Dealing With Death / Eternity on Our Minds

Melvin Tinker, in an article entitled, “Does The Christian View Of Death Need Reviving?” (Churchman 107/3 1993) – not all of which I agree with – talks of “three broad approaches commonly adopted in dealing with death.”

“First, death is romanticized. One not only sees this with blockbuster films like ‘Ghost’, but with the increased popularization of the belief in reincarnation. Secondly, death is trivialized as being of no consequence: ‘when you’re dead, you’re dead’ the saying goes—or as Bertrand Russell put it—‘When I die I rot’. If one can accept the philosophical conundrum posed, death is simply part of life. Thirdly, death is dramatised. This is particularly seen in the works of the French existentialists like Camus and Sartre. Here, death is seen as the ultimate absurdity in a world of absurdities, and either one capitulates to a meaningless existence in the face of death or one creates some sort of significance for one’s life in defiance of death. For many people the prevalent attitude towards death is best expressed by that oft-quoted saying of Woody Allen: ‘It’s not that I am afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.’ Christians of all people should not be surprised at this reaction, for it touches a very important part of the human psyche as God has made us—he has put ‘eternity on our minds’.”

Eternity comes to us not by way of the immortal soul however. It comes by resurrection to those who put their faith in Christ.

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