Between Heaven and Earth: Finding Hope, Courage, and Passion Through a Fresh Vision of Heaven by Steve Berger

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.

 

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