Sqooshkappers are now as popular as ever. I know of at least one individual who has preached them through and argued them out in college classrooms. I may or may not have ever seen a sqooshkapper. This is because their particular form, substance, texture, or otherwise depend on nothing beyond some immediate logical or theoretical end, some pressing academic or sermonic purpose. Nevertheless, people who have seen and not seen them may still be willing to attest their reality.
Reality in the end, though, as reality at any other point, cannot be allowed to depend on human attestation. For despite the ingenuous multiplicity of theories of reality, or fact, or truth, reality is not subject to human credibility or incredulity, and truth has never depended on human perspective or blindness. Truth is Jesus (John 14:6), before, beyond, and after we are through, except we choose immortality with Him (1 Thess. 4:13-18). The popularity of sqooshkappers, our observation or disconfirmation of sightings, our comprehension or bafflement at their description, our cultural sensitivity to or discomfort with their conceptualization—none of this either guarantees or disproves their existence. It is the lesson we should have all learned by now, after thousands of years in the snake’s classroom, since the first woman “saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom” (Gen. 3:6). Because of what she saw, “she took some and ate it” and shared with her husband (verse 6).
Faith in human powers of observation is as worthwhile as the sqooshkappers that faith reveals. For the next several years the University of California at Riverside philosophy professor John Martin Fischer will team up with scientists and theologians to study “whether humans should even aspire to eternal life in this world or another.”* But the facts about eternal life bear no dependent relation whatsoever to $5 million grants by the John Templeton Foundation, or explorations by some atheist-led team of esteemed scholarly researchers. Truth is not more or less truth because the analytical or credulous affirm or deny it. Reality is not more or less so depending on our acquiescence. It is clearly to our advantage to acquiesce. For quite apart from any human assessment of our moral, physical, or philosophical situation, “the wages of sin is death;” and equally, “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
The people I have met who speak sympathetically about sqooshkappers all have, in common, a positive relationship with the sqooshkapper-advocating teacher. Students relate to sqooshkappers based on how they relate to the teacher from whom they heard about sqooshkappers. Mostly, those who dismiss sqooshkappers have simply never met the sqooshkapper teacher. For most of us, however, sqooshkappers exist only in the realm of fantasies of the absurd. Nevertheless, the analogy on sin and the gift of God is monumental. On the one wonderful hand, meeting God and learning to love Him will teach us all we ever need to know about immortality, without the need for any research grants (John 17:3). On the ominous other, and whether they grant it or not, the atheist researcher and his team betray a tragic allegiance. If they, like their leader, are atheists, they will profess no faith in their friend the devil. But their sympathy to his lies betrays them. The lies that drive their research agendas, whether to determine immortality or to discover the material origins of the universe, are as grounded as sqooshkappers. Sqooshkappers are now as popular as ever.
* Larry Gordon, “Using the Here and Now to Get a Handle on the Hereafter,” Los Angeles Times, Mar. 12, 2013; available online at http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/12/local/la-me-adv-immortality-20130313.
Lael Caesar is an associate editor of Adventist Review. This article was published April 18, 2013.