Monday, May 4, 2015

Book Reviews on Time, Aging, Death, Grieving and Heaven #3

Here are two books about heaven that will give you new perspectives about what living and dying is all about. These books will grow your faith, help you live with purpose and guide you through grief.

Letters to Heaven by Calvin Miller

Letters to Heaven is a fascinating book. Calvin Miller writes to people who have preceded him in reaching eternity. Each person impacted his life. A number of the people he writes to are well known including C.S. Lewis, Todd Beamer, and Madeleine L’Engle. Many are unknown. The girl in the iron lung brings memories of polio, the most dreaded childhood disease in the 20th Century. Another letter is written to a man who died beside him on a flight. He includes a letter to his mother and one to a brother who died in childhood. Miller's own experiences and wisdom weave throughout the book.

Calvin Miller was a pastor, a professor and a writer. I previously read his books Life is Mostly Edges (a memoir) and Letters to Young Pastors (both excellent). I wanted to read this book because he replied kindly when I sent him a copy of my book, Changing Churches. Also, I knew he recently went on to heaven himself. He impacted my life in a small but meaningful way.

HEAVEN: A World of Joy by Jonathan Edwards

I discovered this sixty-three page booklet in my church library and was intrigued to read what the famous preacher Jonathan Edwards had to say about heaven. Many have heard of his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

His thoughts on heaven are both simple and complex and all very beautiful. Citing 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 Edwards says “The doctrine I would desire to draw from this text is, that HEAVEN IS A WORLD OF DIVINE LOVE.” 
Edwards covers 
1. The great cause and fountain of love in heaven.
2. The objects of love in heaven.
3. The subjects of love in heaven.
4. The principle or essence of love in heaven.
5. The excellent circumstances in which love is exercised, expressed and enjoyed in heaven.
6. The happy effects and fruit of all this.

The circumstances he lists in chapter 5 inspired me.
1. Love in heaven is always mutual.
2. The joy of heavenly love shall never be interrupted or stifled by jealousy.
3. There shall be nothing within themselves to block or hinder the saints in heaven in the exercises and expressions of love.
4. In heaven love will be expressed with perfect decency and wisdom.
5. There shall be nothing external in heaven to keep its inhabitants at a distance from each other, or to hinder their most perfect enjoyment of each other’s love.
6. In heaven all shall be united together in very near and dear relations.
7. In heaven all shall have property and ownership in each other.
8. In heaven they shall enjoy each other’s love in perfect and uninterrupted prosperity.
9. In heaven all things shall combine to promote their love, and give advantage for mutual enjoyment.
10. The inhabitants of heaven shall all know that they will continue in the perfect enjoyment of each other’s love forever.

No more tears, no more night – the fullness of love given and received eternally. What a vision and promise for those who know Christ and have accepted him as Lord and Savior.

Readers can Google the title and find Jonathan Edwards book on line in its entirety.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Blessings, Dottie

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