May 6, 2013
Swanson, pastor of the 4,000-member First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, Fla., wrestles honestly with end-of-life questions and considerations about death and the Christian understanding of eternal life. He draws on 23 years of pastoral experience as well as the Bible and other writers on the subject (C.S. Lewis, Viktor Frankl), so his observations are informed and judicious. They are also traditional (heaven is first-class and forever and people will live there in glorified bodies), but more grown-up than some currently popular views of eternity. The book’s strength lies in the understanding of grief and suggestions for responding to it. So many need help on this sensitive subject, and sections on what to say and what not to say are both apt. This book will speak most clearly to those already strongly grounded in traditional Christian faith, which the author views as the best bulwark against death and its companions, grief and loss.