07 January 2012

Review: Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels and Demons (R.C. Sproul)

Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels and Demons
Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels and Demons by R.C. Sproul

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I guess it might have been that this book ended up not really being what I had hoped or expected, but it was also that it was very week and "Greek" thinking throughout. I was hoping it would be a study in cosmology type things, but it ends up being just a very, very milk tradition view of death, heaven, hell and angels.

No real discussion on the differences in the words (and places) referred to as "hell" in the Bible. When he dealt with the story (I said story, not parable as he and others call it) of Luke 16 and the rich man and Lazarus, he only looked at it as some form of story about hell and suffering - nothing being said about the Hebrew concept of the realm of the dead, underworld, Hades, Abraham's bosom, etc. I guess this was not too shocking considering how the Reformed world in general has sought to ignore the "unseen real" and redefine the whole life after death concept of pre-Christ happenings. I guess I just did not expect someone of Sproul's caliber to do so, since there are many good Reformed authors who have gone further into the Hebrew concept.

When he started by applying Rev. 20 & 21 about the New Heavens and Earth to "heaven" I had a bad feeling this book was going to not be a winner. For a post-mil pastor with heavy preterist leanings to see the this as being heaven kind of had me scratching my head, but so be it.

I guess for such a small writing, he didn't get into any depth on much, so this is like "orthodox" theology 101, heaven and hell "fluff" with no real depth. However, when a lot of it is used in error or totally ignoring the Hebrew understandings, it makes it that much worse.

I guess I have just studied too much deeper material of the Hebrew culture and mindset on these topics (and how the bible uses them) - and that understanding tends to "stray" from what many mainline, very conservative Reformed churches (and their "Ggreek" redefinition of things at times), that this book was a huge let down in my studies.

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