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J Todd Billings – The end of the Christian life: how embracing our mortality frees us to live

Brazos Press ISBN 978 1 58743 420 4 239 pages £13.99

It is not every day that I read a book that immediately arrests my attention with its relevance, stretches my mind with its wisdom, engages my imagination with its flowing prose, and moves me to tears with its poignancy. Well, today is one of those days.

Todd Billings’ book on death is a rich mingling of the wise outpourings of a genuine human being, sharing honestly about his own incurable cancer and mortality, and a careful theologian asking probing questions about what it means to be a Christian in life and in death.

“The strange thesis of this book is that whether you are 19 or 99, whether you are healthy or sick, whether the future looks bright or bleak, true hope does not involve closing over the wound of death.”

Our problem with death suggests the author is that: “Lacking a journalistic account of the future leaves us with many unanswered questions.”

This book does not answer all these questions, but it does provide a helpful guide to what death is and how Christians can use their God-given resources to embrace rather than deny their mortality. Because we are all aware that: “in the midst of life we are in death;” all who are going to die and all who help people coping with death should consider reading this wise book.

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