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The Book -- Proof of Heaven Isn’t… Still… (I found the book to be oddly believable)
Pajamas Media ^ | 01/21/2013 | Andrew Klavan

Posted on 01/21/2013 6:58:21 AM PST by SeekAndFind


Proof of Heaven is the sort of book I almost never read, but I'm glad I made an exception. I don't really follow the whole Near Death Experience, is-there-or-isn't-there-an-afterlife debate. I've come to believe there is more to life than life, but I don’t think about it much. Life itself seems a pretty urgent business and I want to pay attention to it before it's gone. If there's nothing afterwards, I'll never know. If there is, I've got an excellent lawyer.

But a friend gave me the book for Christmas. I started it, and found it weirdly compelling. As you’ve probably heard, it’s Dr. Eben Alexander’s memoir of how he, a neurosurgeon, went into a coma and saw the next world. According to Alexander, who should know, he was so brain dead at the time it happened that it’s virtually impossible for this to have been any kind of a dream or hallucination. And as the experience went on for days, there is a lot of detail, including some stuff that struck me as convincing. Nothing he sees on the Other Side is particularly startling. It’s all in line with the instincts of the best sort of faith. We’re loved; we’re forgiven. Oh, and there are angels. I’ve never been so sure about angels, but apparently there they are. Dogs too. I’d be very disappointed if there were no dogs.

Now as one of my novel characters once remarked: There’s a reasonable explanation for everything and that’s the one some people choose to believe. One of the things I liked best about the book is that Alexander is honest enough to allow us into some of the darker places in his psychology. If you want to construct a psychological explanation for his Near Death Event you can. And he even gives several “scientific” explanations of greater or lesser plausibility — the best being that the whole experience was basically the dream he had when his brain was rebooting.

All the same, I found the book oddly believable. It’s not pious or treacly like so many books about faith experiences are. And even though the doc gets pretty new age and woo-woo by the time he’s finished, it wasn’t alienating if you kept an open mind. It stuck with me for several days after I finished it.

So while no one can offer you a guarantee, I would say this book constitutes a piece of circumstantial evidence for the defense of heaven. Which makes for an interesting read, even if you decide to dismiss it.

****



TOPICS: Books/Literature; Science; Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: death; heaven; neardeath

1 posted on 01/21/2013 6:58:28 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I’ve come to believe in the here after,many times I go into a room and ask muself what am I here after,


2 posted on 01/21/2013 7:11:36 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: SeekAndFind

Never read the book. However, if the good doctor isn’t following Christ, I’d beware of anything in the book - angles of light and all that stuff.


3 posted on 01/21/2013 7:13:14 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth
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To: SeekAndFind

And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 16:31


4 posted on 01/21/2013 7:23:03 AM PST by slumber1 (Don't taze me bro!)
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To: SeekAndFind
If there's nothing afterwards, I'll never know. If there is, I've got an excellent lawyer.

Seeing as how Satan, undoubtedly the greatest lawyer that ever existed, has lost his case, I wouldn't put too much hope in that.

5 posted on 01/21/2013 7:23:02 AM PST by chesley (Vast deserts of political ignorance makes liberalism possible - James Lewis)
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To: WorkingClassFilth

Exactly. Some female figure supposedly appeared to him and told him there was nothing he could have done wrong-—i.e., no such thing as sin. That invalidates the whole book as far as I’m concerned.


6 posted on 01/21/2013 7:23:16 AM PST by CatherineofAragon (Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization)
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To: SeekAndFind
If there's nothing afterwards, I'll never know. If there is, I've got an excellent lawyer.

Seeing as how Satan, undoubtedly the greatest lawyer that ever existed, has lost his case, I wouldn't put too much hope in that.

7 posted on 01/21/2013 7:24:33 AM PST by chesley (Vast deserts of political ignorance makes liberalism possible - James Lewis)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo is the real deal. His little boy dies for few minutes,comes back, and over the course of a few years explains what happened to him. Nobody more honest than a 5 year old. The dad is a minister. Excellent read.


8 posted on 01/21/2013 7:31:48 AM PST by albie
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To: SeekAndFind

Satan appears as an angel of light. Trust only the Bible and the promises of Jesus.


9 posted on 01/21/2013 7:35:12 AM PST by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: SeekAndFind
All the same, I found the book oddly believable. It’s not pious or treacly like so many books about faith experiences are. And even though the doc gets pretty new age and woo-woo by the time he’s finished, it wasn’t alienating if you kept an open mind.
Four-year-old Jeremy Werdt says he went to heaven during emergency spleen surgery, and his testimony of seeing Jesus and deceased relatives thrilled his Christian family and landed him a book contract....“To have Jeremy back and talking about this amazing experience of being with the Lord was the most wonderful day of our lives,” says his mother, Brenda. “He named all the relatives he’d seen and we just sat there crying. Then, after a while, we realized he hadn’t said anything about my mom, Grandma Spencer....”
....“Every time we asked he just shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘Nope. Not there,’” says Brenda. “We suggested maybe he didn’t recognize her because she looked younger in heaven. He smiled and said, ‘Mom, you recognize everyone in heaven. Grandma wasn’t around.’”
-- from the thread ‘Grandma not in heaven’ boy reports

10 posted on 01/21/2013 7:41:51 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all" - Isaiah 7:9)
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To: albie
“Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo is the real deal.

I agree -- I very much enjoyed that book, and was filled with joy at the possibilities it set out.

11 posted on 01/21/2013 7:42:18 AM PST by Albion Wilde (Gun control is hitting what you aim at. -- Chuck Norris)
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To: SeekAndFind

It would also be difficult to convince a fetus that ‘this’ world exists but then the water breaks and........SURPISE!


12 posted on 01/21/2013 7:48:50 AM PST by JPG (Stay strong.)
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To: SeekAndFind
As an Orthodox Christian, I naturally believe in the resurrection of the dead, the persistence of the soul after death, and the Church's understanding of the state of souls between death and the General Resurrection at Christ's Second and Glorious Advent -- they (we if we do not continue in this life until the Last Day) wait either in Hades or in Paradise (or a bit in each if we start in Hades, but the prayers of the Church move God in His mercy to send our guardian angel to lead us into Paradise). (I leave aside the details of the Orthodox understanding of the particular judgement, referring those interested to Fr. Seraphim Rose's generally excellent book on the subject, The Soul After Death.)

That said, what Dr. Alexander's experience proves is principally that the relationship between consciousness and large-scale, measurable brain function is not so simple as materialists would have us believe. As such it is both an important contribution to theistic apologetics in opposition to the chorus of "new atheists" and an interesting bit of data for the increasingly applied subject of philosophy of mind.

13 posted on 01/21/2013 8:00:29 AM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know...)
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To: SeekAndFind
Thanks SeekAndFind, I'll look for this book.... There was another book written 20 years ago by a doctor who was intrigued when a patient who told him of heaven after being revived during surgery. The doctor began to interview others with similar experiences. Those who had good ones remembered them right after recovery, but some would embellish them with later telling. Those who saw hell would tell of them at first then later block the whole memory. He said it was important to talk to them as soon as possible. ...Don't remember the title or author...
14 posted on 01/21/2013 8:26:35 AM PST by virgil283 ( *- Never give the devil a ride. He will always want to drive.-*)
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To: Alex Murphy
The link you gave appears to be this thread, not the one you referred to.

-- from the thread ‘Grandma not in heaven’ boy reports

15 posted on 01/21/2013 9:11:52 AM PST by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth

Considering that the doctor was an atheist scientist before this event, I’d say it was a good step in the right direction if he accepts that there is a heaven and God. He can correct his misinterpretations and come to know Christ with the passage of time. At least this makes him receptive, where before he was not.


16 posted on 01/21/2013 9:29:10 AM PST by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: ottbmare

I’d have to say that simply accepting the idea of the afterlife is not enough. Further, the idea of universal grace negates the preciousness of real grace and is certain to do far more damage by reinforcing heretical ideas the infest not only this age but also too much of the [c]hurch. In short, his account does little more than present another religious view other than that of Scripture.

Of course, he, like anyone else, is subject to the working of the Holy Spirit and he has a chance.


17 posted on 01/21/2013 9:36:10 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth
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To: CatherineofAragon

That female figure turned out to be a sister he had never met or seen, who was born to his natural birth mother (he was adopted) and died young, and whom he had no knowledge of until he went searching for his birth family after his NDE

when he saw a picture of his dead birth sister he recognized her as the girl who met him in heaven

things that make you go hmmm


18 posted on 01/21/2013 9:56:00 AM PST by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: SeekAndFind
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Perhaps a tantalizing glimpse, but we must take the reality of heaven on faith.

19 posted on 01/21/2013 10:15:43 AM PST by The Great RJ
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To: WorkingClassFilth

Of course accepting the idea of an afterlife is not enough, and I agree absolutely the idea of universal grace negates the supreme value of real grace. But sometimes you have to get a toe in the door with adamant atheists. Just admitting that there’s something else out there opens them to the subsequent actions of the Holy Spirit, and then to an acceptance of divine truth via the doctrines of the Church. I have seen this happen.


20 posted on 01/21/2013 10:48:20 AM PST by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: CatherineofAragon

Thought so too, about “he” could do no wrong. But maybe it just applies to the good Doctor, who seems to be a good soul. And are there not some, who lead exemplary lives, unlike us sinners? (I am referring to just grave sins, not pecuniary)


21 posted on 01/21/2013 1:11:49 PM PST by Knight Templar
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To: silverleaf

Well...not really. We know that the devil is capable of doing all sorts of things to deceive people and draw them away from the Gospel.

The apparition contradicted God’s word by telling him he could do no wrong. By his own admission, he was a Christian more in name than in belief. How do you make it to heaven without belief, being born again?


22 posted on 01/21/2013 4:53:01 PM PST by CatherineofAragon (Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization)
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To: Knight Templar

Knight Templar (I like your FR name, BTW), Romans 3:10 says, “As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one.” We are all sinners, including those of us who have come to know Jesus Christ. The difference is, we’re forgiven.

Same chapter, verse 3:23....”all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We measure ourselves against the perfect, spotless, pure standard of God, and we fall miserably short.


23 posted on 01/21/2013 5:00:01 PM PST by CatherineofAragon (Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization)
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To: CatherineofAragon

I didn’t read the book, only watched him in interview

But the implication of the experience he described was that she (his spirit guide who turned out to be his birth sister he had never seen or met or even knew about) was telling him that where he was now with her (in “heaven”), there was no longer anything he could do wrong, and he had nothing to fear

I would not get too hung up on whether other people are “good enough” Christians to get to heaven- there are plenty of NDEs by ordinary people of many faiths and beliefs and no faiths or beliefs, who almost get to heaven and then are sent back in a loving way....and they have more faith when they come back than they did when they died


24 posted on 01/21/2013 5:06:22 PM PST by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: silverleaf

That’s the point; no one is good enough to get to Heaven. The only way you get there is through the saving blood of Jesus Christ.

Mediums and psychics believe in “spirit guides.” They have nothing to do with Christianity.


25 posted on 01/21/2013 5:56:34 PM PST by CatherineofAragon (Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization)
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