Anyhoo, it looked cockamamey from the start but I stuck it on my shelf and promptly forgot about it. A few weeks ago, I heard someone talking about this book and I remembered it because of who gave it to me and the circumstance under which they gave it to me. It won’t take much for a discering Christian to see that it is rife with error and its teaching should be ignored, but C. Michael Patton over at Parchment and Pen did such a good and succinct review on it that I thought I’d post a link for your consideration.
Here is his conclusion:
I suppose that we are left with these option:
1. Piper is lying. He made all this up for some type of personal gain.
2. Piper is telling the truth. He did visit heaven and his descriptions are accurate; we have just misunderstood Scripture.
3. He did visit heaven, but misinterpreted what he saw.
4. He thought he visited heaven but he really did not. His visions, while unexplained from a medical standpoint, are filled with the common eschatological folk-lore that you would expect from a 21st century westernized Christian.
I am prone to go with number 4. The theological descriptions of heaven are more consistent with ingrained folk theology than with a critical examination of the eschatological issues upon which these touch. Folk theology is powerful. We can easily interpret our experiences based upon emotionally held convictions that may or may not be based in truth.
Concerning this, I would be curious to hear of a near-death experience of a Muslim. Do they have ninety virgins who meet them? What color are their streets? Who is waiting at the gate to allow entrance? In truth, I would be more inclined to believe this story if it came from someone who was not so educated in 21st century western Christian folk theology.
Read the whole thing here.