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Reports of near-death experiences (NDEs) are flooding the media with books, articles and interviews. People describe hovering over their bodies, details of their surgeries, talking with deceased relatives, and reviewing their lives in vivid detail, often while their brains should be incapable of producing rational ...
Reports of near-death experiences (NDEs) are flooding the media with books, articles and interviews. People describe hovering over their bodies, details of their surgeries, talking with deceased relatives, and reviewing their lives in vivid detail, often while their brains should be incapable of producing rational thought or memories.
While the accounts are no doubt interesting, do they provide any solid evidence for the afterlife and the existence of God? Miller argues, in nontechnical and engaging prose, that it does indeed. He began his study doubting that NDEs provided such evidence, but found himself convinced by the weight of the evidence.
In this multiple award-winning book, the reader will explore:
Posted December 30, 2012
I approached this book with little to no prior knowledge of the subject. I’d heard of people claiming to have had strange experiences related to brushes with death but viewed the claims with skepticism.
It’s not that I don’t believe in God; it’s people I doubt. People misunderstand and misinterpret what they see and experience; people grasp at straws in an attempt to prove or justify preconceived ideas; sometimes they make things up in an attempt to get attention. My thinking on the whole Near-Death Experience thing was that if it happened to me, I’d take it seriously; until then, who cares?
Miller lays out the basics of what an NDE entails and outlines the history of recent studies of the phenomenon. After relating the experiences of numerous subjects, he gives an overview of the usual reasons given for discounting these reports. The objections deal, among other things, with the belief that the mind doesn’t exist apart from the brain, so people can’t experience anything after the brain ceases to function; that the experiences are relatively rare, and it would seem more people would have them if they were legitimate; that the research is tainted and/or unscientifically conducted; that the phenomenon can be explained by natural processes, such as lack of oxygen to the brain; that the people report seeing what they choose to believe or have been conditioned by their cultural background to expect; that you can’t believe what people say without corroborating evidence.
The author points out that, based on qualified reports of thousands of people in the US, Europe, and Asia, there are too many commonalities across the broad spectrum and too many aspects that have no known physical explanation for an honest person to dismiss them out-of-hand. The evidence points to the existence of a realm of existence outside the reach of science, which only measures the physical. Moreover, numerous aspects of the NDE reports seem to correlate with biblical descriptions of God (He is light, the embodiment of love, knows us intimately, is desirable, etc.). In fact, several of the scientists who undertook a study of NDEs began as skeptics, believing the phenomenon had a purely naturalistic explanation, but came to conclude that there’s something here other than the physical.
The author provides nine appendices on relevant research, articles, and hypotheses, as well as numerous sources if the reader wishes to research the matter himself.
Though written in a highly readable style, the author approaches this work as he would a research paper. He appeals to the intellect rather than the emotions and gives ample, compelling evidence for each conclusion. Rather than trying to persuade, he offers tools for the reader to conduct an investigation of his own.
If you’re alive, this book deals with a topic that’s highly relevant, however uncomfortable it may be. I recommend you make an honest assessment of facts presented here. This stuff is too important to shrug off.