The first couple of chapters are about the accident that Rev. Piper had in which he was declared clinically dead for 90 minutes and the subsequent journey to Heaven that took place within those 90 minutes. From there the story goes on to describe the severe depression and physical pain that the author went through during the time of his recovery after coming back to life (and earth.)
The last few chapters of the book speak of Rev. Piper's acceptance of all that happened and his willingness to tell others about the accident and about Heaven.
This has been an interesting story for me but I'm a skeptic. I kept reading through Rev. Piper's testimony with a critical eye...looking for whatever flaw I could find.
I really haven't found any, except perhaps that I was dismayed that he would have no thoughts about his family when he was in Heaven. He said that he never once thought about his wife and children during those 90 minutes. I thought that was terrible...but then I read the end of the book. Here's a quote from pgs. 202-203:
- One time I shared my experiences with a large congregation that included my wife's parents, Eldon and Ethel Pentecost. They've been consistently supportive and made great sacrifices during my accident and lengthy recovery.
- After the service, we went to their home. At one point, Eldon and I were alone, and he told me, I was angry the first time you shared your story of your trip to heaven."
- I had no idea he felt that way.
- "You finished by saying you never wanted to come back to earth."
- I just nodded in affirmation, not knowing where this was going.
- "I didn't understand it then, but I've changed. now when I hear you talk about heaven's beauty, I understand a little better why you'd willingly be separated from my daughter and grandkids for a while. You know--you really do know, don't you--that they'll join you someday?"
- "Without a doubt," I said.
Rev. Piper goes on to say that he knew that his wife and kids were saved and that they would be there to join him. He said that people in Heaven don't have an awareness of who's not there, only those who are.
That's the part that's tripped me up. I've always felt that if we don't share with people and they don't get saved because we've never spread the word, then we're going to realize they aren't there because of us. It's probably not a Scriptural thing and I would love for someone to clarify this from the Bible for me.
So, all in all I like the book. Whether Rev. Piper actually went to Heaven or not isn't something I need to dwell on. One day I'm going to get there. And as I get older and I see the world deteriorating day by day, I'm looking more and more forward to eternity with Jesus.