"If you have ever wondered whether the idea of heaven is merely a theoretical human construct, then this book is for you. If you have ever entertained doubts or questions about a future existence after this life, then this book is for you. If you have ever thought of heaven's residents as rather dull, ethereal beings perched on billowing clouds strumming golden harps, then this book is for you. If you have ever imagined heaven to be simply one never-ending worship service, then this book is for you."
-- from the Introduction by Richard J. Foster
As long as people have lived, they have dreamed and wondered about the life that comes after this one. In Exploring Heaven, Arthur O. Roberts distills the best of Christian thought and speculation to answer the age-old questions about eternal life. Drawing from a wealth of timeless wisdom, Roberts not only sketches out the overwhelming evidence that eternal life is a reality, he also describes everything from heaven's location and its inhabitants to the nature and rhythm of eternal life.
Speculating about heaven can be a risky business, but Roberts is firmly grounded in Christian tra-dition and classical scholarship. Part philosopher and part pastor, he employs biblical evidence, scientific proofs, personal anecdotes, and philo-sophical musings to create a complete and prag-matic picture of life after death. While the heaven he depicts is a place filled with joy and worship, it is hardly a fairyland of clouds and harps where the saved lounge about for eternity. Instead, he believes humans will work, play, socialize, and learn, continuing the process of discipleship started on earth. And unlike philosophers who dismiss physi-cal bodies as so much excess baggage, Roberts be-lieves that we will continue to inhabit our (greatly enhanced) bodies after death. Indeed, we will live much as we do now, with one key exception: heaven will be free of sin.
Both pragmatic and celebratory, equal parts wise and inspiring, Exploring Heaven will appeal to everyone who has ever wondered about the nature of eternal life.
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Arthur O. Roberts is professor at large at George Fox University and a Quaker scholar, writer, songwriter, and poet. He is the author of numerous books, including DRAWN BY THE LIGHT, SUNRISE AND SHADOW, and MESSENGERS OF GOD. He lives with his wife, Fern, in Yachats, Oregon.From Publishers Weekly:
What does eternal life really mean? Who inhabits heaven? Is there a society in heaven? Using such important questions about heaven, Roberts (Messengers of God; Drawn by the Light) offers numerous Christian theories about this alluring celestial destination. For instance, he suggests several possibilities for the "location" of heaven: it could be an illusion carried over from a less evolved era of the human race, a spiritual world that co-exists with the natural one, or a moment of union with the divine. Roberts draws from Scripture and Christian leaders as well as less predictable sources, such as the Chinese scholar Mo Tzu, the philosopher Plato, and poet Vachel Lindsay ("General William Booth Enters Heaven"). Roberts, a professor at large at George Fox University and a Quaker philosopher, is an overt and opinionated narrator who dutifully presents many interpretations of heaven, but makes it clear what he thinks of each one. This willingness to step forward saves the book from being a droning, neutral, academic tome. Roberts takes a great personal risk when he discusses evidences for an afterlife; although he possesses a general skepticism regarding s‚ances and mediums, he admits to hearing reassuring words from a deceased friend. "It wasn't something that could be laboratory tested as a repeatable occurrence; but it was an intimation of immortality, a flicker of light in the shadow of death." This exploration of heaven reads like a highly engaging and intelligent conversation.
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