Afterlife by Matthew O’Neil

After Life by Matthew O'Neil book review

Title: After Life: Solving Science and Religion’s Great Disagreement
Author: Matthew O’Neil
May 6th, 2016 by Ockham Publishing
Genre: Pop-Science
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


What happens to us when we die? It’s a question that has been debated for centuries, moulded through time to fit our ever changing views.

Many religions teach that how we act in our life will determine where we will end up after life. If you follow religious teachings and adhere to their ethical standards, you will be rewarded and spend an eternity in heaven. If not, you will be punished and forced to spend forever in hell.

Modern science, however, will tell you a completely different story: fanciful, hopeful tales of an afterlife are both rationally explainable and lacking in evidence.

Theologian Matthew O’Neil demonstrates that the contemporary religious view of the afterlife is far from what our ancestors envisioned. Subjecting both original Scripture and contemporary faith to the rigours of modern science and rational philosophy, he seeks to answer one of humanities most famous puzzles: what happens After Life?

My Review:


Being a Sunday school teacher and an avid church-goer, I found the idea of this book to be quite interesting. Death is an interesting topic, one I’ve always thought heavily about and wondered about. I figured this would be a great read for me.



This book isn’t a novel, so I can’t really review its “plot” and “characters.” Therefore, this section will prove to be the main course.

I don’t know how else to explain this book other than it reminded me of a textbook. When I was reading this book, I felt as though I was back at school in some sort of religion course and this was an assigned reading material. I’ll admit, that feeling turned me off from the book a bit.

The prologue starts off explaining with how the author himself almost died when he was young. He had no memory of what happened to him when he was unconscious and simply wondered what happened to him in that time.

Each chapter talks about the various aspects of death and religion: Heaven, Hell, Resurrection, Soul, and then he gets into the science side of things. Using the Bible and textual evidence from science books and the like, the author explains his findings on what may happen to us when we die.

I felt as though there were more references to the Bible and such more than the author’s own words. He explained what those quotes meant to him and what he felt they truly meant, but I felt as though I was reading constant citations. Plus, there were footnotes. A lot of footnotes.

I’ll admit that when it comes to the science side of things, I don’t 100% understand it. I think that hindered my ability to get the full effect of this book and what it was trying to explain to me.

This book is meant to be informative, and it is, but because of the textbook-like mentality of it, I just couldn’t get as into it as I wanted to.


After Life is definitely educational and interesting. It’s a book I may come back to later to try to understand again. It’s a book I’ll recommend to my fellow church-goers. However, I just felt as though it wasn’t as entertaining and therefore, it had a hard time keeping my attention.

After Life: Solving Science and Religion’s Great Disagreement by Matthew O’Neil gets…
3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“It is with this that we start our journey in a comfortable spot–eternal paradise in Heaven and why the Bible says there is no such thing.” –Matthew O’Neil, After Life: Solving Science and Religion’s Great Disagreement

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