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Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent

av N. D. Wilson

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
318883,805 (3.92)1
A poetic portrait of faith, futility, and the joy of this mortal life. In this astoundingly unique book, bestselling author N.D. Wilson reminds each of us that to truly live we must recognize that we are dying. Every second we create more of our past-more decisions, more breathing, more love and more loathing, all of it slides by into the gone as we race to grab at more moments, at more memories made and already fading. We are all authors, creators of our own pasts, of the books that will be our lives. We stare at the future or obsess about the present, but only the past has been set in stone, and we are the ones setting it. When we race across the wet concrete of time without purpose, without goals, without laughter and love and sacrifice, then we fail in our mortal moment. We race toward our inevitable ends without artistry and without beauty. All of us must pause and breathe. See the past, see your life as the fruit of providence and thousands of personal narratives. What led to you? You did not choose where to set your feet in time. You choose where to set them next. Then, we must see the future, not just to stare into the fog of distant years but to see the crystal choices as they race toward us in this sharp foreground we call the present. We stand in the now. God says create. Live. Choose. Shape the past. Etch your life in stone, and what you make will be forever.… (mer)
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N. D. Wilson wrote Death by Living to remind each of us that to truly live we must recognize that we are dying. The subtitle is “Life is meant to be spent,” and the tagline describes this as a “poetic portrait of faith, futility, and the joy of this mortal life.” (Poetic indeed.)

The crux of his message comes buried in Chapter 2: “If you think it, live it. If you don’t live it, you don’t really think it. You are not what you think (or what you think you think). You are not what you say you are. You are what you do.” Talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words.

I struggled to get through this book: I prefer books to be linear and organized, and Mr. Wilson seems to prefer the exact opposite. I enjoyed some of his phrasing as he recalled the tales of his grandparents, and for me his choice of stories seemed to match his intended goal. (He wrote in Chapter 2 that “stories are soul food” and nourish us as much as the physical food we eat.) But in the end I was left confused and had to struggle to make sense of the work as a whole. Were I to edit a digest of this I could easily reduce the book to a fraction of its size and still communicate his message.

If you’re interested in spending time indulging in a poetic, very non-linear book encouraging you to make the most of your life, this is the book for you. Otherwise, skip this book for something better. After all life is too short to waste on rambling, incoherent treatises. ( )
  jimfields3 | May 3, 2022 |
I received this book as part of a blog tour promotional for N. D. Wilson's latest book, Death By Living. I was expecting DBL in the package, I was pleasantly surprised by Tilt-A-Whirl (TAW). But if you read my blog regularly, you know this already...

I dealt with the problem of N. D. Wilson and the Stream of Consciousness Writing Style in my review of TAW (published a couple of days ago). I stand by my remarks that this intentional maelstrom of description is deliberate and beautiful. He did not just barf up vocabulary words on a page, he sculpted a beautiful piece of literature.

I also give this piece...

Read full review on We Talk Of Holy Things: http://jmnz.us/15EiV6T
My other book reviews: http://bitly.com/bundles/cjime008/5 ( )
  cjmnz8 | Dec 12, 2020 |
I found this a slightly disappointing follow-up to [b: Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl|3428818|Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World|N.D. Wilson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1492866977s/3428818.jpg|3469712]. It's hard to say why, but the latter book, in my recollection, had such a crisp beauty that I was awestruck, whereas this felt unevenly edited at times. And Notes had more of an inherent structure, whereas this was less linear by design, and I struggled with that.

Of course there are many wonderful passages that make it worth the read; I liked the Jerusalem essay especially. I like his joy.

I would recommend [b: A Small Cup of Light: A Drink in the Desert|23585351|A Small Cup of Light A Drink in the Desert|Ben Palpant|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1473375805s/23585351.jpg|42120290] to fans of this book. ( )
  LudieGrace | Aug 10, 2020 |

N.D. Wilson is a brilliant writer, and his unique voice shines in Death by Living. In particular, the word pictures that he creates are so original that they help bring further understanding to truths that might seem commonplace.

Death by Living is not merely a fun read, though. It is full of encouraging truth that will cause you to step back and evaluate the life you've been living. He does this by unpacking the truth of his thesis: Life is a story.

We all are in the midst of a great Story that started in the mind of the triune God. He created the universe to share the Story of His greatness, and this grand narrative is fleshed out for every created being through the way that God has providentially worked in the small and large details of life that resulted in your grandparents coming together, which resulted in your parents being born, which eventually resulted in you being born. We, too, have a part to play, and as actors in the great drama that is taking part in and around us, we should live lives that reflect this reality. Our lives should be lived to the fullest for God's glory, and when the lights begin to fade on our portion of the play, we should embrace death and the glories that await us. That's what Wilson calls death by living: spending your life playing your role in the greatest Story ever told and then boldly approaching death with the knowledge that God has used you for His glory.

This book was great, and Wilson's ability to combine sound theological content with excellent writing is refreshing. You should read it.
( )
  codyacunningham | May 9, 2016 |
Live. And enjoy it. ( )
  memlhd | Jan 23, 2016 |
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A poetic portrait of faith, futility, and the joy of this mortal life. In this astoundingly unique book, bestselling author N.D. Wilson reminds each of us that to truly live we must recognize that we are dying. Every second we create more of our past-more decisions, more breathing, more love and more loathing, all of it slides by into the gone as we race to grab at more moments, at more memories made and already fading. We are all authors, creators of our own pasts, of the books that will be our lives. We stare at the future or obsess about the present, but only the past has been set in stone, and we are the ones setting it. When we race across the wet concrete of time without purpose, without goals, without laughter and love and sacrifice, then we fail in our mortal moment. We race toward our inevitable ends without artistry and without beauty. All of us must pause and breathe. See the past, see your life as the fruit of providence and thousands of personal narratives. What led to you? You did not choose where to set your feet in time. You choose where to set them next. Then, we must see the future, not just to stare into the fog of distant years but to see the crystal choices as they race toward us in this sharp foreground we call the present. We stand in the now. God says create. Live. Choose. Shape the past. Etch your life in stone, and what you make will be forever.

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