Does the Platonic infection spoil Christian death?

A blast from the past on funerals, Wesley, and contemporary theology

John Meunier

Thomas Long’s book Accompany Them With Singing is a great follow for everyone who found N.T. Wright’s Surprised By Hope refreshing and challenging. Both of them share a desire to reground Christian understandings of death on the Christian gospel and rescue it from Western culture and consumerism. Long’s agenda is more narrowly pastoral than Wright’s, but both appear to be toiling in the same field.

Long sums up his “funeral theology” like this:

In a Christian funeral, we are telling two stories at one and the same time. The first story is that a sister or brother in Christ has died, and we are reverently carrying the body to the place of disposition. We cannot hide the sheer facts of this story, and we should not try. Someone is dead, and the old enemy death has apparently claimed yet another trophy. Even if the deceased is a ninety-five-year-old Sunday School…

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