Atticus Finch wrote:1) If it's simply the actions of a dying brain then of course it just reflects the social conditioning of the person and what s/he expected to see upon death.
Yes, it maybe possible...
Atticus Finch wrote:2) NDE's could also be used by atheists with a negative spin. They could claim that since every culture reports NDE's of a varying nature, no religion has the truth at all.
Possibly, but they could possibly be wrong to in light of this theory...
Atticus Finch wrote:What does this say about the soul though? Is the soul eternal in its nature right now?
Thus the story continues...
Body, Soul, and SpiritFormed, Made, and Created
When one does not understand the distinct differences among these words: body, soul, spirit, formed, made, and created, he falls easily into confusion. Biblically these words are used with precision and are not synonymous or interchangeable.
Even everyone that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
I Thessalonians 5:23:
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For clarification let us look at three verses from Ecclesiastes.
Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death. . . .
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
In bringing about mankind, God proceeded as follows: He formed the body of man (Genesis 2:7); He made the soul of man (Genesis 2:7); and God created man in His own image which is spirit (Genesis 1 :27 and John 4:24).
God formed the body of man of the same substance or elements that one finds in the "dust of the earth." All substance eventually returns to its original state and the body therefore goes back to dust.
The soul is the "breath of life" of man (Genesis 2:7), and the life of the soul is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11).
A man of body and soul is called in the Bible the natural man, the man of the flesh, the carnal man. The soul is also called the "spirit of man" for the soul is physical life and is frequently referred to as "spirit" in its generic usage.
All life is spirit, but not all life is eternal-life spirit. Soul life is spirit but not eternal;
but the spirit from God in a man is eternal-life spirit. Soul life is the spirit of man which is passed on at the time of ovum fertilization, which event begins the life of a new organism, the end result being an offspring. Soul is attested to by breathing. When breathing ceases, soul life is no more.
All living animals have a soul. In Genesis 1 :20 and 30, "life" is the word for "soul." In Genesis 1 :21 and 24, "creature" is also the word "soul."
In Ecclesiastes 3:21 the "spirit of man" and the "spirit of the beast" is breath life, the soul, as is also the word "spirit" in Ecclesiastes 8:8. Can anyone see breath life? When one dies does the last breath go upward or downward? Does a man's last breath go up and the beast's go down? How do you know when you cannot see it? We do know that no man can stop the last breath from leaving; and when breath is gone, soul life for that person or beast is gone.
Soul life continues by being passed on to one's progeny. God made soul life only once in the original man and has never made it again in man. That same soul life is in all men today having been passed down from one generation to the next. Acts 17:26 says, "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation."
In Ecclesiastes 12:7 "spirit" is not soul life-the spirit of man; it is the Spirit of God.
God created man in His own image, and the image of God is Spirit. God as Spirit can communicate with spirit only, the same as senses-communication is related only by way of the senses. The spirit which God originally created in man was given on a condition. When man did not fulfill God's conditions, man sinned and was then dead in trespasses and sin without God. God had revoked His gift of spirit and therefore could no longer communicate with man unless God chose to come into concretion in one form or another in the senses realm. In not fulfilling the conditions which God had prescribed, man became a twofold being of just body and soul. He became then a natural man limited to information gathered by his senses. Physical man looked the same both before and after he lost the spirit, but he was not the same. Man had lost his direct communication with God and, consequently, had to live solely with the faulty aid of his five senses.
After the original fall of man, God's gift of spirit was at times put on some men by God for a special mission at a special time, and even then the spirit was on them only "in measure,"to a limited degree. Never did God fully put His gift of spirit in men until the day of Pentecost. All of the prophets in the Old Testament and prior to Pentecost except Jesus Christ; but on the day of Pentecost, every believer for the first time could have the spirit from God born within, so man could again become a tripartite being of body, soul, and spirit. This anointing with spirit from God places the believer again in the position where God can communicate directly with tripartite man. At the same time of death, this spirit returns to God who gave it.
Thus as the body is formed of dust, it must, according to all laws of life, return to dust. The soul was made in the blood and becomes nonexistent with a man's last breath (except in offspring). The spirit from God is created in the believer and at the end of natural life this created spirit must return to God of whom it is a part.