Speaking of Dying
by Fred Craddock, Dale Goldsmith, and Joy V. Goldsmith
Category: Pastoral Care
This book reminds the church of its considerable resources when it ministers to the terminally ill. Typically, a terminal diagnosis triggers denial of impending death and a full-scale resort to 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.
Speaking of Dying shows what is lost when the church abdicates its own resources of faith in the face of dying. The authors, who all have personal and professional involvement in end-of-life issues, outline a practical theological response to terminal illness and the event of dying.
They explain how the liturgy—particularly baptism—prepares Christians to die and how the Eucharist sustains us in our dying. They also discuss how to talk to a dying person and how to preach on death and dying. Thus this is not a book on grief or even on death so much as it is on the process of dying and how the church can more faithfully and effectively engage those facing death.
Fred Craddock (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is a widely acclaimed preacher and author, selected by Newsweek as one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. He has written numerous books on preaching, several commentaries, and The Cherry Log Sermons. He lives in Cherry Log, Georgia.
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 associate professor and chair in communications studies at Young Harris College. Her books include Communication as Comfort and Dying with Comfort. She lives in Blairsville, Georgia.
“There is simply no question that too often we lack the words necessary to speak to one another about dying and death. . . . The essential story—the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ–that should form our dying as well as our living as Christians seems to have been lost. . . . This is a book we have desperately needed. I hope it will become a book widely studied in congregations and seminaries. We must learn to speak of dying. This book appropriately helps us recover our voices as a people taught to speak by the one who died on a cross.”
—Stanley Hauerwas (from the foreword)
“This is an essential book for any church leader, pastor, teacher, or active member. When so much is at stake, we cannot continue to fail practicing our dying faithfully.”
—Rob Moll, author, The Art of Dying; editor at large, Christianity Today