Wingless Bones, Not Boneless Wings

“For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Mk 12.25). The Sadducees were the 1st-century version of the 21st-century liberals.  They denied all things supernatural, especially any notion of bodily resurrection from the dead (cf. Mt 3.7; 16.1, 11-12; 22.23, 34; Lk 20.27; Acts 4.1-2; 5.17; 23.6-8).  Sola Torah (Torah alone) was their creed.  They didn’t believe anything […]

In Him Was Life (Why We’re Not Martians)

“In him was life” (Jn 1.4). “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative”  (Jn 10.18). “It is finished” (Jn 19.30). In Jesus was life. We might say something similar, ironically, at a funeral.  Our friend lived vibrantly, spontaneously, infectiously.  Our relative had such “life” about them.  They lived life to its fullest. But not really. They did not live necessarily. […]

Nine Reasons To Read Obituaries

Like most with gray hair, I spend most mornings reading the newspaper over a cup of coffee.  Yes, an actual newspaper tossed in my driveway.  News I must unwrap, not turn on, scroll through, or scan.  There is something nostalgic about catching up to yesterday’s news, and washing the black residue from your fingertips.  Although, a Keurig microbrewed my coffee so I’m selectively old-fashioned. One reason I appreciate an actual newspaper is the […]

Ashes to Ashes: Dying on the Cheap (Part 3)

Along with parts 1 and 2, I offer five reasons why I’d rather be buried than cremated unless otherwise providentially hindered.  While not imposing my convictions on anyone else, I do hope my wife will remember them at them at the funeral home! 4.  Jesus was buried and I want be like Jesus.  This isn’t the same thing as saying Jesus wore sandals so I wear sandals, or Jesus grew […]

Ashes to Ashes: Dying on the Cheap (Part 2)

Read Part 1 to catch up but here are two more reasons why I intend to be buried rather than cremated unless providentially hindered. Cremation is no cardinal sin but we should allow Scripture to define how we live and die. 2.  In Scripture, the burning of the body was an expression of disgrace toward the person who died.  Though not without possible exception (see 1 Sam 31.12), the burning […]

Ashes to Ashes: Dying on the Cheap (Part 1)

  As a pastor I was often asked about cremation.  It’s a good question. We believe all Scripture is breathed out by God to adequately equip us for every good work (2 Tim 3.16-17).  How we care for the body at death falls within the realm of “every good work.” Therefore, Scripture adequately equips us to answer this question. What should Christians think about cremation?  Should we think about it? […]