ADVERTISING
 
Monday, October 22   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Media
Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Mark Hadley
 

The church of the future

Altered Carbon goes a long way to showing us what an eternity without God’s presence would look like.

SOLAS MAGAZINE AUTHOR Mark Hadley 01 JUNE 2018 10:08 h GMT+1
Altered Carbon is set in a future where space-travelling humans have stumbled upon an alien material that allows them to store human consciousness. / Netflix.

What if scientists announced tomorrow that you could have eternal life without God –would you be tempted? A continuation of your earthly existence, but without all the heavenly guilt?



Groundbreaking sci-fi series, Altered Carbon, imagines just such a world. Technology has finally trumped death. Yet even as it does so, the church’s take on eternity emerges as more relevant than ever.



Altered Carbon is set in a future where space-travelling humans have stumbled upon an alien material that allows them to store human consciousness.



Now, instead of dying, humans can download their minds to cortical ‘stacks’, which can be inserted into fresh bodies, or ‘sleeves’ when their old bodies die. Virtual immortality is now the privilege of anyone with a big enough bank account.



Standing in opposition to this limitless life, though, is the Catholic Church. A stand-in for all Christian denominations, this version of Catholicism opposes the transfer of consciousness because it teaches that God gave every human one life to live, and immortality is His to bestow.



Christians have won the right to be ‘coded’ so that they can’t be electronically revived, but paradoxically, this also makes them easy to kill without consequences, since the victim cannot return to identify their murderer.



It’s into this physically and spiritually dangerous world, that Altered Carbon’s anti-hero arrives.



Joel Kinnaman (House of Cards, The Killing, Suicide Squad) stars as Takeshi Kovacs, a former elite soldier whose cortical stack has spent 200 years in prison.



He’s revived to solve the murder of one of the wealthiest men in the settled worlds. However, the setting in which Takeshi pursues his case is one fraught with spiritual dilemmas.



The Catholic Church’s opposition to this scientific immortality is presented as the rant of an unreasoning faith. Detective Kristin Ortega, a Hispanic police officer with a religious family, cannot understand why they would take a stand against natural justice:



Kristin: “It’s just really hard to believe in a God that would not allow murder victims to have a voice.”



Uncle: “God works in mysterious ways.”



Kristin: “There’s no mystery. When you’ve seen rape victims, murder victims, people stabbed and shot and strangled, then you know that the only right thing to do is spin them back up, so they can point a finger at the bad guys who attacked them.”



Of course, moral ‘straw men’ like these are regularly used to counter Christianity’s opposition to other disputed freedoms, like abortion and euthanasia. However, the real spiritual tragedy is this world’s failure to understand eternal life.



The majority of Altered Carbon’s characters interpret eternal life as mere longevity – the emphasis is placed on the ‘eternal’ side of the equation.



Considered as such, how could anyone oppose more life, more freedom to experience the universe? Yet Christianity offers a different emphasis.



What the Bible promises those who put their faith in Jesus is eternal life – an endless supply of every good thing, enjoyed in God’s presence: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11) ESV.



What this world and Altered Carbon’s have in common is the belief that it’s possible to enjoy those good things separate of God. But how could that be if He is their source?



In fact, Altered Carbon goes a long way to showing us what an eternity without God’s presence would look like: mere existence without the hope of change to alleviate endless suffering and selfishness. Only, this state is better known as Hell.



Altered Carbon is excellent sci-fi fare for those who like their adventures set centuries in the future. It also includes the same coarse language and nudity that challenge most adult programming.



Its real tragedy, though, is the failure of both the scientists and the theologians to realise that everyone already possesses a guaranteed eternal life, without the need for alien hardware and cortical stacks. How much someone enjoys it, though, depends not on the sleeve they’re wearing, but the person they spend it with.



Mark Hadley, film critic. This article was published with permission of Solas magazine.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The church of the future
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement” Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement”

“We have to understand the times in which we live, and have discernment”, says Doctor Peter J. Saunders.

 
The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

 
How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.