Tuesday, January 31, 2006

WIR -- How Long, O Lord

How Long, O Lord: Reflections on Suffering and Evil
by D. A. Carson

I have already insisted that there is a proper sense in which we should be outraged by death. But there is a cultural factor at work in the Western world that must be squarely faced. Death has become the last taboo. I can write about sex and breasts, discuss homosexuality in public and debate the ethics of abortion, but I must not mention death in civilized company.

Corpses are whisked off to the undertakers' where family members will not see them until they have been "prepared." Even the bereaved themselves find candor difficult. Many is the grieving family that refuses to talk out its grief, even within the family -- with incalculable loss of comfort and perspective. Meanwhile, incredible advances in medical science have convinced us we have the right to live.

The Puritans published sermons and books on how to die well; they cherished collected "last words" of Christians who had already gone to be with the Lord. But we find it exceedingly difficult to look death squarely in the face and talk about it. [page 116]

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