Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review: 90 Minutes in Heaven



90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life

by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey
Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2007

On January 18, 1989, Don Piper was involved in a horrific car accident. At age thirty-eight, he was dead for ninety minutes, during which time he experienced the beauty of heaven. He describes it as “the greatest family reunion of all” and that he “felt loved – more loved than ever before in my life.” He describes his senses being heightened and that the music of heaven is “the most beautiful and pleasant sound . . . a song that goes on forever.”  Yet, as quickly as he arrived at heaven’s gates, he was pulled back to earth. 

Dick Onerecker, a Baptist minister, was passing by the scene of the accident and felt God tell him to pray for the dead man, even though praying for the dead is not part of the Baptist faith. He obeyed God’s command and the first thing Don remembers is waking up hearing Dick singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Dick ran to the EMTs and fought with them to come back and care for the “dead” man. 

I enjoy reading life after death stories – I enjoy the glimpse of heaven that they provide, the evidence that there is indeed life after this one. Yet, 90 Minutes in Heaven is powerful not only because of the description of heaven, but also because of Piper’s long recovery back to some semblance of “normal” and his struggle to understand why God had him return to earth at all, when all he wanted was to be back home in the heaven he had experienced. It is well-worth reading. 

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