Inspirational Book Review: Heaven by Randy Alcorn

Book Reviews

Do you think of Heaven as a place where disembodied spirits float in the clouds, listening to harp music for eternity? Many people stereotype life in Heaven as a church service that never ends.

In his thought-provoking new book, Randy Alcorn dispels all misconceptions about a believer’s eternal destination and presents a compelling case for one of the least-talked-about subjects in Christianity.

The founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries, a nonprofit organization that promotes an eternal viewpoint and helps underprivileged people around the world, Alcorn based his entire book on biblical study, research, and extensive reading on the subject of Heaven. The book is divided into three sections: “A Theology of Heaven,” “Questions and Answers about Heaven,” and “Living in Light of Heaven”.

In “A Theology of Heaven,” Alcorn explains that contrary to a popular belief, Heaven is a real, physical place where bodily resurrected people live and engage in various meaningful creative activities. Heaven will not be a foreign place for us but we will recognize it as home: “Too often we’ve been taught that Heaven is a non-physical realm, which cannot have real gardens, cities, kingdoms, buildings…So we fail to take seriously what Scripture tells us about Heaven as a familiar, physical, tangible place.”

The book captures surprising aspects of Heaven that I have never considered before. To start with, Alcorn points out the difference between the present Heaven and the ultimate, eternal Heaven. The present Heaven is where we enter when we die, but it is not our final destination. After the resurrection, according to Alcorn, we will relocate to the eternal Heaven or the New Earth in which God intended for us. This beautiful and joyous New Earth will be a perfect place where all creation will be redeemed and restored, and “where God will dwell with his people on the New Earth.”

Part two of Heaven contains eye-opening information that will satisfy the reader’s curiosity. Alcorn presents common questions people ask about Heaven and answers them with clarity and wit. Some of the questions are the ones that I wanted to know but could not find definite answers anywhere: “What will we do in Heaven?” “Will we rest and sleep?” “Will we literally eat and drink?” “Will we have our own homes?” and “Will we see our pets again?” Others are queries that are a bit strange but good to know: “Will we drink coffee in Heaven?” “Will we find books in Heaven” “Will we all have beautiful bodies?” and “What languages will we speak?”

Another strong point about this book is its easy-to-follow format. Different charts and notes are helpful in understanding the book’s content. Alcorn uses everyday language that is easy to understand even for the reader who might not be familiar with biblical terms or theology.

Heaven is a well-written, thorough, refreshing book that will change the way you think of eternity. It will make you appreciate your life now but at the same time long for the future. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in exploring this fascinating subject.

About the Author

Sukalaya Kenworthy is a senior library assistant at the Westport Branch. To join the Inspirational Book Group, e-mail her at sukalayakenworthy@kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3488 for more information. The group meets the third Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m.

Comments:

Frank and to the point: "Her Letters from Prison"

I would like to recommend my new ebook as a resource for your reading pleasure, review, and comment. The ebook is intended for use as a “self-improvement” resource for ministries to women’s prisons and/or an inspirational (tell-it-like-it-is) resource for drug prevention programs. The book is non-fiction (It is what it is!); and the original letters are included as images for authenticity. For your private information, Heather Heaton (the author) is “Breanna”, the main character in the book. This is relatively easy to figure out.

Heather Heaton is a 34 year old college student trying to better her life, in spite of the baggage she carries from her earlier life. She has been quite successful in accomplishing that goal; and she will use the proceeds from the book to help support herself. Her picture is posted, with her book descriptions, at Smashwords. Heather Heaton can be contacted at heatherheaton@rocketmail.com.

The recently published ebook is entitled ("Her Letters from Prison: Part 1 & Part 2") by Heather Heaton as published at Smashwords (www.smashwords.com). A brief description of the ebook follows:

Breanna tells the true story of her experiences in prison through her letters to her friend (and former lover) Heath. This is a story of survival and a quest to make a better life. The letters describe the daily shocking events of prison life involving drugs, sex, utter devastation and humiliation, anger, hopelessness, despair, and finally happiness and hope.

Breanna's "truth" stands still even as the world around her trembles and burns! Bad things do happen to good people; and Breanna is the perfect example of this truth.

Breanna's inner strengths and principles eventually win out over the corruption and evil that surrounds her. With God's help, Breanna survives the horrible experiences of prison life and regains her self-confidence and hope for a better life.

"Breanna" was an inmate at Tutwiler Women's Prison from 2007 to 2009.

"Breanna" benefitted from women's prison ministries and the LIFE Tech-Wetumpka state-funded self-help program.

The Introduction page of the ebook follows:

Introduction:
The story you are about to read is true. Unfortunately, it’s my story; and the truth is often much more intriguing than fiction. I have had to deal with this story (this situation) for more than the past ten years. I started living out this story with all the hopes and dreams of most (if not all) young American girls; and I will finish this story by realizing most of those hopes and dreams, even though they have been interrupted for a time (in prison) that seems like time and time again. Through it all, I have managed to learn some life lessons that I hope to give to you; and I am hoping that you can pick up on these lessons earlier in life than I have done. I should have learned these lessons long ago. If I had learned these lessons long ago, I assure you that I would not have written the material you are now reading. My hope is that nobody else has to endure what I have endured learning life lessons that should be given to youngsters and adolescents early in life by the ones who truly love them. But here again, there are probably other youngsters and adolescents, much like me, who will have to learn these life lessons painfully for themselves, the hard way – by experiencing them first hand. Well, if you continue to read my story, here’s what you will experience – drugs, sex, violence, prison, utter devastation/humiliation, anger, hopelessness, despair, and finally happiness and hope!

If you don’t take me seriously and you follow in my path, you are going to experience false hope and disillusionment! You are going to experience broken trusts, by those whom you trusted most! You are going to experience pain and agony that brings you to the brink of self-destruction! You will lose your freedom! You will lose the right to think for yourself and to make your own decisions! You will lose your sense of self-worth and self-dignity! You are going to lose your ability to support yourself! You are going to lose your self-confidence! You are going to be victimized; and you can do little to avoid this! You will struggle and struggle and struggle just to get yourself back onto an even keel! But if you can ever manage to muster a tremendous mountain of stubbornness and determination, and if you can begin to think better of yourself, you will be able to recover most, but not all, of your ability to manage your own affairs while regaining some of your self-confidence and feeling of self-worth. I am just about to accomplish this in my life! Being just about able to accomplish this in my life is what has led me to (it has allowed me to) share my story with you. At first, I didn’t think I could ever share my story with anyone. But, I really don’t want you to actually share (live through) my experiences, even if you think you can handle it. Just read this story and do something positive in your own life.

Note: Names have been changed to protect each individual's privacy.

Dedication:
This work is dedicated to Valrise Bendolf (Clay County Dept. of Corrections Holding Facility), Jackie Ratliff (Kilby – Montgomery Womens’ Facility), Fawn Romie/Mr. Roberts/Gary Parsons (Life Tech) and all of Mr. Robert’s little roses that he so diligently cultivated. For all their good works, these people saved my life!

I hope that you find this ebook both interesting and helpful.

Sincerely,
Heather Heaton
heatherheaton@rocketmail.com

God bless you

I also read it and wanted to add my thanks too. Much appreciated. God bless you.

Great review

Sukalaya, I just wanted to add my thanks, too, on behalf of Randy, for taking the time to write this great review. God bless you.

Thankful

so thankful that we are going to spend eternity together! I am glad I was able to get to know you over the past couple of years, and thank God for your sweet spirit of encouragement. may the Lord continue to bless you as you share the gospel with others!!

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