Re: [asa] Is God a big meanie?

From: Merv Bitikofer <>
Date: Tue May 05 2009 - 17:44:46 EDT

Good posts. Bethany, you sound like someone who has absorbed some of
Paul Brand's writings; (I really find his and Yancey's books profound.)

He [Brand] helped discover the importance of pain and how if we were
able to magically substitute for it the much less unpleasant "lights on
a dashboard" type of concept where our brain is simply informed that
finger #2 is presently experiencing damaging temperatures; and we fore
go the intensity of sensation involved, then we simply ignore or put off
taking care of problems much like me foolishly ignoring warning lights
on the dash of my car for days, weeks, months... as long as they aren't
about things essential to the core function of my car I put off
attending to them. Our psychology is such that we just don't take
things seriously even about our own bodies until we have pain or the
imminent threat of it. So without that we go the way Bethany described
and our bodies fall into disrepair and we die of infections or other
trivial things.

Isaiah 65 is a fascinating description of the new heaven and new
earth. The same passages that speak of lions, lambs, and oxes lying
down or eating together (and not each other) also speak of full life
with ---and get this--- timely death! It doesn't say no one or nothing
will ever die. It says the man who dies at a mere one hundred years
will be as one who died in his youth. Granted there are many other
passages from which we ground our eschatological ideas of the eventual
"absolutely no death", but we don't usually notice those passages in
which death is still assumed to be part of the natural order ---even the
"new earth" natural order!


Bethany Sollereder wrote:
> Dave,
> We could also add to this the fact that eternal life would only be
> "nice" if it was coupled with eternal youth. A world where we grew
> older and older and never died would not be paradise - it would be a
> living nightmare. Also, without death (at least at the cellular
> level) there would be no apoptosis (the regulated death of cells).
> Without this, not only could we not develop since the differentiation
> of our body parts is reliant upon apoptosis for separating fingers,
> arms, legs, etc. but our cells would all be cancerous. One of the
> prime characteristics of cancer cells is their "immortality", or lack
> of apoptosis. They grow without limit.
> As for pain and its goodness, one should remember that leprosy is
> simply the killing of pain nerves. Leprosy is commonly understood as
> a flesh-eating disease, but this is a mistake. It simply deadens pain
> sensations, and the people rip their own bodies to pieces by not being
> able to heed the warning signs pain gives. It makes one wonder about
> the wisdom of our cultural love for pain killers...
> Bethany
> On Tue, May 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM, D. F. Siemens, Jr.
> < <>> wrote:
> Bernie,
> Your notion of natural evil seems to amount to anything found
> unpleasant.
> But think for a minute about a world without death. Consider one
> bacterium, small, but dividing twice an hour. That's about 2^17500
> alive
> at the end of one year. I don't know the volume, but I figure it would
> slime up the world rather quickly. The only way to avoid this is
> to have
> a static world without reproduction.
> A different claim is that the children, at least, should not die or be
> hurt seriously. How do you arrange the laws of physics so that
> there is
> no injury when a child runs into the street after a ball with a car
> approaching at normal speed? At what age would injury or death be
> allowed
> to avoid a totally static world?
> The desire for no pain is as silly, for pain signals that something is
> wrong. If a broken bone didn't hurt, how could it get a chance to
> heal?
> Maybe you can figure out a way for the ends to snap together as
> soon as
> they lined up.
> Seems to me that those who think that a good world would have neither
> pain nor death have not thought the matter through.
> Dave (ASA)

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Tue May 5 17:45:02 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue May 05 2009 - 17:45:02 EDT