Skip to content ↓

The Glory of Heaven

Book Reviews Collection cover image

A few weeks ago a reporter from Macleans magazine got in touch to ask if I would be willing to talk about a whole new genre of books—books that claim the author has journeyed to heaven. He had been assigned the story and was baffled by their popularity. I am baffled too. He saw as well that even as authors are insisting that heaven is real and that they have seen it, hell is on the downgrade. He understood readers want the assurance that heaven exists and they want to believe that hell does not.

These books crowd bookstore shelves (as evidenced by this snapshot I took at a local bookstore). Every couple of months there is another book telling the story of a near death experience followed by a journey to the afterlife. Every couple of months one of these books hits the list of bestsellers. 90 Minutes in Heaven, Heaven Is For Real, Proof of Heaven, To Heaven and Back…it just goes on and on. While bookstores are now full of these books, there have been very few responses to them.

Heaven Tourism Books
Enter the second edition of John MacArthur’s The Glory of Heaven. The first edition was written to combat New Age themes that were pervading the church in the early to mid-90’s. The second edition is angled specifically at exposing this genre of heaven tourism. While much of the content is the same, there is also much that is new, refreshed and updated.

In some ways this is two books: a look at what the Bible says about heaven and the afterlife, and a pointed critique of the many heaven tourism books cluttering bookshelves. In both ways it is successful.

As MacArthur sketches out a brief a theology of heaven, he is in his element, looking to Scripture and simply teaching about the glory that awaits us there. His views are traditional, orthodox and at times very literal. He shows again and again that the greatest promise of heaven is not meeting those who have gone before or being free from sickness and pain, but being in the presence of the Savior. He is equally strong in exposing and critiquing heaven tourism books. He pulls no punches as he points out the massive contradictions between the various books in this genre and as he draws attention to just how often they contradict not only the facts of what the Bible says about heaven, but also the Bible’s whole theme and tenor. This is classic MacArthur, looking to the Bible, showing contradictions, and saying, “No way!”

While there are many excellent books on heaven, this may be the only one that specifically addresses the heaven tourism books. MacArthur models how to think biblically–how to go to the Bible, how to think critically, and how to exercise discernment. This alone makes The Glory of Heaven a book you would do well to read.


  • We All Have To Do With God

    We All Have To Do With God

    Every one of us must deal with God. Every one of us must, at some time, face God. Every one of us must be prepared to give an account to God. For, as Scripture says, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (February 24)

    A La Carte: Wherever he leads, he’ll go / Britain’s loneliest sheep / Helping your teen with porn / How do the Arminian and Calvinist views of election differ? / Exposing the good in digital distractions / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Coram Deo Pastors Conference)

    This week the blog and this giveaway are sponsored by the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. Dear brother pastor, In a spirit of prayerful expectation, I want to invite you to the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. This new event is hosted by Clearly Reformed (a new ministry I help to lead) and Christ Covenant Church (where…

  • The Kindness of God

    God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

    There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 23)

    A La Carte: Order, preparation, and the Spirit’s leading / Desecration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral / Why did God stigmatize the disabled? / Who would I be if I was happy? / 7 parenting errors that can influence adult children to leave the faith / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.