Bringing Heaven Down To Earth

blog for the book by Nathan Bierma • > Heaven > Blog

Friday, September 29, 2006

Albom's "rather unsatisfying vision of heaven"

From a Slate rebuke of Mitch Albom's shallow sentimentalism:

... what emerges is a rather unsatisfying vision of heaven. In the preface to Five People, Albom explained heaven as a place where "people who felt unimportant here on earth [would] realize, finally, how much they mattered and how they were loved." In Albom's heaven, you confront your earthly disappointments—your father's neglect, your stunted relationships—in the same way you would if you were sitting down for an interview with Barbara Walters. The afterlife affords you no higher level of consciousness. It merely reveals the mundane secrets of the past. (So that's how Mom paid my college tuition!) The wisdom is dispensed not by God but the author.


(Speaking of Barbara Walters and heaven ...)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Heaven as Embodied: The Forgotten Theology

Gideon Strauss, on what he calls "Christian platonism lite":

Last night I discovered that - yet again - many of my Introduction to Philosophy students believe that their eternal destiny is as souls in heaven with God, with "heaven" understood in a fuzzy way, but certainly not including being embodied. And most of the same students believe that the purpose of Christian evangelism is to win souls for heaven. Hallo, Apostles' Creed. Hallo, Nicene Creed. Unlike most Americans (don't know about Canadians), I believe in the resurrection of the body (for a start).

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The glory of God in Exodus 24

We read Exodus 24(NRSV) in CICW staff devotions today, and this line jumped out at me; I'll have to return to it to look at the Greek and Hebrew, and other English versions:

They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Publisher's Weekly mention

Juli Cragg Hilliard interviewed me for this piece in Publisher's Weekly's Religion BookLine.

Books on Heaven Can’t Wait for Readers
by Juli Cragg Hilliard
Religion BookLine


At 26, Nathan Bierma, a Christian in the Dutch Calvinist tradition, seems young to be thinking about the next world. But the subject has fascinated him since at least high school, and he wrote Bringing Heaven Down to Earth: Connecting This Life to the Next (P&R Publishing, 2005) with college students and twenty-somethings in mind.

He says he started work on the book when the Left Behind craze was at its zenith. “I wasn’t trying to take on the Left Behind series, but I was saying there was a different vision of the end times and of eternal life in the Bible.”

Bierma believes everything we see here now—-culture, work, play, nature, sidewalks—-is a preview of a heaven that will be more meaningful than the conventional, vague visions of eternity. His message: “Take a new picture of heaven, and let that drive you in your daily life.”

full article

West Michigan Christian article

More blog mentions

here, here, here, here, and here. Thanks to all these bloggers for their interest and reflections!

(More earlier)