Paperback, 72 pages. Published by Everyday Publications International, Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada. ISBN: 978-0-888737-34-2.
Death is ubiquitous in our fallen world. The scriptures affirm that ‘it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment’, Heb. 9. 27NKJV. Given its universality, it is not surprising that death is a necessary subject to consider.
Franklin D. Taylor, Sr.’s recently published book, Facing Death concisely examines death, and the practical issues surrounding it from a Christian perspective. Dr. Taylor is described as an educator who has lengthy familiarity in counselling people, including the terminally ill and their bereaved loved ones. His practical experience lends helpful weight to his teaching. In dealing with such a momentous subject, Dr. Taylor does not fall back on personal opinion, or mere human wisdom; rather, he goes straight to God’s word for answers to questions about death and the afterlife. Facing Death helpfully deals with the questions that both Christians and unbelievers pose. To this latter group, the author clearly explains the gospel, using many relevant Bible verses. To the former group, he likewise uses the scriptures to offer comfort to those who know the peace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to give eternal life to those who receive Him as Lord and Saviour, Rom. 10. 9.
The book is fairly short – about 37 pages of main text, plus a few sidebars and five appendices – and is written in a nontechnical, easy-to-read style. The author offers balanced and insightful explanations rooted in the biblical text. Theological questions, such as ‘Where did death come from?’, and ‘How did Jesus defeat death?’ are discussed, as well as more down-to-earth topics like planning a funeral, making a will, and counselling the terminally ill. The appendices deal with the common issues of cremation, euthanasia, suicide, and out-of-body experiences.
The fifth and concluding appendix is a template for planning one’s funeral, providing opportunity for documenting the relevant information for family members or friends who are involved in carrying out the deceased’s wishes, as well as space to record financial information that is germane to paying for the funeral expenses. There is also a journaling section, offering the dying person the opportunity to record their thoughts as they near the end of their course on this earth. This is a thoughtful and helpful touch that adds practical benefit to the value of the book. In short, I thoroughly recommend this book for all adult believers – and even strangers to the Lord Jesus who desire to know the Bible’s teaching on death and what comes afterwards.