Saturday, September 5, 2015
What I've Been Reading
I bought a good deal of books from the Wesley Biblical Seminary library while I was a student. One subject covered by my purchases was death/dying/end of life care/counseling. I have added to these with subsequent purchases. Last December, I undertook the reading of them and I finished last night. The first was a book called "The Loneliness of Man" which was ruined by its existentialist viewpoint, viewing faith as a leap in the dark. Then I read a book on old age which was influenced by the notion that death is to be looked forward to, instead of being viewed as the enemy. Then I read Christopher Hitchen's "Mortality." I thought I might gain an insight on how you deal with those dying of cancer, especially those who don't believe in God. I gained very little insight. Those three were a wash. Then I read Sherwin Nuland's How We Die and Death and Dying by Elizebeth Kubler-Ross. Both were fruitful. Nuland's work took the mystery out of much of what happens at death so readers may not be so surprised as to what is happening to them as they die. Ross demonstrates how to deal with the fears which keep us from dealing with those who have a short time left on earth. Then I read a volume of the writings of Paul Tournier, a Christian doctor and psychologist who was influential during the 50's and 60's. While worth reading, I did have reservations about him. While I was reading Tounier, I read a book which I thought would be about ministering to families which lost an infant. The book was really about making these parents accept Calvinism. Also, I read Nicoloas Woltersdorf's Lament For a Son, a memoir on how he dealt with the death of his son. Then I reread Grief, Transition, and Loss by Wayne Oates. I had read this during my ordination process about three years ago. So, that is what I have been reading for about 3 quarters of a year. I have saved articles from the Internet dealing with the same subjects and will read those as well.