From the Editor. Death is ubiquitous and inescapable. It is an omnipresent reminder that we live in a fallen world under God’s wrath and curse. “This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.” (Eccl. 9:3). The gospel gives us present and ultimate comfort because death has been overcome in history by our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thess. 4:13–14)
But, while Christians do not grieve as others do, they do grieve. Grief is one of the most difficult and heart-rending human experiences.
The series of articles on ministry to the dying and grieving in Ordained Servant, a series which began in 2010 (see “From the Archives” below), continues in this issue. Brad Winsted gives us a moving chronicle of his grief over the loss of his wife, Fawn, in “A Road of Grief, Part 1.” This is the first of a three part series.
Sometimes grief is even more complicated than usual. Suicide and infant death add grief to grief. Hospice Chaplain Gordon Cook explores these types of grief in his article, “Suicide: A Complicated Grief,” and his book review of Glenda Mathes’s Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss.
On another topic, David VanDrunen responds to the new book Kingdoms Apart: Engaging the Two Kingdoms Perspective. I say responds, rather than reviews, because he is seen by the authors of the book as the chief proponent of the two kingdom perspective. I hope that our discussion of this important topic will shed more light than heat, as we each seek to live within the breadth and boundaries of our confessional commitment.
Remember, that, while I have my own point of view on debatable issues, I am always open to consider publishing well-written pieces from another perspective.
Finally, life for the Christian is an up-hill battle, and church officers in particular may become especially weary in this good fight of faith. I hope Christina Rossetti’s “Up-Hill” will be an encouragement to our readers.
Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds
FROM THE ARCHIVES “GRIEVING, DEATH AND DYING”
Subject Index Vols 1–20
- “Books on Grieving: A Bibliographical Essay.” (Gordon H. Cook, Jr. and Gregory E. Reynolds) 19 (2010): 113–14.
- “The Danger of Excessive Grief.” (Stephen J. Tracey) 20 (2011): 65–67.
- “A Pastoral Response to Complicated Grief.” (Gordon H. Cook, Jr.) 20 (2011): 60–65.
- “A Pastoral Response to Grief.” (Gordon H. Cook, Jr.) 19 (2010): 37–41.
- “Death: An Old-New Terror.” (Gregory Edward Reynolds). 19 (2010): 10–12.
- “A Life and Death Matter.” (G. I. Williamson) 8:2 (Mar. 1999): 39–41.
- “Pastoral Care for the Dying.” (Gordon H. Cook, Jr.) 19 (2010): 30–37.
- “Pastoring the Dying and the Mourning.” (Joel R. Beeke) 13:4 (Oct. 2004): 76–87.
Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.