Fragrance or odour?

The prospect of a digital afterlife

Earlier today a thoughtful blog post directed me to the film below.

The film is touching, without a doubt. However, when I then went on to visit a company who offer me the prospect of a digital afterlife, I was not so sure:


On many occasions and in many contexts I have urged Christians to think about their legacy. Often I have turned with them to the last chapter of Nehemiah, and noted that he wants his influence as a man of God to linger on long after he has gone. Like Spurgeon of old, we should want to leave lights shining behind us after we have gone ‘over the brow of the hill‘.  It seems to me that this is entirely different to the kind of avatar described above, though.

Surely if I am to make the most of it, then I need to accept the limitations of my mortality and work within them? My influence will be as much or as little, as long or as short as God wants it to be. Like many who have published before me – either in pixels or print, I shall leave an archive behind. However, to ‘animate’ that archive with an avatar who speaks ‘for’ me seems very strange. The Apostle Paul tells us that we are to exude the fragrance of Christ, but I feel that such a digital presence may be little more than an irritating odour.


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