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    Did Don Piper Really Spend 90 Minutes in Heaven?

    Did Don Piper Really Spend 90 Minutes in Heaven?

    I'll admit, I haven't read the book, but it has always interested me.  Don Piper, a Southern Baptist minister was driving his Ford Escort when he was hit head-on by a semi.  He was pronounced dead, but awoke 90 minutes later to the sound of a fellow pastor's prayers.

    I have no idea what Don went through in those 90 minutes.  But I've always wondered what people think about it?

    (Please note:  I have no reason to discount what Don reports; and absolutely no reason to say he's making anything up being dishonest.  He has no reason to do so).

    How do you react to near death experiences like this?  Do they really get a picture (however brief) of eternity?  Or is the mind playing tricks on them?

    Would you have Don Piper speak in your church about his experience?

    Just wondering...



    PS -- here's an article that churned this discussion


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    1. David on Tue, April 06, 2010

      I’ve always had a problem with people who ‘spent time in heaven’ and wrote a book about it.  Why was it that the apostle Paul, who was caught up into heaven, said in 2 Cor. 12:4: he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.

      If Paul was restricted in this way ...?

    2. sgillesp on Tue, April 06, 2010

      well, it’s important to read the book - only the first chapter is about his experience with ‘going to heaven.’  The rest of the book is about his spiritual formation during his recovery from his extensive injuries, including the depression he went through as a result of having an experience of being in glory and then finding himself in constant pain.  He struck me as a very mature Christian who shared the struggle of needing to grow up in certain ways that he didn’t know about.  My rationalization of his experience is that God gave him a vision of some kind, but I wouldn’t begin to say that I know.  I would certainly have him come speak at my church his book is REALLY about following Jesus in faith during excruciatingly hard times, and there is nothing unbiblical about it.  I know it has been great comfort to many.

    3. CS on Tue, April 06, 2010

      “How do you react to near death experiences like this?  Do they really get a picture (however brief) of eternity?  Or is the mind playing tricks on them?”

      First, do we need any sort of external revelation other than what we have already in the Bible?  No.  So whatever experience someone may have, that is not necessary from a perspective of supernatural visions.

      Second, does their vision even meet the biblical description of Heaven or Hell?  If not, it’s especially important that we point this out, lest people build a foundation for the afterlife on someone’s flawed dream. 

      Third, even when some men have had visions of Heaven, such as when Paul was talking about someone being caught up, there is a certain amount of information that just wasn’t shared because of the glory. As Paul said, that man, “heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”  So I would see someone who comes blabbing openly as someone about Heaven with some additional scrutiny.


    4. Andymcadams on Tue, April 06, 2010

      I tend to agree with David.

    5. JAN on Thu, April 08, 2010

      Just read about a three year old who drowned and was not breathing, no heart beat etc for 1 1/2 hours.  After that he came too and was completely normal.  He told his parents that his grandmother told him to “hurry back” after he spent some time with her.

      I thought it interesting because a three year old hasn’t been influenced by other’s near death experience stories.

      I guess I wouldn’t necessarily totally discount them.  I tend to ask “For what purpose do we need to hear this? ” And go from there.
      If it’s a story that glorifies the deliverer I immediately question it.

      But I know that nothing is impossible with God.  I do believe in the miraculous.

    6. John Newsome on Mon, April 12, 2010

      We have had Don Piper to our church twice and he has been a great blessing.  I believe his story absolutely.

    7. Craig on Mon, April 12, 2010

      We learn about Heaven from the Bible.  We have no tools to evaluate anyone’s anecdotes.  Such stories should be neither believed nor disbelieved; they should be ignored.

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