I cannot read the blasphemies of Christopher Hitchens without cringing. Suffice it to say that one of his books is called God is not Great.
Now he is dying of cancer, and he recently said that he wishes he were dying for something bigger than himself, his own survival.
Contrast this to what Puritan John Flavel in his treatise on fear writes about the honor of dying for Christ: "By a natural death we only submit ourselves to the unavoidable consequences of sin, but in dying a violent death for Christ, we give our testimony against the evil of sin, and for the precious truths of Jesus Christ."
Concerning dying, the question is not so much when or how as for what? I am deeply grateful to be a Christian with the privilege of living --and dying -- for Christ. Reading Flavel has made me fear death less. And I am grateful for that too.