Paul Was Not A Zwinglian
Notes on the Pneumatic Life in 1 Corinthians
It is clear in contemporary evangelicalism that, in the battle between the magisterial Reformers over sacramental theology, Uhlrich Zwingli (1484-1531) has emerged as the undisputed champion. Not being a Protestant, this is not really my problem, but it is a problem for Protestants who want to stress their biblical pedigree as doctrinally rooted in sola scriptura, since sacramental theology is scriptural, and not purely patristic or medieval. More specifically, by consciously or unconsciously possessing a Zwinglian approach to the sacraments, evangelicals either ignore or reject the clear Pauline theology of the eucharist as a key pneumatic dispensation of the church, by which God’s pneuma (πνεῦμα, Latin spiritus) is distributed to her members, Christ’s body is built, and therefore God’s divine indwelling of the universe is made possible.
First, some background and clarification. The low view of what Christians have historically called “mysteries” or “sacraments,” and treated as the fundamental substance of worship for the better part of 2,000 years, that prevails in evangelical churches puts them perhaps the farthest from the ecumenical consciousness of Orthodox, Catholic, and high-church Protestant Christians like Anglicans and Lutherans. For these communities, the problem of Christian disunity is evident in the breaking precisely of communion, for the ability to share the Eucharist with one another constitutes the supreme moment of common Christian existence. For evangelical communities, which largely do not have such a sacramental theology, the real breach is dogmatic, doctrinal, and theological; breach in communion is not necessarily possible, since most of these communities practice open communion (and often infrequently) as a result of their purely symbolic understanding of what the eucharist is.
Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli all had slightly different takes on the eucharist; Luther was the closest to the medieval Catholic view of the sacraments, while Calvin and Zwingli had progressively lower understandings of the sacraments generally. The English Reformation left mainstream Anglicans in an ambiguous and often disputed territory with regard to the sacraments, retaining much of the medieval Catholic ritual ceremonial surrounding the sacraments but, in some ways, modifying the verbal liturgical scaffolding which explained what was going on in the sacraments; the elusive and pluralistic positions of Anglicans on questions of liturgical theology were what led Rome to reject the validity of Anglican Orders in Apostolicae Curae, though as the Anglican response in Saepius Officio pointed out, the arguments utilized by Pope Leo XIII in making this judgment were fairly poor. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, shaped in large part by the forces of the Oxford Movement and the Catholic Renewal within Anglicanism, many senior Anglican clerics and laypeople wanted very much to be perceived as the properly indigenous catholic church of the British Isles, maintaining a true eucharist, as opposed to other streams of the Reformation. Catholicizing movements in Lutheranism could be traced to the same effect, and so, perhaps, could the “Reformed Catholicity” movement of contemporary figures like Peter Leithart.
Anyway, my point in trotting out this history is just to point out that the evangelical disenchantment with liturgical theology and the relevance of the sacraments is essentially unique to that brand of Christianity, which is fairly young, and separates it from nearly every other stream of early, medieval, and early modern Christianity that has survived down to the present. The Assyrian Church of the East, the Non-Chalcedonian “Miaphysite” or Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Church, and the mainline Protestant Churches—most Christians on earth historically and today, to be clear—all dispute with one another on a variety of issues, but a common concern for the sanctity and centrality of the eucharistic sacrifice unites them.
The real question, then, and the only question that will matter to serious evangelicals, is who is reading Scripture more faithfully: evangelicals, or the rest of Christendom? Does Scripture say what most Christians have thought it has said about the importance of the eucharist, as something “divine, holy, life-creating, and awesome,” in the words of the Byzantine Liturgy, or is mainstream evangelicalism right that this is simple misreading?
In a nutshell, the real place to look for an answer to this question is not the institution narratives of the Gospels, though some have pursued fruitful lines of inquiry there regarding the origin of the eucharist in the life of the historical Jesus and its meaning within the panoply of Early Jewish apocalyptic and messianic expectations.1 In any event, the Gospels are not the first written documents of the New Testament, and they are less concerned with the worshiping practice of the communities that produced them than they are with clarifying the character of Jesus’ messianic identity and his teachings that shape the community’s moral life. The real place to go to find what the earliest Christ-believers thought about the eucharist is, as with many other such questions, Paul, and in this case, the relevant letter is 1 Corinthians.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul is anxious to clarify that his “account” (λόγος) and “proclamation” (κήρυγμά) were made “in demonstration of pneuma and power” (ἀποδείξει πνεύματος καὶ δυνάμεως; 1 Cor 2:4). “God has unveiled to us through the pneuma, for the pneuma examines all things, even the depths of God” (2:10).2 Just as the spirit of the human knows the things which are in it, Paul says, so also does no one know the things of God if not the pneuma of God, and so “We have not received the pneuma of the kosmos but the pneuma which is from God, so that we may know the things having been granted to us by God; and the things which we say are not in taught words of human wisdom, but in words taught of pneuma, judging pneumatic things pneumatically” (2:11-12).3 He continues: “A psychic man does not receive the things of the pneuma of God, for it is foolishness to him, and is not able to know, because it is judged pneumatically; but the pneumatic judges all things, and himself by no one is judged” (2:14-15).4 Having the pneuma of the Lord, Paul and his fellow pneumatics have the nous of Christ (2:16).5 This limited his ability to speak to the Corinthians “as to pneumatics” (ὡς πνευματικοῖς), but rather “as to sarkics, as to little children in Christ” (3:1).6 So Paul gave the Corinthians “milk” (γάλα), not “food” (βρῶμα), and because they remain sarkic, they are not now capable of more solid teaching either (3:2-4). Paul, however, although he is “absent in the body,” is capable of “being present in the pneuma” (παρὼν δὲ τῷ πνεύματι; 5:3) to judge an immoral brother of the assembly and to hand him over to Satan, so that “the pneuma may be saved in the day of the Lord” (5:5). The Corinthians were “ransomed,” “sanctified,” and “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the pneuma of our God” (6:11); therefore their “body” is now “a sanctuary of the holy pneuma in you” or “among you” (6:19). It is because Paul also (κἀγὼ) thinks himself to have the pneuma of God that he feels qualified to give the ruling concerning marriage and celibacy (1 Cor 7:39-40).
All of this pneuma language sets up Paul’s comments on food sacrificed to idols (εἰδωλόθυτον) and the eucharist in 8:1-11:1 and 11:17-34 (11:2-16 touches on another subject). In this longer pericope, as Paul attempts to stress his apostolic witness as a model for the Corinthians in how to live according to the needs of one another’s consciences, Paul points out that his apostolic labor of sowing “the pneumatic things” (τὰ πνευματικὰ) among them should result in his reaping of their “sarkic things” (τὰ σαρκικὰ), but Paul does not avail himself of this opportunity that is appropriate to his authority (9:11; see, more broadly, 9:1-27). Likewise, the Israelite ancestors "were “all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same pneumatic food and all drank the same pneumatic drink, for they drank from the pneumatic rock following, and the rock was Christ” (10:2-4).7 Yet despite these privileges, the majority of them died in the desert (10:5). Likewise, Paul’s argument continues, the moral life in Christ enjoins them to flee idolatry, which participation in food offered to idols will lead to for those who lack the appropriate gnosis (γνῶσις) concerning the relationship between the One God, Christ, the gods, and the eidola (10:14). Like the Israelites in the wilderness and at the sacrificial altar of the Jerusalem Temple, and like the pagans with the daimones in their temples, Paul’s Christ-followers partake of the sacrificial “cup of blessing” and “bread” which provide “fellowship” or “communion” (κοινωνία) with the blood and body (σῶμα) of Christ (10:14-22). The direct comparison here is clearly with the pneumatic food and drink of the ancient Israelites: Christ-followers, too, enjoy pneumatic food and drink, the pneumatic food and drink of the eucharistic elements which provide communion with Christ’s own body and blood, and so they should not make the mistake of the wilderness generation, who, as Paul reads the Torah, perished through the divine wrath that resulted from their idolatry. Participation in the eucharistic chalice and bread was indeed, for Paul, compatible with participation in the cult of the Jerusalem Temple, but not with participation in the sacrificial festival of the pagan temples, since the latter effects participatory communion with demons (or δαιμόνιοι, “demonlings”; 10:21).
Paul’s critique of the Corinthian eucharistic practices by reference to the dominical words of institution as he knew them (11:23-32), which stress the connection between the eucharistic bread and the soma or body of Christ (11:24, 27, 29), is itself setup for the topic of 12:1-14:40: namely, ta pneumatika, the pneumatic work of creating one soma of the Christ-followers defined by sympatheia, and the demands that agape, “love,” as the core element of sympatheia make upon the ecclesial event. Paul begins by stressing that it is holy pneuma alone that enables someone to call on Jesus as Kyrios, “Lord” (12:3); it is that one, “same” pneuma who is the source of the different charismata (speaking in tongues, prophecy, etc.) at work in the assembly (12:4), just as one Lord (Jesus) is the source of all services at work therein and the one same God is energizing or working “all things in all things” (ὁ δὲ αὐτὸς θεός, ὁ ἐνεργῶν τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν; 12:5-6). This trifold scheme—one pneuma sourcing the charismata, one Lord Jesus sourcing the services, one God as the energetic or active principle with respect to “all things in all things” (τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν), is one of the places where Paul comes closest to a proto-trinitarian description, if not of what the Greek Fathers would have called theologia, an account of God himself, then minimally of oikonomia, God’s administration of kosmos and ekklesia, of which Paul also thinks of himself as a fellow administrator (4:1-2). Just as pneuma, Christ, and God administer or dispense the kosmos at large, so “the manifestation of the pneuma is given to each” (ἑκάστῳ δὲ δίδοται ἡ φανέρωσις τοῦ πνεύματος) member of the ekklesia, such that “the one and the same pneuma energizes all these things” (πάντα δὲ ταῦτα ἐνεργεῖ τὸ ἓν καὶ τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα, διαιροῦν ἰδίᾳ ἑκάστῳ καθὼς βούλεται), and “just as the body is one and it has many members, and all the members of the body although being many are one body, thus also the Christ” (Καθάπερ γὰρ τὸ σῶμα ἓν ἐστιν καὶ μέλη πολλὰ ἔχει, πάντα δὲ τὰ μέλη τοῦ σώματος πολλὰ ὄντα ἓν ἐστιν σῶμα, οὕτως καὶ ὁ Χριστός; 12:7, 11, 12). Significantly, Paul, says, “we all have been baptized into one body…and all have drunk one pneuma” (12:13). By the liturgical ordering of the pneumatic gifts, it becomes evident to outsiders joining the ekklesia for worship that “God is in” or “among you” (Ὄντως ὁ θεὸς ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστιν; 14:25).
For Paul, all these pneumatika are eschatologically oriented towards the resurrection. This is signaled first by Paul’s apocalyptic narrative of the eschaton, in which Christ overthrows the powers and enables the pervasive indwelling of God, and by his short philosophical description of the resurrection body. In 15:20-28, Paul writes:
But now Christ has arisen from [the] dead, first fruits of those having fallen asleep. For since through a human death, also through a human the resurrection of corpses; for just as in Adam all die, thus also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ firstfruits, then those of Christ in his parousia; then the end, when he gives the kingdom to the God and Father, whenever he may destroy every rule and every authority and power, for it is necessary for him to reign until he should put all the enemies beneath his feet. The last enemy destroyed is Death, for he subjected all beneath his feet. And whenever he says that all things are subjected, it is clear that excludes the one having subjected all things to him. And whenver he subjects all things to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one having subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.8
The relevant phrase comes at the end, God’s becoming “all in all” (ᾖ ὁ θεὸς πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν). The phrase has already appeared once above, in the proto-Trinitarian construction of the pneuma who dispenses charismata, the Kyrios who dispenses “services” (diakoniai), and the God who “energizes” or “works all things in all things” (again, πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν). Paul is thus describing the end-goal (τέλος; 15:24) of the present pneumatic life of the ekklesia, which is subsumed under the war of Christ with the cosmic powers and will thus be consummated together with his messianic victory in God becoming “all in all” or “all things in all things.” The operation of the divine pneuma in weaving together one soma of Christ out of the many members of the assembly through baptism, eucharist, and charismata, by which Paul thinks that God’s indwelling of the ekklesia is visible to outsiders, finds its endgame in the churching of the kosmos, when, enabled through apostolic growth and the messianic conquest of the powers, the divine pneuma incorporates all things into Christ’s ecclesial body, such that Christ’s submission to God the Father entails the submission of the entire kosmos.
Paul’s description of the resurrection body, then, also describes the state in which all things subsist in the perfect divine plenitude. First, Paul’s resurrection body is clearly envisioned along the lines of “celestial bodies” (σώματα ἐπουράνια) as opposed to the varieties of flesh (σάρξ; 15:39-41), and is thus a soma pneumatikon, a “pneumatic body” as opposed to a soma psychikon, a “psychic body” (σῶμα πνευματικόν, σῶμα ψυχικόν; 15:44). As opposed to “the first Adam, who became a living soul” (Ἐγένετο ὁ πρῶτος ἄνθρωπος Ἀδὰμ εἰς ψυχὴν ζῶσαν), “the last Adam [became] a life-creating pneuma” (ὁ ἔσχατος Ἀδὰμ εἰς πνεῦμα ζῳοποιοῦν; 15:45). The “dustly” (χοϊκός) body which we currently bear will give way to the “celestial” (ἐπουράνιος) body in the resurrection, because “flesh and blood are not able to inherit the kingdom of God” (σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομῆσαι οὐ δύναται; 15:48-50). Second, the reception of the resurrection body is itself a key part of the eschatological victory of God’s messiah over the cosmic powers. “No all of us will fall asleep, but all of us will be changed,” Paul writes, “in an atomos, in the twinkling of an eye, in the last trumpet: for it will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed” (15:51-52). When the corruptible flesh body is changed into the incorruptible pneumatic body of the resurrection, “then,” Paul writes, “the word written will be fulfilled: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, Death, is your victory? Where, Death, is your sting? But the sting of Death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but to God giving us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ be grace” (15:54-57). That is to say, the transformation of the body, from its mortal, sinful, and law-bound state as sarx to its immortal and sinless state as pneuma, is precisely the key moment of Christ’s victory (νῖκος) over Death and therefore God’s becoming “all in all.”
That pneuma, for Paul, is more or less what it was for other Greco-Roman philosophers, scientists, and medical theorists—a cosmic, celestial, and corporeal substance, the vital breath of God and gods, like hot, fiery air that pervaded the entire material world in different degrees and enabled kinship between the divine and the human—has been standard in Pauline scholarship since Dale Martin’s The Corinthian Body9 and the development of the thesis by scholars like Troels Engberg-Pedersen.10 The issue has probably been divisive in academic biblical scholarship and theology for two main reasons: first, the way it touches on pneumatology proper, the question of what God’s pneuma is and whether the later Nicene understanding of the pneuma as a divine hypostasis is appropriate, possible, or compatible with a philosophical doctrine of an incorporeal God, and second, the thesis that Paul read in context believes in a resurrection body that is not flesh and blood, but substantially changed into a celestial, angelic, and/or divine quality of life and matter.11 Paul believes that the members of his ekklesia have already received this pneuma and have a liturgical and moral responsibility to cultivate it through the kind of life he summons them to, which is itself wholly oriented towards a pneumatic eschaton in which God fully pervades the kosmos subjected to the messianic rule of Christ, who has already entered into the pneumatic life of the resurrection.
But little attention has been paid to the way that Paul’s pneumatology in 1 Corinthians, as read in context, shapes Paul’s comments on the eucharist. Essentially, Paul identifies the eucharistic bread and wine with ta pneumatika, “the pneumatic things” that the pneuma gives to the ekklesia, like speaking in tongues and prophesying, and with the soma or “body of Christ” which the pneuma is forming the ekklesia into, and which already exists in its resurrected, pneumatic state. For the eucharistic bread to enable koinonia, “communion,” with the soma of Christ, for it in fact to be the soma of Christ in Paul’s recounted words of institution, can only mean that the bread is itself a source of the life-creating pneuma that Christ’s body is, partaking of which the pneumatic life of the ekklesia is built up. Feasting on the pneumatic eucharistic elements, the ekklesia feasts on the glorified, pneumatic body of Christ and is therefore made pneumatic, capable of receiving God’s apocalyptic wisdom in the mind of Christ and ascending beyond merely psychic or sarkic life.
Notice that Paul has no theory of the transubstantiation or transfiguration of the gifts in the course of the liturgy, as would be developed by later Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgical theologies. Notice, too, that Paul’s eucharist seems to be an early agape feast, one at which some members are capable of leaving full and drunk and others hungry and thirsty when abused. This sort of abuse of the pneumatic sympatheia of the ekklesia is the cause, Paul says, of sickness and death among some of the members, and not unreasonably, since pneuma is closely connected to bodily health and must be correctly proportioned throughout the body for it to maintain health. Not unlike a general Greco-Roman and Near Eastern assumption that holy things can kill you, or even, farther afield, like the possibility in yogic practice that unfinished or mishandled generation of certain energies in the body can be disastrous for the yogi, Paul believes that the divine pneuma must be in equitable tension throughout the entire ecclesial body of Christ, or its members will suffer. But the assumption here, in connection with the eucharist, is that the eucharist is a key source of the pneumatic life of the ekklesia. In these and other ways, there is no singular syllogism that would take us from an exegesis of the Pauline eucharist as a pneumatic meal directly to the later liturgical theologies and practices of late antiquity and the middle ages; but at the same time, such exegesis makes clear just how much continuity there really is between the eucharistic interests of the early Christians and the earliest Pauline assemblies. Despite demographic changes from a majority Jewish to a majority gentile movement, despite theological development and hardlining between Jews and Christians and among various Christian sects, despite the growth of the movement far beyond the historical reaches of the apostles, the Pauline insistence on the eucharist as a key element of the Church’s pneumatic life and a kind of proleptic participation in the eschaton remained essential to nearly every Christian community until the contemporary period, precisely because belief in the divinity of the eucharistic elements is a Pauline, Scriptural doctrine, not a pagan intrusion or later Christian fantasy.
So in brief, Paul was not a Zwinglian. That is not to say that he was a Thomist, either, or that the Counter-Reformation theologies and devotions to the eucharist would have been particularly comprehensible to him in his context. Paul precedes and therefore transcends our divisions; just as confused as he would be by a contemporary worship service, he would likely have found the prospect of adoratio before the Blessed Sacrament held in monstrance to be quite strange. And yet, the theology that motivated this practice and motivates it still for Catholics is closer to Paul’s actual thought than Zwingli’s was. Evangelicals seeking to root themselves in Scripture should take seriously what Paul actually says on the eucharist, and reform their practice to reflect it. Doing so may well help to bring them closer to the rest of the Christian Tradition on issues of worship and, if Paul is right about what the eucharist is and does, resolve some of their other present crises as well. God knows that in the myriad problems that afflict Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the eucharist is often our only saving grace.
See Brant Pitre, Jesus and the Last Supper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017).
ἡμῖν γὰρ ἀπεκάλυψεν ὁ θεὸς διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος, τὸ γὰρ πνεῦμα πάντα ἐραυνᾷ, καὶ τὰ βάθη τοῦ θεοῦ.
τίς γὰρ οἶδεν ἀνθρώπων τὰ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰ μὴ τὸ πνεὺμα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τὸ ἐν αὐτῷ; οὕτως καὶ τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐδεὶς ἔγνωκεν εἰ μὴ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ Θεοῦ. ἡμεῖς δὲ οὐ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ κόσμου ἐλάβομεν ἀλλὰ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα εἰδῶμεν τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ χαρισθέντα ἡμῖν· ἃ καὶ λαλοῦμεν οὐκ ἐν διδακτοῖς ἀνθρωπίνης σοφίας λόγοις, ἀλλ’ ἐν διδακτοῖς πνεύματος, πνευματικοῖς πνευματικὰ ασυγκρίνοντες.
Ψυχικὸς δὲ ἄνθρωπος οὐ δέχεται τὰ τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ θεοῦ, μωρία γὰρ αὐτῷ ἐστίν, καὶ οὐ δύναται γνῶναι, ὅτι πνευματικῶς ἀνακρίνεται· ὁ δὲ πνευματικὸς ἀνακρίνει τὰ πάντα, αὐτὸς δὲ ὑπ’ οὐδενὸς ἀνακρίνεται.
τίς γὰρ ἔγνω νοῦν κυρίου, ὃς συμβιβάσει αὐτόν; ἡμεῖς δὲ νοῦν Χριστοῦ ἔχομεν.
Κἀγώ, ἀδελφοί, οὐκ ἠδυνήθην λαλῆσαι ὑμῖν ὡς πνευματικοῖς ἀλλ’ ὡς σαρκίνοις, ὡς νηπίοις ἐν Χριστῷ.
πάντες εἰς τὸν Μωϋσῆν ἐβαπτίσαντο ἐν τῇ νεφέλῃ καὶ ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ, καὶ πάντες τὸ αὐτὸ πνευματικὸν βρῶμα ἔφαγον καὶ πάντες τὸ αὐτὸ πνευματικὸν ἔπιον πόμα, ἔπινον γὰρ ἐκ πνευματικῆς ἀκολουθούσης πέτρας, ἡ πέτρα δὲ ἦν ὁ Χριστός.
Νυνὶ δὲ Χριστὸς ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν, ἀπαρχὴ τῶν κεκοιμημένων. ἐπειδὴ γὰρ δι’ ἀνθρώπου θάνατος, καὶ δι’ ἀνθρώπου ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν· ὡσπερ γὰρ ἐν τῷ Ἀδὰμ πάντες ἀποθνῄσκουσιν, οὕτως καὶ ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ πάντες ζῳοποιηθήσονται. ἕκαστος δὲ ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ τάγματι· ἀπαρχὴ Χριστός, ἔπειτα οἱ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐν τῇ παρουσία αὐτοῦ· εἶτα τὸ τέλος, ὅταν παραδιδῷ τὴν βασιλείαν τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρί, ὅταν καταργήσῃ πᾶσαν ἀρχὴν καὶ πᾶσαν ἐξουσίαν καὶ δύναμιν, δεῖ γὰρ αὐτὸν βασιλεύειν ἄχρι οὗ θῇ πάντας τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ. ἔσχατος ἐχρθὸς καταργεῖται ὁ θάνατος, πάντα γὰρ ὑπέταξεν ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ. ὅταν δὲ εἴπῃ ὅτι πάντα ὑποτέτακται, δῆλον ὅτι ἐκτὸς τοῦ ὑποτάξαντος αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα. ὅταν δὲ ὑποταγῇ αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα, τότε αὐτὸς ὁ υἱὸς ὑποταγήσεται τῷ ὑποτάξαντι αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα, ἵνα ᾖ ὁ θεὸς πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν.
Dale Martin, The Corinthian Body (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999).
Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Paul and the Stoics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000); ed., Paul Beyond the Judaism/Hellenism Divide (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001); Cosmology and the Self in the Apostle Paul: The Material Spirit (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); ed., Stoicism in Early Christianity (Grand Rapids: BakerAcademic, 2010); John and Philosophy: A New Reading of the Fourth Gospel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).
A more or less recent exercise in this debate, which is part and parcel of early Christian polemics, can be seen in the exchange between David Bentley Hart and James Ware in Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal, here, here, and here. This is a good time to confess that, while as a friend of Ware’s I encouraged him to forward his piece to Church Life to see what kind of engagement he could get with Hart for his thesis, further academic formation and years of reflection have caused me to unabashedly agree with Hart, Engberg-Pedersen, and Martin: Paul’s resurrection body is pneumatic in the ancient sense of the term.