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Archive for the ‘heaven’ Category

This is a guest review by Alf Cengia.  He is a friend who reads this blog and his website can be found at Zeteo316.  Check it out.

Heaven. Edited by Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson. From the Theology in Community series, published by Crossway (Paperback 287 pages).
 Purchase: Crossway | Amazon
It seems I can’t get enough of books on heaven. When I first saw this in our Church Bookstore I ignored it as I already had a backlog of books to read. Besides which I already had two Randy Alcorn offerings, John MacArthur’s Heaven and Charles Spurgeon. I’m glad I eventually capitulated.

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For today’s post we will tackle another question from the Skeptic Annotated Bible: When was heaven created?

Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes shows a Bible contradiction:

When the earth was created.

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)

Sometime after the ascension of Jesus.

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

Here’s a closer look at whether or not there is a contradiction:

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AfterLife What You Need to Know About Heaven and NDE by Hank

(Available on Amazon)

This book is a response to all the new books coming out about those who went to heaven and came back, those with Near Death Experiences (NDE), etc.  The author, Hank Hanegraaff, is currently “The Bible Answerman” and overall does a good job dealing with the subjectivity of these “I’ve gone to heaven” books, and how their account contradict the clear teaching of Scripture and one another’s description of heaven.  I enjoyed how Hanegraaff also dealt with the issue of hell, and a defense of hell from some of the recent attacks by some within the Evangelical quarter.  With this said, there were somethings that I disagree with the book or think it could have done better.  His discussion of libertarian free will (LFW) assumes it rather than defends it, and seems to be important in his view of end things.  I think his discussion about good angels never sinning even in future heaven hits a dilemma concerning LFW.  At times he even sounds like a Calvinists!  Furthermore, while the author does believe in a physical reality of our future existence, he does at time have tendency to be driven by a spiritual vision model in his hermeneutics (versus a new creation model).  The book does expound Hanegraaff’s Partial Preterism and here he does not have anything new to contribute beyond what Gary DeMar, RC Sproul and others have said.  I kind of wished he dealt with some of the objections Christian raise concerning Partial Preterism.  I also wished he could have dealt with more scholarly Dispensationalists.  At times he was question begging and could have been more nuance–such as his discussion of Rob Bell on hell and also objecting to Dispensationalists Premillennial view because of Revelation 21’s promise that there will no longer be any sorrow on earth–while not accounting for Revelation 20 before chapter 21 and a defense of re-capitulation.  I still think Randy Alcorn’s book on heaven is the best of recent book on heaven no matter what view of the Millennium you take.

I write this review an hour before a funeral for a saint at our church.

It was a good reminder about our eternity and keeps our ministry in perspective.

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Purchase: Amazon

Probably the best contemporary Christian book on Heaven because of it’s depth and also for being Biblically based.  You would think that the eternal place where Christians would eventually dwell at would be the subjects of many many books, but it does not seem that there are many works that are in the market that has the Biblical depth that this book has.  Randy Alcorn’s work attempts to engage the Christian imagination with questions about what our future in Christ is like after death.  The author attacks a Christian platonic conception of our eternal destination, and makes the case that the new heaven for us ultimately will be on a new earth.  What I’ve benefited most from the book is that it stirred my heart to think more about my eternal home and also the verses he cite that makes me take another look more carefully concerning heaven.  I do admit that sometimes the author does have a bit of stretch of an imagination more than I do, concerning what heaven will be like.  But overall, it’s Biblically driven.  There are times where the book seems to be repetitive–but if you are reading it over a long period of time (say a chapter a week), the repetition is not necessarily bad but reinforcing truths to us.  I highly recommend this book.

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Randy Alcorn, author of “Heaven” has written a long blog post on his website about several recent books on people who have claimed to have experienced heaven that have come out recently

You can read it directly by clicking HERE

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