Thoughts about death
Freud said that the ego doesn’t really believe in its own death. He may be right. But I’ve been doing rather a lot of morbid thinking about that great enemy (1 Cor 15:26) called death recently. Was Sartre right to insist that death robs life of all meaning? And is there anything after you die?
I know this is a massive topic involving such issues as our worldviews, ‘body and spirit’, Platonism and resurrection, intermediary state, purgatory etc., but I wanted to simply list a few comments by theologians that have stuck in my mind.
Küng says a lot of things about this (cf. Ewiges Leben?), but one memorable passage speaks of us ‘dying into the light’.
Moltmann also says many things (cf. The Coming of God ). However, in one passage he memorably spoke of hope ‘that God will find us in death’ (p.66).
Pannenberg writes: ‘Christian theology views us as creatures in both body and soul, destined indeed for immortality in fellowship with God, yet not possessing it of ourselves, nor able to secure it for ourselves, but receiving it only as a gift of grace from God’ (Systematic theology, 3.571)
Barth, eloquently wrote: ‘Resurrection means not the continuation of this life, but life’s completion. To this man a “Yes” is spoken which the shadow of death cannot touch’ (Dogmatics in Outline, 154)
The greatest theologian of them all says:
‘For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain ... my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better’ (Phil 1:21-23. Cf. also 2 Cor 5:8)
In facing questions about death, and my inevitable death, I can find my true hope only in Christ.