On Earth as in Heaven

This book is an invitation to explore the Christian faith. The exploration is focused, as the subtitle suggests, on the issues of life, love, and eternity. This book is not for you if you believe in a God, who makes lots of rules, and you feel you can live with these rules pretty well, and look forward to the day all those sinful people out there really get blasted. If, on the other hand, you’ve been raised with a belief in that kind of God and it scares you, read on! This book has been written by an ordinary Christian layman for ordinary laypersons. You may be active in the Church; you may be seeking, or you may be downright questioning. That’s OK. You’ll find this book readable and helpful in thinking through some basic issues of life, love, and eternity. This book can be used for individual meditations or group discussion. Each article is brief, focuses on a single issue, and ends with several questions for reflection. Many articles contain vivid little images from everyday life that will grab attention and help make sense. Any of the reflection questions can lead you deeper, as far as you want to go.

Reviews:

on September 20, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
on July 1, 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
on December 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
A comment on the back cover of Paul’s book reads: “This book is not for you if you believe in a God who makes lots of rules and you feel you can live with these rules pretty well…” This pretty well sums up the focus of the book, and invites you to read why. And it’s worth a read to understand. Paul has organized his book into five, broad, categorical chapters comprising a number of short topics in each chapter. This makes for an easy read. You can read the whole book straight through, or select individual topics that relate to your everyday life. As the son of an Episcopal priest, Paul writes with knowledge, humor, and brilliance.
And this is one of the values of Paul’s book: He relates biblical teachings to everyday events that affect contemporary situations. Far from being “preachy,” the book is a thought provoking, eclectic collection of Paul’s ponderings over many years about biblical values in today’s real world. At the end of each chapter are a series of thought-provoking questions that tease the reader into further in-depth personal reflections. The book can be read in solitude, but would be most enlightening if studied in a group that is willing to question and explore its theological mores.
An example: ministers, priests, and pastors have long puzzled over how to understand and present The Trinity–how can three entities be one? Paul pondered this and tried several representations. He finally hit upon the Mobius Strip concept. As you may know, a Mobius Strip is a one-sided strip of paper with two sides. Construct your own like this: Cut a strip of paper about one inch wide and 12 inches long. Grab each end and bring them together making a loop, Twist one end 180 degrees and join the two ends. Each section has two sides, but if you trace a continuous pencil line around the loop you will find to your surprise that the strip has only one side. Paul brilliantly applies this to describe The Trinity: Imagine a three-sided rod about (say) 18 inches long. Three sided like a Toblerone chocolate bar. Now bring the ends together in a large loop, rotate one end a third of a turn (120 degrees) and tape the ends together. Now label the three sides: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Three sides. But trace your finger along one side and you will find that all three sides are only one surface.
It is practical examples like this that make Paul’s book a thought-provoking and stimulating read, regardless of your religious beliefs.
Enjoy.

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Paul Stimson is an award winning author whose interest in theology spans four decades. He is the son one an Episcopal priest who planted spiritual seeds that sprouted after his father’s death in 1972.

Paul is a retired engineer and oceanographer. “Lacking the standard credentials, I long hesitated to apply that label to myself,  but the dispelled the doubt by awarding me a staff appointment in 1963.”

Now he ponders a new title – Lay Theologian – also with irregular credentials. As he says, “Time will tell!”

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