Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Near Death Experiences?
Angie's Take on Revealing Heaven: The Christian Case for Near-Death Experiences: How do near death experiences fit into Christian beliefs? A question I've often wondered. I was offered the opportunity to review Revealing Heaven by John W. Price and decided to explore this theological question that's been boggling me. What about you? Is it something you've wondered? I have.
I never believed in the stories until something happened I couldn't explain. Several years ago I was a youth ministry director. One of my ministry kids was in a roll-over accident on the way to church, but I didn't know. I expected her for bell choir practice. She'd missed church and I had just asked if anyone saw Jenna.
Then I looked up at the entryway and there she stood. I called out, "Jenna, come on. We're starting." Everyone looked at me and looked at the door and back at me. They saw nothing. I looked back at the door and she was gone. Later that afternoon I found out she'd passed away a few hours before I "saw" her.
But that wasn't the end. She visited me twice more. The last time was the day her family buried her ashes in private. I had no idea. The small ceremony was early in the morning and the family told no one. I woke up from what I thought must be a waking dream where Jenna said goodbye to me. I still have a very clear memory of it. Weeks later I had lunch with Jenna's mom. I hesitated to tell her, not wanting to cause pain, but felt compelled. It was at that lunch I learned Jenna's ashes were buried at the same time I thought I was dreaming of her saying goodbye. The oddity was that I wasn't asleep. I was simply lying in bed with my eyes closed. A further oddity was that Jenna's mom had been hearing stories like this from other people. Mine wasn't unique and none of us knew about the others.
So do near-death experiences happen? I'm thinking they do if I could experience something I didn't think possible. At least I will no longer scoff or try to explain them away. There are things in life and beyond life that God knows and I don't. I'm willing to acknowledge I don't understand it all. Read this book and see what you think.
About the book: Revealing Heaven: The Christian Case for Near-Death Experiences Millions has the testimonies of those who have been to heaven and returned. But what do these stories mean for Christians? How do they fit with what the Bible teaches? What do they say about who goes to heaven? After hearing over 200 accounts of near-death experiences, the Reverend John W. Price narrates the stories of these eyewitnesses and now makes a case not only for why Christians can trust near-death accounts but for why we should treat these amazing stories as precious gifts from God.
About the author: John W. Price serves as a pastor and spiritual director and was a chaplain at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston. He is also a member of the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, which has the largest near-death experience website in the world.