The practice of using a story or proverb to illustrate a moral or religious point is as old as the written word. From Aesop's Fables to Goofus and Gallant, social rules and moral truths as well as insight are provided within the context and sub-context of stories written to address the basic reader and break through confusion. Rev. Phineas Blakeman uses this strategy to great effect in his book The State of the Soul: Between Death and the Resurrection.
Using biblical passages to provide evidence that the soul remains conscious until the morning of the resurrection, the book begins with an interesting conversation between two characters described as possessing unusual piety and intelligence. One is a clergyman and the other a man passing through town. Although their meeting is mere happenstance, Blakeman sets the stage for the unfurling of a century-old philosophical debate and attempts to put the final nail in the coffin of indecision via his wit and insightful translation of biblical text. The man passing through town happens upon a church and searches out the local clergyman. He has lost his wife and three children; he has no friends, no family to speak of, is unhappy and has a lot of questions about life and death. The clergyman does his best to answer the man's questions and ultimately explores the soul's experience after the physical body has died. This exploration, with the use of key passages from the bible, illuminates Rev. Blakeman's main argument.
Rev. Blakeman creates a well rounded examination of this dogmatic dilemma. Each chapter of The State of the Soul: Between Death and the Resurrection is key to solving the mystery of what happens to the soul after death. He explores myriad topics such as the existence of the conscious; the soul's existence in a disembodied state; where the soul resides between death and resurrection; the employments of the soul in the intermediate state; and the duration of the intermediate state. This book would be great for religious scholars, those interested in the topic of religion, new age philosophers, or any reader curious about religion or philosophical debate.