Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Recent Read Number 14

"He's Alive! The dead man started singing with me."

NOTE: The review for this book is being written about 6 months after I had finished reading this book. It does CONTAIN SPOILERS.

90 Minutes In Heaven by Don Piper. This is an interesting "autobiography" about a man who had an out-of-body experience. Skeptics will say that what he experienced was a typical chemical induced mind created fantasy. The author and many Christians believe that he actually experienced the after-life in Heaven.

On the cold rainy evening of January 18, 1989 Don Piper an ordained minsiter was returning home from a Baptist Church conference. He didn't make it home. He was in an accident on a small bridge with a very large truck. When the paramedics arrived on the scene, they found no pulse on his mangled body, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A fellow Baptist preacher came upon the scene. He was told by God to pray for this man, even though he was told, and knew that he was dead. It turns out that he knew the man he was praying for, although he didn't know it at the time as the body was covered with a tarp and he didn't lift up the tarp. He was there to pray for this man, even though the emergency workers at the scene told him the man was dead and nothing could be done.

State law said that he had to be officially pronounced dead before the body could be removed from the scene. While they were waiting for someone who could make that official pronouncement a preacher was praying over the body. He only knew that he had to pray for the dead man and to pray that there were no internal injuries. He then began to sing. He sang a hymn called "What A Friend We Have In Jesus", the man who "was dead" then sang along. The preacher alerted the emergency workers on the scene. The authors very long road to recovery then began. He would never be completely back to normal but he has gone a long way.

The first three or four chapters describe the accident and the authors experience of Heaven in great detail. The other chapters then describe his pain, and the progress of getting back to his life. As he tells of his recovery he also tells of the tests of his faith in God and his desire to return to the Heaven that he caught a glimpse of.

Skeptics of these types of experiences will say that he didn't see or experience Heaven. It was all just chemical reactions. Christians may believe this fascinating story of one man's trip to Heaven and the Hell of pain he has endured to tell others his tale.

Unlike typical near-death experiences the author didn't travel down a dark tunnel to a light. From the moment of the accident, he was enveloped by an intense light and then was in Heaven. His vision of heaven was being surrounded by immense love and people he had loved in his life who had gone on before him. Family, friends they were all there and they were all happy. Music was all around being sung and also being experienced. The only thing missing is an image of Jesus and angels floating on clouds playing golden harps.

I am not going to try to determine if what the author experienced was real or not. I'm not going to say it was all just a well meaning fantasy. I think that each person that reads the book needs to decide that for themselves. I feel that for books like this one Christians will probably have their faith in God reinforced, and skeptics if they choose to read it will pass it off as a fantasy produced by an oxygen deprived hallucination.

90 Minutes In Heaven by Don Piper 2004 Revell (Baker Publishing Group) 207 pages - ***

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