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The death of Junior Seau

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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The mother of former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, Luisa, reaches after a coroners van as it departs with the body of her son who was found dead at his home in Oceanside, California, May 2, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake)

Junior Seau was one of the finest linebackers in football history.  Named 12 times to the Pro Bowl, he was NFL Defensive Player of the year in 1992 and AFL Player of the Year in 1994.  His death by apparent suicide follows a pattern of high-profile football players who suffered from repeated brain injury.  Andre Waters of the Philadelphia Eagles, Terry Long of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Dave Duerson of the Chicago Bears are on the list.

“Chronic traumatic encephalopathy,” also known as “boxer’s dementia,” can emerge over time after concussion-related injuries.  The damage may not be apparent for years, but can eventually cause erratic behavior, violence, and depression.

More people in America die from suicide than from homicide.  It is the third leading cause of death for those ages 15-24, and is most common among those ages 65 and older.  In the last 50 years, the suicide rate among adolescents and young adults has nearly tripled.

What does the Bible say about suicide?  Is this the “unpardonable sin”?  Why does an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God allow such tragedy?  To learn more, I invite you to read my essay on suicide, Scripture and the grace of God.

Our Lord promises that “when you pass through the waters, I will be with you . . . when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:2-3).  No matter how deep the water or hot the fire, he is still our Father.