PP Book Review: The Art of Dying
I didn’t want to read this book, let alone review it.
The book is “The Art of Dying” by Rob Moll.
If Rob hadn’t been someone I knew and valued…I would have passed.
I don’t like to think about death, especially my own.
I needed to read this book for that very reason.
Rob takes us through a little history in the early part of the book, describing how our attitudes toward death, particularly in the church, have changed over the last hundred years or so.
It used to be an accepted part of life and Christians prepared for death as they prepared for other momentous events in life.
You died at home, surrounded by family and friends and the testimony of your death empowered and equipped those watching for their own transition to glory.
Today, most die in hospitals and instead of preparing for death we fight it’s inevitability right up to the bitter end.
Moll brings us back to our roots… to learning to prepare for death…a “Christian” death…a “good” death.
“What I discovered was the Christian tradition of the good death.
While the particulars of medical technology in the twenty first century are unique, every age has challenged Christians with difficult questions of how to die well.
Century after century Christians rehearsed and applied their beliefs about death; throughout their lives they envisioned dying so at the moment of death they would be prepared. they sought to die reconciled to God and their human brothers and sisters. They gave evidence of their faith in the life to come, either by professing it or by describing their deathbed visions of the heavenly places, often both. They offered comfort to surviving loved ones who desired to hear the last words of the dying who were so close to the eternal enjoyment of life with God.”
Moll invites us to learn and practice the art of dying a good death.
Through chapters on the spirituality of dying, caring for the dying, and Christian funerals, to thoughts on resurrection he charts a course to enable us to do just that.
There is much in these pages that is both profound and fascinating…the common experience of people near death knowing things they should be unaware of and “seeing” across the divide particularly grabbed my attention.
This is an outstanding, uplifting, vitally important book for our times…I can’t recommend it enough.
The less you want to read it…the more you need to.