“Heaven is not my Home” – a book review

I would like to recommend an excellent book that I am presently reading called “Heaven is not my Home” by Paul Marshall. In his thought-provoking book, Marshall asserts that God is not seeking to destroy the earth, but to restore it to its original splendor. He shows us how the redemption of all things should shape the way we look at every aspect of our lives. He especially fleshes out some of the things I’ve talked about in regard to developing a healthy theology of play. (See “Christian Impact and Football” and “C.S. Lewis and a Theology of Christian Hope“). However, Marshall’s work goes much, much further. His fuller emphasis is focused on broader aspects of the Kingdom of God ‘yet to come’ and connecting those to the Kingdom of God that exists ‘right now’.

A few of the ideas that I found particularly helpful and provocative were expressed in the chapters that highlighted: Creation and Responsibility, the Wonder of Learning, the Perspective on Work, the Pleasures of Play, Imagination and the Arts, and Creativity and Technology. This book is an excellent read that gives a robust Biblical view of the earthiness and glory of the Kingdom of Christ, that encourages us to live in the ‘right now’, with a great hope and anticipation of the ‘yet to come’. You can order it today at the Sacrosanct Bookstore by Clicking Here!

11 thoughts on ““Heaven is not my Home” – a book review

  1. Sounds intersting. I may read it some time. One of my favorite books of all time is “Heaven, Your Real Home”, by Joni Eareckson Tada.

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  2. That’s a great question. They work very well together, with a similar view of Eschatology and Kingdom. I would say that Wright’s book combines great scholarship with just a very warm “british” way of writing that makes you feel like smoking a pipe with Gandalf. You know what i’m driving at. Oxford cool, but get attable. Marshall, on the other hand, really brings it home to where I live and breath. He does a great job of describing a wholistic view of worship that is incredibly needed in American Evangelicalism. It’s great. I feel like giving it to every pastor and elder that I know.

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  3. “One of the most lamest books ever made?”

    Really? Seriously? C’mon, let’s be honest. You’ve never read the book, have you? You’ve never ready any book. Admit it. Tell the truth. It’ll be our secret.

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  4. Anonymous tells it all. I’d want to be known as Anonymous, too, if I wanted to draw so much attention to my ignorance.

    Anyway, this sounds like a great book. I took an unpopular position on eschatology when I wrote my doctrinal statement at CBC (now CIU) in 1986-87. Of course, it was one of the longer senior doctrinals of 76 pages in length. I titled it Kercher’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, as a joke. The old Presbyterian retired minister who reviewed it said I took a traditionally amillennial approach. It just made more sense than the hopeless dispensationalist-sensationalist position.

    However, I later read Kenneth Gentry’s He Shall Have Dominion in the late nineties, and the postmillennial approach made sense. Also read R.C. Sproul’s The End Times According to Jesus, which was also pretty good. Then, Philip Mauro’s out-of-print classic, The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation, a post-WWI classic. Gentry’s postmil was much more hopeful than amillennialism, but not the same kind of postmil teaching of the pre-World War I period, that devastated so many people toward the Christian faith. Mauro’s book tried to address that, but perhaps he was unpopular at the time. Made a heckuva lot of sense to me.

    I’m looking for a new heaven and earth, not a rapture that will take me away to the sweet by-and-by, pie in the sky. If Jesus’ Gospel is the message of hope for all nations, every tribe, people, and tongue, I’m looking forward to that New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven, the Church He bought with His precious blood who now is His Bride, and who will rule with Him in a fully restored earth. Heaven is His throne, earth is His footstool. We worship at his feet. This is our home.

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  5. P.S. I understand Joni Eriksen Tada’s argument that heaven is our home. She speaks, no doubt, of the horrible circumstances of handicapped reality. In a sense, in this flesh, we are all handicapped. I know from my pain, I often ask, “Is this all there is?” Thankfully, the answer is, “NO!”

    Certainly, there is a sense in which “this world” is not our home. But when the heavens and earth (the world, the universe) are recreated in the newness of the consummate Kingdom of God, certainly that is our home. Heaven, the great unknown intermediate state, to which we speak when our fellow laborers pass from this life into eternity, that really is not our home. It is intermediate, not permanent. Certainly wherever God is, that is our home, especially in death, for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

    But I am not persuaded that this world will be destroyed by fire, as much as it will be refined as in fire… to be renewed, not destroyed. And the New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven—the new heaven and earth—that is where the Lamb will be and that will be our eternal home.

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  6. Beautiful response Andy. I too agree with the idea of “refining” fire, rather than destructive fire. I cannot wait until heaven and earth become one, when the veil is fully removed, and Christ appears before us in all of His infinite glory. I love the lyrics to “This is My Father’s World”:

    This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
    That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
    This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
    Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
    And earth and Heav’n be one.

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  7. You got it, Tim! That is the Gospel; that in Christ, heaven and earth become one. So, now, in the “now, and not yet” we get a foretaste of the consummation of all things. This is My Father’s World, and His purpose is to redeem and deliver it from the bondage of the curse into the glorious freedom of the sons of God, not to destroy it. Jesus Himself said that His Father did not send Him into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:17)

    The passage “of the increase of His kingdom [and peace] there shall be no end,” comes from Isaiah 9:6-7, where the prophecy of “unto us a Child is born” is described. My point is that it will not take some future millennial reign of Christ physically on earth to bring about His kingdom and peace, but that process began at His conception and birth from the Virgin’s womb, by the Holy Spirit.

    When the blessed Virgin Mary consented to the archangel Gabriel’s annunciation of the Savior of our race to be conceived in her by the power of the Most High, that moment of conception and reception of God’s kingdom was the turning point of the curse that our first parents brought upon us by their rejection of God’s rule. God’s promise that the Seed of the Woman (bruised on the heel by the serpent but Who would crush the head of the serpent) began to take flesh. As the Son of God and Son of Mary said, “The Kingdom of God is among you.” Jesus is the King and he is Emmanuel, God with us. His Kingdom is here and now, yet now and not yet.

    The Gospel is the message of hope for “this world.” It is not really a message of “another world,” but of redeeming this world from the Fall. In Christ, heaven and earth are becoming one; we have yet to see the completeness of it, but it has already begun. “Of the increase of his kingdom there shall be no end.” This is the Christian’s hope.

    “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

    Yours in Christ,
    Andrew

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  8. This was cool, to see you guys interact in a way that builds up. Did you really both just land here randomly like me, or are you actually cousins or something? I was actually surfin around for some info on a newly released book by the same name but a different author, David Burge.

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