An intriguing interpretation of the Christian concept of the afterlife.
Biblical scholars have often characterized Jesus Christ’s repeated promise of the kingdom of heaven, one of the main tenets of Christianity, as a strictly either-or proposition. “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live,” Jesus tells his followers, and time after time (in Luke 3: 7-9 and Matthew 3:10, among other verses), he stresses that such salvation isn’t necessarily universal: Those who willfully reject Christian teachings will be denied heaven and cast into unending fire. This is about as unambiguous as any religious teaching gets, so DuRocher, in his debut, has his work cut out for him when he claims that there is no denial of heaven and that all human souls achieve salvation—the only question is how long it takes them to do it. Through patient and often very inventive readings of some of the New Testament’s most famous parables, the author develops what is essentially a new variation of traditional Christian theology—one that may strike virtually all Christian readers as nearly unrecognizable. “Long ago, there was no kingdom of heaven—there was no God,” he writes. “There was only hell. And hell was everywhere. Hell consisted of just two things: souls like us, and super dense matter.” In DuRocher’s view, souls who accept the way of Christianity join the family of God and Jesus and reach the kingdom of heaven in complete tranquility, and those who refuse experience purgative fire and torment but end up in heaven as well. Many further details— that God is mostly just a place, that Jesus is essentially the equal of his followers, and so on—resemble no known brand of Christianity and occasionally read like discussions of quantum field theory (“[A] single soul may have inside of itself many—perhaps trillions of—bits of sin energy”). However, if the main goal of the author’s energetic, likable book is to make readers think, it succeeds admirably.
An all-inclusive reading of Christianity unlike any that readers may have encountered in Sunday school.