Kreeft begins with a simple premise: heaven is real and we all want to go there. But in its simpleness, this idea proves to be the most profound and deepest idea that humanity can lay claim to, and it grabs hold of us like no other. It is an idea that has always been part of the human psyche, an idea that will not go away, though we try to ignore it, or fill our lives with other things. But we are unable to escape it.
Kreeft explores some of the history of the idea of heaven in philosophy, psychology and theology, and offers insight into why heaven has retained such a strong hold upon our souls. There are three questions, according to Kreeft (and others, including Kant), which all humans seek to answer:
- What can I know?
- What should I do?
- What may I hope?
There are many answers to the first two questions, but in Kreeft's view, only heaven, and the hope it entails, is a valid answer to the third. He says, "Just as faith fulfills the mind's deepest quest for truth and as love fulfills the moral will's deepest quest for goodness, so the hope of heaven fulfills the heart's deepest quest for joy."
As always, Kreeft is thoroughly versed in the history and philosophy of this concept, quoting from divergent sources such as Plato, Nietzsche, C.S. Lewis and Viktor Frankl. He helps us to understand all aspects of the quest for heaven, including where it starts, when it takes place, where it takes place (and how) and what its ultimate end will be. But heaven is not just an abstract concept giving us hope for the future. It is, instead, a practical and real idea which can and should transform the way we live everyday, and he shows us how and why that is true.