More Information
ISBN: 9781783681075
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 20
Publication Date: 31/07/2016
Pages: 376
Series: Global Perspectives Series
Language: English

Reincarnation, Oblivion or Heaven?

A Christian Exploration


What is death? Why do we die? and what happens after we die? Over the centuries, philosophers and theologians of the world’s religions have offered answers to the dilemma of death, yet this subject is rarely given the detailed attention it deserves in the contemporary Christian church. As Christians, how does our view of death impact the communication of the gospel in today’s pluralistic societies?

In this study, Dr Bobby Bose not only develops a solid biblical theology of death, he also reviews the teachings of contemporary and historical Christian theologians around the world, and examines the “state-after-death” beliefs of Hindus, Muslims and Secular Humanists. The author shows that “state-after- death” was a central component of conversation in the early church, and is also a major component of God’s mission to rescue humanity. As the East converges with the West, it is vital that Christians develop a missiological approach to “state-after-death” that will encourage positive engagement with people of other faiths and beliefs.

Author Bios

Bobby Bose

BOBBY BOSE was born and raised in Kolkata, India and holds a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Seminary, USA. Bose has ministered internationally for more than three decades, doing evangelism, discipleship and teaching in India, the UK and the USA. He has taught at Calcutta Bible College and Union Biblical Seminary in India, and is currently the Adjunct Professor of World Missions at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, USA and President of Bengali Christian Ministry.


Biblically faithful, well researched, clearly written, challenging and timely. Highly recommended.

Rev Dr Steve Brady
Principal, Moorlands College, Christchurch,
Chair of the Association of Bible College Principals,
Trustee of the Keswick Convention, UK

Much needed because it is much neglected, Bose’s examination of the range of views in comparison to the Bible’s teaching is missiologically pivotal and pressing – not to mention overdue.

Dr Arthur McPhee
Sundo Kim Professor of Evangelism and Practical Theology,
Asbury Theological Seminary

Very rarely do we find Christian studies on the issue of “State-after- Death,” particularly as an alternative voice from the East compared to some well-known perspectives from the West. I commend Bobby Bose for his writing and recommend it as part of any serious thinker’s library.

Dr Ken Gnanakan
Founder and President of the ACTS Group of Institutions, Bangalore, India

This careful study will be very helpful to anyone interested in understanding Christian teaching about what happens after one dies (and how it is based in the Scriptures) and how it compares to some alternative views. It will be especially helpful to those seeking to help others think through this issue and its implications for their own futures.

Dr Roy E. Ciampa
Professor of New Testament,
Chair, Division of Biblical Studies,
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“Why do we die? What happens after we die?” Philosophers as well as theologians suggest various answers to this dilemma. In this book, Bobby Bose investigates Christian as well as Hindu, Muslim, and Modern Secular conceptions of life after death. Make no mistake, however, this is no mere Theology of Death.Highly recommended for students of world religions, and for all whoquestion, “What happens when I die?”

Dr Roger E. Hedlund
Director Emeritus,
Mylapore Institute for Indigenous Studies, Chennai

In the twenty-first century, it is vital that Christians learn to have informed and respectful dialogue with people of other faiths, including Secular Humanists. Bose’s Reincarnation, Oblivion, or Heaven? A Christian Exploration goes a long way in equipping Christians to have those conversations and to be able to effectively communicate the hope that isfound in Christ.

Paul Sorrentino
Director of Religious Life and Protestant Religious Advisor,
Amherst College

Bobby Bose in Reincarnation, Oblivion or Heaven? invites the reader into a fascinating journey into one of the most crucial questions which every religion must answer: What happens after death? Bose brings us into a vast global and historical survey which can hardly be matched. If you want to gain a global perspective on life after death, then this is a must read. I joyfully recommend it.

Dr Timothy C. Tennent
President and Professor of World Christianity,
Asbury Theological Seminary

This book is a careful exposition of what happens to us in the “State-after-Death,” according to Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and modern secular perspectives. Readers leave this book equipped to help others grapple with this puzzling and universal topic whose subject matter is essential, as it is the common fate of us all.

Rev Dr William David Spencer
Ranked Adjunct Full Professor of Theology and the Arts,
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

The issue of life after death is central to most religions and yet very little is being done to address it from the Christian perspective and use it for mission and evangelism. Dr Bobby Bose in his revised doctoral dissertation entitled, Reincarnation, Oblivion or Heaven? has solidly addressed this issue. . . The relevance of this book for the Indian sub-continent where major world religions are practiced is significant. Therefore, it should serve as valuable reading for theology professors as well as students.

Dr Atul Y. Aghamkar
Professor and Head, Department of Missiology,
South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies,
Chairman, Evangelical Fellowship of India

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. List of Abbreviations
    1. Introduction
    2. 1. State-after-Death in Pluralistic Contexts
    3. 2. The Perspectives of Contemporary Theologians I
    4. 3. The Perspectives of Contemporary Theologians II
    5. 4. Hermeneutics for Biblical Perspective
    6. 5. State-after-Death in the Old Testament
    7. 6. Resurrection from Death in the Old Testament
    8. 7. State-after-Death in the Synoptics and John
    9. 8. State-after-Death in Paul’s Epistles and in Revelation
    10. 9. State-after-Death for the Apostolic Fathers
    11. 10. State-after-Death in the Apologists
    12. Conclusions
  4. Bibliography
  5. Index

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