629 of 646 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.
676 of 727 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!!
57 of 60 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.
50 of 53 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.
279 of 327 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.
60 of 69 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.
197 of 236 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.
136 of 162 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..
53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2011
There have been a rather large amount of "celestial visit" books written over time. 23 minutes in Hell, Heaven is Real, Heaven is 4 Real, etc. Don Piper's book doesn't offer anything that hasn't been said already, and as many of the reviewers have noted, a majority of the book (like 4/5) are about Piper's recovery from his accident (which lead to his NDE). If you're looking for an encouraging "I went to Heaven" book, I'll say what I always do: Read the book of Revelation, or Isaiah 6 if you are short on time. They will profit you FAR more than any of the current offering from all the people who claim to have gone to Heaven.
I am a pastor, and I frequently get asked "have you read...?", so I gave this book a read one day to know what it says and formulate a response to people who ask about it. Let's get to brass tacks:
- Piper is a decent writer. He knows who he's writing to and doesn't write with too much complexity.
- The book attempts to not speculate about the esoteric questions about Heaven (i.e. do pets go to heaven?) and only attempts to relay Piper's experience.
- It's short and I made it through in about 1.5 hours.
And, well there's not much else I could say positively. Read on...
- Piper clearly went somewhere. I don't doubt that he experienced SOMETHING, but he claims that he actually went to Heaven. Do his claims stand up to scripture?
Well, Piper makes some strange claims, like:
a. He somehow went to Heaven and didn't see either God the Father or God the Son (page 26 & 37). Piper went to Heaven and only saw dead friends.
This is utterly unfathomable. Every Old and New Testament saint who went to heaven had several common experiences, the foremost of which was that everything was oriented around God! Everyone that went there in the scriptures encountered God because heaven is ALL about God, not about being reunited with loved ones.
b. The conversations and attention of everyone in Heaven was devoted to Don Piper (page 30). Don experienced perfect love when everyone welcomed him and paid attention to him (page 31).
The people in Heaven were all focused on Don Piper and devoted themselves to glorifying his presence?
c. There were hundreds of worship songs being sung at the same time (page 34) and though such would be cacophony on earth, it somehow worked in Heaven.
Well, not according to places like Rev. 5 where everyone sings in unity.
d. None of the songs were about Jesus death or anything sad (page 35).
Again, this is utterly contrary to the scripture. Rev 5:9-10 & 5:12 suggest that the death of Christ is what everyone IS singing about in Heaven.
e. After Piper left Heaven, the thing he missed most was the MUSIC (page 36).
Not God? Not Christ? The music? Seriously?
f. The angels had wings in Heaven (page 33).
Well, not according to the scriptures. The only creatures in heaven are the cherubim/seraphim, there's only 4 of them, and they're ALWAYS around the throne. Is. 6, Ez. 1, and Rev. 4 talk about the only creatures in heaven with wings. The rest of the angels consistently are not described as beings with wings.
g. The gates of Heaven were not fashioned from a single pearl, but instead shimmered like pearls (page 38) and had streets that were paved with literal gold (page 38-39).
"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass" - Rev 21:21.
Piper not only disagrees with the scripture on the gates, but he even confuses the current Heaven with the New Jerusalem, which is what is described in Rev. 21. The current Heaven is NOT the place with pearl gates or gold streets. That place is a'comin.
Piper seems to have experienced a Heaven that looks more like what one would see on TV shows than what is revealed in the Bible. All his obvious objective and theological errors remove any question of whether Don Piper actually went to the current Heaven. He may believe he went to Heaven, but place he describes sure doesn't sound like the place the Bible describes.
- Secondly, the fruit of Piper's journey was basically depression and bitterness. The rest of the book goes on with Piper recalling how he was so angry that he was shown Heaven and didn't get to stay, but rather had to come back and suffer with months of recovery.
In a nutshell, Piper's visit to Heaven resulted in a whole bunch of sin.
I don't have a clue how to make sense of that. A great revelation of God doesn't result in increased sin in one's heart or life, at least if I'm going by the biblical examples of people like Noah, Moses, Abraham, David, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Saul of Tarsus, Peter, etc.
This book is a cacophony of error that pretends to come from a reliable first-hand witness. The more reliable witness (God's word) disagrees with Piper and calls his interpretation of his experience into question.
***FALSE TEACHING ALERT***
One final note - Some people, well most people, will be offended by my review. Many will think I am rude, or unloving, in saying that Don Piper is basically confused and spreading false teaching.
I get that, but he's a pastor who is using a role of spiritual leadership and authority for the purpose of giving his book credibility and he's saying things that are demonstrably false. Titus 1:9-11 instructs me, as a pastor, to take serious task with someone who uses a spiritual office for the propagation of lies. Titus 1:11 instructs me to not simply ignore stuff like this, but to literally muzzle the people who are trying to pass off spiritual error as spiritual truth.
I have no ill will towards Don Piper, and I have no idea as to heart motivations or any sort of standing before God.
I can address his propositional claims and check them against the Bible, which is all I have attempted to do.
54 of 63 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.