Transhumanist Advent: Christ as Invitation

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"Suppose that the world’s author put the case to you before creation, saying: “I am going to make a world not certain to be saved, a world the perfection of which shall be conditional merely, the condition being that each several agent does its own 'level best.' I offer you the chance of taking part in such a world. Its safety, you see, is unwarranted. It is a real adventure, with real danger, yet it may win through. It is a social scheme of co-operative work genuinely to be done. Will you join the procession? Will you trust yourself and trust the other agents enough to face the risk?”" -William James, Pragmatism

A pretend basketball game will never bring out the best efforts of participants. If it is fixed, and the end is already decided, no matter how important you tell the players the game is, they won’t, they can’t “leave it all on the court”. Or, wait. Perhaps this is wrong. Perhaps the game is real, but the tactic is to convince the players that it's not, that the end has already been decided. Now there is no real pressure, and the players, like Ender Wiggins, may do crazy things they wouldn’t consider in a real game, because that is what we must resort to now.

Jesus’s life constituted a radical expansion of morality and ethics. It was not a suspension of the ethical, a la Abraham, or the God of Moses, where Jesus did something that, except God commanded it, was evil. No, Jesus never suspended our morality, but rather deepened and broadened it beyond anything that had hitherto been suggested or tried. His life was a continual widening of circles whenever others (particularly the Pharisees) tried to draw lines and boundaries. Until the end when He recognized the burden for what it was: everything; all of it; nothing left behind; and swallowed it up.

Jesus’ mission isn't yet complete. Christ hasn’t yet overcome all evil. Christ hasn’t yet conquered all death. Those monsters are still ravaging, kicking and screaming. But, thanks in significant part to Jesus, their power and influence are diminishing. He drew the boundaries, or rather showed that there were no boundaries, and boldly proclaimed that nothing short of everything would do. And until His followers in deed join in completing His work, and overcome all evil, including death, His life will remain short of its mission.

Jesus’s mission was as much an invitation, as a completed monumental individual task. The final outcome is still in question. We have reason to hope for victory. But we may yet lose. Perhaps the greatest respect God can give humanity is this: We haven’t been put in a fixed game whose end has already been determined (or if we have, it's a ruse for a bigger, real one). And the formerly metaphysical ideas of resurrection and redemption, once left to an abstract future life, like all prophecy, are flooding into the physical, current life.

If there is still time on the clock, we do no favors to participants by telling them that their team has already won unless the game itself is pretend. No. Overcoming all evil and death will only happen when humans or their descendents, joining Christ, actually overcome them.

-Ben Blair

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