Friday, January 18, 2008

A few words on "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper

I was loaned this book, which is the only way I would likely have read it. Near Death Experiences (NDEs) don't really thrill me much, even if they agree with my own views of the afterlife (which Piper's does, more or less.)

The introduction to the book mentions that, back in 1989, Don Piper was in an auto accident and was "dead" for 90 minutes. During this time, he believes that he went to Heaven to visit with deceased friends and relatives before coming back to life. That covers the first 4 chapters of the book, and the remaining chapters talk about the difficulties of recovery and therapy, and then about how relating his experiences to other people helped them. Pretty standard stuff, frankly.

Here's what perturbs me about this book, though. Piper is a Baptist minister. He was one before he was in the accident. He already believed in Heaven--had no doubt of it. But he ultimately insists that, because of his mystical experience, he knows there is a Heaven. Furthermore, numerous people, having heard his story also are now convinced there is a Heaven. That isn't a bad thing, I guess.

I just wish he had said, "I believe that Heaven is real, not because I believe I've been there, but because the Word of God tells us it is, and God's promises are always true." I wish he had said, "Don't believe because of this fantastic story I've told you. Believe because God says it!"

No comments: