Book Review: The Last Enemy


I can’t imagine writing a book proposal for a book on death. Intended audience? Everyone. Marketing plan? That’s the hard part. How do you market a book on death? It’s a topic that most of us would rather avoid, and many of us do until it’s too late.

But that’s exactly why we need a book on death. Particularly, it’s why we need a book like The Last Enemy:  Preparing to Win the Fight of Your Life

by Mike Wittmer. Wittmer faces this challenging subject with a keen mind, a quick wit, and penetrating insight.

The layout of the book is simple. The first half of the book examines death, our last enemy. Wittmer describes death’s causes, consequences, and the psychological warfare it inflicts upon every member of the human race. The second half of the book explores Jesus’ victory over death. Specifically, it explores how Jesus overcame death in his cross and resurrection, and how this secures heaven and the New Earth — much better than the disembodied heaven that most seem to imagine. A final few chapters conclude the book with practical advice for those nearing the end of life.

There are a few reasons I love this book.

First, Wittmer has a gift for clearly communicating theology. And from what I hear in funeral homes and even at funerals, we need it. I think I’ve heard more bad theology preached at funerals than I have almost anywhere else. Not only is this bad, it’s also profoundly unhelpful. Wittmer does a good job of explaining what the Bible says, and he does so in a way that is clear and helpful.

Second, Wittmer writes well. Really well. If you can write a book on death and make it funny and interesting, then you are a good writer indeed. He kept my interest, made me laugh, and moved my emotions. How can you not like paragraphs like this one?

Life is too short to read bland books or watch movie sequels. There isn’t enough time for gossip, grudges, or plotting revenge. You don’t have years to waste on what someone else things you should be or do. When you take death to heart, you’ll tuck your children in every night, make some meals from scratch to share with friends, and go barefoot every chance you can. You’ll take hungry bites from the peach of life, and when the juice runs down your chin and all the way to your elbows, you’ll wipe it with your shirt.

Finally, I love this book because what Wittmer writes has the power to change our lives. Why wait until it’s too late to begin applying death’s lessons to our life now? If we miss out on death’s lessons, and if we live life without the hope of Jesus’ victory and the coming New Earth, we miss out on some important lessons we need in order to live well. Wittmer helps us learn these lessons now when they can make a difference in how we live.

You may never have thought, “I need to read a book on death,” but that shouldn’t stop you. Read The Last Enemy. It’s a subject none of us can avoid, and the lessons contained in this book can make a huge difference in your life – and in your death.


Stay tuned for an interview with Mike Wittmer tomorrow.

Book Review: The Last Enemy
Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada