As a pastor, one of the issues I am confronted with on a regular basis is death. How I minister to those who are dying and those mourning a death is a major part of what it means to be a pastor. As a result, I find myself in hard situations where it is difficult to find any answers of comfort. What do you say when you enter a home after the news that a loved one has passed away? I feel that no pastor or counselor has a definitive answer.
In his book, Fear Not: Death and the Afterlife from a Christian Perspective! author, pastor, and theologian Ligon Duncan along with J. Nicholas Reid offer their take on death from the Christian perspective (as the subtitle suggests).
Each chapter offers an answer from the words of Scripture regarding some of the most common questions surrounding death like, "what is death?" "what happens after I die?" "what is heaven?" As one would expect from Dr. Duncan, the book is centered on the biblical text and pastorally seeks to guide the reader to understand what the Bible says on each subject and how it comforts us. There was no apology towards difficult doctrines like justice, wrath, judgment day, and hell, but at the same time, these subjects aren't introduced to create fear, but a right understanding of the gospel.
The book overall is well written and simple to understand. However I must say that it isn't the best book on the subject. I feel that a different approach could have been taken from the one that Duncan chose to take. Although I found nothing biblicaly wrong with the content, I'm not sure it would be the best book to give someone in a moment of crisis and questions. Certainly it is adequate, but the book struggled to keep my attention and did not create the sort of joy and comfort one looks for in such a conversation regarding the joys of resurrection and heaven for all those found in Christ.