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Book Reviews:

23 Minutes in Hell

by Bill Wiese

This is a supposedly true story of how the book's author was either sent to Hell for 23 minutes, or was given a vision of Hell for 23 minutes.  Although I have a couple of problems with the book, it is most certainly worth reading.  As far as I can discern, most the author's accounts of Hell do not conflict with what the Bible teaches, although it seemed as if a bit of it may have been taken out of context.  The descriptions are vivid and detailed enough to be rather frightening and a bit disturbing (as they should be).  The book is only 169 pages and is therefore a fairly quick read.

I had two major problems when reading the book.  First of all, I just don't see how, from a biblical perspective, God could let a born-again believer go to Hell for even 23 minutes.  Of course He is God and it is possible that He would allow someone such an experience, but I just don't see how that lines up with God's promises to us and the meaning of Jesus' death on the cross.

Secondly, the author basically says that God allowed him this experience in order to instill in him a desperation and a longing to warn others.  What the man goes through in the book nearly drives him to insanity and I can certainly understand how it would be a life-altering experience.  However, if God put me through something like that, I would do whatever I could to get as many people as possible to listen to my story and my warning.  I would raise the money and give away copies of my book.  I would post it on the Internet and beg people to please download a free copy and read it.  I seriously doubt that I would write a book, find a publisher and then start selling that book to make a little side money while I was warning people--yet, that appears to be exactly what the author has done.  I noticed that the book is copyrighted and at the very front of the book it says: "This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form."  Like I said, not the way I would spread a message from God that shook me to the depths of my soul.

Overall, it is a definite read.  The story and information are compelling and if the two problems I had with the book become a problem for you as well, just do what I did and read the book as a work of fiction about a guy going to Hell.

Submitted by Keith Rawlinson

90 Minutes in Heaven

by Don Piper

This book is the story of a man who claims to have died and gone to Heaven.  The author's description of Heaven is actually a very short part of the book--only 16 pages in the printing I had.  The author's descriptions of Heaven, however, though not terribly detailed, do line up quite well with what the Bible teaches.  I liked the fact that his alleged experience in Heaven did not reveal any new revelations about Heaven, but instead just reinforced what little the Bible already teaches us about Heaven.  That seems to me to be the way God would do something like what the author claims happened.  

The rest of the book is about how the author slowly, painfully recovered from the car accident that initially killed him.  It goes into much detail regarding his pain, depression, doubt, not wishing to live, eventual recovery and what he was able to accomplish for the Lord after the ordeal.  I personally was once involved in a serious car accident in which I could have easily died.  Though I didn't experience the level of pain and length of recovery that the author did, I did experience enough to identify with what he went through.  From the author's descriptions and feelings, I have no doubt that he went through every bit of the level of pain he describes in the book.  Having been though a serious car accident myself, I was able to identify with, and draw strength from what the author experienced after his accident.  I found the book to be very inspirational and encouraging.

Someone who has not had such an experience would, I imagine, still find the story inspirational and encouraging.  The book is only 205 pages so it doesn't take terribly long to read through it.  I don't see that reading this book would ever be considered a waste of time by anyone, unless they were only reading for the description of Heaven.  If one is reading this book for the author's experience in Heaven, then one will likely be somewhat disappointed with this book.  If, however, one is willing to read a story just for the inspiration, encouragement, and humanity then this is an excellent book I highly recommend.

Submitted by Keith Rawlinson

Embraced by the Light

by Betty J. Eadie

This book, written by Betty J. Eadie is the story of a woman who supposedly died and had a near-death experience.  She conveys the sights, sounds and emotions she claims to have experienced while in the spirit world.  She centers the story of her experiences on her alleged visit to Heaven.

The very first thing that struck me when reading this book, is that it conveyed only a message of love and acceptance of all people after death.  Miss Eadie claims to have met, and gotten information from, Christ Himself, yet the information she gives throughout the book seems to vary greatly from what the Bible teaches.  For one thing, she claims to have been told that all religions are valid--even the religions whose teachings are contrary to the teachings of Christ.  She claims that each religion is designed to get you one step closer to God and that once you are ready, it is time to move up to another religion.  It seems to me that if religions that teach the opposite of many of the things Christ taught are valid, then all religions, including Christianity, would have to be invalid.  If, as Eadie proposes, all of the contradictions in the various religions have to be considered acceptable, then there is absolutely no way to discern truth..  

Eadie teaches that we are all basically good and only need perfecting, which we do by helping others.  The Bible teaches that we are all sinful creatures who need salvation through Jesus Christ, and that we are to glorify God above all else.  Christ taught us that there is no salvation or perfection through such works as helping others.  Eadie further claims that we are all born as fully functioning spirit beings in Heaven, and are sent to sinful Earth to be honed, improved and perfected.  What?  God couldn't 'prefect' us in Heaven?  He had to create an Earth full of sin to do the job for Him?  Yet, that is exactly what Eadie proposes.

Here is a list of many other discrepancies I found in the things taught in Eadie's book:
The book expresses many of the teachings of Psychic Phenomenon, New Age, Universalism, and Scientology to name just a few.  These include such things as:
My conclusion:  If I were Satan, the things expressed in Eadie's book are exactly what I would want people to believe.  The things Eadie teaches pretty much negate the concepts of God's judgment, man's sinful nature and forgiveness through the death of Jesus Christ on a cross.  The things Eadie's book teaches would allow someone to believe they were saved and going to Heaven when in fact they were not.  That would divert them from seeking and finding the Truth of what the Bible teaches--exactly the way Satan would want it.  I don't know for sure whom or what Betty Eadie saw, or if it was all just an hallucination, but I do know for sure that she didn't learn from Jesus Christ the things she wrote about in her book.

Submitted by Keith Rawlinson

Every Man's Battle
by Fred Stoeker, Stephen Arterburn, Mike Yorkey

This book, written just for men, is a very open, honest, frank and raw discussion of how Satan, the culture, the media and our own minds use lust, sex and sexuality to trick us men and bring us down in our emotional, family and spiritual lives.  I started reading it with the thought "I really don't need this stuff."  Part way into the book, I started thinking "Hey, I could use some of this stuff."  Toward the end of the book, I was thinking "Wow, I really need this!"  I have read much material about the sexual ills of society, but never have I seen so much practical advice and so many useful techniques men can use in dealing with it on a personal level.  As I followed the advice given, I began to feel better about myself, and felt a much closer relationship with  my wife, with God and with Jesus Christ even before I finished the book.  The book is so male-oriented and honest that even the author warns the male reader to be careful sharing too much of it with his wife--trust me, this book pulls no punches!  I never realized how many small, subtle ways Satan tricks men and steals away pieces of their purity and relationships with their wives.  Some of these pieces are so small that we men either don't notice them or we think they are no big deal; but, these pieces add up and Satan uses them to bring down us men, our families and our marriages.  This book is titled "Every Man's Battle," because every man is literally in the battle whether they realize it or not.  If you are a man, married or not, you absolutely MUST read this book.  It will definitely open your eyes and may very well end up changing your life forever as it has mine.

Submitted by Keith Rawlinson

Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men
by Hugh Ross, Kenneth Samples, Mark Clark

This book takes a good, hard look at the phenomenon of UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) and extraterrestrial life from a Christian perspective.  Even though the book is, unashamedly, written from a Christian perspective, the authors do their best to consider the evidence regarding the existence of UFOs as objectively as possible.  Though most of the evidence they present paints UFO phenomenon in a bad light, much of their information offers some support of popular UFO beliefs. In fact, the authors do believe that there exist actual UFO sightings.  The authors, though, are more interested in the origins of UFOs than in disproving the existence of UFOs. They very effectively look at UFOs from a cultural, social, historical, theological and spiritual perspective.  The book is written much like a textbook, but the subject matter makes it a very interesting read.  I found that the first few chapters of the book were a bit slow, but the book picks up speed as it goes, and moves along quite rapidly by the time the last chapter is reached.  Throughout the book, the perspectives of the authors are backed up with both scientific and biblical references.  I am a born-again Christian and a science nut.  Even though I approached the book quite self-assured in my perspective concerning UFOs, I came away with a very different point of view by the time I was finished reading this book.  I feel that anyone who is a Christian and has the slightest interest in science in general, or in UFOs specifically, should definitely spend the time to read the information-packed and thought-provoking 175 pages of  Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men.

Submitted by Keith Rawlinson

One Minute After You Die

by Erwin Lutzer

This book, written by Erwin W. Lutzer, is a very frank discussion about what happens right after you die.  The book discusses such topics as:

Can near-death experiences give us helpful information about what happens after death?

What does the Bible say about Sheol, hades, Hell and purgatory?

What will Heaven be like?

What will our bodies and our minds be like in Heaven?

Should modern man still believe in Hell?

How can we prepare ourselves for one minute after we die?

Although I found some of the author's conclusions to be open to interpretation, he pretty much stayed in line with biblical teachings, and gave the biblical references for the information being conveyed.  The book is not a story, but an objective presentation of what we can expect one minute after we are dead, and beyond.  Although the book is presented purely as factual information, it is by no means dry or boring; besides which, being only 144 pages, the book is a fairly fast read.  I found that the beginning of the book started out a bit slowly, but once it really got going, I didn't want to stop reading and had trouble setting the book down.  If you are not prepared for your eternity, without getting 'preachy,' this book might bring you to the point of starting to deal with the reality of death and eternity.  If you are already a born-again follower of Jesus Christ, this book will give you comfort, confirmation of your faith, and maybe even make you a little bit homesick for Heaven.  I know of two people who, very successfully, used this book to save and/or give comfort to relatives on their death beds.  The book is such a quick read, and the information so interesting, it would be a shame not to spend the little time it would take to read Erwin Lutzer's 'One Minute After You Die.'.

Submitted by Keith Rawlinson

The Total Money Makeover

by Dave Ramsey

This book is written by Dave Ramsey who is a Christian financial counselor, author, and host of a nationally syndicated radio show dealing with the subject of personal finance.  Using a lot of stories and examples, in an entertaining way, the book teaches you how to get control of your finances, become debt-free and prepare for your financial future.  The advice in this book is very practical, simple and basic.  Just about anyone can understand and follow the steps given in this book to make a very significant financial difference in themselves, their family and their future.  If you are struggling with excessive debt, paying the bills, or if you just want to become wealthy, then I strongly recommend you read this book.

Submitted by Keith Rawlinson

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