Men living in the shadow of death in the contemporary world find it increasingly difficult to avoid confronting the dire problem of their ultimate fate. Almost daily we are bludgeoned with the horror of death through on-the-spot television coverage and graphic news reports and sometimes through personal experience. My memory frequently plays back a recent experience of seeing three men die in a drugstore gun battle reminiscent of an old James Cagney movie. Death has been painfully close to many of us recently as we have wept over the loss of loved ones. All of us have shared the grief of national tragedies in the past decade. During this tumultuous period, beloved American leaders were assassinated. Forty thousand men lost their lives in Viet Nam. Over half a million citizens were killed on our highways, and an alarming number more died through criminal acts, race riots, and natural catastrophes. We have been stunned and appalled by North Vietnamese atrocities, the My Lai massacre, starving in Biafra, and other tragedies of war. The brutal procession of death in our day no longer allows us to avoid thinking about it; modern men must squarely face death in all its horror.

As men in our generation are driven to confront the fact of death, Christians have an unprecedented opportunity to assert afresh the triumphant message of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Increasingly great numbers of people are no longer mesmerized by materialism. Eager to reach beyond finitude and experience life’s transcendental dimensions, many are pursuing the false and irrational phantoms of Eastern mysticism, astrology, spiritism, and reincarnation myths. Others crave a solution that does not require the abandonment of reason. For such people, the biblical ...

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