The book is about Piper's process of recovering and living with his pain and disability as well as God's use of his testimony.
This book is unfortunately very poorly written. This is hard to understand since he co-authored it with a "professional writer." The details of the story are on repeat in every chapter. The flow of thought is scattered. The writing itself lacks interest - the subject matter alone moves you forward through the book.
Piper's experiences are thought provoking, and do awaken a desire for heaven and clearly has been an encouragement to many. As to the truth of the claims, the main thing to establish would be the credibility of the witness. Don describes God as using some tapes to deliver him from depression and hopelessness in his condition during the first year while he was still in the hospital. On page 108 he says, "Never again would depression afflict me. It was just one more miracle from heaven.
Later in the book he asks his family to share their thoughts from the whole affair 15 years after the accident. His son says on page 151 "Dad suffered from depression for years after the accident-still does to some extent." Explaining that his dad doesn't open up and share his darkest corners.
His wife says describes the depression as continuing and says she has learned to recognize when the "bad time" is approaching and just learned to leave him alone till he returns to "even keel."
This clearly is not a description of someone "delivered" from depression, or even in an emotionally healthy place since his accident. There are many other clues throughout the book that Piper still has not reached a place of understanding of the impact of his experience on family and others (confirmed near the end in a story about his in-laws), nor reached an open healthy place emotionally. He talks about his growth out of self-pity, but the story leaves you with the impression that he is still self-focussed - even in his care for others.
I don't doubt that his experience in the hospital was a turning point for him emotionally, but his willingness to lie about God's "miracle" in his recovery process makes me suspect he may be stretching (knowingly or not) the rest of his experience.
My second issue with this book and particularly his experience in heaven is there is little mention of Jesus Christ. God could just be a light-force in his telling of it. Heaven was all about a reception with friends and feeling loved by them. There almost seemed to be an avoidance of mentioning anything about a personal God that was behind the light. In Biblical descriptions and visions of heaven people are always guided by an angel or direct voice from God. It is not about hanging out with friends. It is about the glory of God and the worship of His Son, Jesus Christ!...Continua
The beginning of the book was good. I know it's based on a true story and therefore and only be wrote to a certain extent. But I just lost interest about half way through. Give it a chance tho because the authors account of Heaven was amazing =)...Continua
A very intriguing story. Not a new relating of events in near death events, but a fresh one. Lots of questions leading to interesting discussions.
I was bummed because the heaven part was only about 1% of the story. The other 99% was about the author's gruesome and difficult recovery. Kudos to the guy for making it through all that pain though. It just wasn't what I expected this book to be about from the title....Continua