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The Good Place is an intriguing tv present. It takes a single-camera sitcom with lovable characters and a wholesome dose of positivity, and pairs it with ethical philosophy and questions concerning the afterlife. Its form of like if Misplaced and Parks and Rec had a child.

In its 4 seasons, the presentreviewed by TGC in 2018has confirmed to be an enchanting window into up to date concepts about morality, life, dying, and the afterlife.By final months collection finale (spoilers forward), titled Each time You’re Prepared, the entire gang (reformed dirtbag Eleanor, neurotic philosophy professor Chidi, socialite Tahani, and Floridian DJ Jason) lastly arrive within the precise Good Place. They’ve helped each other develop morally, saved humanity from extinction, and rewritten the foundations of the afterlife. It appears their issues are lastly over.


However heaven seems to be one other drawback. The precise Good Place, the place you basically have infinite magic needs, is a catastrophe. Evidently having the ability to do no matter you need, for eternity, will get boring fairly quick. Endlessly, theres no urgency to dwell, study, or love.

Evidently having the ability to do no matter you need, for eternity, will get boring fairly quick.

A thought from an earlier seasonknowing youre going to die is what offers life meaningprovides an answer to this last drawback: repair heaven by discovering a method for it to finish. So that they create a door that Good Place residents can stroll by way of when theyve had sufficient of heaven and wish to stop current. And figuring out which you can ultimately cease current permits you to discover which means within the meantime. On the earth of The Good Place, everlasting life is an issue, and the answer is to know that at some point you’ll be able to kill your self.

The ultimate episode, although hailed by many as a wonderfully peaceable conclusion, comes off as bleak and miserable. One after the other we watch the characters stroll by way of the door and cease current. Its like watching a present about somebody planning and going by way of with an assisted suicide, with no acknowledgement of any wreckage left behind.

When Heaven Is A Drawback

In The Good Place, heaven is a spot the place you might be in whole management. Need to play Madden in an precise NFL stadium with followers cheering you on? Completed! Need to study something and every part? Begin with Nick Offerman instructing you woodworking! Need to go to France? Step proper by way of this magic portal. You title it, you get it. However this characteristic quickly morphs right into a bug: can an eternity like this fulfill?

The Good Place realizes that no, it cant. Actually, this degree of self-determination is nearer to hell than heaven. You might be trapped in a world of each want at your fingertips, with diminishing returns and subsequently nothing to sit up for. Self-determination writ giant is a form of sluggish torture. And this drawback is so massive that the one strategy to make heaven work is to create a method so that you can commit everlasting suicide. Its an enchanting realization for a society that always struggles with the thought of hell whereas embracing the thought of heaven. It appears the buffet spirituality embraced by Western tradition doesnt simply have a judgment drawback. It additionally has a pleasure drawback.

The Good Place foregrounds the connection between self-determination and select your individual journey spirituality in up to date Western tradition. Its the thought which you can choose and select non secular bits from a wide range of sources and create a bespoke spirituality for your self that’s winsome, caring, and optimistic. But no matter we choose and choosewhether we discuss concerning the universe as having a form of cosmic, impersonal karma or a grandfatherly God who’s nothing however pleased with youthere is a conspicuous absence of something ever making calls for on us we wouldnt select for ourselves. In Tim Kellers phrases, the universe by no means crosses our will. It by no means decides we shouldnt do one thing wed love to do, or that we should always do one thing wed choose to keep away from. We have now a method of getting non secular and staying in management.

But its this idea of spirituality that makes the Good Place an issue. If we get every part we wantif we are the most important factor in our universethen theres nothing to seize our consideration moreover the frivolity of our imaginations. This sort of absolute freedom to decide on our future is, oddly sufficient, a form of slavery. We’re chained to ourselves. Everlasting leisure shortly turns bitter. As soon as weve lastly achieved full management, we’re all thats left.

Ponder that lengthy sufficient, and also you understand why the thought of non-existence would possibly ultimately be interesting.

An Infinitely Higher-Than-Good Place

The Christian imaginative and prescient of heaven is much completely different. Its extra tangible than many perceive: our final dwelling isn’t a non secular realm of halo-topped souls floating in cartoonish clouds. Its a brand new earth, free of groaning, ultimately expressing the complete glory for which it was supposed. God is on the heart, changing the solar itself, as a result of his glory shines so brightly (Rev. 21:23).

The Good Place by no means considers this reply to the issue of heaven: maybe on the coronary heart of existence is a being so infinitely wonderful that we by no means tire of him. What if heaven is about assembly the supply and satisfaction of our deepest longing, not only a higher model of what we already know and perceive? Maybe there may be extra in heaven than might be dreamt by our philosophy.

What if heaven is about assembly the supply and satisfaction of our deepest longing, not only a higher model of what we already know and perceive? Maybe there may be extra in heaven than might be dreamt by our philosophy.

We dont suppose sufficient concerning the infinity of God. He’s holy, transcendent, bigger than we are able to conceive. His greatness and goodness is such {that a} day in his presence is price a thousand elsewhere (Ps. 84:10). Angels shudder at his measurement, heavenly beings bow down, multitudes cry out his price. Within the new earth, all this infinity will likely be close to us in love and glory. The Bible paints an image of a spot that isnt simply good, however infinitely wonderful.

After all, this cuts each methods. A God this massive will by necessity cross our will. He could have one thing to say about who we’re and the way we dwell. However a God of this measurement additionally offers us an eternity that may by no means depart us wanting non-existence. An infinitely good God, by definition, can by no means get previous. Theres all the time extra to see, expertise, recognize, uncover. As a result of its not simply us left eternally to ourselves and our desireswhat we thought we wished till we acquired it. Its us rescued from ourselves, forgiven and adopted by God by way of the sacrificial blood of the Son of God.

For the Christian, our Good Place was secured at one other placeGolgotha, the place of a cranium. Good Friday, not our good habits, makes the Good Place doable for usand it additionally makes it far higher than simply good. Its a spot, in any case, the place an infinite God will give us one thing infinitely higher than ourselves: himself.

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