Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Book Review: Steve Berger's Between Heaven and Earth

There are a lot of books of recent coming out to discuss the matter of heaven of late. Whether it's to recount an experience going there, particular questions you hear commonly asked about the place, or like this one just focusing why it's important to be Heaven minded. Except of the ones I've read of recent Steve Berger's discussion on the matter seems to be the most repetitive. The better parts are where he discusses his own experiences, but he does that so few times, and focuses on other aspects that just aren't as impacting that the book just seems like a message for everyone to go out an be missionaries.

Summary: Steve Berger experienced a tragic loss when his 19 year old son, Josiah, died in a car crash. After his death Berger began studying his son's new home in heaven, and now he is committed to bringing the same hope he has found in one spending eternity there that he has found as well. He gives hope for those who hope to find their loved ones there, and how we will experience God there. He also provides reassurance of not feeling pain again. This book is to give hope to the reader for the beyond.

Characters: The good part of the book is how it does try to get the reader emotionally involved. Berger does get a little personal with his own story that led him to seek out his faith more closely in a way that was an experience for the world beyond. You also feel heavily the loss of his son while reading. I found the book though to really lose any appeal outside of that though. The author uses Biblical references that back up his points, but everything he is saying feels very obvious? And the main character we constantly read about is Paul. There isn't much of anyone outside of that we get experiences from, and what would have been helpful would have been a bit more from the author and how he shifted his focus from being in grief to having hope.

Writing: The writing also does some generic self-help, motivational speech stuff. There are lots of exclamation points. He is yelling his points, and often the tone comes off preachy. I felt I should be a pastor or a missionary at the end of the book or I was useless. The book is also scattered. Sometimes you would be reading on point and others you felt the harvest point was rung back in.

Plot: Unlike other books that have been written about heaven I just didn't feel I had any more clarity on the matter than what the Bible could give me. If you want to truly go straight to the verses and discover what it is like, and getting into the mindset of living for another home then you should get straight to scripture, especially when books like this do not add anything to further your understanding of the Bible. I just recently reviewed, Life Stinks...Then You Die, and that was much more insightful, and inspiring to living for Christ and being in heaven with him than this book was. This book uses bits and pieces of the author's life here and there to sort of motivate, and if you have experienced some of the same lost then it might, but it never really leaped out at me.

Between Heaven and Earth isn't anything I would purchase. Unless you've suffered a loss it might not even have the basic easy to relate to experience. I think the author should have expanded upon his own experiences, but the book takes a route into using overused techniques of being overly excited, sometimes preachy, and doesn't make me feel as if I learned anything.

Rating 4 of 10.

This book was provided by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for a review.

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