Thursday, June 2, 2011

We Shall See God: Charles Spurgeon’s Classic Devotional Thoughts on Heaven by Randy Alcorn

Randy Alcorn in We Shall See God collects fifty experts from Charles Spurgeon’s sermons on the topic of heaven. Alcorn has selected from Spurgeon’s vast treasury of sermons excerpts that show Spurgeon’s thoughts on heaven and the importance of Jesus in a theology of the afterlife. After every two to five page Spurgeon excerpt, Alcorn provides commentary on Spurgeon’s thoughts and helps provide linkages to the modern day. Alcorn for his modern reader additionally edited each section to meet modern conventional grammar, often resulting in rearranging large paragraphs into smaller chunks. Alcorn along with the excerpts provides biographical information on Spurgeon for readers unfamiliar with his life and ministry.

For the purposes of this review, I want to focus primarily on Spurgeon’s thoughts. Though Alcorn’s commentary is helpful and helps readers get to the point of sermons written in the language of the 19th century. Spurgeon overall paints a picture of heaven that is exciting, better than one can expect and adventurist. Spurgeon chaffs at those who view heaven as a boring uninteresting existence that humans would not want to spend an eternity in. Instead heaven is a place of rest and sabbath where believers will finally know Jesus in a personal manner. The saved will live in heaven as kings, redeemed by the work of Christ. In heaven there will be no place for sin, but there will be room for laughter and joy. Spurgeon believed that believers would retain their personal identities and friendships, deeper than we could have in the old earth, in the restored creation. This is a devotional book and the cheery and exciting picture that Spurgeon paints of heaven is highly encouraging. On a side note there have been a lot of discussion about heaven and what does it mean to be an Universalist. Spurgeon makes clear that he believes that he believes that there will be more in heaven than those that are lost to hell, an existence without God. Alcorn states his belief that Spurgeon is not an Universalist in anyway, as Jesus is the key to salvation. But it does lead to questions about what does it mean to be an Universalist and the importance to provide each other grace in this debate. In my opinion, we are currently experiencing an vigorous theological debate amongst believers about heaven. In short, it’s nice to see where we have been already to help us determine where we are going.

Review Copy Provided by Tyndale House Publishers

No comments:

Post a Comment