657 of 674 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2006
I never buy these kinds of books. I have always viewed them as a type of preying on believers or , at best, a sleazy attempt to cash in on faith. This book was different. I read the title and synopsis and passed over it many times but something kept drawing me back to this book. I didn't know why at the time, but I had to buy this book.
I loved it from the very first page. It has a ring of truth. Most of the book is about what happened to Mr. Piper after his experience in heaven and during his long, painful recovery. I bought many copies and gave them to family and friends, urging them to read it as I believe it has the power to transform lives.
About a month after I 1st read this book my son was killed in Iraq. I now know that God was preparing me for what was to come and not be afraid but be joyful that my son is with Him in an indescribly beautiful place, in His presence. I have a peace of mind I NEVER would have known if I had not read this book. I will be forever grateful for this.
683 of 734 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2004
Written in straight-forward, simple style without a lot of "religionese," Don Piper has told the story of his devastating accident, his brief time in heaven and his return to a life full of pain and questions. I read it cover-to-cover in two hours and then loaned out my copy. I would recommend this book to just about anybody -- to those with questions about faith, questions about prayer, questions about life and death and pain which we all face to some extent.
His descriptions of heaven are human ones -- simple, not overly poetic or grandiose, just those of someone who experienced the indescribable and then tried to describe it. I loved the descriptions of the incredible heavenly music and I get the feeling that vast choirs and heightened senses await us there. And despite the incredible experience, Piper found it too personal, too private, and too intimate to share with anyone for over a year after his accident. I'm so glad he found the courage to do so.
I also love the honesty with which he describes his pain and depression and the inevitable questions that we must face when we have close encounters with the Almighty. The God we meet is often not the one we expected, and while we can't understand why God does what he does, we can no longer deny this God we don't understand. And while we hold these two things together, our lives are changed and grace is showered down amid the ruins of what we thought was important to us.
A simply-told story of the greatest mystery of all -- you HAVE to read this book!!
61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2007
I don't know what to say, other than - this story has the ring of authenticity. I haven't checked out his facts - and frankly, I picked up his book with a good bit of healthy skepticism. So many people have attempted to make a quick buck off of the spiritual gullibility of others. But based on my understanding of Scripture and my own internal "truth meter," I walked away from this book thinking to myself, "This man may have actually been given a glimpse of heaven." I can see this book providing genuine comfort to those who have lost Christian loved ones...and unspeakable encouragment to those who are themselves facing death.
55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2006
As I glanced through other reviews of this book, I noticed many of the negative reviews voiced the same issue -- "there wasn't enough about his experience in Heaven". But that's what confirmed its authenticity to me along with his self-admitted inability to describe it. I'm confident Reverand Piper conveyed exactly what he experienced and that it wasn't embellished or enhanced merely to satisfy our earthly desires for more information. A lesser author would have done so to sell more books! His experience in Heaven was the most intriguing part of the book, but of greater value was what he did with that experience as well as the mental and physical challenges following his accident. In summary, it's a confirmation of God's promises to us regarding Heaven, a reminder that we all serve a purpose for Him while on earth, and a prompting regarding our responsibility to ensure others are saved.
282 of 330 people found the following review helpful
Don Piper died on January 18, 1989 while on his way home from a church conference. Although he does go in depth into his visit "home" to Heaven, his book really concentrates on his life after the accident. After experiencing a joyous reunion with deceased relatives he was wisked away to earth with no explanation. Don is a devout Christian and suffers greatly from his banishment in heaven and with the physical pain and recovery from his automobile accident. This is really a story of survival against all odds and it is extremely motivating. When we hear of such advertisity striking others we often wonder how they find the grit to survive and even thrive. By reading Don's story we find that survival is based on a mixture of hope, faith and sheer determination. Read this book, you won't be disappointed.
61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2005
I just finished reading this book in a short amount of time. It is well worth the read and I do believe that Rev. Piper's story is not only legitimate, but very inspiring for those, like me, who wonder about life after death. That said, I will get to what I believe keeps this book from being a great book: he spent too much of the book speaking of his recuperation. That story was very important: but, it wasn't the reason I bought the book. The one chapter in which he recounts his NDE was breathtaking. The chapter's brevity does not detract from it's magnificence. I would not say that he needs to "draw out" the NDE account. I would say he does need to write less of his experience with the contraption that helped his leg to heal. At times, I felt as if the book was written to help those going through life with the leg contraption than it was to help those coping with life-after-death issues. Jerry Seinfeld once said "What is the deal with Oprah?...She's fat, she's thin, she's fat, she's thin...Just pick a weight and go with it." That's some of what I felt with this book. Is the book about recovery or is it a book about life after death? In my opinion, since the book tried to be both it lost it's potential for greatness.
However, buy and read the book anyway. A book doesn't have to be perfect in order to get a lot out of it.
200 of 239 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2007
I was so excited to listen to this book! To hear what it's like in Heaven - wow! But Mr. Piper talks of his moments in Heaven for just minutes on the first disk, then the other 4 1/2 disks (rest of the book) is all about his injuries in the accident and how he recovered. I was very disappointed. I expected more on Heaven, not so many details on his health condition each day. So if you want a story about a man that beat death with many prayers, this is it. But if you wanted a story, like me, that tells you every detail of Heaven and how wonderful it is, skip it. Sorry.
138 of 164 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2006
I gotta tell you, I dont read books very much..I'm not a big reader but the title of this book caught me. I wanted to read about heaven...I am a Christian and this book really caught my eye.
The book is about 100+ pages long and his discussion about heaven is only the first 15 pages. The rest of the story is about his recovery and the trials he went through thereafter...its not a book which discusses throughout his "90 minutes in heaven." I think this book would be inspirational to individuals who have gone through similar circumstances but to those of us who wanted to see a "glimpse of heaven", there wasnt much meat there..
56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2007
No disrespect to the author, but this book should have been titled "the long,boring recovery of a Baptist preacher".There are a few pages of his NDE (pearly gate,streets paved with gold,singing hymns and praising God). All one would expect of a NDE by a Baptist preacher.That's it...the rest of the book is his recovery, his church and family.I read the reviews before I bought this book and thought it sounded pretty good. One guy said he couldn't put it down. If reading about a baptist preacher in the hospital is your idea of a good read, then have at it.
59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
This is a moving story about a pastor who dies instantly in a car crash and goes to heaven. He is greeted by a welcoming committee of friends and loved ones who have already passed on into glory. The sights he sees, the things he hears, and the whole experience of being in heaven is more wonderful than anything he has ever experienced.
Just as he is about to pass through the pearly gates and walk onto a street of gold, a guy on earth is praying by his broken body, and at that moment, Don Piper is brought back to earth. For months, as he lies in a hospital bed wracked with pain, he wonders why God has not allowed him to stay in heaven, and why he must go through the agony of 105 days in the hospital and (eventually) a total of 34 surgeries.
But he eventually returns to be with his family, and God uses him to bless others with his story.
Some Bible scholars have suggested that the vision of the heavenly New Jerusalem in Revelation is figurative and that the pearly gates and the streets of gold and the enormous dimensions of the city are not to be taken literally, and therefore, Don's experience is discounted.
My response is that if the writer of Revelation is describing what he saw and heard, then it makes sense that Don's description would be similar. At any rate, it must have been an incredible comfort to know that life after death is going to be such a tremendous (and permanent) experience for the believer in Christ who passes on.
Some have been disappointed that the book focuses more on Don's recovery than it does about his experiences in heaven. But Don tells a tight story, and keeps the narrative of his life moving well. He doesn't stay in chronological order once he gets out of the hospital, but you still get the idea that he returned to his ministry and that he served at several different churches through the years.
This is a great book to give to people who want to know more about life after death or life after a near death.