Book of the Month
Each month we invite a guest reviewer to suggest and review a book for us. The simple objective is that each book should encourage the reader in their walk with Christ.
Our Reviewer this MonthRev david gifford
The Revd David Gifford is the Rector of Renfrewshire Heartland Churches. He leads a Ministry Team of 3 priests, a Lay Reader and two worship leaders. David lives in Port Glasgow with his wife Francine, a linguist.
Our book this monthHeaven's morning: Rethinking the destination
Author: David Winter
Publ: BRF 2016
David Winter is a retired Anglican priest who has spent much of his life in communication including senior roles in the BBC religious broadcasting. He has written many books over the last 60 years and was for many years a “regular” on BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day. This tender and biblically sharp small book attempts to answer the question, What is Heaven.
Over eight very readable chapters, Winter explores what we can know of Heaven particularly, but not exclusively, from the Bible. He emphasises throughout the place and role of metaphor and imagery in our understanding of Heaven. He looks at concepts of eternal life, Judgement and the Kingdom of Heaven. He dedicates much of chapter 2 to John 14:1-6, helpfully unpacking this passage and concepts of dwelling place, Father’s house and a place for you.
As one progresses through the book one comes to the chapter on Heaven. It is quietly and gently comforting and yet honest which shows the pastoral heart of this Anglican priest. He even offers a list of things that will and will not be in Heaven!
Winter references some well-known writers such as neuroscientist, David Eagleman, Oxford don, Keith Ward and NT Wright, but he is not afraid to use personal experience, some of it very touching as he shares intimately an experience after his wife died. The book’s epilogue is titled Perhaps like this?, where Winter imagines his own death and entry into Heaven.
The Reviewer recommends this book for: priests and ministers and all who are involved in Christian counselling and pastoral care of the bereaved. This is a pastoral book that offers gentle assurance and quiet hope to all who will dare to believe in the Christ who conquered death and opened for us the gateway to Heaven.