The physical vs. the spiritual

On the previous thread, under The “spiritual” meaning of bread, Lukas wrote:

Which brings me to a point that seems to be coming up over and over – the relative value of the physical versus the spiritual. Here’s one final attempt to clarify my understanding.

It boils down to this: our physical reality (body) is temporary; our spiritual reality (soul) is eternal. So while I deny that physical reality is worthless, nevertheless I assert that its value is limited and derives directly in proportion to its relationship to spiritual reality. Without this relationship, it would in fact be useless to humanity. Also, purely logically, what is the value of that which is limited compared to that which is infinite?

Generally speaking, I agree. Spiritual things are better than physical things. But (and this is a very important but) such a statement is extremely vague. Spiritual and physical what? In what context?

Which is better, a spiritual car or a physical car? Spiritual health or physical health? A spiritual strawberry or a physical strawberry? I disagree with the notion that in every respect, an object with the word “spiritual” in front of it is to be preferred over an object with the word “physical” in front of it.

Imagine missing work one day, and then when your boss asks you about it, you say, “Even if I wasn’t there physically, I was there spiritually, and that’s more important.” You have a duty to God to do your work, and you do your work by being there physically. You also need to be there spiritually, but you can’t be there spiritually if you’re not also there physically. So in this context, the spiritual is in a way dependent on the physical.

If you are trying to demonstrate that something in the Bible should be taken figuratively, it is not enough merely to explain that in a general way spiritualness is superior to physicalness.

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