A New Heavens and New Earth… and Transhumanism?

There is at least one verse on the Bible that suggests that the transhumanist ideal of radical life extension is ultimately achievable. Isaiah 65:20 reads:

“No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Will be thought accursed.”

This passage is connected to the promise of a “new heavens and a new earth” in Isaiah 65:17:

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.”

Before we jump the gun and start telling folks like Aubrey de Grey to keep up the good work, we need to consider this passage in the context of the broader revelation of Scripture in regards to this promised new heavens and a new Earth. Because a couple of those other passages of Scripture make it clear that before we get the new heavens and new earth, the old heavens and earth pass away… in fervent heat.

That sounds nothing like the promises made by Transhumanism of radical life extension through human progress. This Great Interruption, if you will, tosses a monkey wrench into their proposed narrative.

As does Jesus’ promise that heaven and earth will disappear, but His words will endure.

It is readily apparent that the promise of a new heavens and earth is not intended to be understood as being fulfilled by progressive human endeavors. It is a promise of supernatural creation akin to that recorded in Genesis.

Does this mean we should give up on the idea of working toward extending human lifespans, decreasing the debilitating effects of aging and improving the lives of our fellow man? God forbid!

It is our calling not only to proselytize but to treat others the way we would want to be treated, to feed the poor, ease the suffering of our fellow humanity, be good stewards over our planet’s resources and the personal dispensation we’ve each been given, and to make sure that future technology is allotted in an equitable and just manner.

Furthermore, for all we know, if the Darbyist/Left Behind End Times scenario is correct, these technologies could help fuel the Millenium which precedes the coming of the new heavens and new earth.

But let us have no misapprehension that God’s will as revealed through Bible prophecy will not be fulfilled. If Christian transhumanism wishes to be an authentically Christian voice for transhumanist thought, it needs to start accounting for this Great Interruption in its future speculations.

For my part, I do not find it insurmountable. But those within the Christian transhumanist camp who are too closrly wedded to a secular vision of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy may not find it so wasy to reconcile with their utopian dreams.

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