Checkmating the Human Drive for Life -- By: Dan Lioy

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 02:1 (Sep 2006)
Article: Checkmating the Human Drive for Life
Author: Dan Lioy


Checkmating the Human Drive for Life

A Biblical-Theological Examination of Genesis 5, Ecclesiastes 1, and 1 Corinthians 15:50–581

Dan Lioy2

Abstract

The major premise of this essay is that since the dawn of time, the human drive for life has been checkmated by death. A Biblical-theological examination of Genesis 5 and Ecclesiastes 1 indicates that despite the efforts of people both individually and collectively to extend the realms of human existence, their efforts are ultimately ambushed (in a manner of speaking) by the end of life. Moreover, while each generation appears to be making incremental strides—sometimes even laudable gains—the reality of death neutralizes these advances and in some cases entirely wipes them out. An examination of 1 Corinthians 15:50–58 informs people of faith that only in Christ can work and leisure be enjoyable, beneficial, and fulfilling.

1. Introduction

Chess is a game in which two players begin with 16 pieces strategically placed on a checkered board. Both of them follow precise rules to capture each other’s pieces. The object of the game is to put the opponent’s king under a direct attack from which escape is impossible. As a matter of fact, the term “checkmate,” which is used to refer to this situation, comes from a Persian word that literally means “the king is left unable to escape.” More generally, “checkmate” denotes a circumstance in which someone or something has been thwarted or completely countered.

The major premise of this essay is that since the dawn of time, the human drive for life has been checkmated by death. A biblical-theological examination of Genesis 5 and Ecclesiastes 1 indicates that despite the efforts of people both individually and collectively to extend the realms of human existence, their efforts are ultimately ambushed (in a manner of speaking) by the end of life. Moreover, while each generation appears to be making incremental strides—sometimes even laudable gains—the reality of death neutralizes these advances and in some cases entirely wipes them out. An examination of 1 Corinthians 15:50–58 informs people of faith that only in Christ can work a...

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