Thursday, August 12, 2010

Heaven

In 2004 Eternal Perspectives Ministries copyrighted the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. On the front of the book jacket, just above the title is this quote from Stu Weber: "Other than the Bible itself, this may well be the single most life-changing book you'll ever read." That's a huge claim to make- unless you only expect people to read one book. Other endorsers of this book include Joni Earekson Tada, Hank Hanegraaff, and Rick Warren.

I found the book to be tremendously helpful in causing me to think about a Christian's eternal future in heaven and how to prepare for it during this life. In particular, Alcorn's ideas showed me that the New Heaven will be a restored earth that is far greater than we currently experience. I had previously thought that the New Heaven would be separate from the New Earth and that Christians would be able to travel between them. Alcorn shows from Scripture that God will be reigning on earth and that wherever God is present and ruling is Heaven.

One strength of this book is in dispelling false ideas about Heaven. People tend to associate Heaven with boredom of sitting on a cloud and strumming a harp. Alcorn disproves this and other stereotypes and whets our appetites for the sheer thrills and excitements that we will experience throughout all eternity.

Another myth that this book disproves is the idea Alcorn terms "Christoplatonism." Alcorn uses this term to refer to the idea that many Christians have that heaven will only be "spiritual" and not "physical." Many people seem to believe that what is physical is evil and won't last for eternity. This book handily disproves such false assumptions. One easy argument against this concept is that God created our current earth and deemed it "very good." Alcorn shows that heaven will be a very real, physical location- and that location will be on a literal earth.

I certainly recommend this book to all Christians. While the claim to be possibly the most life-changing book you'll ever read certainly seems overblown, I would agree that this book is certainly in the discussion of the top ten most helpful books for Christians in America today. If heaven is our eternal destination, then we ought to know about where we hope to go. In addition, we should learn how to use our lives productively now in order to assure our greatest reward when we arrive in heaven.

4 comments:

  1. "For I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the EARTH." Job 19:25 Pat D

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  2. The portions that I read were very helpful. I don't own the book personally but while at my parents I read a few chapters. It's one of those that should be on my wishlist on Amazon. Thanks for the reminder to add it. ;-)

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  3. I checked it out of the library and was halfway through before I had to return it. I need to get it again so I can finish it. It's an awesome book so far!

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