Book Review : Heaven and Hell

heavenhellWhen it comes to controversial topics in the church today, the question of the existence of a literal Heaven and Hell is sure to generate heated discussion and debate. Most people readily embrace the thought of a Heaven and believe they will go there someday. On the other hand, there are many who do not personally believe in a Hell and simply can’t embrace the thought that God would allow such a place. In his new book, “Heaven and Hell; Are They Real?” author Christopher Hudson investigates the existence and nature of these places that he believes are “thrown around flippantly these days.” A quick breakdown of the book’s structure is necessary. Hudson’s book has two main parts, obviously. Part One, Heaven, is made up of five subsections and contains thirty-one questions. Part Two, Hell, is made up of six subsections and contains thirty questions. Hudson’s approach to the writing of this book appears to be an attempt to answer what he believes are the most commonly asked questions about Heaven and Hell.

What I Liked.

I liked the fact that Hudson wrote a book on Heaven and Hell. In my pastoral experiences, there is a great deal of uncertainty and confusion about these two eternal destinies. I applaud Hudson’s approach to simply let the Bible speak on these subjects. The flow and structure of the book reflect my preferred learning style (main points, sub-points, short chapters, etc.) I liked that. This book is an easy ready. Heaven and Hell moves from one sub-section to the next dealing with the related questions

What I Did Not Like.

I’m afraid there is more that I didn’t like than what I did like. I believe the book is too broad. With sixty-one questions ranging from “Does Everyone Go to Heaven Eventually?” to “Is Heaven a Real Place?” to “Does God Banish People to Hell or Do They Choose That Destruction Themselves?”, adequate time and attention to each are not afforded. Included are what I would consider just plain silly questions such as “Will There Be Animals in Heaven?”, “Will There Be Sex in Heaven?”, and “Will I Be Smarter in Heaven?” Time taken for these sorts of questions could have been given to the weightier and more important questions. In almost every case, once Hudson poses the question, he allows someone else to answer the question for him. Hudson simply makes a few comments after each. There are lengthy quotes throughout the book as supplemental voices work to answer Hudson’s questions. This is somewhat problematic to me because Hudson rarely states his position. The reader is left to conclude that Hudson agrees with the position of his quoted source. Also, some of the questions are repetitive and could have been absorbed with other like-themed questions.

Heaven and Hell is good primer work. In my opinion, it serves as a conversation starter and may leave the reader with unanswered questions. However, if you are looking for a deep, scholarly, theological work, this is not the book for you. I would have mixed emotions about recommending it to others because of its width and lack of depth.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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