by Paula Gooder;
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Dr Paula Gooder is a widely respected biblical scholar and a popular Christian communicator. She is Canon Theologian of Birmingham and Guildford Cathedrals, Lay Canon at Salisbury Cathedral, a visiting lecturer at King's College London, a Reader in the Church of England and a member of General Synod.
Paula Gooder will be one of the 2011 speakers at Greenbelt.
Heaven by Paula Gooder was published by Spck in August 2011 and is our 12565th best seller. The ISBN for Heaven is 9780281062348.
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HeavenDavid Ford, via The Good Book Stall
Heaven is a tough theological challenge. Centuries of inherited (mis)understandings as to the nature of heaven (and by implication of hell or of earth) have left us with a jumble of ideas and expectations that are rooted more in medieval art that in scripture. Yet the idea of Heaven still attracts. Given the nature of earth, we want – need – to believe in it.
Paula Gooder rises to this challenge superbly. The depth of her scholarship is evident from the almost one third of the book given over to references, bibliography and indexes. Yet she communicates with a simplicity and lucidity that makes this book a highly accessible and enjoyable read.
The question of what happens when we die is, Paula suggests, a distraction to our endeavour to understand the nature of heaven. ‘Believing in Heaven is the ultimate rebellion against the idea that this world is all that there is. Believing in heaven allows us to catch a glimpse not just of the world as it is, but of the world as it might be.’ For Paula, belief in Heaven enhances our experience and understanding of life on earth. This might suggest that the purpose of believing in heaven is more important than belief in its physical reality and yet Paula clearly believes in this also.
Paula leaves us with some unresolved tensions about the precise nature of heaven and earth that our limited understanding of reality cannot address. Biblical scholarship cannot resolve them either for the biblical writers were themselves equally constrained. Paula recognises this and the importance of imagination and silence in our discerning of truth. For my part I sense that Heaven and earth will ultimately be proved to be a false dichotomy. We may already live in eternity and therefore in heaven, albeit a much reduced experience of both. Few topics are more debateable and less certain.
This is an excellent book from a hugely underestimated author.
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Details for Heaven
|Author / Artist||Paula Gooder|
|Publisher||Spck (August 2011)|
|Number of Pages||208|
|Page last updated||6th May 2016|