Between Heaven and Earth by Steve Berger is a thought provoking small book providing insight on preparing oneself for a life in heaven. Steve as a pastor has undoubtedly had his thoughts firmly placed on spending his eternity in heaven but the untimely death of his 19 year old son in a car accident certainly increased his thoughts on this subject. Steve's book provides a simple to understand Bible based manual on preparing for eternal life in heaven. He provides scriptural background for all of his thoughts and preparations. Though Steve certainly discusses the grief and sadness that the death of his son, Josiah, brought into his life he chose not to dwell upon his death but rather to focus on the beauty of his son's certain home in heaven with his eternal father. Steve's life and that of his family changed forever when Josiah died but rather than despair over what he had lost Steve has made to choice to work to make sure of those around him have the opportunity for this same salvation.
Steve further includes in the book that if you are planning for life in heaven that it should be self evident to anyone who just watches you. That you should have your hand in the harvest of souls for Christ. He then provides the plan for helping in Christ's soul harvest. In the book he quotes James where it is stated that faith without works is dead and Steve states that many want their faith to get them into heaven but that Christians should want to take many with them when they go.
I enjoyed this book and it certainly makes the reader contemplate on whether they could be doing more to insure that the many mansions the Jesus has prepared for us are full.
This book was provided by Bethany House for this review.
This book was written for those who are seeking a solid biblical understanding of Heaven, and the author's goal is that heavenly perspective will give the reader a strong sense of earthly purpose. Author Steven Berger is careful to avoid areas of doctrinal disagreement while presenting theologically sound interpretations of scriptures regarding Heaven. The author's passion for the subject comes through clearly, but the tone of the book is primarily didactic- that is, the teaching borders on repetitious at times. For example, every quoted Scripture or scriptural example (and there are many) is followed by a very thorough and exhaustive explanation- regardless of how straightforward the Scripture might be. The notable exception to this tone is when the author shares about the loss of his son. Here, he very personally and tangibly conveys the true comfort and hope he has found in his pursuit of a deeper understanding of Heaven.
My sense of the author is that he is an excellent teacher and someone with whom you could enjoy a deep, intellectual biblical discussion - but somehow I felt I came away from the book with more "head knowledge" as opposed to deeper passion. In trying to put my finger on why this was, I can only conclude that while there is absolutely nothing wrong with pressing on in our faith and striving to be "heaven-minded", this comes not through increased diligence and discipline so much as it does through loving Jesus more. In other words, I felt as if the burden was on me to be a better Christian: to pray more, to read the Word more, to seek more of the Holy Spirit and to repent more - all good and fine- but not necessarily passion producing.
To bring balance to what may sound like a less than favorable review, I want to point out that this book would be an excellent study for those seeking to deepen their understanding of what the Bible says about Heaven. If you consider yourself a new believer or a "seeker" I think this book would be particularly helpful, as it is geared towards those who either haven't thought much about Heaven or who wonder what it's supposed to be like. The author's exegetic approach will also appeal to those who prefer logic to emotion. Finally, I believe that because of the author's strength as a teacher, he does succeed at investing the reader with a stronger sense of earthly purpose.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Pastor Steve Berger really awakens the reader to the fact that we need to get off our duffs and start Harvesting. It is of the utmost importance that we don't sit idly by and let others in the church do all the work. We have an important part to play too. Our focus should be on Heaven and not on things of this world.
I like how the author not only shared scripture but went on to tell us exactly what the scripture meant, often giving us the Greek meaning so the scripture would be crystal clear to us.
I shared with a lady at Bible study how excited I am about Heaven and even more so after reading this book. I am ready to harvest!
I highly recommend this wonderful book to everyone. It gives us joy, hope, and inspiration to make a change in our lives.
When our Pastor told us that he was starting a series on Heaven my eyes lit up and I thought oh boy I can't wait. In the meantime I saw this book Between Heaven And Earth on LibraryThing and after reading what it was about I knew I wanted to try to win this ARC. Imagine my surprise when I did win a copy of it. A coincidence? I think not!
Thank you Bethany House Publishers and author Steve Berger for allowing me to read and review this great book. The opinions expressed are mine alone.