In late 2019 the Corona virus emerged and spread quickly around the world. With it went the invisible virus of fear. No one knew how many of those who caught it would die, but the fear of death was in the air. Most of the world was locked down. No public figure asked or tried to answer the questions, at one time so deeply felt: ‘Is death the end?’ ‘Is there an afterlife?’ Perhaps they assumed the answers ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ respectively but, the author argues, those answers are not to be taken for granted. Unasked questions cause untold psychological trouble.
The author tackles these questions in a direct, open way of interest to believers and non-believers alike. In fact he asks ‘If you do not believe, do you wish there were an afterlife?’
He acknowledges that he feels great sympathy with and respect for those who do not believe in the life of the world to come, and admits that he was once one such. In the book he explains frankly what he now believes and why.
He argues that it is the most important question that any of us faces: Are we or are we not created by God to live forever, first in this world and then in His nearer presence in the life of the world to come?
It is not a comfortable question to face, but which answer is true?
John Symons is a Russian historian, especially of the Soviet period. His previous books include A Tear in the Curtain (2013) and The Zinoviev Controversy Resolved (2020).
Across the generations:
comments on After Life … Afterlife?
From a granddaughter:
‘How wonderful that any one person should love and care so much about another.’
From her grandfather:
‘One of my granddaughters took the book from me and went off to her room to read it. Later she returned in floods of tears and we sat silently together…. It is indeed rare and overwhelming, quite wonderful… It makes an old man very thoughtful.’
From a Cambridge university professor:
‘A remarkable book that has grown out of events. Its combination of deep feeling with clarity of argument is particularly striking.’
From a professor of History at the University of Oxford:
‘The book deals with deep questions and is truly inspiring’.
From a senior civil servant:
‘Very moving… especially in a pandemic.’
From someone suffering from depression:
‘The doctor had just raised the dose of my antidepressants. I never weep. I believe that crying is an antidepressant.
The book touched me and made weep, just what I needed.’
From a Sinologist:
‘A book full of hope. It is about the communion of the saints, of all believers in the presence of God, in Jesus Christ.’
From a husband and father:
‘Well argued, full of insight and moving… A very warm and positive book, it would be a source of comfort to many people.’
From a husband and wife:
‘Very moving and thought-provoking… We had many discussions about it which have resulted in a deepening of our spiritual lives.’
From a recently bereaved daughter:
‘Thought-provoking and also comforting. The idea of someone in Heaven mourning for us is new to me but makes so much sense. The book has blessed me.’
From ‘an agnostic who prays’:
‘The book’s quiet, thoughtful, reasonable approach made me think again about my beliefs.It affected me profoundly and gave me hope and comforted me. It has a deep emotional value, and says all the things that need to be said about Jesus to help us to understand. It even made me think about going to church!’
“This is a remarkable book that has grown out of events. Its combination of deep feeling with clarity of argument is particularly striking.”
Professor William Horbury D.D., F.B.A., University of Cambridge