A couple weeks ago Billy bought me the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I already knew Randy Alcorn as the author of Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?, but I’ve since discovered that he’s a respected author on numerous issues among mainline Christian leaders.
I’ll just be honest, until reading this book, I have never read or heard anything in my Christian life that makes Heaven sound like a place I’d want to go. I’ve felt guilty for not wanting to leave this beautiful life God has given me to go to the hazy eternal church service in the sky, where we sit around and sing Southern Gospel or Charismatic praise songs (depending on who you talk to) while the ages roll. Although I grew up in church and I’ve been a Christian for 15 years, that’s about as far as my theology of Heaven has gone. So in essence, I haven’t had one. And I’ve never heard anyone teach on the New Earth.
The book Heaven has changed that. Randy Alcorn delves into basically every mention of Heaven and the New Earth in the Bible, and tells us what we know it will be like, as well as what we can imagine it will be like. He’s careful to differentiate between what we clearly see in the text and possibilities a particular verse might suggest.
This book is thorough to a fault. In fact, I have a couple chapters left, but I’m pretty sure I know what they’ll say because he makes sure to cover each question about Heaven (just about any you could think of) extensively, and after awhile it becomes almost redundant. Also, he approaches the topic in such a way that it’s helpful regardless of one’s eschatological position, which obviously comes into play when discussing the eternal future of the Church.
Randy Alcorn goes into more detail than I’m prepared to summarize here, but if I had to give one clue about the gist of this book, it would be the word continuity. He describes our lives on earth, life in the intermediate Heaven, and life on the New Earth, and how they tie together based on scripture. After reading (most) of this book, my thoughts about my eternal future have been revolutionized. If you want to know more about Heaven—what it will be like and what it might be like—I highly recommend Heaven.