Have you noticed all the books about heaven lately? To include the good, the bad and the ugly. Seems every well-known preacher or teacher with a computer, or typewriter or yellow legal pad has been producing one.
Well, here’s another – The Gift of Heaven by Charles F. Stanley. (Next month we’ll review one by Robert Jeffress with his entry into the fray.) Stanley is the long time senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia and is well-known for his preaching and teaching ministry. The book is published by Harper Collins Publishing.
The book is beautifully done with lots of serene pictures surely intended to give the reader a “sense” of heaven. Structurally it has a study hard cover and thick glossy pages all 160 of them. Unfortunately, the contents are arranged in such a manner that almost half of the pages are taken up with short quotations on facing pages. And in many cases of actual text only half of the page is filled leaving room for the tranquil pictures. Thus, it makes for a quick and easy read.
Stanley tackles the subject of Heaven in very perfunctory manner. At times it has the feel of sermon notes put into prose. Therefore, this volume is definitely not for in-depth study. Actually it only touches the surface on the subject.
The most redeeming quality is that it would serve as an excellent gift for new believers who desire hope and assurance of their future destination. Or perhaps it would be useful as an evangelistic tool. It’s the type of book to leave on the coffee table which, in the presence of visitors, might stir up a conversation.
Bottom line recommendation: Buy it as a gift, not as a study tool.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by Harper Collins Publishing for a fair and honest review.