Why do we die?


Question: The Bible says we die because of sin. But there is a very scientific and naturalistic explanation for why humans die. So, does sin as an explanation make sense?

Response: That’s an interesting question. Here are a few thoughts to chew on:

  1. What is death? I think Scripture describes death as separation.
  2. Paul, for instance, thinks that we’re already dead “in our trespasses and sins and the uncircumcision of our flesh.” So, we’re separated from Jesus, “the Life,” by our bodies of self-centered flesh. The death of death is the end of separation from God, in whom is life.
  3. Physical death is like a metaphor for a deeper type of psychic death.
  4. But Physical death is fascinating. I’m not sure that there is a “scientific or naturalistic” explanation. If by “scientific explanation” you mean that people who don’t take care of their bodies die younger, the Bible is extremely aware of that fact–if you don’t plant seed, you don’t reap a crop, and your body dies. However, every “body” dies and I actually don’t think science has a good explanation for that. Of course, it’s the second law of thermodynamics—that closed systems go to a more disordered state—but that’s just a fancy description of death (not an explanation). Scientists are actually mystified by the second law of thermodynamics. They don’t know why it is, and why time should only move in one direction.
  5. Actually, if you buy evolutionary theory hook, line, and sinker, it seems to me that “death” is the largest and most valid objection to the theory. The entire theory is that traits that are harmful to the reproduction of a species evolve out of every gene pool. Wouldn’t death be one of the first things to evolve out of the gene pool? If a given population of animals or people can reproduce for a greater span of time than another population, that population should grow, and life expectancy should increase over time. That doesn’t happen in the fossil record. And I don’t think it happens in human history. Of course, we lengthen life expectancy in developed countries with medicine, etc. However, our genes don’t appear to be changing in the direction of longevity, and I’ve never heard of this happening in any particular species.
  6. Well those are a few thoughts…

All Questions