This is a question for those who see Christian anthropology of one part (Monism). The belief that human soul is not immortal and that man is a unity, that is, not a duality of soul-body, or a trichotomy of spirit-soul-body, but holistic, one part.
The first part of my question is, how do you understand – in light of man not being dualistic and such – references to soul and spirit in the Bible, in general (e.g. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV)?
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What is a soul? What is a spirit?
And finally, if humans beings are completely dead after death, how are references to "sleep" (i.e. death) understood in the Bible?
For example, 1 Thessalonians 4:14 (NIV):
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him
If the person is dead, how can we talk about him as sleeping?
Or consider Psalm 16:10 (NIV):
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
Same question applies, how can a dead person be abandoned in a realm? I understand this is to be taken metaphorically somehow. But, in essence, if a person ceases to exist.