In this book J. John answers questions that people ask at all stages of their faith journeys, from those about to begin to those half-way through, and others nearing the end. I particularly liked his answer to, ‘can we be raised from the dead if we are cremated?’ (p 115). J. John comments that ‘in the first century there was no shortage of good Christians who had been reduced to charcoal at the stake or had been last glimpsed disappearing down the digestive tract of some lion in the amphitheatre.’ Then there were the people killed at the centre of the explosion of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and then on Nagasaki. Over 200,000 people were instantly vaporised, not simply into atoms but into atomic particles. ‘Given that Nagasaki was the centre of Christianity in Japan, one presumes this fate happened to many believers in Jesus.’ J. John uses the metaphor of the data in our Smartphones, which is backed up in the ‘cloud.’ If he needs to get a replacement phone, he simply logs into the appropriate account and presses ‘restore,’ and in a way that seems miraculous his precious data floods back onto the new phone so that it becomes, in effect, a resurrected version of his old phone. He asks, ‘given that God is seriously smarter than the smartest smartphone, isn’t it possible that what we are in terms of body, mind and spirit are ‘backed up with him? If so, then the return of Christ, all that is needed for God to do is issue that command ‘restore!’
It’s important to note that we are more than restored. Philippians 3:20-21 says that ‘He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same mighty power that he will use to conquer everything, everywhere.” (NLT). Also, John writes in 1 John 3:2 “Yes, dear friends, we are already God’s children, and we can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when He comes we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is” (NLT).
The book has 179 pages, and doesn’t turn to the question about being fat in Heaven until ‘page 123, although it’s answered, indirectly, on page 115, in the response to the resurrection. ‘Will I be fat in Heaven?’ J. John looks at whether we should be worried about having to choose the low-calorie option at the wedding supper of the Lamb, and wearing a tight-fitting white robe for all eternity. (Revelation 19:9), and after reflecting on Scriptural ‘certainties’ he concludes that as heaven is a place of perfection, we will each have a perfect body in shape and size. ‘We will be whole and healthy, no pains, aches, no diseases and with 20:20 vision as there will be so much to see.’
When I give talks on issues of old age, including dementia, I like to point listeners to our ultimate destination, to Heaven where there will be no disease, and all will be perfect, including our new bodies. (I imagine my idea of perfect as 5’ 6” and a size 12.) We will be happy and content with everything. I will see my friend Paul, now slowly slipping into deeper dementia, as cognitively perfect, ‘as right as ninepence,’ which over fifties will recognise as neat, tidy, and in order. We will all be re-ordered in Heaven, including those who have died with dementia. We will see mums and dads, uncles and aunts, grandmas and granddads more than ‘restored’ – made new in Christ. The book is available from Amazon and other retailers.