“Heaven is for Real”; Fiction About Heaven Labeled Non-Fiction is Not
David Platt talking on why “Heaven is For Real” and other books like it extort our hopes, waste our money, and devalue our scriptures—and thus should be ignored by Christians.
I am a little late in reading The Derision of Heaven by Michael Whitworth. But as many friends recommended it to me, and I went to school with this talented writer and preacher, I knew I owed it to him. So here goes.
Whitworth’s book comes at a time when many Christians worry that their “rights” are shrinking, that a huge persecution is coming, that the privileges that we have long held are going to soon be lost, and that we just won’t know what to do about it. The Derision of Heaven, which takes applied scholarship and shares it in a very understandable, relevant language, points to the book of Daniel as a source of answers for the questions we might be having—not questions about what will happen through the reading of “secret prophecies”, but about what is supposed to happen and what it means when it happens. Daniel’s book is about kings—all kings—and how God laughs at derision when they refuse to acknowledge his majesty (recalling the 2nd Psalm). America included.
from Day 3.1:
Brother Jones waved a dismissive hand. “My views on Hell were well known amongst those people years ago, Calvin,” he said. “Up until a few months back, they just thought of it as one of those pet anomalies every preacher is allowed to have. Let me give you a few examples: Alasdair Cornwall, one of the eighteenth-century visionaries whose ‘back to the Bible,’ non-denominational preaching spawned our little movement, was an Arian, and I’m not even sure if he knew who Arius was. The pioneer revivalist ‘Onion’ Jim Throckmorton taught that it was a sin to get sick. O. D. Gypsum, the much-venerated Greek professor at Steed-Ramrick University from 1923 until 1965, was a staunch pacifist. Yet all these men are quoted freely from Brotherhood pulpits. Then, there’s a slew of outright bigots, such as Lloyd Q. Sargent, Jephthah Wigglesworth, and Zebulon Butcher, who put down their black brethren in their journals and belittled any white congregation that allowed a black evangelist to come preach there. But they are still seen as heroes for their strident defenses of orthodoxy, despite such blatant manifestations of a sinful attitude. It wasn’t an odd perspective on Hell that caused them to put the ban on me, Calvin. I’m in trouble for a much graver display of heterodoxy than annihilationism. And now that I’ve offended them in a great matter, they are calling me to task for every small matter, as well.”