I regularly am asked about books written by authors who claim to have gone to heaven. They don't teach "heresy" – so are they good? Should we trust these authors? Probably two of the more recent and popular ones are the following:
90 Minutes in Heaven – Don Piper
- New York Times Paperback Non-fiction Bestseller List 2004
- Publisher's Weekly Paperback Religion Bestsellers
- USA Today's Top 150 Bestseller List
- 4 million copies in print today
- Sold over 1.4 million copies
Heaven is for Real – Todd Burpo
- 2010 #1 NY Times Best Seller in multiple categories
- on USA Today’s best seller list for 111 weeks
- 7.5 million copies in sold
- 232,673 likes on Facebook
So – how should we view such things? Here are a couple of very brief thoughts:
- Experience is never a valid test for truth. If experience is a valid test for truth, we are in trouble. Because people have the most bizarre experiences and base their theology on those experiences. So be very careful about declaring anything "true" because someone experienced it.
- I think Christians are often gullible when it comes to believing people's stories that coincide with what we believe. If we are so quick to believe they are real simply because there is no obvious heresy – then no wonder we lose credibility with those who disagree with us.
- There must be a reason the Bible doesn't tell us much about heaven. We seem to have a longing to know things God never intended us to know. I think – maybe – it should be left like that. 1 Corinthians 2:9 – However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" – the things God has prepared for those who love him." Maybe we should be satisfied with that. God felt it was enough.
What do you think about "I've been to heaven" books? Have you read one?