Speaking of Dying (Paperback)

Recovering the Church's Voice in the Face of Death

By Fred Craddock, Dale Goldsmith, Joy V. Goldsmith

Brazos Press, 9781587433238, 220pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2012

List Price: 24.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The church does not cope very well with dying. Instead of using its own resources to mount a positive end-of-life ministry for the terminally ill, it outsources care to secular models, providers, and services. A terminal diagnosis typically triggers denial of impending death and placing faith in the techniques and resources of modern medicine. If a cure is not forthcoming, the patient and his or her loved ones experience a sense of failure and bitter disappointment.

This book offers a critical analysis of the church's failure to communicate constructively about dying, reminding the church of its considerable liturgical, scriptural, and pastoral resources when it ministers to the terminally ill. The authors, who have all been personally and professionally involved in end-of-life issues, suggest practical, theological bases for speaking about dying, communicating with those facing death, and preaching about dying. They explore how dying--in baptism--begins and informs the Christian's life story. They also emphasize that the narrative of faith embraces dying, and they remind readers of scriptural and christological resources that can lead toward a "good dying." In addition, they present current best practices from health professionals for communication among caregivers and those facing death. The book includes a foreword by Stanley Hauerwas.

About the Author

Fred Craddock (1928-2015; PhD, Vanderbilt University) was a widely acclaimed preacher and author. He was selected by Newsweek as one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. He wrote numerous books on preaching, several commentaries, and The Cherry Log Sermons. Dale Goldsmith (PhD, University of Chicago) taught for several years at McPherson College and at the Baptist Seminary of Mexico. He is the author of New Testament Ethics and lives in Amarillo, Texas. Joy V. Goldsmith (PhD, University of Oklahoma) is assistant professor of communication at the University of Memphis. Her books include Communication as Comfort and Dying with Comfort. She lives in Atoka, Tennessee.