"If you struggle [with] believing what the Bible says, but learn to find security in the testimony of a toddler... I feel sorry for you."

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

The review is from 3/28, but the book still seems to be gaining steam.

Mike Durning's picture

I agree with Challies' general premise. These books do nothing to bolster my faith, and anyone who needs them to bolster their faith has a pretty shabby faith, I suspect.

But I'm not so sure we have only two options to choose from. Challies says we have to judge between accepting it as factual or believing it fictitious. Unless there is compelling evidence to doubt it (as in a statement by a heavenly being or a description of heaven that does not match with Scripture) why not say "It may be true, it may be untrue"? The boy may have been granted a heavenly vision. The boy may have had a dream based on his medical state at the time. Why does it matter?"

Though we accept that our faith is not based in the book, we may still acknowledge that the hope of heaven may have struck a believer anew because of this book. I'm thinking of This Present Darkness, by Paretti, for example. I clearly would not want to lift my doctrine of Angels from the book (it was fiction, after all), but it did cause many believers to remember that there is an ever-present and on-going spiritual warfare going on. As long as they can parse the difference between fiction and reality (in the case of Paretti) or possible fiction and reality (as with this book), why shoot down their excitement?

Now, I haven't read the book. And wings on departed believers doesn't make sense to me. But I haven't heard anything patently unbiblical about it either.

So, when a lady excitedly told me what a blessing it was, I didn't recommend the book to others, but I also didn't rebuke her. I smiled, and nodded.

From the pulpit, I will continue to teach discernment. But I don't have to shoot down every little thing that can cause people to be encouraged.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

This reminds me of the people who had a crisis of faith after The Da Vinci Code was published- "I know it's fiction, but what if it's true?" Did any of these folks also go looking for dinosaurs in Costa Rica? Just wondering.

It isn't just the poor writing and unrealistic scenarios and unBiblical premise- it's the mindset that latches on to every new title featured by Oprah's Book Club or the NYT top ten, but never seems to be able to latch on to Scripture. I seriously question the idea someone's faith literally being strengthened by something like this. They might get warm fuzzies, but the Holy Spirit guides us to truth. And if the rich man wasn't allowed to come back to witness to his brothers, why would anyone else get a return ticket to tell their story? Doesn't seem Biblically consistent to me. We have Moses and the prophets and Paul and the apostles- let them hear them.

I agree with Bro. Durning that if someone 'gets a blessing' from this book, in most cases the best response is to nod and smile, not rebuke.

Brenda T's picture

Gaining steam indeed. The Hennepin County Library system has 489 people on the waiting list to read their 61 copies of the book. Yet, that same library system has over 100 copies of the Bible and no waiting list for those.

When it comes to choices, it seems the better choice would be to read John's vision of heaven in Revelation rather than the general anesthesia induced "vision" of a 4-year-old. I've been under general anesthesia and to this day do not trust the things I sensed and heard while in that state and recovering from that state. However, I know the vision of John to be an inspired one and I trust the experience of the one who leaned on Jesus' bosom.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Brenda T wrote:
When it comes to choices, it seems the better choice would be to read John's vision of heaven in Revelation rather than the general anesthesia induced "vision" of a 4-year-old. I've been under general anesthesia and to this day do not trust the things I sensed and heard while in that state and recovering from that state. However, I know the vision of John to be an inspired one and I trust the experience of the one who leaned on Jesus' bosom.

When I was 17 I had some repair done to my left ear, and while under anesthesia I dreamed I was Aphrodite and I went around a Greek temple knocking over all of the statues of the other gods. This was obviously a vision of my past life. I should find a ghostwriter immediately.

Brenda T's picture

Go for it. I hear there's a market for that type of book.

Mike Durning's picture

Susan R wrote:
When I was 17 I had some repair done to my left ear, and while under anesthesia I dreamed I was Aphrodite and I went around a Greek temple knocking over all of the statues of the other gods. This was obviously a vision of my past life. I should find a ghostwriter immediately.

OK, so you are a Buddhist (belief in reincarnation) who used to be a Greek goddess (Greek Paganism), but who has now been reincarnated as a person who became a Christian.

I think we now have arrived at a new form of Universalism. Everybody (even members of pagan pantheons) will be reincarnated until they find Christ! That really takes a load off of my mind.

Daniel's picture

I was thinking about this book and was curious if anyone has read a review that might say this was a demonically induced vision?...
I especially liked when Tim quoted Hebrews 9:27. I think that is huge as it compares our death and judgment to Jesus' one time sacrifice to bear the sins of many and then His second coming.