Burial vs. Cremation

I came across a very interesting article written by Dr. R. Scott Clark of Westminster Seminary, California, on his Heidelblog entitled, To Bury or Cremate? It is not unusual for people to ask me about this subject, and I thought that this article might provide some food for thought.



  1. Beth R. said,

    August 14, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    According to this man’s theory, what do you think will happen to William Tyndale in the ressurection?

    Some Christians cannot afford burial costs.

    • cliftonr said,

      August 14, 2009 at 3:08 PM

      Beth, Thanks for your response. I think Dr. Clark would agree (as I) that God, in His power, will pull all those molecules together and raise Tyndale from the dead. He is speaking primarily of the message of the resurrection that is portrayed when we treat our physical bodies with respect even in death. He admits there are difficult situations and discusses them in part in the following paragraphs:

      “To be sure, there may be times when burial is simply impossible. In those cases, we must act like sojourners and make do, but just because some are forced by circumstances to a difficult and unhappy choice doesn’t make that choice desirable or preferable.

      As to expense, at least some of this difficulty can be faced by planning and wise stewardship. We’re Calvinists. We should expect to die (if the Lord doesn’t come first). Who believes in sin and death more than we? In that case, knowing that the funeral business is a just that, a business in search of profits, if we investigate, we can probably discover less expensive modes of burial. Don’t expect the funeral home to tell you how to be buried inexpensively.”

  2. August 14, 2009 at 10:42 PM

    Hi Beth and Clifton,

    Clifton is right. There’s no question whether God can raise the dead. Left in the ground long enough we all become ashes. The question is not what God can do but what we should do.


    • cliftonr said,

      August 15, 2009 at 12:21 AM

      Thank you, Dr. Clark, for stopping by. I have always appreciated your ministry.

  3. Branson said,

    August 17, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    Here’s a question….what of those who donate their bodies to science for research? What message does that send?

    • cliftonr said,

      August 17, 2009 at 2:10 PM

      Wow, Branson, that is a tough one. Dixie asked me about that the other night and I said that I didn’t know. I am not sure that I could do that, although I realize that much can probably be learned by such a study.

    • Ashley said,

      August 17, 2009 at 7:27 PM

      yeah, that’s kind of my thought too…is it wrong be an organ donor?

      • cliftonr said,

        August 18, 2009 at 1:50 PM

        I can think of no command of Scripture that would forbid being an organ donor, although to be honest, I have never sat down to work through the Scriptural implications. It could be the means that God uses to extend someone’s life on earth. It may be a stretch because our physical life on earth would be over but “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
        (NAS 1 John 3:16) That is something that I am going to have to ponder.

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