90 Minutes in Heaven is written by Don Piper and it has been one the most popular Christian books from the past few years. Just about everyone in my family has read this book and everyone loves the book. The basic flow of the book is that Don is in a serious car accident and is determined to be dead by the paramedics on the scene. It is later determined that he was likely dead for 90 minutes (not joking), and during those 90 minutes he entered into heaven and by a sheer miracle he was revived and lived to tell his story. This book is that story.
2nd Corinthians 12:1-10 speaks of Paul’s heavenly vision and the thorn in his flesh that he receives. He says that he given a thorn in his flesh so that he cannot boast of this vision he has received. This “thorn” has been speculated for a long, long time and whatever the thorn is really isn’t too important. What is important is that God saw it important to hold Paul back from boasting of what he had seen. Paul even says, “he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.”
So where am I going with this? I’m concerned that this book has been welcomed with open arms with very few questions. I’m also concerned that a man can have a vision of heaven and make a ton of money on a book and Paul can receive a vision from heaven and receive a thorn in his flesh. The aftermaths seem pretty different to me. This isn’t to say that Piper’s story can’t be 100% true…I’m not going there. But I do think a healthy dose of Biblical concern about this book would be a good thing.
I have no bone to pick with Piper and no reason to accuse this pastor of heresy or anything like that. I’m just trying to balance Paul’s vision of heaven with this book.
Please don’t think I’m writing this just trying to ruffle feathers. Again, everyone in my family loves this book. I don’t write to get them fired up…they’re already too competitive (believe me).