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Dead Soul Syndrome is a convincing alternative to the biblical study of the afterlife and nature of the soul. The book is an in depth, theological Bible study. It is written for the serious layman, educated clergy, and open minded scholar. It presents comprehensive evidence and well founded exegesis for the topics of both heaven and hell. It is amazing, and slightly revolutionary, how they synthesize together. I am not aware of any other book available today that coalesces these doctrines with biblical integrity.
The thesis of Dead Soul Syndrome is that man was created as a triune being mirroring the image of God, but that spiritual component died when Adam fell into sin. The soul is the spiritual part of humans that communes with God. The spiritual nature of the soul is based on Gods spiritual image, because God is a spirit. The soul of Adam before the fall was a very real being, alive and sentient, within the spiritual world. He talked and walked with God. Other spiritual beings, like angels and demons, are real too.
The spiritual dimension is a vast world, currently unseen, but none the less, very real. The spiritual world is likened to a fourth dimension, which completely envelops, yet superimposed across our current universe. When Adam sinned it was his soul that died. God had warned him that that he surely would die in the same day that he disobeyed. When Adam swallowed the forbidden fruit, his heart continued to beat. He did not die physically. He died spiritually. This was a very real death, not metaphorical for his innocence. The spiritual essence of man, similar in composition to an angel or demon, perished as his eyes were opened to Gods curse.
Ever since that fateful moment, all descendants of Adam (except Jesus) have suffered from what the author coins- Dead Soul Syndrome. It is a condition that renders them incapable of personal contact with God. When Jesus Christ rose from the dead, the curse of Dead Soul Syndrome was broken. The Holy Spirit makes alive. He quickens our soul into a resurrected spiritual life. At salvation, miraculously, our soul is literally reborn. We become a living sentient spiritual being in the image of God once again.
The book examines scores of Bible verses and presents a unified theory of the afterlife through the epochs. Incredibly much of our doctrine has been based on medieval tradition or Greek philosophy and is not scripturally derived. Whether or not you fully agree with the authors hypotheses and conclusions, you will find solid exegesis, and numerous valid points that even the most dogmatic opposition will concede.
There has been much written about the course toward heaven and hell. Dead Soul Syndrome clarifies with Biblical light the following questions:
What is the meaning of sheol and hades?
Do the deceased wicked currently suffer in hell?
Is there a universal hope for everyones salvation?
Will sinners be tormented for all eternity in the lake of fire?
Exactly where is the lake of fire?
Where was Jesus for those three days after his death?
Where, when, and why concerning the spirits in prison to whom Jesus preached?
What is Abrahams bosom?
Do dead Christians join Christ in heaven immediately?
What is the new Jerusalem?
What is the meaning of there will be no more sea?
Where will the redeemed spend eternity?
Many more perplexing questions are addressed too. Altieri writes with an easy to read, humorous and humble style. Whether you are an academic Bible scholar or Christian laity, Dead Soul Syndrome is a must read for the open minded and scripturally founded believer.
This page was last updated on 02/26/15.