Sunday, April 12, 2015

 On Death and Dying

“Death is Only Natural!”
—King Crimson     

In a Washington Post article dated April 4, 2015—Easter Eve it should be noted—Ariana Cha, in an article entitled "Tech Titans Defy Death," wrote about the efforts of Pay Pal founder Peter Thiele and other tech moguls to extend human life indefinitely. They're prepared to spend billions on the project.

Cynthia Kenyon, a molecular biologist who gained prominence by doubling the life span of a roundworm, Aubrey de Grey, a British theoretician who had predicted that medical advances would inevitably stop aging, Larry Page, co-founder of Google who believes the answer can be found somewhere in the  terabytes of data Google is collecting—all are allied in the effort to beat death.

Cha writes: ”The entrepreneurs are driven by a certitude that rebuilding, regenerating and reprogramming patients’ organs, limbs, cells and DNA will enable people to live longer and better. The work they are funding includes hunting for the secrets of living organisms with insanely long lives, engineering microscopic nanobots that can fix your body from the inside out, figuring out how to reprogram the DNA you were born with, and exploring ways to digitize your brain based on the theory that your mind could live long after your body expires."

It’s a shame, really—all that effort and all those dollars—for death has already been denied. Jesus said, "whoever believes in me will ’not never’ die."  By a quirk of Greek grammar, Jesus assures us that those who put their trust in him will never, ever, under any circumstances whatever die. Oh, our bodies will die for they are perishable, but the thinking, reasoning, remembering, loving, adventuring part of us will never, ever die.

And here's the best part: It's a gift! All we have to do is receive it. CS Lewis, musing on this notion, describes it as something like “a chuckle in the darkness”—the sense that something that simple is the answer.

But, you say, “It is too simple.” I answer, "If God loves you and wants you to live with him forever, why would he make it hard?"

Death: Let losers talk: yet thou shalt die;
     These arms shall crush thee.
Christian: Spare not, do thy worst.
    I shall be one day better than before:
Thou so much worse, that thou shalt be no more.

—George Herbert

David Roper

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