Book Review: The Last Enemy by Michael Wittmer
If anyone can make a book on death a bestseller, it’s Mike Wittmer. A lively, original, concise writer who combines solid biblical orthodoxy with a rare ability to communicate truth in an interesting, and yes, even entertaining way.
Maybe “entertaining” is too strong a word, especially considering that the topic is death. I certainly don’t want you to think that Mike is approaching this serious topic in a superficial or trivializing way. Perhaps “enjoyable” is more accurate. If it’s possible to write an enjoyable book about death, then Mike’s done it.
It’s enjoyable for two reasons. The first is the wonderful truth that Mike is teaching in the latter part of the book. The first ten chapters, though, are about “Knowing your enemy,” each explaining one word that’s associated with the pain of death (e.g. shock, fear, anger, sorrow, guilt, regret, etc). You won’t laugh reading these pages. It’s real and raw.
But the joy comes as he transitions to thirteen chapters calling us to “Trust Christ’s victory.” These chapters provide beautiful meditations on thirteen biblical words showing how the Gospel of Christ utterly and totally transforms death (e.g. resurrection, triumph, rest, hope, heaven, etc).
For believers and unbelievers
The book is also enjoyable for the way Mike communicates the truth. It’s a fast-paced book with short chapters, and lots of anecdotes, illustrations, quotations, and down-to-earth application. Although written for Christians, it would be an excellent book to put into the hands of unbelievers as well, especially those facing death. It would also be good for the unconverted children of a Christian who has fallen asleep in Jesus.
I think I’ll add it to the books I should read every year as it would not only help me to obey the Augustinian admonition to “Think daily upon thine own death,” but also to “Think daily about thine own glorious future!”