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Heaven Hardcover – October 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

According to Alcorn (The Treasure Principle; Deadline; Safely Home), the subject of heaven rates as one of the least accurately discussed subjects in the whole of Christendom. Even seminarians fail to give appropriate time and attention to heaven as described throughout the Bible because other themes take pre-eminence both chronologically and preferentially. Alcorn is likewise astounded that the majority of Christians who do take time to consider heaven often possess faulty, nonbiblical assumptions, one of the most common being the misconception of heaven as a place of unending church services. The author, who is also the founder of the nonprofit organization Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), has spent years studying what the Bible says about heaven, and in this compelling and comprehensive resource, he offers every conceivable question about heaven, or the "New Earth," as a Christian believer's ultimate destination. Alcorn answers the expected queries on heavenly life as well as quirkier ones: will Christians drink coffee in heaven? Will there be homeownership, and what about sex? Will our pets be in heaven? Evangelical scholars and laypersons alike will appreciate Alcorn's expansive—though perhaps long-winded—musings on this neglected subject, a real boon in a time when many people are eager to understand what happens after death.
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About the Author

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM). Prior to 1990, when he started EPM, he served as a pastor for fourteen years. He has spoken around the world and has taught on the adjunct faculties of Multnomah Bible College and Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon.

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Product Details

  • Series: Alcorn, Randy
  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Hardcover edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0842379428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0842379427
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,399 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Before starting EPM in 1990, Randy served as a pastor for fourteen years. He has a Bachelor of Theology and Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Multnomah University and an Honorary Doctorate from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He has taught on the adjunct faculties of both.

A New York Times bestselling author, Randy has written nearly fifty books, including Courageous, Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and the Gold Medallion winner Safely Home. His books have been translated into over sixty languages and have sold over nine million copies. Randy has written for many magazines including EPM's issues-oriented magazine Eternal Perspectives. He is active daily on Facebook and Twitter, has been a guest on more than 700 radio, television and online programs including Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Revive Our Hearts, The Bible Answer Man, and The Resurgence.

Randy resides in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife, Nanci. They have two married daughters and are the proud grandparents of five grandsons. Randy enjoys hanging out with his family, biking, tennis, research, and reading.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

605 of 632 people found the following review helpful By on November 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In his new book on heaven, appropriately titled HEAVEN, Randy Alcorn tells the story of an English vicar. When asked by a colleague what he expected after death, he replied, "Well, if it comes to that, I suppose I shall enter into eternal bliss, but I really wish you wouldn't bring up such depressing subjects."

If we're honest, a lot of us might agree with that vicar. The thought of spending eternity floating about on a cloud, strumming the proverbial harp, sounds a bit, well, boring. Huckleberry Finn certainly thought so.

"She (Miss Watson) went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do was go around all day long with a harp and sing forever and ever. So didn't think much of it.... I asked her if she thought Tom Sawyer would go there, and she said not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that because I wanted him and me to be together."

It's exactly this kind of bland vision of eternity that Alcorn's book seeks to dispel.

"The pious Miss Watson had nothing to say about Heaven that appealed to Huck. What would have attracted him was a place where he could do meaningful and pleasurable things with enjoyable people. In fact, that's a far more accurate description of what Heaven will actually be like. If Miss Watson had told Huck what the Bible says about living in a resurrected body and being with people we love on a resurrected Earth with gardens and rivers and mountains and untold adventures --- now that would have gotten his attention!"

Indeed, and it got my attention too. Despite my education at a Bible college, I've spent little time thinking about or studying the logistics of eternity. And I'm not alone.
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206 of 226 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on May 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pastor, seminary professor, speaker, and writer Randy Alcorn has written a monumental opus on heaven, humbly titled "Heaven." I often have taught that our views of heaven are too heavenly and not earthy enough. Alcorn's entire book communicates the same message.

His theme is continuity--all that is beautiful about life on earth continues in the new heaven and the new earth. All that is horrible about life on earth is healed in the new heaven and the new earth.

Notice the phrase "new heaven and new earth." When you do, consider Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." What is heaven? Some ethereal, non-physical place where spirit beings sit on clouds playing harps eon after eon after eon after boring eon? Hardly!

In Alcorn's biblically accurate hands, heaven becomes what God designed the Garden of Eden to be--a physical place of beauty, a relational place of harmony, and a purposeful place of meaningful, creative work without weeds.

Read Alcorn's "Heaven." It could and should change how you live on earth now. It could and should change how you view how you will live for all eternity. This is clearly the best book on heaven that I have ever read.

Reviewer: Dr. Robert W. Kellemen is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction , Spiritual Friends: A Methodology of Soul Care And Spiritual Direction, and Soul Physicians.
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100 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Evan D. Maust on November 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Perspective is what is often needed in our lives as we face difficult or challenging circumstances. Even if our lives are going great perspective is so helpful. Randy's book on Heaven does just that--gives perspective. By seeing the whole picture--at least as much as God has shown us at this point--we are encouraged to move forward in life. If we are facing tough times it is so helpful to know that present difficulties pale in comparison to what God has provided for us. If life is great, Randy's book reminds us to not try to find heaven in what we do, who we are, or in our material success.

As a seminary educated person, I was surprised at how little I knew about this subject. As the saying goes, I know what I know, but I don't know what I don't know. Randy's book showed me a lot that I don't know.
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286 of 322 people found the following review helpful By Alan Reynolds on January 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The first thing most people do when they pick up a book is to check the endorsements. Heaven by Randy Alcorn comes with an array of them. Interestingly enough, Jerry Jenkins--co-author of the Left Behind series--and Hank Hanegraaff--author of The Apocalypse Code--both give Alcorn's book the thumbs up. While Jenkins and Hanegraaff have written about cosmic eschatology and the book of Revelation, it is interesting to see two people with divergent views on eschatological issues endorsing a book dealing with eschatology. The obvious question is, "What has Alcorn done in this book!?"
Alcorn is a former pastor, and the founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries. He has authored numerous books, including a few on Heaven, ethics, and some fiction volumes. He has taught at Western Seminary and Multnomah Bible College. In some ways, his book Heaven is a sort of magnum opus for someone who has studied, written and taught about Heaven and the related theological issues.
Heaven contains two appendices, which Alcorn commends to the reader at different points throughout the book. However, it is possible that they should be read first, as it will help to understand where he is coming from and where he is going. The first is called "Christoplatonism's False Assumptions," and it deals with the dualism pervading most of Christianity--a sort of matter is bad, spirit is good. He asserts that Christians have, in a sense, baptized this Platonic philosophy, and therefore constantly interpret matters, such as heaven, in a purely spiritual manner. The second is called "Literal and Figurative Interpretation." Here, he asserts that medieval theologians began to allegorize much of Scripture, particularly about
Heaven, and that those allegorizations have been maintained until the present.
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