I remember being introduced to his work when I was a young seminary student. I learned much from his insights.
His most recent book, The Christian Art of Dying: Learning from Jesus, was motivated in part by his own diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. During an interview in September of 2011, Verhey stated,
For about six months my own mortality was vivid to me. I wanted to live, and I was grateful for the skillful doctors and sophisticated technology upon which my life depended. But if I was going to die, I wanted it to be my death, the final chapter in my story and not a footnote in a research report some day. I wanted it to be a faithful dying, a dying worthy of one who cherishes the gospel. This book started in conversation with myself, myself as theologian talking with myself as mortal. Sometimes, frankly, the mortal talked back. I think I became a better theologian by listening to my mortal self, and I hope my voice in this book is that of a mortal theologian, a man who knows that he will die and who believes that the last word belongs to God, a man who cherishes both the Christian tradition and life. I also hope that my voice can bring both comfort and courage to other mortal Christians and confidence to the Christian communities who are called to care for them.The last word indeed belongs to God, and that word has now been spoken to Allen Verhey.
He was 68.
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