Saturday, June 14, 2014

Book Review: 50 Things You Need To Know About Heaven by Dr. John Hart

There sure are a lot of books about Heaven right now.  As a book reviewer, I read a lot of them.  They fall all over the spectrum from "excellent, second only to scripture itself" to "I'd burn it, but it would be a waste of a match".  This book, 50 Things You Need To Know About Heaven by Dr. John Hart falls in the middle.

This book is set up in question and answer format, 50 questions and 50 answers.  I actually like these kinds of books.  It makes them a quick read and easy to refer to later.  And the author did a really good job coming up with all kinds of questions, from the very simple to the more complex.  The problem with the book:  if this was the only book you read on the subject, you would have no idea there were other points of view on these topics.  The problem with books like this is they are not the right format for questions whose answers are vague or debatable unless you address at least the popular points of view.  To someone who has read scripture, read many books on the topic and who has studied on the topic, this author comes off as a smug know-it-all.  I didn't want to disagree with anything he said, but I kept wanting to say, "Really???  This question has been debated by great theologians for centuries and you think you have the once and for all final answer?  Are you ignorant or narcissistic?"

On the plus side, there was very little I disagreed with.  On the downside, these topics are far more complex than the author lets on.  This book is not going to survive well in the current Christian climate where intellectual honesty, humility and authenticity are valued far more than putting on an authoritarian front.  This would have been a well received book 30+ years ago.  Today, it falls flat.  If you want to read it, it's not a bad read and it's even organized well.  Just know that the answers are not as easy as the author makes them out to be.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in return for my honest review.

No comments: