I received this email in my inbox today…

Dear friends,

My dad, Cecil Hook, passed from this world to the next peacefully around 10:30pm on Friday, June 1, 2007. He was here at home in his bed in his favorite pajamas. We had known that Dad was very near the end as we entered the weekend. Friday started with the alarm clock radio playing “I Can Only Imagine”, and Dad took his last breath while my husband was in another room playing Eric Clapton’s “If I Saw You in Heaven” on his guitar. This morning in church we closed with the song “When We All Get to Heaven”. It is a sad day, but a great day, for us to have witnessed his passing with such grace and confidence.

I assured Dad a few hours before he died that I would do my best to keep the book ministry going and that I would keep the web page up and running as long as it appears to be needed (which may be forever!). The Freedom’s Ring web page and subscription list continue, thanks to the generous donation of time and effort from Randal Bowling and Vic Phares. Randy sent us this note on Friday, the day that Dad died.

“May set the 3rd consecutive record month for daily hits. May averaged 5,552 hits per day, every day. That is more than 2 million hits a year. Also, Cecil’s 5 on-line .PDF books received, collectively, 30 downloads per day, every day. May was the busiest month in the last 15 months, at least.”

Dad lived a full, rich life. The cards, letters, and visitors he received over the past weeks attest to the impact he had. He will be greatly missed by many of you, and certainly by us, but we all rejoice in his passing to a better place as he goes to his Maker. Some, already passed on, including “The Pretty Girl Riding In the Front Seat”, no doubt have welcomed him with great celebration.

Mira

Cecil Hook was a major influence on my life. I first encountered his book Free in Christ (free download along with his other books) I think in either 1996 or 1997 and it helped me to articulate my dissatisfaction and questions about the rigid legalism of the churches of Christ (the religious tradition I grew up in). His questions as a loving critic of the COC helped me to ask my own questions and to explore the possibility of a faith that was not driven by fear and anxiety.

Today I don’t agree with all of Cecil’s points, but on his main central point I still strongly affirm, that the way of Christ is one of freedom.

Here’s a link to Cecil’s website: Freedomsring.org