New York Times bestselling author, Randy Alcorn adds another unique book to his extensive collection of written works about Heaven with this “…collection of quotations on Heaven, the new earth, and life after death.”
Alcorn reaches from the past through today to provide more than 1500 inspirational quotes from noted theologians such as Charles Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis and D.L. Moody making this the most comprehensive collection of quotations on Heaven ever compiled. The collection reminds me of AA’s (Alcoholics Anonymous) Big Book which is the “go-to” reference for recovering alcoholics. In a similar way “Eternal Perspectives” is the “go-to” reference for anyone interested in the subject of Heaven as well as all of Alcorn’s books on Heaven (see slide show).
The author’s basis for the book is “If God didn’t want us to imagine what Heaven will be like, he wouldn’t have told us as much about Heaven as he has” writes Alcorn in the introduction. With that in mind he also says we need “biblically inspired imaginations.”
Yet, the topic of Heaven remains provocative. For example, one day a Christian leader visited Alcorn, saw the books and extensive research about Heaven that littered his desk and asked why he was writing “…a big book on Heaven.” Then the visitor quoted 1 Corinthians 2:9 that says “…no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind conceived…”
Alcorn agreed with him but said he hadn’t taken verse ten into account which says, “…but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.” And that’s the foundation of Alcorn’s belief, that God wants everyone to “…understand and anticipate what awaits…” believers in heaven.
He assures readers this compilation of quotes is “true to Scripture,” however he encourages everyone to test what they read and compare it with the Bible.
This author writes with the reader in mind evidenced by the reader-friendly alphabetized contents page that lists forty-nine- different topics with their page numbers. Topics cover a wide range of subjects like “boredom…death…eternity…gender and sexuality…hell…Jesus…the new earth” and much more.
A selection of three or more relevant Bible verses introduces each new topic followed by an extensive assortment of topical quotes from renowned authors and scholars as well as quotes from the author himself.
With so many misconceptions about Heaven I know many carry a childish notion I once held that when we die we would sit on clouds and play harps, something I found less than inspiring as a child. Alcorn’s topic on boredom is enlightening. He quotes Mart De Haan’s about trusting God who writes, “…God doesn’t want us to know what He’s planned for us.” Maybe, because if we knew we might not want to stay on earth.
This is the “ultimate resource” on Heaven outside the Bible. I think it would be especially useful for pastors and writers. However, it’s also a fun book to read whether you select topics of interest or read from cover-to-cover. This quote from J.C. Ryle summarizes it well.
“Before we go to our eternal home we should try to become acquainted with it.” As always, with this author, his book is a 12+ on a scale of 1-10.