AUTHOR: Don Piper with Cecil Murphey
DATE: 2004, 2014
As he is driving home from a minister's conference, Baptist minister Don Piper collides with a semi-truck that crosses into his lane. He is pronounced dead at the scene. For the next 90 minutes, Piper experiences heaven where he is greeted by those who had influenced him spiritually. He hears beautiful music and feels true peace.
Back on earth, a passing minister who had also been at the conference is led to pray for Don even though he knows the man is dead. Piper miraculously comes back to life and the bliss of heaven is replaced by a long and painful recovery.
For years Piper kept his heavenly experience to himself. Finally, however, friends and family convinced him to share his remarkable story.
When this book was first published ten years ago, I heard a bit of the buzz but did not have a chance to read it. To be honest, I was sceptical. Too many charlatans had told too many stories about near-death or after-death experiences, and I didn’t feel the need to read another.
But when offered the chance to read and review this tenth anniversary edition, I agreed out of curiosity. The tone of the book surprised me. It has the ring of truth. Don Piper does not sugar-coat his experiences in any way. In fact, as he writes about his long, arduous recovery, he is painfully honest about his depression and frustration.
His message is one of supreme hope: Heaven is real, and through Jesus Christ, we can know we’re going there. I love that!
What I didn’t love was the new forward and what I felt were excessive stories from others. I wish both had been edited. Pick four or five stories about people impacted by Don’s experience, and choose a few statistics about his ministry in the last decade. The book itself was great; the extras had me skimming. For those reasons, I give this edition four stars.