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My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life Hardcover – February 15, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although numerous studies and books have explored near-death experiences, the phenomenon has been viewed with caution by many Christian denominations. So it is intriguing to read a first-person report of such an event from the perspective of a pastor in the United Church of Christ. While visiting Paris on a European tour nearly 20 years ago, 38-year-old Storm, then an atheist and art professor at Northern Kentucky University, was stricken with an almost lethal attack of peritonitis. In this necessarily subjective but absorbing chronicle of what is essentially a conversion, the writer describes a descent into Hell, where he confronted his anger and self-centered personality. After praying for the first time, he was rescued by Jesus and brought to heaven for an extensive conversation with Jesus and various angelic beings on topics that include the Holocaust, God's plans for the earth, angelology and, of course, what happens to us when we die. Blending traditional Christian theology with a doctrinal eclecticism more common to New Age philosophy, Storm's book may appeal to readers hungry for reassurance, both about the possibility of eternal life and the meaning of our choices here on earth.
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Review

“This is a book you devour from cover to cover, and pass on to others. This is a book you will quote in your daily conversation. Storm was meant to write it and we were meant to read it.”

—From the Foreword by Anne Rice

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Stated FIrst U.S. Edition edition (February 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385513763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385513760
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 126 people found the following review helpful By S. Ward on March 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was surprised at the small size of this book, but what a powerful message for those who will understand it! I started reading it and finished it in just under 3 hours. I was a licensed Baptist Minister in the early stages of my life, but became disillusioned by many of the rituals and views that were imposed by many in the church. Through it all, I kept my belief in God according to what I believed the Bible taught, and not according to what was being taught by man. This book describes my understanding of God and the afterlife as I personally believe it to be. Excellent reading for those who are searching for a glimpse of what is to come, or those who have lost a loved one and look forward to being re-united after life on this world is over.
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121 of 128 people found the following review helpful By stkevin on January 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Howard Storm's NDE is one of the most uplifting and persuasive NDEs that I have read. There is much there for the confirmed Christian and much for someone of any other faith. Parts of Howard's experience fall right into accepted Christian doctrine and parts don't. Those reviewers that rigidly "apply" Christian doctrine to reject Howard's story simply miss the point. So do those who reject Christianity and therefore reject stories such as Howard's. The message is one of hope and love, not doctrine.

First, Howard Storm was not a "Christian" when he had his NDE. Instead, he was totally indifferent to God, and became a Christian only after his NDE. Howard's NDE begins when he dies and finds himself in an existence with countless other loveless/godless beings who did nothing but attack and dismember him (and worse). In the depths of his despair, Howard the atheist remembered a line from a song to Jesus from his childhood and began to sing it. Jesus rescued him. Howard learned the hard way that Jesus was his best friend. Yet if Jesus can save an avowed atheist, and be "best friend" to such a person, then Jesus can also save anyone, including other atheists, Hindus, Catholics, Presbyterians, Moslems, etc. Second, when Howard asks one of the "Angels" with whom he visits "what is the best religion?" he's told that it is "the one the brings you closer to God". This is hardly Christian doctrine. In fact, those defenders of Orthodox Christian doctrine will find much to condemn in Howard Storm's NDE.

Incidentally, I had to chuckle at the irrefutable logic of Jesus when he pointed out to Howard that there really were no atheists because it is impossible to believe in nothing.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Seeker on July 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was led to buy this book, I feel. I literally could not put this book down. I started reading it in the bookstore, purchased it, read for 20 minutes in the car before leaving the parking lot, came home,and did not put it down until I finished it. Since then, I have gone back and re-read the parts where Howard converses with the angelic beings and Christ. It is compelling, and rings true to me. I cried as I read his account of his life review. My heart changed during reading this book, and I am grateful that I still have time to change my life.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By J. Baker on March 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I chose to buy this book based in part on a passing interest in near-death experiences, and also because Rev. Storm is a pastor in my city. I started reading the book last night and literally could not put it down for the first 70 pages. I'll likely finish it tonight. In just that short time, this book has already changed my perspective on life. I'd considered myself a spiritual person, if not a religious one. This book makes God real, and drops away all the pretenses and exclusions that had somewhat turned me away from organized religion. I'll be sharing this book with everyone I love. Whether you believe in any kind of God or not, just try reading this book. It's very short, and you have nothing to lose by reading it. It just might change your life.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By N on August 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good book that you will not put down untill you finish. And when you are finished you will either say, "that's what I thought" or "is he telling the truth?" depending upon your preconceptions. No matter what though, there will probably be something rather disturbing and provoking the Rev. Storm's encounter with the afterlife.

Conservatives will be disappointed in some things that Jesus had to say, though they might be surprised to know how much they agree with Storm's Jesus. The question, "What religion is best?" (or something to that effect) was answered as " the one that brings you closest to God". It is not clear if the term religion was referring to Christian denominations or world religions. You do not get a sense of religious pluralism in the book. It seems to confirm that Jesus is the Way to salvation.

I heard Rev. Storm on the Art Bell show not too long ago. The host asked Storm about the truth of other religions, say Buddhism. Rev. Storm said that he did not ask the angels that question when he was there so he does not know how they fit into the big picture.

Some of the more progressive Christians may be surprised that a thing like Hell exists at all.

One must also keep in mind that Rev. Storm, at the time of these encounters, was an atheist more preoccupied with secular issues of the world and less so with spiritual. Is it possible then, that these notions influenced how he retold his story? Just a thought.
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