Hell and Heaven in Narrative Perspective

Read time: 2 minutes

I have collected together most of the stuff that I have posted on this site on the subject of “hell” and life after death in a new Kindle book called [amazon:1479356069:inline]. Much of it was prompted by the controversy surrounding Rob Bell’s book [amazon:978-0062049650:inline]. Being a collection of blog posts the book is academically lightweight, far from comprehensive, and suffers from many of the characteristic vices of the medium. Maybe that’s all to the good. In any case, I think it puts forward a pretty coherent case for reading the texts as interpretations of historical outcomes rather than as data for general theories about a personal afterlife. I think this approach solves the problem of hell in a way that remains profoundly true to the evangelical thrust of the New Testament.

The book is divided into four sections. The first gives a rough idea of what I mean by a narrative-historical hermeneutic, because I think that this is not a debate essentially over conflicting doctrinal formulations but over how we read the New Testament. Section two contains posts addressing some general features of the controversy, including responses to Rob Bell’s book. Section three has a number of mostly concise readings of the most important passages and is a bit more technical in nature. Section four, finally, switches the focus of attention from hell to heaven, though perhaps not heaven as you might know it. Apart from the introduction, there is nothing in it that cannot be found on this site, but I hope that for some people at least it will be a helpful resource. The print version comes with a useful index of biblical references.

The book can be purchased from all Amazon stores. If you read it and enjoy it, please consider promoting it on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, other people’s blogs, or by taking out a full page ad in your favourite national newspaper. If there is enough interest, I will perhaps do a companion volume on Salvation and the Gospel in Narrative Perspective.

See Chaplain Mike’s review on Internet Monk.

Add it to your books section on the right side widgetbar of your blog. :)

I notice how many are going this way. Maybe it will take over from normal publishing companies.

I've requested a sample so I'll remember to buy the book later, perhaps this weekend. I printed out your post "Hell, The Unbiblical Doctrine Of" a week or so ago and mean to study my way through it soon. 

don ledford | Fri, 12/09/2011 - 19:39 | Permalink

Will Hell and Heaven be available at Barnes and Noble for the Nook?

Downloaded. Thanks for putting everything in one place!

I'm going to post about the book in my blog about distressing near-death experiences, http://dancingpastthedark.com.  

People are starving for solid information about hell---and it seems to me evangelicals perhaps most of all--so the least we can do is spread the news. This is a thoughtful perspective that will be new to many people. Yes, there really is more than one way to think about hell! My book on the subject will be out in a couple of months, also in ebook: Dancing Past the Dark: Distressing Near-Death Experiences.

Thanks again.

Corey Diekman | Fri, 12/16/2011 - 18:22 | Permalink

Googling "Gahenna" is actually how I discovered this blog. I consider that very fortunate.


Not to dissuade anyone from downloading the book (I did so myself so I don't feel bad about the following), but it is pretty easy to download the RSS feed in to Calibre and have all of Andrew's articles at my Kindle fingertips. You could also preview the table of contents and cut/paste into Mobipocket or something.

I offer this as advice to the Nook folks, not to rip off Andrew! ;-)

Andrew H | Thu, 12/22/2011 - 05:27 | Permalink

Just read through in one sitting- fascinating stuff!


You definetly have a grasp of the subject matter. I wonder if I may ask though...how does one get their name into the book of life. I felt the ebook ended quite abruptly with little hope as you simply stated that people and non-martyred believers will be ressurected, and depending on their name being written in book of life they will be annihilated. 


I'd be interested in your thoughts, as this seems quite depressing and arbitrary if not downright scary.