I thought I’d list a few of the books I used in preparing to preach on heaven, in case anyone wants to dive in deeper. I said on Sunday that seeing a future is a necessary part of a missional spirituality, because we have to have a clear vision of the future if we are going to be effective in changing the present. Here are the books:
Simply Christian has a great few chapters on the "heavens" and the "earth", and how they interact. Heaven is all about heaven, of course. The last chapter of the Divine Conspiracy is a very thoughtful exposition on how envisioning a future propels into kingdom living here and now. And Reversed Thunder has a great chapter on Revelation 21-22.
pastor john parker says
alcorn also has a book called ‘safely home’ that has a lot of heaven talk in it. it’s fiction, so probably not that useful for sermon prep.
but i heard that the book of job was fiction as well. go ahead. kick me out of the church.
pastor john parker.
“my, my, my.”
Benjamin Sternke says
I’ve heard Job might not be strictly historical, too. I’m not sure one way or the other, but I’ve used a lot of fiction in my sermon prep before, especially as it relates to heaven. Such as C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books, as well as The Great Divorce. I might also play a clip from Return of the King next week (the conversation between Pippin and Gandalf before the Orcs break into the last defenses of the city, about the “white shores” that Gandalf has seen when he died the first time. Pippin says, “That doesn’t sound so bad.” Gandalf replies, “No… it isn’t.”)
I think sometimes fiction is the best way to capture certain truths. Maybe heaven is one of those truths that fiction reveals more completely than non-fiction.
Jim Howard says
I think fiction does offer that opportunity to get a glimpse of heaven, just like it offered us an opportunity to get a glimpse of space exploration. Think of those Star Trek “communicators”—look a lot like cell phones today. There are pieces of truth in every fiction. God wants the concrete thinkers (which I can be one of them) to use their left brain AND their right brain. Not just one side. The risen Jesus just showing up in locked rooms sounds a lot like fiction, only there were lots of witnesses. Why don’t the walls mean anything to the Risen Jesus? He has a body.