This is a book about God. Not just any God, but a God worth believing in. It's a book about wrestling with death and fear and doubt--and hoping to find something bigger. It's a book about heaven. Often when we think of heaven, what comes to mind is escape.
According to Medieval art and modern cartoons, "heaven" is about leaving this world. Heaven is about getting as far away from what we and others have broken as possible. But this is a move of despair, and despair isn't healthy.
This is a book about hell. Sometimes we believe ridiculous ideas so long they no longer seem ridiculous. But we need to reimagine hell. The real God would not choose a world that could contain an everlasting torture chamber. Most of all this is a book about Jesus. Not the Jesus we see in bad Christian art, but the Jesus who emerges from a dark corner of history and can't help illuminating everything he touches. In this Jesus, we see a new kind of God. In this Jesus, we see a new future.
This is probably one of the best books in popular apologetics I've read in a long while. Cook is a philosopher and he definitely is philosophical in his reasoning and argumentation, but this is not a technical, academic book. And as such, it's refreshing. Instead of arguing in the inductive, logical style of (too) much apologetics, he passionately argues for the beauty and attractiveness of Christianity and, specifically, Jesus from within, inviting readers to consider Christianity, not so much as a coherent philosophical system, but as a profoundly compelling view of the universe, life and everything. Maybe it was because I listened to the audiobook, but I came away with the feeling that Cook is the Rob Bell of Christian philosophy. I'd love to go to this guy's church! This one is going to the top of my list of books to recommend to friends interested in Christianity.
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For years the idea of an eternal hell has not made sense to me anymore and it has caused a divide in my ability to connect to a God that could allow such a place and haven't found any suitable answers that made sense...until now. Thank you.