The topic of the afterlife is one that is frequently discussed and debated, and yet many Christians remain uncomfortable with Near-Death Experiences (NDEs), unsure if the concept is in line with their Christian faith, and unaware of resources within the church that offer guidance.
In REVEALING HEAVEN: The Christian Case for Near-Death Experiences (HarperOne; February 2013), the Reverend John W. Price, a longtime Episcopal priest and member of the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation, tackles a subject that has been long-ignored by clergy. For the first time, Price offers a pastoral perspective on NDEs, illustrates how they can be used as both a ministry tool and a catalyst for personal spiritual development, and explains why we should see them as gifts from God.
Beginning with a life-changing experience as a young National Guard chaplain, and offering numerous examples from the over 200 Near-Death Experiences related to him in his 40+ years of church service, Price offers some surprising and hopeful lessons for Christians struggling with issues relating to death and grief:
- One does not need to be baptized a Christian to go to heaven. Anyone who lives a good life and practices kindness-Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc-can experience heaven.
- Sins we commit in life are forgivable even in death.
- God has a plan for all of us, including a specific "time" for each of us to continue our lives in heaven.
- Hearing these NDEs has been shown to offer tremendous comfort to those facing the end of life, helping ease their fear.
In REVEALING HEAVEN, Price offers a compilation of experiences by "returnees" along with biblical evidence to contend that NDEs are both valid and fully consistent with Scripture. A resource for a Christian audience looking for answers about life and death, this book will also appeal to anyone seeking a greater understanding of what the afterlife means for us in the here-and-now.