Speaking of Dying: Recovering the Church's Voice in the Face of Death

Speaking of Dying: Recovering the Church's Voice in the Face of Death

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by Fred Craddock, Dale Goldsmith, Joy V. Goldsmith, Stanley Hauerwas
     
 

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The church does not cope very well with dying. Instead of using its own resources to mount a positive end-of-life ministry for the terminally ill, it outsources care to secular models, providers, and services. A terminal diagnosis typically triggers denial of impending death and placing faith in the techniques and resources of modern medicine. If a cure is not

Overview

The church does not cope very well with dying. Instead of using its own resources to mount a positive end-of-life ministry for the terminally ill, it outsources care to secular models, providers, and services. A terminal diagnosis typically triggers denial of impending death and placing faith in the techniques and resources of modern medicine. If a cure is not forthcoming, the patient and his or her loved ones experience a sense of failure and bitter disappointment.

This book offers a critical analysis of the church's failure to communicate constructively about dying, reminding the church of its considerable liturgical, scriptural, and pastoral resources when it ministers to the terminally ill. The authors, who have all been personally and professionally involved in end-of-life issues, suggest practical, theological bases for speaking about dying, communicating with those facing death, and preaching about dying. They explore how dying—in baptism—begins and informs the Christian's life story. They also emphasize that the narrative of faith embraces dying, and they remind readers of scriptural and christological resources that can lead toward a "good dying." In addition, they present current best practices from health professionals for communication among caregivers and those facing death. The book includes a foreword by Stanley Hauerwas.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Arguing that the church has ceded end-of-life care to the medical profession and neglected or forgotten available gospel resources, the authors, themselves theologians and preachers, offer a theological rationale and practical guidance for caring for the dying within congregational settings. Accounts of 10 pastors who died while serving “death-denying congregations,” which resulted in long-term negative consequences for their respective faith communities, provide the starting point; the authors then present challenges inherent in today’s secular, biomedical culture, and they argue the need for “a theology of dying.” The authors review gospel stories detailing Jesus’ earthly ministry under threat of execution, the epistles’ proclamations regarding Jesus’ death, and sacramental theology of baptism and communion, before analyzing Jesus’ crucifixion and last words. Identifying challenges and questions clergy face, such as whether to preach on dying in non-funeral contexts, and how to engage resistant congregations, the authors offer 10 stories of the faithful dying, including the apostle Paul, Julian of Norwich, and Flannery O’Conner. The closing chapter summarizes theological tools for “a good dying,” with an acronym, T.A.B.L.E. Individual or small-group reflection questions follow each chapter in this accessible resource for pastors and congregations. (July)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781587433238
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/01/2012
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,333,578
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Fred Craddock (1928-2015; PhD, Vanderbilt University) was a widely acclaimed preacher and author. He was selected by Newsweek as one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. He wrote numerous books on preaching, several commentaries, and The Cherry Log Sermons. Dale Goldsmith (PhD, University of Chicago) taught for several years at McPherson College and at the Baptist Seminary of Mexico. He is the author of New Testament Ethics and lives in Amarillo, Texas. Joy V. Goldsmith (PhD, University of Oklahoma) is assistant professor of communication at the University of Memphis. Her books include Communication as Comfort and Dying with Comfort. She lives in Atoka, Tennessee.

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Speaking of Dying: Recovering the Church's Voice in the Face of Death 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
seaweedJW More than 1 year ago
The average age in the churches in the area is around seventy. Yet individuals that are dying are usually alone, moved to hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities where we do not have to watch them die. Visits are usually limited to ten minutes a week because we really do not know what to say or do. The dying individual is alone. No one seems to have time or care. That is why this book is needed. To ask the Church to care.