Whether it occurs consciously or not, death holds sway as the central drama of human existence. Essentially, humankind, while varied in ethnicity, region, biological gender and age, shares one thing – all have a rendezvous with death. History highlights biblical truth: “for what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so does the other” (Eccl. 3:19). Sometimes one hears the Christian say they do not fear their mortal end, but most will honestly admit, to some degree, fear rears its ugly head when the topic of death arises or worse, when, in its nearness, it shakes the foundation of people’s lives.

In the past, studies reveal those with a belief in God and a telos toward an eternity with him fear death less than their unbelieving counterpart. Yet a recent meta-analysis of religious studies and death anxiety provides contrary evidence. A team headed by Dr. Jonathan Jong, Research Associate of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, gathered 100 published articles published between 1961 and 2014, most conducted in the United States. The team’s finding “definitely complicates the old view,” Jong admits, “that religious people are less afraid of death than nonreligious people.”1 Overall, results from the study show a U-shaped trend, where both atheists and the very religious are those that do not fear death like those in the middle.2 It is possible that the highly religious are now fewer in number while the atheists gained in number or that the atheists have increased greatly in number to meet the number of religious who fear death less than those in the middle. The majority of those in the middle are also of concern. Indeed, evidence shows it has, but how has our disenchanted age affected how we view death and grieve death and dying to produce the results given?

Perhaps a significant number of Christians have lost the firm foundation they once stood upon, believing in an afterlife and thus remaining content in all circumstances, including death. Further, it may be that the church wandered from the Christian reality of Christ’s resurrection, a victory over death and sin. If so, what then is she believing? In fact, this trend may encompass the Christian who mourns with no hope.

Indeed, biblical grief and mourning remain an accepted and expected aspect when one encounters death. Christ represents grief while weeping over the grave of Lazarus and in the biblical practices surrounding death in early Christianity. However, the meta-analysis points to a change in the nature of the cultural disposition toward death for the believer, so to examine this in today’s context, the current postmodern age, this essay looks at the culture, seeking not only the connection of the disenchantment of this age to its impact upon the Christian but also to that shift, as it happened sociologically, psychologically, and spiritually. The twenty-first century Christian believer must seek to reckon with death and dying in this disenchanted age and re-establish his ability to grieve with hope.

The Fog That Hangs Over Fatality

The previous study along with others and many cultural artifacts of the late twentieth and twenty-first century point to the reality of the rise of death anxiety in the United States. That is, the fear of death and the inability to cope with its repercussions, theologically. From statistics on popular funeral music to ‘celebrations of life’ held in lieu of funerals, to the literature, art, and film that pervades the current cultural landscape, one finds a culture that attempts to avoid the reality of death, but perhaps without even knowing, displays and engages in it everywhere, including the church.

The commercialization of the entire process of dying succeeds jointly with the expressive individualism of the day. According to James K.A. Smith, expressive individualism emerged from the Romantic expressivism of the latter half of the eighteenth century, and society is called to express or live out his or her own way of realizing one’s humanity “rather than conform to models imposed by others (especially institutions).”3 In the sanitized, consumer-driven funeral industry, personalized caskets exist, and the dead’s favorite songs play, while families tuck special items into the caskets of the deceased. Primped and primed for a ‘viewing’ in their Sunday best, the body lies cold and lifeless while the surrounding visitors fill the air with platitudes. Hid from view is the idea of death as it really is – the wages of sin, the final enemy, what Christ has crushed. Death is not a friend, nor are all the little deaths leading up to biological death; for these shadows are a part of the dark world of sin. The shadow of death, or fog over humankind’s fatality, exists in knowing that death hangs over humans for the entirety of human existence. Clay Jones, professor, apologist and author of Why Does God Allow Evil,poignantly explains this shadow of death, brought about by the sin of Adam and Eve:

So the Lord cursed the ground, presumably enabling all kinds of pestilence, and then he kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden, removing them from the rejuvenating power of the Tree of Life . . . and we’ve been attending funerals ever since.4

Sometimes it feels like a cascade of losses – these are experiences of the shadow of death. Each loss is a forerunner to the ultimate death of one’s own body. Every glimpse of the shadow is a taste of mortality. These moments provide an opportunity to take an inventory and remember that this life is coming to an end; there is nothing friendly about that. The only friend in this scenario is the Savior. David remembers Him in Psalm 23, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” he cries, “I will fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4a); and again in Psalm 25 David’s words remind the reader that it is not about us: it is about who God is, and it is “for your name’s sake, O Lord” (Psalm 25:11). Our only hope is outside of ourselves; however, systematically, society continues the inward turn and focuses on the self.

From Where Does Expressive Individualism Come?

Carl Trueman, professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College, helps to draw out a consideration for anyone hoping to be a force for understanding people today and to remain good citizens who are faithful to Christ. His work suggests a way of “looking at the historical relationship between society at large and individual identity.”5 In the context of the funeral turned celebration of life, Trueman casts a disparaging view, noting the meaninglessness that the celebration of life service promotes. He considers it “a nonsense . . . an insult to the bereaved relatives who, at best, are surely only kidding themselves that the death is made somehow easier by the fact the life was worth living in the first place.”6 To further his point, he considers this “a ridiculous contradiction in terms.”7 He contends, “if life has meaning, then death is an outrage; if death is not an outrage, then life has no meaning.”8 Furthermore, this contradiction flies in the face of the Christian understanding of death as the wages of sin, the price for which Christ paid. Death, however, looked upon to honor and exalt human life, presents death as meaningless, senseless, purposeless, therefore honors the individual and all his or her successes. Trueman also confirms that this sentimental postmodern view displays something different from the moderns. He finds it a symptomatic show of the vacuous nature of the most current age.

Furthermore, in additional works on the denial of death and death as the final enemy, Trueman brings both sex and death together showing that “earlier societies surrounded sex and death with sacred ceremonies, and for good reason: They cannot be trivialized, domesticated, or marginalized with impunity.”9 Relegating grief and lament to other occasions, the celebration of life ceremony creates an atmosphere that not only inhibits the mourning of family and friends but seeks to evade the reality of the significance of death altogether. One celebrates death like the rich man, the one who is considered a fool by God, who claimed, “I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”10

Additionally, in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Museum of Art hangs El Greco’s Vision of St. John, a painting from the seventeenth century which holds contemporary appeal. After the painting’s ‘restoration’ around 1880, nearly six feet were trimmed off the top half of the canvas. Representative of the opening of the fifth seal in Revelation 6:9, this work of art meant to reveal John looking up toward heaven while surrounded by a witness of faithful martyrs, is described by James K.A. Smith as “a fitting parable of modernity,” where “the exultant arms of John the Revelator reach upward to – nothing: to the top of the frame, to the edge of the canvas. The martyrs seem to receive gifts from nowhere, and John seems to praise the nonexistent. All of them seem to look for something no longer there.”11 Smith teaches as a professor of philosophy at Calvin College and is known for condensing and clarifying the work of Charles Taylor. He readily explores the challenges of the aggressive secularism of today. Smith also suggests that the “modernist, secularist projects of ‘improvement’ have unwisely severed us from what makes for a flourishing society.”12 Counter to Smith’s biblically relevant idea of a flourishing society, Chief Science officer, Aubrey de Grey of the Silicon Valley Research Foundation (SENS) believes “death must be approached not as the intractable end but as a tool to be taken out of the toolbox when it’s convenient,”13 and living each day with an awareness of death which shapes our life “seems antithetical to full human flourishing.”14 However, this disenchantment, or the lopping off of a sacred realm from humanity’s understanding, is more than a worldview, it is a telos to nothingness. The disappearance of the spiritual world, described by Taylor as “a world in which the only locus of thoughts, feelings, spiritual elan is what we call minds,”15 is further delineated by Smith who says “the magical ‘spiritual’ world is dissolved and we are left with the machinations of matter” . . . a movement “from ‘the world’ into the mind.”16 By absorbing and living a disenchanted existence, as is evident of our current cultural climate through the work of Taylor, Smith, and Trueman, the Christian struggles to cultivate authentic Christian hope and face death biblically.

Inadequate Grief

The question then leads one to wonder to what degree the Bible-believing Christian is affected by this disenchantment of culture and to what degree can she remain as a faithful presence. Trueman’s analysis of recent behavior is once again helpful in seeking answers to these questions. In a straightforward manner he claims that it is none other than the church’s task to prepare our culture for death. Secular society (including Christians) in the West have become accustomed to “remarkably comfortable lives,” Trueman quips, yet anxiety increased and displayed itself in fights over toilet paper in the grocery stores not long ago during the COVID crisis. And while “the task of the church (was) to mug people with reality before reality itself comes calling,” she was “signally absent” during these months of hysteria.17 18

One may also postulate that the eradication of an eternal or heavenly perspective implicit in one’s current suffering and grief might underscore this absent reaction. Sociologist Jack B. Kamerman, expounds on the research of Robert Fulton on Death and Identity, and confirms this recent trend is a “shift in the meaning of death from a process interpreted in a sacred framework to one interpreted in a secular framework.”19 20 Kamerman also concludes, “without a sacred meaning to neutralize its evil, death has become almost ‘dirty’, not fit for polite society.”21 The streamlining of grief and mourning exists as a result. Indeed, grief renders itself unnecessary in this cyclical pattern. One removes the heavenly perspective and thought of a transcendent God, sovereign over his creation, then looks inward for consolation which cannot satisfy nor fill the void, therefore confirming his earlier premise of God’s absenteeism and eternal nature. Death has been naturalized, and it has been handed over to the institutions, so the loss in rituals surrounding grief and the shortened time for mourning rationalize it. Consequently, if one’s happiness resides solely in his or her present comfort, a biblical exegesis of 2 Corinthians becomes incomprehensible. Here, Paul addresses the Corinthians as he seeks unity from the church as he and Timothy sustained affliction from enemies in Asia. Paul exhorts:

For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselvesbut on God who raises the dead.He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.22

This hope is a recurring theme during suffering for Paul. He also reminds the Thessalonians about the coming of the Lord and works toward preparing them so that they are not uniformed about those who are asleep, that (they) may not grieve as others do who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:14).

Grieving over the loss of loved ones is a normal human experience, one in which even Jesus shared (John 11:35), “but the grief of Christians differs from that of unbelievers, for the latter have no hope of bodily resurrection to glory with Christ (1 Thessalonians. 4:16).23 At least it should differ. In Truth, the remnants of a Christian-shaped social imaginary are fading fast and the new social imaginary replacing it exudes expressive individualism. In Trueman’s further analysis, incorporating the work of Philip Rieff and Jean Jacques Rousseau, the complicit nature of the Christian is found in the expressive individualism of his place in the culture as he becomes “shaped by the expectations of the psychologized, therapeutic society in which we live, move, and have our being.”24 By tying together the cultural milieu of the sexual revolution and the expressive individualism which inhabits it, his work is pointedly true to the problem of death. Trueman examines a historical relationship between society and the individual. Consequently, the cultural implication of that relationship creates a necessary thread for also weaving together the contextual analysis of societal silence and denial of death which we see in the marginalizing of grief.

Marginalizing Death and Grief

Among the myriad of voices suggesting human flourishing can exist only when death is marginalized, J. Todd Billings, research professor of reformed theology, implores Christians who know better not to close “over the wound of death” but instead to be reminded to bear “witness to the Lord of creation who will set things right on the final day.”25 He urges the believer to acknowledge the ‘cross-pressures’ of what Charles Taylor calls our ‘secular age’, and “not to set (one’s) Christian convictions on the shelf but to live into them, trusting that truth is possessed first and foremost by God.”26 In order to “reframe death” and “cultivate authentic resurrection hope,” Billings claims that one must recognize that “Pushing away the reality of death is actually a form of slavery to the temporal, one that makes us cling to mortal life as though it will last forever or fulfill ultimate needs.”27 28 For this, a deeper framework for understanding mortality over morbidity is required.

To do this, Billings incorporates the second century view of Irenaeus and his embrace of the creaturely stages of life where “dying itself can be part of a divine pedagogy for coming to know the mercy of the Lord;” it is, in this case, a welcome friend.29 The fourth century view of Augustine, however, saw death as an enemy, an “irrational horror . . . a catastrophe, inherently violent and fundamentally unnatural.”30 For if the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), it is the just punishment for sin. Somewhere within the complexity of this binary he seeks to find both to be true at the same time.

Upon receiving an incurable cancer diagnosis, as a theologian, young husband and father, Billings leaned more toward the Augustinian view in the beginning of his pilgrimage, but after interviewing multiple individuals who were believers at the end of a long life, he understood more the view of Irenaeus. Nevertheless, a forthcoming welcome near the end of life, may be due to the shadows of death throughout the lifespan. Feasibly, the fragility of elderly lives coupled with previous loss and inability to function wholeheartedly may lead to welcoming death. Recognized in songs and films regarding immortality, weariness wins. Even Roy Batty, the leader of the Nexus 6 replicants in the 1982 film Blade Runner, strives to meet his maker in a search of longevity, but recognizes the point at which his “accelerated decrepitude” meant it was “time to die.”31 At this point, one might consider death a ‘welcome friend’, too.

With his own sense of living in the shadow of death, Billings reintroduces the Hebrew word Sheol in its Old Testament usage. It can be considered to mean ‘dark’ (Lam 3:6), ‘dusty’ (Job 17:16), ‘silent’ (Psalm 31:17–18; 94:17), and ‘tempestuous’ (Jonah 2:3–6).”32 He goes as far as to say it is “a place of darkness, a prison for those who are silenced, cut off from life,” but scripture is unclear if this ‘place’ is a place of emotional abandonment (Psalm 86:1-13), or a place of the land of the biologically deceased, where one is cut off from the living and unable to return.33 One might suggest that grief in death for the ones remaining may feel that they are the ones cut off, silenced, in a dark place and unable to return. Billings notes that one thing is sure, in either regard, no one can return from Sheol save for the will of God.

Additionally, reading the words of many of the psalmists, we can find multiple uses of this vast emptiness and thriving hope. This includes David’s groaning in Psalm 22: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1). And later in verses 14-15:

I am poured out like water,

and all my bones are out of joint;

my heart is like wax;

it is melted within my breast;

my strength is dried up like a potsherd,

and my tongue sticks to my jaws;

you lay me in the dust of death.34

The Psalm is echoed again by Christ in his cry of dereliction in the gospels of both Matthew and Mark (Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34). Psalm 88 also describes aching and debilitating grief, mentioning Sheol:

For my soul is full of troubles,

and my life draws near to Sheol.

I am counted among those who go down to the pit;

I am a man who has no strength,

like one set loose among the dead,

like the slain that lie in the grave,

like those whom you remember no more,

for they are cut off from your hand.

You have put me in the depths of the pit,

in the regions dark and deep.

Your wrath lies heavy upon me,

and you overwhelm me with all your waves.35

For others outside of the grief, life continues, but for the one trapped in Sheol Billings says, “the attacker . . . has swallowed the living.”36 Sheol consumes.

Furthermore, Billings suggests that even when a Christian hopes to remain faithful in the face of death, there is a psychosomatic response beyond one’s physical control. He claims, there is “something woven deeply into our created selves and our biological wiring.”37 Here, death-denial strategies and immortality projects arise. In grief, when death becomes this all-consuming pattern of existence, the only hope for the individual lies in repressing or negating it. For many people, including believers, these strategies and projects become the new normal. But the Christian knows that Jesus has delivered God’s people from slavery to death and the fear of it. Therefore, the goal for the Christian life “is not eliminating the fear of death but removing death from its throne” so that they instead remember the promises of God and seek deliverance.38 The burden lies on His shoulders when his people turn to him, “and only those who open their eyes in the place of darkness can see well enough to crave the resurrection light.”39

Facing the Reality of the Pit

David Powlison, though his own walk with a cancer diagnosis which eventually ended his life, provides wisdom as an esteemed biblical counselor and previous director of the Christian Counseling Education Foundation (CCEF). Powlison taught that the Christian must, early on, face one’s own mortality; they must face death with hope. Frequently teaching from Psalm 90, he suggests that through verses 1-11, we learn what death means. Then in verse 12, we are told “to number our days,” that we may get a heart of wisdom so that God may establish the work of our hands.40

Likewise, the call for pastors is to “do the bulk of (their) theology when (they) are in the pulpit, so that when (they) are in the hospital room or in the living room and all around (them) is the wreckage of a calamity . . . they’re not having to play a lot of catch up on theology or realizing that . . . I’ve never really trained these people to think well or to pray well in the midst of this sort of calamity.”41 Almost 350 years prior, Puritan Pastor Richard Baxter, did just that. He claims to have “preach’d as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.”42 He encouraged others to plant, sow, and build, knowing they are “not (as) good as reaping, fruit-gathering, and dwelling; but in their season, they must be done.”43 Eternity permeated his life and his preaching. According to Billings, “in the Pit, we face a reality before which we are utterly impotent;” therefore, as Powlison, Baxter, and Billings concur, the people of God with open eyes to the reality of the Pit prior to living in it, sharpen their identity in Christ.44 Reckoning with death reframes it in such a way as to remove it from the throne, to number one’s days with authentic resurrection hope in Christ.

Conclusion

The first lines found in the materials used to research the topic of death appear profound. When the focus is on death, book after book and paper after paper trumpet edgy yet straightforward claims – “humans fear death;” “I am going to die;” “It cannot be that I ought to die;” but then came the one that announced what I didn’t expect.45 46 47 The first line that led to the premise that lies beneath the research question at the helm of this project: “Nothing I heard in the church helped.”48

How can that be? I wondered. The core of the Christian faith rests in the resurrected hope in Jesus Christ. In a broken, debilitated world, much of the message of the Christian life consists of working out the implications of knowing the Creator of the universe in ways that also will make Him known to the world around us. Nowhere else can the believer meet the unbeliever on such firm, solid ground, then in death. Jaroslav Pelikan states it plainly: “A theology whose central message is the biography of a crucified Jew cannot avoid speaking about death, whether it be his or ours.”49 Writing in 1961, he engages the thoughts of five church fathers concerning death from the second and third centuries. We must wonder why the church of postmodernity, in a world vastly different from theirs, struggles simply to prepare believers to face death and dying, when the early church preached death and dying with “optimism and hope . . . to meet the pessimism of their pagan neighbors.”50 Thus, the question set forth at the outset of this essay was to determine not if, but how, the disenchanted age affects Christians’ fear of death and dying as witnessed in their inability to lament with hope and speak boldly about it.

The recognition of the presence of death anxiety among Christians – in fact, that it does exist and is on the rise in the current cultural climate, is the first step toward seeking the ways it has impacted Christianity in the West. Many studies have begun to point out the consumerism of the last century and its affect not only on what the society does and believes about death, but also how entwined Bible-believing Christians have become in the institutions that promote death as an intrusion to our comfortable lives and something to be dismissed, denied, and disguised. Confirming much of what this paper has covered, Fred Craddock believes that today, “Christians have ceded to others the scenario for dying . . . the church,” he asserts “no longer has much to say or ways to say convincingly those things it wishes to say.”51 Yet the evidence says she should.

To that end, the church must renew its place as the voice of truth, amidst a confused culture in a postmodern social imaginary that lacks not only reason but an understanding of the sacred. Placing a study in Ecclesiastes alongside a study of the current state of the American West, shows there is nothing new under the sun, yet what remains beyond the materialism of this world exists and our longing for it, proclaims its presence to us. An analysis of the cultural artifacts of this generation speak to the hopes and desires that reside within. Marginalizing death and grief yield meaninglessness. Christians must speak to one another boldly on the topic of death and dying while walking with each other in lament and hope. As suggested by many of those referenced in this material, Psalms knits together lament and hope profoundly. The weight of the darkness of death and life in the pit may feel unbearable but it is not the time for hopeless despair, and it is not the time to stay silent in a hopeless world of chaos and confusion.

Notes:

1 University of Oxford, “News and Events,” accessed April 25, 2023, https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-03-24-study-who-least-afraid-death.

2 Jonathan Jong, Robert Ross, Tristan Philip, Si-Hua Chang, Naomi Simons & Jamin Halberstadt (2018), “The religious correlates of death anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” Religion, Brain & Behavior, 8:1, 4-20, DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2016.1238844.

3 James K.A. Smith, How Not to be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014), 141.

4 Jones, Clay. Why Does God Allow Evil: Compelling Answers for Life’s Toughest Questions? (Eugene: Harvest House, 2017), 34.

5 Carl Trueman, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution (Wheaton: Crossway, 2020), 25.

6 Carl Trueman, Reformation 21 “Celebrating the Death of Meaning,” accessed April 24, 2023, https://www.reformation21.org/counterpoints/celebrating-the-death-of-meaning.php.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 First Things, “Deaths Delayed,” March 31, 2020, https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/03/deaths-delayed.

10 Lk 12:19 (ESV).

11 James, K. A. Smith, Comment, “Cracks in the Secular,” accessed April 29, https://comment.org/cracks-in-the-secular/.

12 Ibid.

13 J. Todd Billings, The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to

Truly Live, (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2020), 9.

14 Ibid.

15 Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007), 29-30.

16 Smith, How Not to be Secular, 28.

17 Carl Trueman, “Deaths Delayed,” First Things, March 31, 2020, https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/03/deaths-delayed.

18 Ibid.

19 Robert Fulton and Robert Bendiksen, editors, Death and Identity, (Philadelphia: Charles Press, 1976).

20 Jack B. Kamerman, Death in the Midst of Life: Social and Cultural Influences on Death, Grief, and Mourning, (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1988), 7.

21 Ibid.

222 Co 1:8–10 (ESV).

23 Thomas L. Constable, “1 Thessalonians, in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1985), 703.

24 Carl Trueman, The Gospel Coalition, “Six Ways Christians Can Respond in Our Strange New World,” July 11, 2022, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/respond-strange-new-world/.

25 Billings, The End of the Christian Life, 11.

26 Ibid., 15.

27 Ibid., 14.

28 Ibid., 12.

29 Ibid., 55-56.

30 Ibid., 59-60.

31 Ridley Scott, 1982, Bladerunner, United States, Warner Bros.

32 D.A. Neal, “Sheol,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham: Lexham Press, 2016).

33 Billings, The End of the Christian Life, 22.

34 The Holy Bible, Ps 22:14–15.

35 Ibid., Ps 88:3–7.

36 Billings, The End of the Christian Life, 41.

37 Billings, The End of the Christian Life, 73.

38 Ibid., 76.

39 Ibid., 47.

40 David Powlison with Kevin Boling, “Facing Death with Hope,” in Knowing the Truth Radio, produced

by Sermonaudio, September 23, 2008, 4:47, https://www.sermonaudio.com/solo/knowingthetruth/sermons/923081722100/.

41 Todd Pruitt, “Mourn with those Who Mourn,” in Mortification of spin, produced by Reformation 21,

April 26, 2023, 17:43.

42 J.M. Lloyd Thomas and N.H. Keeble, eds., The Autobiography of Richard Baxter, abridged (London:

J.M. Dent & Sons, 1974), 26.

43 Richard Baxter, Dying Thoughts, (Carlisle: Banner of Truth Trust, 2004), 3.

44 Billings, The End of the Christian Life, 47.

45 Clay Jones, Immortal: How the Fear of Death Drives us and What We Can Do About It.

(Eugene: Harvest House, 2020), 19.

46 David Gibson, Living Life Backward: How Ecclesiastes Teaches Us to Live in Light of the End,

(Wheaton: Crossway, 2017), 11.

47 Lloyd R. Baily Sr., Biblical Perspectives on Death, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979), 1.

48 Lucy Bregman, Beyond Silence and Denial: Death and Dying Reconsidered, (Westminster John Knox

Press: Louisville), 1999, 1.

49 Jaroslav Pelikan, The Shape of Death: Life, Death, and Immortality in the early fathers, (Nashville:

Abingdon Press, 1961), 5.

50 Ibid.

51 Fred Craddock, Dale Goldsmith, and Joy V. Goldsmith, Speaking of Dying: Recovering the

Church’s Voice in the Face of Death, (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2012), xvii.