Thursday, May 30, 2013

What's the Truth About Heaven and Hell? by Douglas Jacoby

Recent books about heaven and hell have aroused the interest of committed Christians and curious seekers alike. But the wide range of viewpoints has also created confusion and left many people wondering what they are to believe. This user-friendly guide presents the most popular views on heaven, hell, purgatory, judgment, and related topics, followed by brief, easy-to-follow analysis. Readers will be equipped to make their own well-informed decisions about questions like these:
  • What happens when we die? Where did the idea of purgatory come from?
  • Will our bodies be resurrected someday? If so, does cremation offend God?
  • Will unbelievers be judged by God and punished in hell forever? Or will they be annihilated? What about those who never heard the gospel message?
This summary of the latest Evangelical teaching and traditional mainstream scholarship provides readers with tools to assess each position in the light of Scripture.

My review:
   If you have read many of my reviews, you know I rarely give negative reviews. I may take issue with curse words being in a Christian fiction novel, which still boggles my mind, but I never give a completely negative book review. However, this one will be.

  I disagreed with the author a lot. I think its a dangerous thing to go through the Bible and deciding on what parts of it can be interpreted literal, and what parts cannot. It is more dangerous to put your views in a book. The author spends quite a bit of time doing just that. He says that 1/3 of the Bible is poetry then gives several examples of passages and verses that we should not take as literal, and I didn't agree with a lot of the examples he gave.

 An example: I am not trying to start a debate on this verse, but Matthew 5:32 says "But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery. (NLT) The author said this verse cannot be taken as literal...... Uh, if you start throwing out statements Jesus Himself made like that, where are you going to stop? That one was the worst example he gave, but I had a hard time taking anything with a grain of salt that he said after that.

  He gives several views of hell, and seems to go with the idea of annihilation, and gives the idea of burning in hell forever is from tradition. My Bible says it will be forever...... where does the tradition idea come from? The author doesn't believe the miliennium is literal...... I could go on and list other examples, but let me just say I didn't like the book, I didn't like or agree with the author's views, and cannot recommend this book. I hate to give a bad review, but I cannot in good conscience do otherwise with this title.

About the author:

Douglas Jacoby is a Bible teacher and professor and the author of A Quick Overview of the Bible, Compelling Evidence for God and the Bible, Your Bible Questions Answered, and The Ultimate Bible Quiz Book. A graduate of Duke University (history), Harvard Divinity School (New Testament), and Drew University (ministry), Dr. Jacoby has taught in more than 100 nations around the world.

What's the Truth About Heaven and Hell? is available from Harvest House Publishers.

Thanks to Harvest House for the review copy.