Thursday, September 29, 2016

Our Conversion, and God's

Consider this an open thread with a bit of Bonus Material tacked onto the end. Insufficient time to actually complete our line of thought. Attending a funeral this morning for... is there a word for your wife's step-uncle?

No, it is not what you would call a tragic situation, being that he lived an extremely full 92+ years and was high functioning until the very end -- just a slow fade over a few weeks and a peaceful death at home and in bed. No one wants to go, but if you have to go, well...

You'll notice that he was a war hero who managed to repeatedly cheat death during WW2, with 27 missions in the Pacific theater. Says here that "In 1942-43 it was statistically impossible for bomber crews to complete a 25-mission tour in Europe."

I don't know what the equivalent stat was for the Pacific, but the men surely knew with each mission that they were flying straight into the jaws of death. Surviving that must have made one feel literally bulletproof. Either that or wracked with survivor guilt.

Speaking of full lives, there is a haunting statement in the third volume of Manchester's Churchill biography. If you add it all together, Churchill is arguably the most accomplished man who ever lived.

Indeed, it seems impossible that one man could have been granted so many diverse gifts and exercised them all to the full. And yet, in 1954, when one of his daughters "expressed wonderment of all that he had seen and done in his life," he thought for a moment before responding, "I have achieved a great deal to achieve nothing in the end." (I believe he was especially thinking of how the Cold War was simply an extension of WWII, which was an extension of WWI, ad infinitum.)

Dude. I don't know that that was his considered opinion, but still. It is as if he had cheated death on so many occasions -- nor did Churchill have any conventional fear of death -- that Death simply adopted a different tactic by eroding meaning.

How do we get around that one? Unless *we* do something to transform death itself, it seems that it is indeed the Last Word in meaninglessness. Death, where is thy sting? That's where, pal, in its pretensions to absolute nihilism. It is the anti-Word.

Obviously, getting around Death isn't something we could ever do. We can try, but then we simply end up looking like Cher, or Kenny Rogers. Entropy gets us all in the end.

However, what -- or who -- is God but the Great Negentropic Attractor?

If man has a "spiritual" conversion, you might say that God has an "anthropic" one. That is, as man turns to God, God apparently turns to man: "God becomes man that man might become God." So, not only does God die, but he must die in order to undo Death.

Put it this way: physics mathsplains to us that order is parasitic on entropy. But Christian metaphysics tells us it's the other way around -- that entropy is parasitic on order.

Life becomes death that death might become Life. One hopes...

11 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Life becomes death that death might become Life. One hopes...

One hopes, indeed. I pray that Uncle Jack is enjoying new life on the other side.

9/29/2016 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

Open thread!

Question: If the Resurrection occurred, does that mean marriage is no longer binding?
Or am I twisting theology?

9/29/2016 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Jesus said...

In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.

9/29/2016 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Our condolences and prayers for Uncle Jack and the family.

Churchill probably felt that all he had done was somewhat less than fully appreciated by his contemporaries, his nation, and the West in general. I'm sure, too, he understood that the Soviets were enslaving millions that he had hoped would be freed from the Nazis.

9/29/2016 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Marriage is no longer binding after you are dead. In fact, Paul uses it as an analogy to the believer's freedom from the law in Romans 7.

9/29/2016 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kurt said...

I think, perhaps that the words of Jesus 'they are neither married nor given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven' (Mark 12:25, Luke 20:35 and Matthew 22:30) do not indicate so much the dissolution of one relationship (marriage) as the initiation of a new one, namely a better, clearer, more present and more intimate relationship with God. Just as the wife and the husband 'leave father and mother and become one flesh' in marriage (Gen 2:24 and elsewhere) but in doing so they are still part of the same family as before (they have only expanded the circle, so to speak), I think something similar is what will happen as we cross the Great River and onto our heavenly home. I think all of our other relationships will still remain but our immediate relationship with God will be our primary one, because no one can ever love us like He does.

A child, grown to manhood, let's go of his mother's hand and takes hold of the hand of his wife. But his mother never leaves his heart, and he is always close by in her heart, too. So it will be, perhaps, in Heaven. The man lets go of his wife's hand to take hold of the Blessed Hands that have held him close since before he was born. But in holding Our Gracious Father's hands the man finds that he is still holding onto his wife's hands, too! And his mother's, and his father's, and his childrens', and his friends'...

With God, it is never less. It is always more. And it is always Good... At least, that has been my experience...

9/29/2016 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

Thank you all.

My wife would like to change that "Till death do us part" bit.
She would like side by side burial spots. I want to be cremated.
Little worries for me to ponder.

9/30/2016 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

One thing to consider Doug is it can take up to 3 days for the soul to completely leave a deceased body. This is actually in literature of Tibetan Buddhist, Bon, Shamanic and Sufi texts. I only mention it because cremation usually happens much quicker than 3 days, and once I became aware of this esoteric stuff I now have a different opinion on cremation now.

9/30/2016 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I'll add also that the Orthodox Christians say cremation should not be done.
Father Stephen has a post or two on this with some good explanation and reasons, and so forth, makes a good case.
As a crafty coon, I like the idea of building my own pine box. Since that's what you're doing so to speak your whole life anyway.

9/30/2016 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

True 'dat: building a vehicle fit for eternal travel.

9/30/2016 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I too, have decided that, like Joseph, I should like to give charge concerning my remains, that they not be left in South Carolina, but be carried back to Florida so that I may rest in a region without State Income Tax.

Also, I don't want to vote Democrat when I die.

10/02/2016 02:27:00 PM  

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