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Reviewed by Mary C. Blowers for Readers' Favorite
Immortality, Death and the Hereafter by Shefflorn Ballantyne is an intriguing look at one sect's views on death, dying, and the afterlife. While Seventh Day Adventism is not a denomination I can believe in, this book makes many good points based on the Bible. Ballantyne goes all the way back to Adam and Eve in the first book of the Bible. As the story goes, Adam and Eve had it made in the garden of Eden. All they had to do was to tend the garden, and make babies. But they disobeyed God, and they were cursed for it, along with the rest of mankind. From that point on, people had to try to figure out how to please God and stay out of trouble. The concept of sin, or disobedience, became a problem because God's plan involved punishment for sin. No one was exempt. Sinners must die. But then when Jesus came, he became the blood sacrifice for all who would trust and believe in Him. So far this is what I believe.
But here is where Immortality, Death and the Hereafter takes a turn. This particular faith does not revere the Bible alone. They have a "prophet," Ellen White, whose writings are held in almost as high regard as Scripture. The Protestant reformers held that the Bible was the only sacred text. The Seventh Day Adventists are also very adamant that church worship should only be held on Saturday, not Sunday, to the point that the book gives the impression that to do otherwise could result in damnation.
Ballantyne is a skilled writer conveying a sensitive topic quite well. While I don't agree with all of it, Immortality, Death and the Hereafter helped me to see that I could be more devoted in my faith. It would be a good read for those already of the Seventh Day Adventist persuasion or those who like to read new viewpoints of a spiritual nature.