mortal life and hope

S3 E14 | The Astonishing Hope of a Mortal Life with J. Todd Billings

hope and mortality
Image courtesy of Todd Billings

Mortality is often connected to fear, so how does embracing a mortal life provide hope to individuals and communities? Professor Todd Billings, author of “The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly Live,” talks with Amy Julia about lamenting and embracing mortality, the potential for mortality to exacerbate divisions or create connections, and how the presence of God brings freedom from our slavery to the fear of death.


Show Notes

Dr. J. Todd Billings is a professor at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. An ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America, he received his M.Div. from Fuller Seminary and his Th.D. from Harvard. Connect further with Todd:

“Whether you are young or old…our mortality matters for all of us in how we relate and connect to one another.”

“A tremendous gift of the church is that it’s one of the few places in our cultural moment where young children and middle-aged people and dying older people can come together and be part of a community.”

“In Christian circles, I sometimes get the idea that we shouldn’t be afraid of death at all. I don’t think that’s either biblical teaching or likely to happen. It sets up this ideal that makes people shameful when they grieve deeply.”

“Of course we should have a certain fear of death. But when fear of death is on the throne, then self-protection becomes the central priority…we pull in rather than reaching out in compassion.”

“This same presence of God that we’ve been aching for from the pit and in our whole pilgrimage—this one centered in Jesus—that presence will be the wide and spacious land, so to speak, of our rejoicing and dwelling in rest.”


Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.

White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapter 9. Check out free RESOURCESaction guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at

To go further with Amy Julia in thinking about mortal life and hope:

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