Wow, beautiful, and even surprising, essays. Surprising - because I couldn't imagine what some of those writers, like Luther and Calvin, would have to say on the subject of death. I'd never read anything from many of the writers until this collection. Pretty down to earth and amazing. Each essay exceeds the one before in giving comfort, support and perspective of this ultimate destination we're all destined for. Much recommended.
In January 2014 my teenage daughter Leah died from the side-effects of her cancer treatment. She faced death without fear due to her vibrant faith. Thousands had been praying for her healing. Despite this, shortly after her death, a Christian leader informed me that Leah had died because of 'lack of faith'! The book O love That Will Not Let Me Go is a collection of twenty-two short meditations on preparing to die in faith, drawn from the sermons and writings of classic and contemporary pastors and theologians, edited by Nancy Guthrie. I haven't read the whole book yet but the chapter that particularly caught my eye and caused me to buy the book is one by Joseph Bayly entitled “Our Faith is in God not in Healing”.
I think that there is so much misinformation and false teaching in Christian circles regarding healing.
I love the quote on the back cover of Nancy’s book:"Death for the believer is no tragedy. And for the believer to die well - to live and die aiming to glorify God, confident that God will make good on all of His promises - that is a thing of great beauty."
I write more about how I have been blessed by Nancy Guthrie's books and her ministry in this blog post: https://victoriawhyte.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/holding-on-to-hope-in-my-life/
This is a collection of essays, sermons and extracts from a variety of (mainly male) Christian writers over the centuries about the subjects of grief and spiritually preparing for your death. Whenever I have told people that’s what I was reading, I always look interestedly for their response. Usually there’s a silence, and then a comment along the lines of ‘that’s a bit bleak/ what do you want to go thinking about that for? / but you’re not dying’ – all of which reveal, as J I Packer says in the first chapter, that we as a culture are in denial about our mortality, and even within the church, talking about death and preparing for it well is a total taboo.
I found it was good for me to read the words of those in previous ages: people like Richard Baxter who was a pastor in the seventeenth century. (I find myself thinking thoughts like, ‘oh, because in the seventeenth century lots of people died’, and then have to correct myself with ‘and of course 100% of people still die today!’) But there is definitely a degree to which the seventeenth century pastors had death and sickness in their faces in a way that we don’t today, and I appreciated learning from their wisdom. And the second chapter, by Michael Horton, on Jesus and Lazarus was astoundingly, beautifully brilliant.
A book to dip into while you’re fit and well and not thinking about death.
This book provides solid biblical reasons for Christians to accept the existence of Adam and Eve, or at least a primordial couple who somehow got it wrong.
The book is deep with extensive footnotes, not for light reading, but rewarding. Collins show how on a biblical and emotional/moral level the existence of Adam and Eve is presupposed in the rest of the biblical narrative concerning sin and ultimate redemption found in Jesus. This answers the "Why it matters" part of the subtitle.
However, concerning the "Who they were", Collins frustratingly leaves it an open question. He poses some criteria of what would be acceptable, and examines some views, including those of CS Lewis from "The Problem of Pain" and Denis Alexander from "Creation and Evolution: Do we Have to Choose?". I think his main reasoning is just to show that these sort of stories could be rational options in favour of his thesis.
Some of this book felt like Collins was expanding upon his earlier works, and I may have found this an easier read had I read them beforehand.