Episode: Christians in the West go to great lengths to avoid direct contact with death, and as a result of this death avoidance, we avoid the hope and fullness of life. J. Todd Billings argues that "true hope does not involve closing over the wound of death," but instead, facing death and human mortality directly. In this episode Todd discusses his own confrontation with mortality through a cancer diagnosis, as well as the deep Christian tradition of embracing the good of death (and lamenting its horror). We talk through personal stories about death, including the death of pets, sociological and historical insights, prosperity Gospel in the cancer community, and much more from Todd's new book The End of the Christian Life (Brazos).

Guest: J. Todd Billings is the Gordon H. Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. He’s an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America, and received his M.Div. from Fuller Seminary and his Th.D. from Harvard. He’s the author of 7 books, including The Word of God for the People of God: An Entryway to the Theological Interpretation of Scripture, Calvin’s Theology and Its Reception, Rejoicing in Lament, and The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly Live (Brazos, 2020).

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