Heaven to Gain and Hell to Shun

Doreen Rose

Publisher: PageTurner Press and Media Pages: 258 Price: (paperback) $55.99 ISBN: 9781643768960 Reviewed: June, 2021 Author Website: Visit »

In this book, Doreen Rose summarizes and clarifies key points of the Bible’s Old and New Testaments to help readers prepare for heaven.

In 1997, Reverend Phil West, pastor of Highfields Baptist Church in Queensland, Australia, preached an eight-month series entitled “There is a Heaven to Gain and a Hell to Shun.” Now, over two decades later, Rose offers a compilation of West’s popular series, although it’s difficult to tell what is written by Rose and what by West.

Beginning with a quick summary of each book of the Bible, Rose moves on to discuss in simple terms every major topic of Christian faith: heaven, hell, Jesus, death, faith, End Times, judgment and more. Rose’s matter-of-fact tone and honest admission that some biblical concepts are difficult to grasp endear her to readers and keep the book from feeling too preachy. For example, exploring the term “love,” Rose writes: “God has His delight in the sons of men. Can you take that in? I find it hard also. But John clearly says there is no fear in love…” Her writing exudes compassion and a genuine excitement and love for God.

The book’s format can be distracting. Written as a long outline in various colors, it can sometimes feel more like notes than commentary. A vertical line separates commentary from applicable scripture references, poems and other additional information. The back-and-forth between commentary and side information creates an experience similar to watching a tennis match. Numerous cartoons embellish most pages and can feel childish alongside deep topics such as sanctification and damnation. Additionally, minor typographical errors pop up occasionally.

Once readers adjust to the format and focus on the content, however, they will discover concise, easy-to-understand explanations of the basic tenets of Christianity and what is required to enter heaven. New and seasoned Christian believers, as well as anyone interested in a thorough overview of the contents of the Bible, will find Rose’s contribution worth a look.

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