Saturday, September 13, 2014

Heaven by Randy Alcorn (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars  ****

The least discussed subject in the Bible is adroitly presented by Randy Alcorn, an accomplished bestselling Christian author of 40 books. What separates Randy's book from other books about Heaven is the discipline he uses throughout the book keeping to scripture. The diverse opinions and perspectives of Heaven exist in the clergy as well as the general population. Without application of his personal imagination, Alcorn transcribes ancient writings that span thousands of years describing the same place. Then, to broaden the vision of Heaven, Alcorn asks a variety of questions about what it is like in Heaven. This portion of the book is interesting, as the author draws the most probable explanations from Bible verses in both Old and New Testaments, but it becomes a bit tedious, too. 

The influence of C.S. Lewis on Alcorn is apparent by his frequent reference to his writings. Narnia quotes enlighten this reader to the deeper symbolism Lewis uses about the Biblical message. Narnia is replaced by a new, brighter Narnia once the old Narnia dies. Narnia represents Earth as understood by Lewis and shared by Alcorn. 

The end of the book, Heaven, is particularly uplifting. The author describes how to explain death to children who are about to die before their parents, and how to comfort those who are older and afraid to leave this world. The dualism of Plato and the resurrection perspective by Christians are explained in an Appendix because there exists a prevalent combination of the two throughout the world. 

Heaven is a valuable addition to any believer's bookshelf, one that belongs next to their Bible. A change in the reader is promised once its contents are read, its context understood, so that the Great Commission can be shared by educated, searchers of the Way, the Truth, and the Life.