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The Art of Dying: Living fully into the life to come

By Rob Moll,

IVP Books,

2010, RRP $21.95

Reviewed by Rev Brian Lee.

THE 20TH century saw a move in the western world to make death normally a hospital experience where the dying person was often lonely and sometimes unwillingly kept alive because of access to high levels of medical care.

Now in the 21st century it seems more people are dying at home especially in the cities where palliative care can be provided.

Rob Moll, journalist and editor-at-large for Christianity Today and a hospice volunteer, writes of the role of the Christian family, of the faith community and of the individual in the whole process of death.

He points out too that “never before has an entire population expected to become old and to live for decades as an ‘old person’.

So gradual dying will be an earmark of these upcoming generations.”

Since human death is the subject of this book (something we all have to face), it is not an easy read though the language
of it is simple and direct.

It is both challenging and helpful, especially for those with pastoral responsibilities and also for Christians wanting to take life and death seriously for themselves and for their worshipping community.

The author uses many personal stories from his reading and personal experience to illustrate the points he makes and generally manages to avoid oversentimentality in the telling of them.

While the setting is the USA it is not too far distant from the Australian context.