31 Jul New Book Coming Soon!
I’m thrilled to announce that my next book, The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly Live, is available for pre-order! You can check out the trailer for the book below, along with a few of the endorsements. In addition, for those subscribed to my mailing list, you are invited to apply for the Launch Team – able access to a digital copy of the book in the first week of August! Details are available through this link, and applications need to be received in the next few days.
I often ask seminary graduates about their biggest challenge in ministry which involves the intersection of theology and practice. The most common response? Death and dying. Advising families on medical decisions, funerals, comforting parents who have lost a child – the examples are many. In light of this, and some of my own experience as a cancer patient, I entered into a number of years of learning and exploring that resulted in this book.
With the help of a Louisville Institute grant, multiple colloquies with scholars and medical personnel, and many hours of research and writing, I was opened up to a much larger canvas than I was expecting to find. Converging forces in our culture – including technology, medicine, and religion – train us to think of ourselves as immortal. We are taught to live and act in our daily lives as if death is something that applies to other people.
But strangely enough, in a journey from the darkness of the psalmist’s pit to the glorious light of God’s temple presence, I have come to see how even the wound of our mortality can be a gift to us, as we live before the everlasting Lord. Come join me on the journey!
“Todd Billings knows what we want to forget: that we must come to an end. This hopeful book pours Christian language into the void of our silence about death. He seeks better language for how our mortality can be both a wonder and a tragedy, an aberration and a sign of hope. You will find no trite answers here and no condemnation of our fragility. This gentle and pastoral book offers a corrective to our culture’s painful misinterpretation of mortality as a failure, and asks instead what death can truly teach us about life.”
Kate Bowler, author of Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved
“Todd Billings is one of my favorite theologians. The End of the Christian Life highlights many of the reasons why. He writes out of a depth of personal experience and the depths of the Christian tradition. In this remarkable book Billings calls us out of the frantic avoidance of death that characterizes our culture and into the Christian practice of remembering our death. In so doing he charts the path of true flourishing and shows how we might find God amid our mortality, finitude, and limitations. Billings writes not only with the mind of a brilliant theologian but also with a pastoral heart, so his work is also practical and accessible. Here you will find a fellow traveler–and fellow mortal–whose deep love of God, commitment to the church, and profound wisdom are evident on every page.”
Tish Harrison Warren, priest in the Anglican Church of North America; author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life
“Wow! I needed this book more than I knew. Our culture is running from death, yet The End of the Christian Life is a treasure trove overflowing with theological riches and poetic reflections on the power of embracing our mortality before God. Billings is a trustworthy guide on a journey through the biblical ‘geography’ of hope: from the pit of the grave in Sheol to the presence of God in the temple, from death to resurrection. This is a vital book that will leave you in awe of your identity as a small yet beloved child of God, even–perhaps especially–in the face of death.”
Joshua Ryan Butler, pastor of Redemption Tempe; author of The Pursuing God and The Skeletons in God’s Closet