Todd,Could you please elaborate to all of us in the blogosphere why this type of book should not be used as a segue toward meaningful conversation about heaven?Thanks!
Absolutely.The chief reason is probably because this sort of book undermines biblical authority and sufficiency. It undermines biblical authority in that flies in the face of the biblical truth that we die once and then face the judgment. There is no biblical category for someone dying and then being sent back because "God has more work for them to do."Certainly Jesus raised the dead. But he did this to establish his status as the Son of God and Lord of life. It was not to set a pattern for future resurrections like the ones described in books like Heaven Is For Real.These books also undermine the sufficiency of Scripture. I frequently hear such books being defended as means to evangelize or edify. The evangelism angel springs from the faulty assumption that such stories make it easier for people to believe. But this is not the testimony of our Lord who said that if people do not believe the Scriptures then they "will not believe even if someone is raised from the dead." Faith, we are taught in Romans 10, "comes from hearing and that by the word of Christ." Faith is not generated from personal testimonies. Faith is not generated by miracles or spectacular events. It pleases God to produce faith in the heart of the unbeliever through the means of his word.The edification justification goes something like this: "Now I REALLY believe in Heaven." I have been told that numerous times from people who have read the Burpo book. Tragic. It assumes that the powerful living word of God to which He has attached his promises is not a sufficient means to edify the people of God. Why has not the word of God been enough? Why do you not REALLY believe in Heaven simply on the testimony of Scripture? Why does a fanciful account from a little boy (a story grounded in a contradiction of Scripture) make Heaven "more real" for you?
Amen & Amen!
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