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Published:March 1st, 2012 13:59 EST
Elderly Pastor Asks Baby Boomers to 'Rebel against Retirement'

Elderly Pastor Asks Baby Boomers to 'Rebel against Retirement'

By SOP newswire


Well-known author and Christian leader Dr. George Sweeting, 87, offers baby boomers the advice not to punch out the day their AARP card arrives in the mail. 

The octogenarian has teamed with his son, Dr. Donald W. Sweeting, president of Reformed Theological Seminary, on How to Finish the Christian Life: Following Jesus in the Second Half (Moody), which calls for a radical break from "America`s retirement dream." 

"That dream is unsustainable," the authors explain, pointing to the recent volatility of the stock market and the plummeting value of homes in the wake of the Great Recession. 

"Further, we are living longer," they add. "Boomers born in 1955 are expected to live to 79, which means retirement may last for almost one-third of their lives ... this also means people may outlive their money." 

Instead, the father-son team is challenging boomers to become "retirement rebels." "Think of Billy Graham, serving Christ into his 90s and even then saying he has still not preached his last sermon," the Sweetings say. 

Many Christians have unconsciously adopted the retirement mindset -- of spending their days doing yard work and tinkering with the car. The Bible does not conceive of a retirement dream like this, the authors point out: "Second-halfers don`t retire from serving the lord; they expire while serving the lord." 

Deftly balancing homily and humor, the authors outline something more compelling than retirement, a Psalm 92 vision of not only being useful, but "flourishing" as we age. Topics include "The Best Funerals I Ever Attended" and "The Blessing of a Good Death." 

The authors conclude: "When there is no vision of eternal life as we see in the Bible -- then this life is all there is. But we have heaven. Is that not a whole lot better than the retirement dream?" 

DR. GEORGE SWEETING is a former president and chancellor of the Moody Bible Institute. He has served as a pastor in several churches, including The Moody Church. The author of numerous books, he resides in Antioch, Illinois, where he continues his pastoral work. 

DR. DONALD SWEETING is president of Reformed Theological Seminary. A prolific speaker and writer, he is author of Acts of God and Lessons from the Life of Moody.