Under an Open Heaven Is written by Dr. John Johnson who is a professor of pastoral theology at Western Seminary. Dr. Johnson also has over thirty years of pastoral experience. The book is 264 pages long, and looks at thirteen selections from John’s gospel that help bring new life to the people of Christ.
The thirteen selections make up the thirteen chapters of the book and look at the conversations that our Lord had with Nathaniel, His own mother, Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the man at the pool of Bethesda, the feeding of the 5,000, the blind man, the upper room, and his resurrection. Each selection is engaging and challenges the reader to apply the teaching in its modern context.
This book is not an in depth exegesis of the Gospel account, but reads more like a devotional in many aspects. One of the ways this is noticeable is because of the questions that are listed at the end of each chapter. These questions are hard hitting and hold nothing back. One such example from the end of Chapter 13 states, “Why are the hard questions sometimes the most loving (Page 238)?”
One thing I look for in Non-fiction such as his are footnotes. I know that sounds strange to some, but I like the references so I can verify something if the need arises. In this work the footnotes appear at the end of the book instead of the page in which they appear. This is minor, of course, and has little bearing on subject matter and the manner in which it is presented.
Overall the book is solid, but it may have came a bit late as the market has been flooded with books about John’s gospel. This one is different as it assists the reader to see the Gospel in today’s light, and challenges the reader to grow in faith. It is a good introduction to the concepts of the Gospel account, and could find great use in discipleship courses.
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]