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A Travel Guide to Heaven

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A recent Newsweek poll reports that 76 percent of Americans believe in heaven. Yet even avid believers have difficulty conjuring up more than vague images of halos, harps, and wispy angels in flowing robes. Anthony DeStefano knew there had to be a more complete, meaningful, and comforting vision of what heaven is like, and A Travel Guide to Heaven is the entertaining and e A recent Newsweek poll reports that 76 percent of Americans believe in heaven. Yet even avid believers have difficulty conjuring up more than vague images of halos, harps, and wispy angels in flowing robes. Anthony DeStefano knew there had to be a more complete, meaningful, and comforting vision of what heaven is like, and A Travel Guide to Heaven is the entertaining and enlightening result. Using the Bible as his guide, the author notes that heaven is not only a spiritual place, but also a physical place, a fabulous “luxury resort” more sumptuous than any on Earth. The residents are real, their bodies transformed into their most perfect selves—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. By making a spiritual subject immensely physical, the book provides a picture of amazing places to visit, things to do, luxuries for pampering—not to mention deep, abiding joy. Combining the clarity and logic of C. S. Lewis with a terrific sense of fun and adventure, DeStefano creates a brilliant, reassuring portrait of heaven, a place that has intrigued and puzzled humankind throughout history. With its clear view of the afterlife, A Travel Guide to Heaven might best be compared to James Van Praagh's Talking to Heaven or Betty J. Eadie's Embraced by the Light in its tremendous message of comfort and reassurance.


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A recent Newsweek poll reports that 76 percent of Americans believe in heaven. Yet even avid believers have difficulty conjuring up more than vague images of halos, harps, and wispy angels in flowing robes. Anthony DeStefano knew there had to be a more complete, meaningful, and comforting vision of what heaven is like, and A Travel Guide to Heaven is the entertaining and e A recent Newsweek poll reports that 76 percent of Americans believe in heaven. Yet even avid believers have difficulty conjuring up more than vague images of halos, harps, and wispy angels in flowing robes. Anthony DeStefano knew there had to be a more complete, meaningful, and comforting vision of what heaven is like, and A Travel Guide to Heaven is the entertaining and enlightening result. Using the Bible as his guide, the author notes that heaven is not only a spiritual place, but also a physical place, a fabulous “luxury resort” more sumptuous than any on Earth. The residents are real, their bodies transformed into their most perfect selves—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. By making a spiritual subject immensely physical, the book provides a picture of amazing places to visit, things to do, luxuries for pampering—not to mention deep, abiding joy. Combining the clarity and logic of C. S. Lewis with a terrific sense of fun and adventure, DeStefano creates a brilliant, reassuring portrait of heaven, a place that has intrigued and puzzled humankind throughout history. With its clear view of the afterlife, A Travel Guide to Heaven might best be compared to James Van Praagh's Talking to Heaven or Betty J. Eadie's Embraced by the Light in its tremendous message of comfort and reassurance.

30 review for A Travel Guide to Heaven

  1. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    Anthony DeStephano’s A Travel Guide to Heaven is a very upbeat, lighthearted look at a subject which is too often only broached by serious theologians. Without going into denominational debates DeStephano presents a truly inviting description of Heaven as a real place—or rather the Place of all places—inhabited with those we love, beautiful beyond imagining and completely physical, all the while drawing from what we know of the revealed God—both in Scripture as well as the glories of His created Anthony DeStephano’s A Travel Guide to Heaven is a very upbeat, lighthearted look at a subject which is too often only broached by serious theologians. Without going into denominational debates DeStephano presents a truly inviting description of Heaven as a real place—or rather the Place of all places—inhabited with those we love, beautiful beyond imagining and completely physical, all the while drawing from what we know of the revealed God—both in Scripture as well as the glories of His created world. However, as Jesus said when He ‘called a child over, placed it in their midst, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”’ (Matthew 18:2-4) It isn’t our grownup knowledge and pride that is going to do us much good here. Rather we’re going to have to become little. This is true both in terms of understanding what Heaven is (the concept) as well as what it takes to get there (the means). Later DeStephano makes the point another way, ‘you must make God the sovereign of your life. God—not some vague spiritual “force,” not “mother nature” not the Earth, not some trendy social theory, not money, not power, not fame, not TV, not sex. God. ... The most important thing to reject is the notion that you are your own ticket to heaven. As the saying going, there are two big lessons to learn in life: There is a God, and I’m not him.’ I admit the book made me unspeakably happy, but then I have never had any doubts about Heaven, nor trouble imagining all the wonderful things possible in such a realm, not the least of which is to finally see the One I love so much. However, this is the first time I have encountered an author who has described so many of my hopes and dreams for eternity. It was especially refreshing to discover that artists, writers and teachers will never want for creative ‘work’ – and yes in the sense that most artists cannot not create, there will be ‘work’ for them in Heaven. But I dare say they will find this welcome news, as I do. So if there is some place you always wanted to go, someone you miss so much you can hardly say their name without crying or something you think you’ve gotten too old to do and will never get the chance—don't despair. We are finite beings with infinite longings because we were made for an Infinite Being and destined for Eternity. As C. S. Lewis said, this is but the shadowlands. As for the argument that Heaven is just wishful thinking, listen to what DeStephano writes:‘To say that religion—particularly Christian religion—is wishful thinking flies in the face of all common sense and logic. Is it wishful thinking to believe in hell, the devil and demons? Is it wishful thinking to believe we’re going to be judged and held accountable for every sin we’ve ever committed? Is it wishful thinking to believe the best way to live our life is to sacrifice our own desires for the sake of others? Is it wishful thinking to believe that we should discipline our natural bodily urges for the sake of some unseen “kingdom”? And while we’re at it, is it wishful thinking to believe our God wants us to love our enemies? For goodness sake what kind of demand is that?’My point is that if human beings were going to invent a religion based on their own wishful thinking, they could do a lot “better” than Christianity. Why in the world would we make it so hard on ourselves? Why not wish for a religion that had a heaven, but at the same time allowed promiscuous sex, encouraged gluttony, did away with the commandments, and forbade anyone to ever mention the idea of judgment and punishment? Wouldn’t that make a lot more sense? But if you are willing to do what our God asks, perhaps some early morning you may find yourself walking along a stretch of beach and come upon a youngish man cooking freshly caught fish over a charcoal fire. He might look up at you, wave and invite you over for breakfast with him and his friends. I don’t know about you, but that’s one meal I wouldn’t want to miss. (cf John 21)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book gave me a new perspective on Heaven. It makes you want to go there, and calm your fears of the unknown.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I bought it for the chapter on dogs going to Heaven, but I found the whole book inspirational. It was a very easy read, simplistic in the author's presentation, which kept my interest. I sent the book to a person I know who has life-issues, in the hopes of finding some inner-peace.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicolette Froelicher

    Loved Loved Loved the book!!! Definitely going in the list of books I will always keep with me forever. I will probably read it again soon because I feel like I need to read it almost in one sitting to get the full effect of the book. This first time reading it I was always interrupted while I was trying to read this book and I kind of felt incomplete reading it this way or like something was missing or my full concentration wasn't in the book due to life lol. But I did love the book. I just had Loved Loved Loved the book!!! Definitely going in the list of books I will always keep with me forever. I will probably read it again soon because I feel like I need to read it almost in one sitting to get the full effect of the book. This first time reading it I was always interrupted while I was trying to read this book and I kind of felt incomplete reading it this way or like something was missing or my full concentration wasn't in the book due to life lol. But I did love the book. I just had a hard time having time to read it. :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Capoppy

    This book is written just as the title indicates, a travel book you would get for going on vacation to a new destination. Telling you what to expect when you arrive, things you don't want to miss and how to recognize what you may see. Even for someone unchurched you would be able to make the connections the author refers to. He references scripture,then explains what he believes you will encounter. Chapters on accomadations, relationships, pets and animals, tour guides food and even jobs. There This book is written just as the title indicates, a travel book you would get for going on vacation to a new destination. Telling you what to expect when you arrive, things you don't want to miss and how to recognize what you may see. Even for someone unchurched you would be able to make the connections the author refers to. He references scripture,then explains what he believes you will encounter. Chapters on accomadations, relationships, pets and animals, tour guides food and even jobs. There will be some jobs that are no longer required because there will be no illness and no crime.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Yolanda

    This is one of those books that I found myself smiling along while reading. The author lays out the where, what and why of Heaven in a pleasing, fun manner. The hope of who you will "run" into and talk to in Heaven is certainly worth the work to get there.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Written by a Catholic, this is an amazing description of what Heaven might be like. Makes you wonder . . .

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paulette

    I loved how this was scripture based and how postive it was. Really gave a good insight into what heaven will be like based on God's character.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Kelly

    What a wonderful, scripture based picture of what Heaven will be like. This book inspired me to start a Christian based book club to be able to discuss spiritual matters.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    This is the best inspiring book about heaven that I have read. You will enjoy the trip.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bree Reads

    This is an EXCELLENT book! I highly recommend it! :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I read the first chapter of this book and decided to toss it. The author describes himself as "far enough away from being a professional theologian to avoid bogging us down with too much formal theology." He has a bibliography at the end of the book that he says backs up his points. There were several items I was curious about after the first chapter and decided to check his biblical references to see what the bible had to say. I'm very disappointed to report that none of the references I checke I read the first chapter of this book and decided to toss it. The author describes himself as "far enough away from being a professional theologian to avoid bogging us down with too much formal theology." He has a bibliography at the end of the book that he says backs up his points. There were several items I was curious about after the first chapter and decided to check his biblical references to see what the bible had to say. I'm very disappointed to report that none of the references I checked (and I checked most) had anything to do with the point he was making. He just found a bunch of verses with the word "heaven" in them and listed them. Bummer...I was actually looking forward to this book. But if its not really biblically based then why bother??

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Is it me???? I cannot seem to get through a book lately. I find myself 1/3 of the way in thinking, 'GOOD GRIEF. Why am I spending my time on this? Why do I care????' In this case, the author - a Catholic author with no theological training - is writing about Heaven, speculating on what he thinks it is like. It's totally - in my estimation - based on his opinion. He throws a few Bible verses in as proof to his ideas - namely that it is a physical place, but as Catholics, don't we believe that the Is it me???? I cannot seem to get through a book lately. I find myself 1/3 of the way in thinking, 'GOOD GRIEF. Why am I spending my time on this? Why do I care????' In this case, the author - a Catholic author with no theological training - is writing about Heaven, speculating on what he thinks it is like. It's totally - in my estimation - based on his opinion. He throws a few Bible verses in as proof to his ideas - namely that it is a physical place, but as Catholics, don't we believe that the Bible is not to be taken literally but figuratively??? I guess if I were in a playful sort of lay in the grass, stare at the sky and speculate mood, this would be a fun read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steven Szewczyk

    Awesome book. It is a light read that describes what Heaven must be like. The author uses scripture to form his opinion . Whether or not his interpretations turn out to be 100% correct, does not change the fact that the book makes you think about the joys of heaven in a real way. It was a fun read. The author is Catholic but it is meant to be read by any denomination.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dzillich

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. Its a unique perspective on what to expect in heaven and our journey on earth. It may change how you look at things. It's definitely not a religious book but there are references to the Bible and other religious scripture.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Richelle

    A different view of Heaven. Loved it!

  17. 4 out of 5

    The Overflowing Inkwell

    I don't know what to rate this one. It's a quick, light read; nothing too serious, and takes less than a day to read (much less), but also feels like some places need to be reread to get them fully (for me, anyway). I dunno - I'm not a Christian, and I don't agree with some of the viewpoints expressed here or that Christianity really is all it's cracked up to be: this is probably one of the better portrayals of Jesus I've ever read. But I enjoyed thinking about Heaven as a physical location, and I don't know what to rate this one. It's a quick, light read; nothing too serious, and takes less than a day to read (much less), but also feels like some places need to be reread to get them fully (for me, anyway). I dunno - I'm not a Christian, and I don't agree with some of the viewpoints expressed here or that Christianity really is all it's cracked up to be: this is probably one of the better portrayals of Jesus I've ever read. But I enjoyed thinking about Heaven as a physical location, and the things that naturally come from such a premise. There's some good stuff in here.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Solomon MacArthur

    This "Wizard of Oz" like description of Heaven is extremely light on hard theological thought and consists principally of mythical and magical perceptions. The truth is that there are but vague illustrative depictions of Heaven in the Bible and it is impossible to specifically describe Heaven as attempted by this author. The book is essentially one man's childhood fantasy of Heaven and it does little to encourage agnostics into accepting the efficacy of our faith or our Bible. Only let your chil This "Wizard of Oz" like description of Heaven is extremely light on hard theological thought and consists principally of mythical and magical perceptions. The truth is that there are but vague illustrative depictions of Heaven in the Bible and it is impossible to specifically describe Heaven as attempted by this author. The book is essentially one man's childhood fantasy of Heaven and it does little to encourage agnostics into accepting the efficacy of our faith or our Bible. Only let your children read this book...not for mature thinking audiences.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Larry Jensen

    While it offers a imaginative approach to our journey to heaven, it is based on Biblical facts. More important it builds a desire to see this magnificent place God has promised us who believe and follow Him. And, it encourages those who do not believe to consider a change—with eternally happy consequences.

  20. 5 out of 5

    M

    A very hyperbolic almost mythological description of heaven. I would call this book "pop" religion, rather than theology. I thought the analysis was on the young adult level and not worthy of serious study.

  21. 4 out of 5

    T. Finley

    Did I like it? Yes. Would I reread it? Probably. Would I recommend it? Yes.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sally Andrews

    Pretty neat thoughts on Heaven!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matt Sears

    Incredibly unimaginative and squarely fixated upon physical sensations

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Invaluable read. Prepares us for real life after life. Motivates me to work and pray tirelessly to help as-yet-unconvinced family and friends to avoid hell (it IS REAL & awful) and get to heaven! Invaluable read. Prepares us for real life after life. Motivates me to work and pray tirelessly to help as-yet-unconvinced family and friends to avoid hell (it IS REAL & awful) and get to heaven!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Inglis

    Hands down, one of my favorite books about Heaven. It’s a wonderfully comforting read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Suzan Brightwell

    Heavenly Absolutely wonderful! A great book for all denominations. His book on Hell is also great. Read them all and you won't be disappointed.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kbarker

    Book is awesome and really makes you think!!!! Totally recommend!!! I read it in 1 day.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rosanna Iseri

    A more light-hearted conversation about who and what may await us in Heaven-- though it's serious when it needs to be, since it also touches upon loss, suffering, sin, evil, and death. This book increases my hope for a wonderful, energetic, more alive Heaven than we all usually think when we say things like, "Rest in Peace." I feel more inspired in my discipleship in this life now! I appreciated how this book and its subject matter can relate to anyone, really, of any faith background, or lack t A more light-hearted conversation about who and what may await us in Heaven-- though it's serious when it needs to be, since it also touches upon loss, suffering, sin, evil, and death. This book increases my hope for a wonderful, energetic, more alive Heaven than we all usually think when we say things like, "Rest in Peace." I feel more inspired in my discipleship in this life now! I appreciated how this book and its subject matter can relate to anyone, really, of any faith background, or lack thereof.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    I enjoyed this book and several Interesting statements DeStefano makes about Heaven: "If heaven is anything at all, it’s fun". Then he references C,S, Lewis to support his view: C.S. Lewis said that the serious business of heaven is joy. Heaven, it’s a physical place (not just a state of mind) Jn 14:2-3; Cor. 5:1, Dt 26:16 It’s bursting with excitement and action. While heaven is a spiritual reality, it is also very much a place. It is real and it is physical. God prepares us for death with days en I enjoyed this book and several Interesting statements DeStefano makes about Heaven: "If heaven is anything at all, it’s fun". Then he references C,S, Lewis to support his view: C.S. Lewis said that the serious business of heaven is joy. Heaven, it’s a physical place (not just a state of mind) Jn 14:2-3; Cor. 5:1, Dt 26:16 It’s bursting with excitement and action. While heaven is a spiritual reality, it is also very much a place. It is real and it is physical. God prepares us for death with days ending, seasons ending, meals ending, holidays and family gatherings ending, music & books ending. God created himself on earth in the image of Jesus. His incarnation demolished the idea of a distant, abstract, invisible creator. Jesus started as a baby, easily approachable, lovable, then a humble carpenter, so we could easily relate to him. Then he suffers a painful death, easier for us to empathize with him. When God rose from death on Easter Sunday and opens the gates of heaven for all of us who will also die and rise he was making it easier for us to be grateful to him. Heaven is going to be a vast, colourful tapestry of living things. DeStefano makes some statements about angels that I will have to do more serious thinking about: When go to heaven will have a planner - an angel. Every single angel is personal, individual creature that has intelligence and will. The angel that is assigned to us has a mission to help us. But angels can’t see, hear or know things. Angels function without bodily senses. They have the power of free will, Angels are messengers for God. Also guardians (God has used his angels as instruments to guide us along the path to salvation. DeStefano offers the following: . Two lessons to learn in life. There is a God and I am not him. Do not set yourself up as arbiter of morality, not for me to decide what is right and what is wrong for society. That is sounding a little like Pope Francis.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I was dissapointed, I thought this book would be one person's personal experience of what heaven was like, maybe a near death experience. But it's just what he thinks it will be like, based on the bible, which is fine, its just not what I expected. I guess if I am going to visit a place (on earth or otherwise) I would expect the tour guide to be familiar with the place, not just have read about it. A Travel Guide to Heaven is for people who have the same religious views as the author. I couldn't I was dissapointed, I thought this book would be one person's personal experience of what heaven was like, maybe a near death experience. But it's just what he thinks it will be like, based on the bible, which is fine, its just not what I expected. I guess if I am going to visit a place (on earth or otherwise) I would expect the tour guide to be familiar with the place, not just have read about it. A Travel Guide to Heaven is for people who have the same religious views as the author. I couldn't recommend it to anyone who is not a serious bible reading Christian. If you are, then you'll probably like it. :-)

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