Guest / Limited Access /
Reviews

/

You Only Die Once
Illustration by Jonathan Bartlett
Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Book Title
Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
Author
Publisher
Thomas Nelson
Release Date
August 6, 2013
Pages
208
Price
$17.94
Buy Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent from Amazon

YOLO ("you only live once") is the acronym du jour. You may have come across it on Twitter (#yolo), in a Drake song, or tattooed on actor Zac Efron's hand. Lampooned as often as it is championed, the trendy motto conjures up a familiar, hedonistic sensibility of living for the moment, consequences be damned.

N. D. Wilson's Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent (Thomas Nelson) isn't exactly an apologetic for YOLO, but it is cut from similar cloth. Technology, globalism, and social media give our contemporary world an especially palpable sense of ephemerality. YOLO, aided by a mortality-denying consumer culture, translates this into narcissistic YouTube tomfoolery, "sexting," and SnapChat (the new no-paper-trail social media fad). But Wilson wants us to lead lives that lean into time and run toward death, after the model of Christ. Death is not a shadow to be feared or an abstraction to put out of our minds. Rather, it is a part of God's creational good, a beautiful reminder of the brevity of breath and the urgency of life.

Like Wilson's well-received Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl (2009), Death by Living is a hybrid of memoir, apologetics, theology, philosophy, and lyrical prose, at once irreverent and worshipful, comical and elegiac. But where Tilt-A-Whirl focused on a way of seeing, Death by Living focuses on "a way of living, a way of receiving life."

"I am a man attempting to paint another picture of the same wonderful world, but I have turned my easel around," writes Wilson. "I've taken my best shot at the sunrise. Now for the sunset."

Little Christs

The thesis of Death by Living is that Christians should live fully in every moment, ...

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

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

From Issue:
Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Wilson's Bookmarks
From the editor of Books & Culture.
RecommendedStop Snacking on ‘Scripture McNuggets’
Stop Snacking on ‘Scripture McNuggets’
A Bible expert diagnoses the bad habits that keep us from feasting on God’s Word.
TrendingOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
Editor's PickHow Science Became a Weapon in the Mommy Wars
How Science Became a Weapon in the Mommy Wars
Peer-reviewed research intensifies parenting debates… and can leave us even more confused.
Christianity Today
You Only Die Once
hide thisJune June

In the Magazine

June 2013

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