Why have many pagan societies for thousands of years cremated their deceased human beings? Why did the Jews throughout the Old Testament era consistently oppose cremation? Similarly, why did Christians, like their Jewish ancestors, also consistently oppose cremation until the latter part of the 19th century? Why are more and more Christians and Jews in the West now cremating their loved ones? In 1900 only .003 percent of the deceased in the United States were cremated. In 1960 the American cremation rate stood at 3.56 percent, but by 2001 it had risen to 27.25 percent. In 1999, Canada had a 46.15 percent cremation rate. In England the rate currently stands at about 75 percent. What has prompted these rapid increases? Are these relatively recent rates of cremation related to increases in secularism and a corresponding decline in biblical knowledge and conviction? This book Dust to Dust or Ashes to Ashes? A Christian Examination of Cremation, written in non-technical language by Dr. Alvin J. Schmidt, a sociologist and theologian, answers these and other questions. The book reflects research drawn from numerous biblical and historical sources. No book has thus far provided answers to these questions. Readers will benefit greatly from reading it, as it provides helpful information especially for Christians who have at some time wondered whether cremation might be an option for them when their time comes for them to depart for eternity. Non-Christians, who have questions about cremation, will also find the book valuable.
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