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The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come Paperback – May 4, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830837361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830837366
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I hope people will read this book. I hope we will let Rob Moll´s insights help us become communities where people can reckon with, rather than dodge, death." --Lauren Winner, author, professor Duke Divinity School, from foreword

"It has often been said that medicine is both science and art. So much of a physician's training, however, is devoted to the science part, leaving precious little time for the art. As both a bioethicist and a physician, I fall prey to the same imbalance, teaching the technical and philosophical approaches to end-of-life ethics, but never teaching my patients or my students how to die. Rob Moll's book wonderfully accomplishes this task, with clarity, compassion and hope. This volume should be on the shelf of every pastor, nursing-home volunteer, layleader, and anyone caring for a dying friend or relative. It is all about living with eternity in mind." (Dennis M. Sullivan, M.D., M.A., director, Center for Bioethics, Cedarville University)

"The Art of Dying takes the fear out of dying and replaces it with rich models of dying well. Drawn from a broad spectrum of historical, theological, bioethical, social and practical resources, interlaced with captivating narrative, The Art of Dying paints a vision of what dying and grieving with the Christian community has looked like--and once again should look like. While it is particularly relevant for every Christian who will die, other mortals will benefit from reading over our shoulders." (Paige Comstock Cunningham, J.D., executive director, The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity)

"We, the church, need to recover the art of dying. . . . I hope that people will read this book--and talk about it, and take inspiration from it. I hope we will let Rob Moll's insights help us become communities where people can reckon with, rather than dodge, death." (from the foreword by Lauren Winner, assistant professor of Christian spirituality, Duke Divinity School, author, Girl Meets God)

"Dying has for many today, like sex in the nineteenth century, become the great unmentionable. But this brave, realistic, well-researched and well-digested book restores the 'good death,' as the climax of faithful discipleship, to the Christian radar screen. On going home to God, and helping others on the same journey, what is said here is excellent from every point of view." (J. I. Packer, professor of theology, Regent College, author, Knowing God)

"This book is urgently needed by many churches and individuals who don't help their members or loved ones to die well. Rob Moll reminds Christians not to be afraid of their own deaths. His numerous ideas also teach us how to accompany other people to their deaths. I pray this book will enable many congregations to develop new practices and programs for the elderly and their caretakers." (Marva J. Dawn, author of Being Well When We're Ill, My Soul Waits and In the Beginning, GOD)

"Every seminarian and parish minister should read this book. Rob Moll recovers the Christian tradition's lost teaching on preparing for death. He then offers theologically sound guidance for families and clergy as they serve the dying and then honor their legacy. Indispensable." (David Neff, editor-in-chief and vice president, Christianity Today Media Group)

About the Author

Rob Moll is an award-winning journalist and editor-at-large with Christianity Today. He has written extensively on health and health-care issues, investing and personal finance, religion and rural America. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Profitable Investing, Books & Culture and Leadership. He has also served as a hospice volunteer. Moll serves World Vision as communications officer to the president and lives in the Seattle area.

More About the Author

Rob Moll is an award-winning journalist and editor-at-large with Christianity Today. He has written extensively on health and health-care issues, investing and personal finance, religion and rural America. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Profitable Investing, Books & Culture and Leadership. He has also served as a hospice volunteer.
Connect with Rob on his website, robmoll.com.

Customer Reviews

I am very glad I read this book and I am ordering another copy for my pastor.
Bill Spizzirri
Whether we are struggling with our own mortality, or caring for a sick or an elderly person, this book will help us to be better prepared for the journey ahead.
James Kang
In "The Art of Dying," author Rob Moll tackles an overlooked and often touchy subject with great sensitivity.
P. Hofmann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A. Morgan on June 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who reads a lot (and I mean a lot), in the midst of the bad and average books there are some good ones. The rarity is a GREAT book. This is a GREAT book. By GREAT I mean a book which is so well written, on a topic which is important that people just have to read it. Because of the subjective nature of reading it is somewhat perilous for a reviewer to declare a book to be a future classic. However I do feel that this will be a classic.

This book tackles the most difficult and avoided of subjects - death and dying. But this is a vital book to read. Moll challenges us to think about the art of dying - an art which has been lost of the last century and a half. For Christians, we must be preparing for death in the midst of our life. Running the race, glorifying God, deep spirituality is a LIFE LONG process - not just in terms of every part of our lives, but in terms of length. Scripture says we need to persevere to the end; finish the race. Dying well is a part of our Christian walk and spiritual journey.

Too many people do not die well. They pursue anything which will give them more life, even if that is a few weeks more. Medical intervention and medical science has created a culture by which there can ALWAYS be something more to be done, another machine, another tube to keep you alive. However Moll challenges us to think about when we should say "No - no more intervention - no more drastic treatment, it's time to go home, speak with my family and prepare for death."

Death and dying is one of the most intense spiritual experiences. We must learn to prepare for it. This book is filled with wonderful pastoral insight and wisdom as well as stories and illustrations from the medical and hospice worlds.

Who should read this book?
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By James Kang on September 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "The Art of Dying," Rob Moll gently invites us to come face to face with the reality of death, both of our own and that of our loved ones. With increasing life expectancy and the availability of aggressive medical intervention, we are conditioned to think that death can be postponed, and we no longer understand what it means to die well. This book is a gentle invitation to face what is inevitable so that we might live more fully as humans bearing the image of God.

Moll takes what could have been a morbid subject and transforms it into a deeply spiritual journey. Death is a "spiritual event" that requires preparation, and as Christians, we are to prepare for death in ways that witness to the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether we are struggling with our own mortality, or caring for a sick or an elderly person, this book will help us to be better prepared for the journey ahead.

The first part of the book opens with a brief sketch of history about how we've lost the ancient spiritual discipline of ars moriendi (the art of dying) and how we no longer understand what it means to die as believers. This historical perspective helps us see how vital it is to recover the lost discipline of ars moriendi.

The middle part of the book is filled with practical wisdom on various aspects of dying, such as caring for the dying, having conversations with caregivers, planning for the funeral, and the process of grieving and mourning. Moll weaves stories from his personal experiences and interviews with the dying and those caring for the dying, always pointing us to the transcendent light that never goes out. There is so much wisdom to be gleaned here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Guthrie on February 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Rob Moll has done the church a tremendous service. How does our faith in the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life affect how we think about the end of life? Unfortunately, Moll reports, Christians often join the larger culture in skirting the issue. For whatever reason, we who should be the last people to fear death indeed do tremble at the Grim Reaper.

It has not always been thus. The author takes a discerning look at church history and finds something that was once called "the good death" in action. Christians used to know how to help each other through the process of death, thereby proclaiming their hope in Christ's life.

You will be challenged and encouraged to resurrect this approach to the end of life with yourself, your family, and your church, thanks to The Art of Dying. And we all need this information. Taxes may sometimes be avoidable, but death never is.

(Stan Guthrie)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Leroe VINE VOICE on February 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Art of Dying by Christian journalist Robb Moll provides a much-needed wake-up call to a culture in denial of death and fearful of bereavement. We need "a new normal" way of responding to death. The overall theme is preparing for a "good" death, and how modern medicine often keeps this from occurring. A hospital can be an obstacle to a good death. "How do you want to die?" The ideal death, according to Moll, is to be at home, kept comfortable, and given opportunities to make some final statements to loved ones and friends. It is a place to rest in Christ. "Dying well means being at peace with God (confident that God is with us) and with the people in your life." How can we prepare for the inevitable when we're spending all our remaining energy and resources in avoiding death (at any cost)? We have at best "gained a false sense of control over death." This is a challenge to churches as well, to do a better job of keeping their congregations mindful of the "cloud of witnesses" that have moved on, yet are still with us. The church needs to help people learn how to die and help them show others how to die. This includes "making a big deal of something that is a big deal" at the funeral, but also afterwards. This is not a book to help people grieve; it is a book to help people form a strategy for how they hope to die. You probably have read books on death & dying; this volume is well worth adding to your reading list.
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