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Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jan 3 2019 4:19 AM

According to Gospelebooks this book is on sale until 31st January. Does anyone know much about the book or author? How scripturally based is the book likely to be? 

https://ebooks.faithlife.com/products/13453/heaven-and-the-afterlife-what-happens-the-second-we-die-if-heaven-is-a-real-place-who-will-live-there-if-hell-exists-where-is-it-located-what-do-near-death-experiences-mean-can-the-dead-speak-to-us-and-more

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Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 3 2019 6:12 AM

The author has impressive credentials for sure. I went to the US Amazon and read some of the 5 star reviews and some of the 1 star reviews. One of the one star reviews mentioned that the author claimed one could communicate with the dead. Not sure of the veracity of that claim but I'll pass for now unless someone else has this book and can clarify

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Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 3 2019 6:14 AM

This was what the review said in total: "This book contains a chapte titled, "Grace-Filled Guests" with those "guests" being visitations from the dead. We are clearly instructed in Scripture to not communicate with the dead. I returned this book and recommend that you read Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven, for a more sound and deep look into the afterlife."

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 3 2019 6:31 AM

Mattillo:
One of the one star reviews mentioned that the author claimed one could communicate with the dead. Not sure of the veracity of that claim but I'll pass for now unless someone else has this book and can clarify

I'm not sure that the author is claiming it but recognising that there are lots of stories about those who believe they have had these experiences. He writes:

"• What if many people have had a pleasant encounter with the “friendly ghost” of someone who is deceased?
• What if that someone is a person they knew well and loved in life?
• What if nearly everyone who’s had the experience describes it as comforting and healing after a painful loss?
• What if prominent grief counselors and hospice caregivers have said that after-death encounters like these are remarkably common?

There’s no need to speculate, because all of the above is true. This isn’t to say there is scientific proof of after-death communication. As we’ve already seen, that goal may always remain just over the horizon. It simply means convincing, firsthand testimony continues to accumulate about spontaneous communication with the spirit of a deceased loved one."

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 3 2019 6:48 AM

Paul Caneparo:
Does anyone know much about the book or author? How scripturally based is the book likely to be? 

I have it but haven't read it so don't know much about it.

I don't think it is particularly scripturally based and it doesn't really claim to be - although it does draw on scripture (there are just under 400 biblical references throughout the book)

The cover page has "Encountering heaven and the afterlife: true stories from people who have glimpsed the world beyond"

The publisher's summary says that the book is:

“A comprehensive and straightforward exploration of beliefs about heaven, hell, and what happens when people die, written from a Christian perspective”

And I think this is probably what it is trying to do - exploring what different people or groups think and in some cases to critique them.

For example, part 5 - titled "Hell-Avoidance Strategies" - looks briefly at the ideas behind Universalism, Annihilationism, Purgatory and Reincarnation. He explains them, how they have developed, some of the arguments for and against them. In each case he argues - from his understanding of the Bible - why they are not valid positions to hold.

The final section (part 6) - "Confident before the King" - is a powerful chapter recounting some of the challenges he has faced himself - along with his family - and how he has found God in a deeper and more meaningful way. He finishes the book with these words:

"If you’ve spent any time in Sunday school you’ve probably heard—maybe even memorized—one of the Bible’s most familiar verses: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”7 That’s what this whole discussion about the afterlife boils down to: God has prepared an unimaginable place for you to spend eternity, and he wants to enjoy it with you.
God has prepared an unimaginable place for you to spend eternity, and he wants to enjoy it with you.
God’s desire? For you to become comfortable with him. Here. Now. It will make the next life even more wonderful.
He likes you. He wants to be with you. Now."

It's not an academic book, it doesn't start from a biblical framework but recounts people's stories and experience and reflects on them.

But through it seems to run the thread of God's presence for people and his desire & love for them.

All the above is based on a very quick scan-through. I may have misunderstood some key things that the book is trying to do but that is what I picked up

Hope it is helpful.

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 3 2019 7:07 AM

I own it too, and had been planning on reading it for several years. However, I ended up getting Habermas/Moreland "Beyond Death" during the Wipf & Stock sale who provide a more academic view on the matter. That's my New Year's read now. Obviously, it's no longer available for $4.99...

I briefly looked at the chapter mentioned by Graham, and I agree with his conclusion. The book is not particularly scripture based.

In fact it looks like it has crossed the line by encouraging contact with the dead.

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Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 3 2019 9:25 AM

Thanks all. Sounds like a pass - even for $1.99. No point in spending money just because it sounds of interest and is on sale. I have Heaven by Randy Alcorn, so I should probably get round to reading that!

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PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 3 2019 11:42 AM

Speaking of Heaven by Randy Alcorn, which both Paul and Mattillo mentioned, I read most of it several years ago. Do you think its depiction of the afterlife can be mostly substantiated by Scripture?

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Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 3 2019 11:51 AM

Personally I haven't read alcorn's heaven though I do have it. My favorite heaven book thus far has been the one by Macarthur

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