Summary: The good news of Easter is that the power to conquer death is already available to those who will humble themselves to receive it as a gift.
For the man who has everything there is now a solar-powered headstone. John Dilks, a
computer engineer for Western Electric designed this headstone with a recording device and
a video display screen, which will display a biographical account and a computerized
photograph. Dilks Creative Tombstone Incorporated offers many options so you won't be
just one of the crowed in the cemetery. You can get a voice-activated box if you don't want
just anybody toying with your tombstone tapes. Other options include sensors to tell when a
visitor is approaching, and when the grass needs cutting. He will even include a nozzle that
will spray incense. For those who really think long range you can include messages for future
generations, and so you will be able to speak some words of wisdom to your great, great,
great, great grandchildren.
The potential of this device called "Imitations of Immortality" are nearly endless. And
the cost is only 39,500 dollars, if you throw in the bulletproof glass to protect from vandals.
Future generations will be going to the cemetery for multimedia presentations from the
grave. Death will be to some degree swallowed up in this death denying Disney Land display
of data. Technology has made it possible for modern man to talk from the tomb, and this
gives him a sense of power over death.
This is all mere child's play compared to the game being played by the men described in
the book The Tomorrow Makers. We are talking about the top researchers of our day who
are convinced that downloading will happen in our lifetime. This means that man will be able
to figure out how to make a copy of the human brain just like we now make copies of movies
on videotape. The brain can be hooked up to a computer and a copy made, and then that
copy can be put into a robot, which will then be controlled by that tape of the brain. When
the machine wears out or becomes obsolete the brain can be transferred to a new model.
This is not fantasy. It is the serious research going on in Carnegie-Mellon, MIT
Stanford, and in Japan. Many of these researchers have a passion to never die, but become
immortal by means of downloading. They believe that this could be the last generation that
will have to die. Hans Moravec says, "We are on a threshold of a change in the universe
comparable to the transition from non-life to life." Modern man is truly excited about the
potential of developing power over death, and why shouldn't he be, for death is no friend.
Death is the final foe that man must somehow defeat if he is to live forever.
The problem is that man in his pride always wants to try the Moby Dick approach to life.
Moby Dick is Herman Melville's classic about Captain Ahab's search for a fierce white whale.
On the surface the novel seems like a story about whale hunting, but it goes much deeper.
Some consider it one of the most deeply theological novels ever written in America. When
Melville finished the book he wrote in a personal letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, "I have
written a wicked book." This was long before the "Save the whales" movement, and so he
was not feeling guilty about the obsession of Ahab to get revenge on Moby Dick for his lost
leg. He was feeling guilty because his book was really about God and man. The whale in all
its brilliant whiteness was a symbol of God, and Ahab's obsession to hunt down the whale
represents man's mad pursuit to reduce God to his slave in order to control God and use His
power to achieve human ends.
The technological search for immortality is Captain Ahab at work. Man wants to figure
out some way to live forever without doing it God's way. Man wants to be in control and do it
his way. In other words, it is the same old story of a works salvation. Man does not want a
handout and a salvation by free grace. He wants to get it by his own power, even if he has to
capture heavenly power to do it. All of history is a power struggle between God and man, or
Moby Dick and Ahab.
The good news of Easter is that the power to conquer death is already available to those
who will humble themselves to receive it as a gift. The power of the resurrection is so much
greater than anything man has even imagined. In the power of the resurrection of Christ
there is available the power to give every person in history the gift of eternal life. And not
merely mechanical life that is lived by a machine, but the life of a real person in relationship