Book Review: Revealing Heaven

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Revealing Heaven by John W. Price is about near death experiences and how every person who is good and kind gets to heaven no matter their religion, but mean people will face hell.

John W. Price is a member of the Near Death Experience Research Foundation. He is an Episcopal priest. A collection of real life accounts of near death experiences (NDE) are recorded in this book, but I have to say I am disappointed in it. The book contradicts scripture.

The first half of the book works at proving that life after death exists. He says a lot of Christians doubt it exists. Most Christians I know believe in life after death, but when you hear of near death experiences it’s natural to feel skepticism. Price uses scripture to prove life after death. I don’t dispute this part of the book. Halfway through is when I had a problem.

Skepticism plays in when he writes about how some NDE’s return able to read minds and predict the future. One of the NDE’s saw Heaven but remains a Buddhist today. Price talked about how God didn’t care about any sin, unless you were mean; especially a mean Christian. At the end of the book, Price affirms his own belief. Here are the two statements of belief:

Page 137: “Now Jeff had not been baptized a Christian. Yet he and others like him with whom I’ve visited did not go to hell, but rather experienced God’s wondrous love in heaven. How can we reconcile this with statements in the New Testament that way we must accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in order to go to Heaven? I think the conclusion we can draw here is this. Jesus is, in Christian theology, God come to earth. Since God is love, so is Jesus, and he showed and commanded that love for us. Those who do live a life of love are, whether they know it or not, accepting Jesus in his command to love as the central orientation of their lives.” Emphasis mine.

Page 143 [Regarding John 14:1-6): “As an Episcopal priest, I cannot argue with it except to point out that it seems to exclude non-Christians.Emphasis mine.

Price also speaks about the controversial Rob Bell and his book “Love Wins.” In several places, Price can’t explain the scripture about Jesus being the only way.

In the beginning of the book, Price’s stories of NDE’s returning exemplified changed lives from meeting Jesus, but towards the end it felt like all I had to do was love well to go to Heaven regardless of the choices I make in my life. He got one point correct, however. Jesus is about transformation. Jesus also spoke about loving our enemies. Love is God. However, there is more to God than just love. For clarification, I would recommend reading the Bible and pray. Satan can come as an angel of light, too, and if something contradicts the Bible, one should ask lots of questions. From the point of view of a non-Christian, I am left confused as to how to get to Heaven.

Scant places in the book talk about getting to Heaven through Jesus. Then, many statements talk about God’s love as if that’s His only attribute. I gave this book one star. It contradicts the Bibles’ main point: the only way to Heaven is through accepting Jesus Christ as Savior. You can’t be a Muslim and enter Heaven, unless you have accepted Him as your Savior which means you are no longer a Muslim. His book indicates that religion doesn’t matter. All roads lead to Heaven. This makes Christ’s sacrifice on the cross meaningless.

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*Book given by publisher to review.

Updated 3/18/2013: John W. Price left a comment beneath my review on Amazon saying, “This reviewer put words in my mouth/pen. I did not say “every person who is good and kind gets to heaven no matter their religion,” I said the reviews of returnee’s lives shows love is the key question regarding entry into heaven. I did not say, “Love is God.” I said “God is Love.” (I John 4:8). I did not say I didn’t believe in life after death, I said I didn’t know what to believe about it, as the Bible itself is not clear from its various statements. That is very different. The reviewer is right saying conservative Christians will have a hard time with this book, particularly if they are inclined to misquote me.”

My response: He infers it in his book. Others like this reviewer read it the same way, too. Price follows it up saying, “…reviews of returnee’s lives shows love is the key question regarding entry into heaven.” But Price is clear as quoted below that he believes Christ is not the only door to Heaven.

Price says on page 144:

“God’s love is not limited to Christians, but is for all people of goodwill who live with love for one another. The returnees show us this truth abundantly. I cannot in good conscience say that Christianity is the only way. I can say it is the way for me. I can say God’s love is not exclusive to Christianity or Judaism or Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism or any other faith group, since members of each group embrace and live the command that we are to love one another.”

He also takes issue with me saying he didn’t believe in life after death. I said in the above review, “The first half of the book works at proving that life after death exists. He says a lot of Christians doubt it exists.” I merely mentioned that in my corner of the world I had not heard that. I didn’t say he didn’t believe in it.

I like what this reviewer said on Amazon.

In any case, as a courtesy, I have added his comment to my review. It’s a courtesy I extend to any author.

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: Revealing Heaven”

  1. Unfortunately, what this book purports is what people want to hear — “all you have to do is be good and you’ll get to heaven.” Reminds me of 2 Timothy 4:2-4: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” That’s why it’s so important that we use the Bible as our source to see if what we read or hear lines up with God’s Word. Thanks, Nikki! This is one book I will not read.

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  2. I agree with your book review, but i will not give him any stars at all.
    we can’t the straddle the fence for the good for people and Honor God’s Words……

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    1. One is pretty bad. I have to give a rating and so one is the lowest. The reading was pretty simple, too. Nothing that was emotional or interesting; even a bit angry a little at Christians who differ in opinion than him. I don’t think I am straddling the fence, but I know what you mean.

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