This course discusses puzzling issues concerning death from a biblically informed perspective for the purpose of evangelical missional work in a world of darkness. Topics addressed include the evilness of death, the ways of life and death, the meaning of death for salvation, and the distinction between spiritual and physical death. Based on the readings, writings, and lectures, students are assessed through online discussion, presentation, book review, papers, and practical projects.
Human beings have been tortured by the fear of death and death per se as the inescapable end of life. Thus, death becomes one major cause of suffering in the human world and a crucial topic of theological reflection; dealing with death is also an important area of Christian ministry. Through this course, students are equipped with a more reasonable understanding of death and deeper knowledge of how death is overcome by God through his power, mercy, and love.
Death is the biggest evil in the human world. As the light in the darkness, followers of Jesus are supposed to handle hard issues surrounding death in situations such as hospital, accident, disaster, war, etc. This course offers an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the human predicament and a better-prepared mind for missional work in tough situations.
All discussions are based on biblical texts, especially the continuity and discontinuity between the Old Testament regarding the contrast between life and death.
This course considers God’s mission in this world in two testaments, focusing on God’s victory over death through his only son and God’s preparation for this victory.
The contexts of death are considered, including various causes of death, to help students understanding how and why death is evil and how such evil can be overcome.
Cultural differences are investigated synchronically and diachronically to explain the rationale and meaning of God’s victory over death.
The course addresses specific issues about death such as euthanasia, end-of-life care, suicide, and murder to deepen students’ understanding of the evilness of death and God’s solution to the human plight.
Students are encouraged and equipped to encounter death with love, wisdom, and care and to live out a faith in God’s power of resurrection in their daily lives and during their future missions.