Guest / Limited Access /

It was a typical e-mail from Asbury Seminary professor Ben Witherington. It simply said, "What do you think?" followed by a link to his blog. Ben has written many pieces for me over the years, for Christian History and Biography and Christianity Today, so of course I was intrigued.

Like other readers, I was stunned and impressed and inspired. Ben was blogging about his 32-year-old daughter, Christy, who had died a couple of weeks earlier. I immediately thought, So soon? Then again, we each have our own ways of working through grief, and Ben is a voluminous writer. It only made sense that he would grieve through blogging.

What impressed me was this: Ben's refusal to deny the pain and his refusal to deny his hope. I've read many accounts of grief, and some, like C. S. Lewis's A Grief Observed, are superb at exegeting the pain. Others wax eloquent about our hope in Christ. But here were reflections that both acknowledged the pain that will not be healed before our "glad heavenly reunion" and that refused to let go of God's promises.

To say the least, I never broach publishing ideas with someone who is in the immediate throes of grief! But Ben had contacted me and asked for this editor's thoughts, so I sensed he wanted to broaden his reach. Indeed, that was the case, and soon enough we were hammering out details of an article for CT and an eBook for Christianity Today Essentials.

The article, which starts on page 36, gives a taste of the longer eBook, now available at CTeBooks.com. For the book, Ben and his wife, Ann, added personal reflections on Christy. We wanted to help readers get to know Christy, to deepen our sense of the contours of Ben and Ann's grief. I also asked Ben to add even more theological reflection.

The whole ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedMark Driscoll Addresses Crude Comments Made Trolling as 'William Wallace II'
Mark Driscoll Addresses Crude Comments Made Trolling as 'William Wallace II'
Mars Hill pastor says 14-year-old posts were 'plain wrong' and he 'remain[s] embarrassed,' but 'I have changed.'
TrendingMark Driscoll Steps Down While Mars Hill Investigates Charges
Mark Driscoll Steps Down While Mars Hill Investigates Charges
(UPDATED) Driscoll offers 8-step solution to followers: 'Current climate is not healthy for me or for this church.'
Editor's PickDesire and Deliverance
Desire and Deliverance
Three new documentaries examine Christian faith, homosexuality, and the question of change.
Comments
Christianity Today
Journaling Grief: How Web-Based Publishing Is Changing Everything
hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.