So how should an Evangelical Christian view The Five People You Meet in Heaven?
An essay on eschatology? Though this book has an eschatology, I came away with the sense that any "eschatology" so called, was really secondary to the main story, and in fact was only a tool used to convey the more primary message.
It may be more accurate to view The Five People as a parabolic story designed to convey some fundamental thoughts concerning values and human worth. It is in those fundamental truths and values that a Christian can connect with this book.
It is a Biblical truth that we do not exist in isolation. Our lives interweave, and everyday, in the mundane habits of ordinary life, we touch the lives of many, many people, some we are aware of, but many more that we are not aware of. So Eddie finds his life had touched more lives then he ever realized. In Scripture we face that God who interweaves Himself into history, and into our lives.
Along the way of life we encounter sacrifice, our own sacrifice and the sacrifices of others. Eddie finds out about sacrifices made for him that again he was not aware of. In Scripture we encounter that Great Sacrifice, and faced with that example, we see Love personified.
In The Five People Eddie sees the love he had in his life. For we who are Christians, there is no greater love then "For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life..."
Forgiving and being forgiven... Eddie learns both sides of the forgiveness coin. So, even as we have been forgiven, we are to forgive others.
I'm under no illusion that Albom is writing from an Evangelical Christian perspective, but he is writing from a view influenced by a Judeo-Christian culture. He is not writing primarily an eschatological theology, but he has written a philosophy grounded in values to which Christians can relate and connect.
~ The Billy Goat ~