The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly Live (Paperback)
We're all going to die. Yet in our medically advanced, technological age, many of us see death as a distant reality--something that happens only at the end of a long life or to other people.
In The End of the Christian Life, Todd Billings urges Christians to resist that view. Instead, he calls us to embrace our mortality in our daily life and faith. This is the journey of genuine discipleship, Billings says: following the crucified and resurrected Lord in a world of distraction and false hopes.
Drawing on his experience as a professor and father living with incurable cancer, Billings offers a personal yet deeply theological account of the gospel's expansive hope for small, mortal creatures. Artfully weaving rich theology with powerful narrative, Billings writes for church leaders and laypeople alike. Whether we are young or old, reeling from loss or clinging to our own prosperity, this book challenges us to walk a strange but wondrous path: in the midst of joy and lament, to receive mortal limits as a gift, an opportunity to give ourselves over to the Lord of life.
Paperback : 240 pages
ISBN-10 : 1587434202
"Todd Billings knows what we want to forget: that we must come to an end. This hopeful book pours Christian language into the void of our silence about death. You will find no trite answers here and no condemnation of our fragility. This gentle and pastoral book offers a corrective to our culture's painful misinterpretation of mortality as a failure, and asks instead what death can truly teach us about life."
--Kate Bowler, author of Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved
"Billings is one of my favorite theologians. In this remarkable book he calls us out of the frantic avoidance of death that characterizes our culture and into the Christian practice of remembering our death. Billings writes not only with the mind of a brilliant theologian but also with a pastoral heart. Here you will find a fellow traveler--and fellow mortal--whose deep love of God, commitment to the church, and profound wisdom are evident on every page."
--Tish Harrison Warren, priest in the Anglican Church of North America; author of Liturgy of the Ordinary
"I have been waiting for this book from Todd Billings. Born from his own existential encounter with mortality and infused with his singular theological acumen, The End of the Christian Life challenges a society (and a church!) infected by both the denial of death and a culture of death. It is an invitation to find life in the embrace of our mortality because of the scarred God who meets us there."
--James K. A. Smith, Calvin University; author of You Are What You Love and On the Road with Saint Augustine
"A vital book that will leave you in awe of your identity as a small yet beloved child of God, even--perhaps especially--in the face of death."
--Joshua Ryan Butler, pastor of Redemption Tempe; author of The Pursuing God and The Skeletons in God's Closet