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Shadows of Divine Things

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Location: Texas, United States

This site is devoted to theological and philosophical investigations of the spiritual meanings of life, current events, music, spiritual growth, nature, and learning to be attuned to listening to the 'language of God.' The name of this blog comes from one of Jonathan Edwards's journals which he called 'Shadows of Divine Things,' and later renamed 'Images of Divine Things.' As a Christian I am continously on a spiritual journey to grow more into the image of Christ, to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ. To seek the truths of the Christian Faith is of upmost importance, and to know that any truths that are found outside of Christianity are present there because they ultimately point to God. I have an M.A. in theology and apologetics and I completed one year of graduate studies in Philosophy at Marquette University.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Death – Is it Natural?

In the final instillation of the second Star Wars Trilogy (the first in sequence, the last by release), Yoda tells Anakin Skywalker that death is a natural part of life. Prima Facie this seems correct. Everyone who is, in fact, born, eventually dies. No one lives forever in this life. We have on countless occasions witnessed death. In fact, no one would be of sound mind if they believed they could or would live forever in this life and never experience death.

Since death is such a frequent event that we empirically witness, it only seems natural that death is in fact a part of life. However (and this is a big ‘however’), this simply is not the case. According to the Christian worldview, we were not created, in the beginning, to die. Death was not a part of God’s created effort in this life. In fact, all one needs to do is go back and re-read the first few chapters of Genesis in the Old Testament to see that when God created the universe, death was not a part of what He created.

So then, you might ask, from where did death come? This answer is quite simple. Death is a result of rebellion against God. We die because we disobey God. But even more so, we die because Adam disobeyed God, and that disobedience, that sin, is passed to us in our own conception. God in fact warned Adam, in Genesis 2:16-17, that if Adam disobeyed Him, he would surely die.

Now, regarding the above passage, debate has abound about whether God meant that Adam would die ‘instantly’ upon eating the forbidden fruit, or whether Adam would eventually die. The reason this issue arises is due to what the text actually declares, ‘. . . for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.’ (emphasis mine) It should first be pointed out, quite simplistically, that if in fact God meant that Adam would die instantly upon eating the fruit (that very day), then that would have actually occurred. However, Adam did not physically die instantly upon eating the fruit, nor did Adam physically die soon after. However, Adam did die (in more ways than merely physically).

Therefore, it would seem that God meant that death would be introduced to Adam, and when the text says in the day, it cannot possibly mean that very day, but must mean something else (such as an expanse of time exceeding a 24 hour period – like in the day of the depression, which we know lasted 10 or so years) and therefore, Adam would eventually die. This, of course, is a mere cursory rendering of the text and does not contain any in depth hermeneutics to further expound the text.

That being said, we see that death is actually introduced as an act of disobedience to God. Never was it an actual event or ‘thing’ included in God’s creation. It pains me when I go to a funeral and someone looks at the body on display in the coffin and states, “Oh, they look so natural.” Well, no they don’t. Death is not a natural part of life. If it is, then Christ died in vain. If death is a natural part of life, then so is sin, and if that is the case, Christ needed not die for our sins. Moreover, Christ needed not die period, because as a natural part of life, death would not need to be conquered (I Corinthians 15:54-57). Don’t be fooled by the philosophy of this world (or at least the philosophy of George Lucas), death is not a natural part of life.

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