lacking in my education, clearly, and I am waiting for Jim West rightly to chastise me and hopefully offer a primer) but have ordered this volume and look forward to reading it. Brunner says what I was trying to articulate in a much more elegant manner:
It can be solved the moment we become clear that there is a before and after to the earthly world. Here on earth there is a before and an after and intervals of time which embrace centuries or even millenniums. But on the other side, in the world of the resurrection, in eternity, there are no such divisions of time, of this time which is perishable. The date of death differs for each man, for the day of death belongs to this world. Our day of resurrection is the same for all and yet is not separated from the day of death by intervals of centuries– for these time-intervals are here, not there in the presence of God, where a thousand years are as a day.
— Eternal Hope, (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954), p. 152.
[I corrected the title. Charles had used the term “instantaneous” and I think it a much better term than “spontaneous.”]