Is Your Soul Immortal?
Pro. Robert Leo Odom
The certainty of Life after Death . . . When?
IS YOUR SOUL IMMORTAL?
In the spring of 1989 the 85-year-old Kremlinologist George F. Kenan was speaking before the members of a United States Congressional Committee. After testifying about the political and economic shortcomings of the Soviet system, he veered off onto another topic, and to the surprise of the members of the committee, it was a religious one. A society should provide its members with a significant statement about death, he held. The Russian system has not done that. By way of contrast he pointed out that from their biblical heritage Western European countries do have something significant to tell their citizens about death.
But the question for examination here is, just what do those Holy Scriptures have to say on that subject? Some time ago a noted Swiss theologian highlighted the contrasting views on this subject by publishing a book in which the title set the stage for the contrast between Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Body. His work has not settled that question so Professor Odom has returned to it once more. As Eastern mysticism has brought to the western world emphasis upon yet another aspect of this question, it is imperative that the major source which provides a knowledge about the truth of this subject--the Bible-- be examined carefully to answer these important questions: Is man naturally immortal? Does everyone possess immortality at present? Or will it be given to us at some future time? If so, then when? These significant questions have puzzled and troubled mankind since the dawn of civilization.
Professor Odom is well equipped with the scholarly tools to carry out such a search. For most of his adult professional career he has carried heavy writing, editorial, and teaching responsibilities. He is the author of more than a dozen books on biblical topics and numerous articles published in professional and popular journals on related subjects. Even after becoming legally blind in 1983 he has continued his work of writing, with the capable assistance of his wife of 60 years, Martha.
Professor Odom's writing is noted for his clear and lucid explanations of difficult and complex subjects. He is able to bring them down to a level of understanding where all of his readers, regardless of their education, can readily grasp the issues involved. His background in the knowledge of the original languages of the biblical text is not flaunted as knowledge for knowledge's sake. Rather it is a tool that is put to work to present the clearest and most direct explanation of a subject that can be drawn out of the data. That is the type of penetrating insight that he has turned upon the interesting subject of the nature of man: mortal or immortal? Tell us, Professor Odom, what do the Scriptures have to say on this subject?
William H. Shea, Ph.D.
The Biblical Research Institute, Washington, D. C. 20012