The importance of eternity


The abolition of Limbo, and the importance of eternity

There is one difficulty with this development, however, which is that it too often shades into two characteristically modern mistakes–the Panglossian Christianity that denies the reality of sin and the possibility of damnation, and the widespread conceit that a more spiritually mature humanity ought to concern itself entirely with things of this world, and leave death, and its aftermath, out of the picture entirely. The latter error used to manifest itself in utopian follies like Communism, but of late it’s primarily visible in the gnostic theism of writers like Elaine Pagels and Karen Armstrong, for whom religion is about the journey, not the destination, and for whom the hope of eternity is only interesting insofar as it makes people behave better here on Earth

Yet death remains–obdurate, inevitable, unmoved by “sacred realms of peace” or anywhere else we might hide from its remorseless advance. And to treat the Christian hope of eternity as a means to another end, whether enlightenment or inner peace or good works or the loss of the ego, is to muddle means and ends beyond recognition. Death isn’t “beneficial” to our spiritual quest, it’s a reason for our spiritual quest–the horror at the heart of being, and the end of all the ends there are.



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