I had heard a lot about this book, and was hoping it would teach me more about what the Bible says about heaven.
Randy Alcorn began the book by stating some of the things many believe about heaven and hell. Then, he explains that heaven and hell are real, physical places, and that they are our eternal destinations, and that the default for all of us, until we come to faith in Christ, is hell.
Which is all scripturally based.
Then, he begins to introduce other ideas. Revelation 21:1-3 says that there is a new heaven, and a new earth, and the new Jerusalem comes down out of heaven. Alcorn, however, states that heaven is actually where God is, and that the new earth will be the new heaven (p. 45 of the hardcover).
While John calls this the new heaven and new earth (again, Rev. 21:1-3), Alcorn states that it is actually the old earth, restored. While John called it a new earth, it's not really a new earth at all. 'So will the earth we know come to an end? Yes. To a final end? No.' (p. 90-91 hardcover). This is also in contrast to 2 Peter 3:10, But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
The elements will be destroyed, but somehow, they will be then renewed. While I don't argue with God's ability to do this, it isn't a biblical idea. Just an imaginative one.
On p. 103 of the hardcover, he states, As God and man will be forever united in Jesus, so Heaven and Earth will for-ever be united in the new physical universe where we will live as resurrected beings. To affirm anything less is to understate the redemptive work of Christ.
So if you don't believe that the new heaven and the new earth are one, you are understating the redemptive work of Christ! It would be challenging to prove that from scripture.
This type of thinking is the foundation for the book. It really isn't a biblical perspective on heaven. In fact, most of it relates not to heaven, but to his vision of the new earth, which is in his mind, is also the new heaven.
Initially, I had hoped to write up my problems with the book, but by page 130 of the book, I had 11 pages of notes. If the book was biblically based, that shouldn't happen.
If you buy this book, look up the verses referenced, and others. Look at the verses, separate from the book. Ask God if they really mean what Randy believes they mean. Study of the Bible should help us better understand God and truth, it shouldn't lead to mere conjecture. And this book is based significantly on conjecture.
This time I bought this book as another gift. I was so impressed with Heaven that I have purchased it several times as a gift for people who are grieving over the passing of a loved one. It is filled with accurate Scripture and is very calming to read as we find out what it is like where our loved one is now and where we will spend eternity if Jesus is our Savior. This book was originally recommended to me by a pastor friend.
After listening through the audio book several times, I have chosen to purchase the kids version for a 4 year old who just lost her grandmother - an audio book for my unsaved father - a book for my unsaved mother - the heaven cards for those who have lost someone dear to them and the heaven evangelistic pack to hand out to those who need to think about eternity. This book has given me new perspective about heaven by bringing together the Scripture and reasoning through it. I heartily recommend it to everyone.