As we are coming upon the celebration of Easter, it is fitting to look at the words of Luke 23:39-43,
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us! But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he [Jesus] said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Many know this passage to be the account of the thief on the cross. While there is not much said on this man, it is a beautiful picture of God’s forgiveness and saving grace to sinners. That is why I am excited to share with you Colin S. Smith’s new book, Heaven, How I Got Here. Using his imagination while remaining biblically faithful, Colin writes the story of the thief on the cross from the perspective of the thief on the cross.
While one may be wary of reading a book that ties imagination to a Bible story, I can assure you there is nothing that hurts the witness of the authority of Scripture. What this book does do is it points you to Jesus as the only way to heaven. It is “by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone” (Smith 44). It is intriguing the book is written from the perspective of the thief, allowing us all to relate to him in someway as we are sinners in need of a Savior. Even so, the morally good and morally bad both need Jesus because we fall short of God’s glory (Smith 55-56). This book is theologically sound on issues of Christ’s substitution, the reality of God’s wrath (chapter 6), and the call to respond to Jesus (Smith 89). The book is written in story form but still has nuggets of wisdom like, “Behind every hatred lies a deeper hatred of God,” (Colin 28) and “there is a big difference between believing in God and fearing Him” (Colin 32).
To drive the point home, Heaven, How I Got Here is a great book to give to an unbeliever to see there is hope and for the believer to see this truth of the cross in a new light. I warmly recommend it!
I received this book for free from Christian Focus Publications via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.