Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Doctor Who 9.6 "The Woman Who Lived"

This latest episode pulled the previous half up a bit, bringing the overarching story up to “fine.” It was still all just another “Moffat” set-up; which means regardless of how you feel about the character Ashildr/Lady Me will be back so you had better well care! Whatever. I am prepared to be interested if they make her interesting, but that has yet to happen.

The reason so many may argue that this episode and this character is interesting all amounts to an old (maybe tired) trope of fantasy fiction: immortality is a curse and death is a gift. The problem with this attitude is that it assumes such immortality in our current reality, and in a fallen world full of sin and suffering death can indeed be seen as a gift. Genesis 3 even puts that idea forward when God denies mankind access to the tree of life:

“Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever…’”

In casting humanity out of paradise and ensuring that they will NOT experience immortality in their sin, God is showing tremendous mercy. Death is bad, but it makes salvation possible. Immortality is once again available once God provides a scapegoat, a substitute to take away the sin and punishment humanity has brought upon itself.

So, these sorts of stories: “Oh how terrible immortality is! I wish I could just die!” Are unfulfilling to me because they highlight the suffering of sin but are blind to the hope of real existence. Could you not conceive of a life without death if you were also told that those whom you love will also persist, and there are no limits to what one could learn or experience, and things would truly be the way they were meant to be? That there would be a fulfilment to the longing we all perceive but try to ignore when we think it is just a dream?

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