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Why Be A Christian (If No One Goes to Hell)? [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Meeter
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

Why Be a Christian (If No One Goes to Hell)? is a warm and friendly tour through the peaceful and positive features of the Christian faith, without judgment of other religions. The book is a practical and down-to-earth introduction for the curious, the inquirer, and anyone who wants to discover Christianity in a new light. It confidently clears away the ever-present and negative motivation for being a Christian: the fear of going to hell. The book argues that the conventional view of people suffering in hell is not part of the original Biblical faith, and that belief in hell is not required of a Christian today. Accessible, readable, and smart, this is the book to consult if you are shopping for a religion, want to develop your spirituality, or just want to know more about Christianity. Chapters include: To Be Spiritual, To Save Your Soul, To Be a Human Being, To Deal with Guilt, To Know God’s Story, To Love Your Neighbor, and many others.


Product Details

  • File Size: 673 KB
  • Print Length: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Shook Foil Books (July 31, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008RDPNFE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,853 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommending for my congregation August 25, 2012
By Brian
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful and accessible book. It is a book I am recommending to my congregation as an answer for the constant questions about hell that bedevil conversations about Christian faith in America. The author does a great job of identifying the way that hell has been wrongly described throughout the centuries and drives the reader back to biblical understandings about death and eternity. Yet the best thing that this book does is list a string of more powerful reasons why a person should be a Christian that have nothing to do with the concept of hell. So the reader gets good, understandable explanations about concepts of hell and then moves on. Moving on brings the reader into the rich and wonderful gift of faith and a life of eternal joy and companionship with God and others committed to God's love. I (Brian Paulson) am blessed to serve as a Pastor of a vibrant congregation north of Chicago. I'll be sharing this book - yet another outstanding ShookFoil Books Publication - with my congregation and for many years to come in pastoral counseling. Bravo!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hell No November 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Non-Christians don't like hell. Some Christians like hell and want to tell all heathens, pagans and democrats why they are going there, but there has been a move in biblical scholarship to question the traditional belief in hell. Scholars like N.T. Wright posit that the immortality of the soul is not a Biblical idea but a Greek one. Likewise, it was the Greeks that posited a division between the soul and the body. The Hebrew understanding when your body is dead, your soul is dead. The resurrection and is the promise to God's people (Jews and Christians). If you want eternal life, you need resurrection. So while some Christian evangelists still want to dangle non-Christians like spiders over an open flame, and defend hell like it was a central Christian doctrine, others have raised questions (Rob Bell's Love Wins was good at raising questions).

In Why Be A Christian (If No One Goes to Hell)? Daniel Meeter argues that the traditional view of Hell is wrong but that there are still lots of incentives for becoming a Christian. Becoming a Christian opens the way for us to be spiritual, to prayer, to being fully human, to knowing God and his story, to dealing with guilt and experiencing the reality of grace, to love God and know Christ, to love our neighbors, to be transformed into the image of Christ and yes, to go to heaven when we die (in the Resurrection).

Meeter wrote this book with apologetic/evangelistic intent to help non-Christians who have been put off by the doctrine of hell and judgmental Christians understand what the Christian faith had to offer. He is no stranger to ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue and he writes in a way that is respectful of other world faiths but labors to show the uniquely Christian vision of the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Premise, Though a Bit Underdeveloped. November 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
(I got the opportunity to review this book thanks to Mike Morrell and Speakeasy.)

I thought the premise of the book was cool, which is actually what caused me to pick it up. The whole premise of the book is that if there were no such thing as hell, then why would someone become a Christian? In many different sects of evangelical Christianity, people become Christians not because of a deep love for Jesus, but because they are scared to go to hell. While there may be some merit to this, it certainly doesn't create the type of love-motivated faith that God desires. While I don't agree with Meeter's views on the existence of hell (or lack thereof; I hold a far more orthodox view on the issue), I still found the concept of this book very interesting, especially given the recent discussion on this topic thanks to works like Rob Bell's Love Wins.

In the book, Meeter did a good job of approaching the reasons to become a Christian from a philosophical point of view. I think that this book would definitely be a great resource for more philosophical friends who might be considering Christianity. Meeter does a good job of not assuming that his readers won't automatically just know the concepts he talks about, and the terminology he uses is friendly to those who may not have more than a cursory knowledge of Christianity (and when he does use some "Christianese," he makes sure it's defined). In this regard, the book is certainly good.

I personally struggled with this read, though. At points, I found myself losing interest. I felt Meeter was a bit verbose at points, though I will admit that it probably doesn't help that I don't enjoy more "philosophical" reads.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great question. Even better answers. October 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The title of the book is Why Be a Christian if No One Goes to Hell? Personally, I've been asking the first half of that question for about 7 years now. Either way, this book helps to answer both questions.

Daniel Meeter's primary purpose in this book is not to prove anything but to offer Christianity. Sure, he talks about heaven and hell and provides thoughts on both that you won't hear many places-but that just might be more biblically sound that what you've previously thought. In between, which is where we live anyway, Meeter provides a variety of reasons of why you might want to be a Christian. The bottom line: to live and love in a way that is more fully human, in perhaps the best way possible.

Meeter uses the Nicene and Apostle's Creeds as a framework for some of his thinking. He also draws on biblical and historical references as he shapes his presentation of why you might consider being a Christian. So much of what Meeter describes follows right in line with much of what I've been thinking. At the same time, he does not force the issue. Like Jesus did for the people of his time, Meeter simply puts what this whole Jesus thing is out there for us to consider and perhaps choose. But the choice really is ours. I appreciated that about this book. I also appreciated-perhaps most of all-the ways in which Meeter's presentation continuously points the reader to God, noting that we (the church we) tend to elevate Jesus to the point where he is the be all and end all. In reality, Jesus always pointed us back to God-in everything he did.

In a word, this book is unconventional. And I really appreciated it-all the way around.
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More About the Author

Daniel J. Meeter lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends a month every summer at a cabin in the Canadian Shield. He's a preacher (a Rev. Dr.) and he's married to a preacher, Rev. Melody Meeter, and his late father was a preacher, but neither of his two kids are preachers. What his two grandsons will be, God only knows.

Daniel is pastor of one of the oldest churches in New York, "Old First," founded in 1654 (as the Reformed Dutch Church of "Breukelen"), which has a mostly young congregation. He also teaches seminary students. He's active in the Park Slope community and in inter-faith cooperation.

Daniel spent his childhood in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, playing stickball and skelly in the street, and keeping cool under the fire-hydrant. Once he and his brother (when they were ten and eleven) rode their bikes to Queens along what's now the Jackie Robinson Parkway! "What are you, nuts?"

Daniel loves the Bible, church music, opera, and the Mets. Mets fans relate to opera because the soprano always dies in the last act. He loves trees and birds, and Bach.

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