Franklin’s (Comstock Cross Fire, 2008) short guide aims to be an authority on the pathway to heaven.
While claiming to be a book about relationships in general, this guide is organized around one’s relationship with God. Half of the book is dedicated to expanding on the “five steps to heaven,” with the rest of the book revolving around other spiritual topics ranging from hell to obedience. The language throughout is simple, as it tries to teach, not impress. Often, this makes for a dry read, though in a few instances, the uncomplicated language allows a lovely truth to shine: “When we move to escape our problems, this only distracts us from the real solution, a changed heart.” The guide mostly maintains a consistent question-answer format: “Why does God save us by faith alone? Salvation is by grace through faith in God”; “What is the only sin God will not forgive? It is the rejection of God Himself”; etc. The scope of the book is quite ambitious, tackling topics that have been debated across faith traditions for centuries, and Franklin doesn’t just pose the mystifying questions—he answers them. Without a speck of evasion or doubt, he lays out “the eleven characteristics of heaven” and—in one sentence—clarifies who will be accepted into heaven and who will not. Also included are a remarkable number of footnotes, the majority of which refer readers to specific Bible passages. Unfortunately, in a few cases, ideas that seem to require elucidation don’t receive it: “The Bible states that we must forgive others of their sins before God will forgive us of our sins.”
Tries to be a book of answers but mostly leaves readers with more questions.