A Dead Guy’s Facebook Page

A couple of weeks ago, I got an alert on Facebook. One of my friends had a birthday coming up. But what Facebook didn’t know is that the guy had been dead for almost a year. A dead guy’s Facebook page is a freaky thing. His status hadn’t been updated since June 26, 2009. His last post: “Just saying, best night ever.”

I recently mentioned this at a youth event, where I gave a presentation called “What If It’s True? How God Makes A Difference.”  Here’s a teaching tip: When dealing with philosophical issues, it’s often helpful to use an illustration from popular culture. Especially for teens, a dead guy’s Facebook page was an eerie, but truly relevant example of our own mortality.

Here’s how I presented what William Lane Craig calls “The absurdity of life without God” to teens:

If God isn’t real, then you, me, every single one of your friends, and the world we live in is basically an accident. We’re what happens when you throw stuff, time and chance into mix. There’s no reason we’re even alive…Who cares if you were the most popular kid at school? Or got the best grades? If God isn’t real, we’re just sitting around waiting to die.

But if God is real, life has real meaning. You are not an accident. If God exists, this life is not all there is. If Christianity is true, eternal life is possible and available to us.  After my message, about 15 students came up to me wanting to know more and I even got to pray for many of them. Sometimes, God uses the unexpected to touch people’s hearts—even a dead guy’s Facebook page.

What do you think about this tip? What’s another pop-culture apologetics illustration you’ve seen?

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6 Responses to “A Dead Guy’s Facebook Page”

  1. Daniel July 1, 2010 8:08 PM
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    I think this is a good illustration of how we assume so much in life; we assume that our lives won’t be demanded of us tomorrow or the day after; we tend to understand death on an intellectual level, but the true reality of it all is quite sobering. Each one of us is given a certain amount of time – our life – to honor and glorify Christ, and even if we choose not to, he can still use our death to further His kingdom.

  2. Mikel July 1, 2010 10:00 PM
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    Sobering thought, Daniel. Thanks for your comment. It was great to see you at this youth event!

  3. Courtney July 4, 2010 4:38 PM
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    The whole time during your message I kept thinking, “Gosh, life is so short” I assume I will carry out these plans either for the next day or even for the future, like having a family… but the truth is, we never know when our last day is. I intend to be on guard, always preparing for the day the Lord calls me home so that I never have to doubt I’ll be going to heaven. This message, whether you are Christian or not… makes you think about your purpose in life and what you plan to do with it. Thanks so much for being there Mikel.

  4. Mikel July 4, 2010 11:00 PM
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    You’re welcome. I appreciated the invitation and really enjoyed serving Alameda youth once again. Thanks for posting your thoughts, Courtney!

  5. Denise July 29, 2010 10:49 AM
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    Before becoming a Christian I was constantly asking “Why”… for circumstances, situations, unquenchable curiosity… with God, life truly does have meaning. Not that I never question or ask “Why” anymore but when I do, with prayer and introspection I often find my answers.
    There is meaning behind every situation… even a dead guys facebook page. Your talk was powerful and I was truly touched to see so many young lives open to knowing more about Him.

  6. Mikel August 1, 2010 9:41 AM
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    Hi, Denise. I still ask “why.” But ultimately, even if God never answers me the way I want him to, I know he’s still good. Thanks for being at the event. I’ll be in the Bay Area again next month!