A Biblical Exploration of Cremation…

…was going to be the study project that I was going to work on, but then I found out that someone had already done it.  Back in 2006, Dr. Rodney Decker from Baptist Bible Seminary was a guest speaker at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary.  He gave three lectures on the topic of cremation, which is one of those “I’ve never thought about that much, but I’d like to sometime” subjects.  I’ve always had some vague thoughts about it, but now I’ve got a far more educated position on the matter.

Urn

The talk is somewhat technical (though not super bad), but it is very comprehensive.  I highly recommend the talk if you’ve never really tackled this issue seriously before.  Here are the links to his three lectures:

1.  Biblical Data Related to Cremation.

2.  Theological and Historical Issues Related to Cremation.

3.  Cultural Issues Related to Cremation, Q&A.

I hope it proves to be as helpful a resource to my readers as it has been to me.

Oh, and since it’s Feb. 14th, I wanted to re-link my post from last year regarding the history of Valentines day (in case anyone is interested in such things)…and for those male readers of mine who are less interested in the history of the holiday and more interested in what to do on Valentines day (for that special someone), allow me to point to a rather obvious lesson with an illustration from nature:

Yup.  Clean up your self and your place, figure out what she likes and then do it without complaining (or sharing thoughts about completely unrelated subjects).  That is otherwise known as “manning up”.  It’s a relatively new concept, but I’ve discovered it to be highly effective.  After seven years of marriage, I’ve learned that a rather large component of the guy’s part of a healthy relationship involves three things: clean up, buck up, shut up.

Cleaning

Now off to bed!

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “fighting all the Valentines Day cremation puns” Unger

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7 thoughts on “A Biblical Exploration of Cremation…

  1. By any chance is there a transcript of the lectures? I am Deaf and the speech files are useless for me.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Well I finally listened to all of them; thanks for posting this, there is much I had not previously considered.
    I don’t think that I am quite convinced by his argument though. His strongest point seemed to me to be the Bible referring to bodies as the person even after death, although even that did not seem very persuasive.

    Full disclosure, I had a grandfather who was cremated several years ago, so I am quite possibly biased in that way.

    Dr. Decker’s response during the Q&A part that the answer to the cremation question could be different in other, non-western cultures seemed strange to me, since a good portion of his argument seemed to be based on non-culturally determined issues, such as the Bible’s portrayal of cremation and referenced to bodies with unmodified personal pronouns as I mentioned above. If those are reasons not to choose cremation, wouldn’t they apply just as much in a country like Japan?

    Anyway, thanks again for linking to this, definitely some food for thought to keep chewing on.

    • Yeah. Whether you agree with someone’s position or not, it’s always good to encounter serious efforts at dealing with complex issues and then engaging them.

      You will either be convinced or find reasons why they’re wrong, but you’ll always grow through the endeavour.

  3. Thank you so much for the heads-up about the cremation resources. I live in Spain, where there is very different cultural baggage in relation to burial practices than in the States. I have been wrestling with the right way to look at this as a believer, so I’m going through Dr. Decker’s paper and lecture series with great interest. Again, thank you!
    Carl

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