Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Evangelical View Of Near-Death Experiences And Related Phenomena

I've been studying near-death experiences (NDEs) off and on for a long time, but I decided to study the subject in more depth earlier this year. What I want to do in this post is put together some links to my recent material on the subject, so that it can easily be found in one place. I plan to update this post in the future as I write more about near-death issues, so those who are interested in the topic can check back here in the future for updates.

Here's the foundational thread from April of this year, where I explained why I decided to study the subject in more depth and outlined my view of NDEs. A lot of issues are covered there, and my later posts should be read in the context of the framework I laid out in April. But that April thread wasn't intended to be about NDEs. You'll have to go several posts into the comments section of the thread to find my first post on the subject. I still haven't expanded much, if at all, on some of the points I made in that April thread. It covers a broader range of topics than my later posts, and it will give you an idea of some of the subjects I want to address in the future.

The next week, I asked the readers of this blog for feedback, including resources they'd recommend. Some other topics came up along the way.

The next month, I wrote a post on negative, or hellish, NDEs.

Here's one on the dream-like nature of NDEs.

I wrote briefly about an example of media bias on NDEs and related issues.

I linked to an interview of a doctor who recently discussed some of his experiences with near-death cases.

A lot is said about the religious plurality of NDEs. Here's a post I wrote about their moral pluralism.

And here's another post about the dream-like nature of NDEs, this time focusing on the tendency for dream-like characteristics to be suppressed.

Here's a post about a study of the death experiences of felons and the implications it has for the moral nature of NDEs and related phenomena.

In chapter 13 of an e-book found here, Steve Hays and I responded to an atheist, Victor Stenger, regarding NDEs and evidence of an afterlife. In appendix 11 of the same e-book, I provided an overview of shared death experiences (SDEs).

Here's a post in which I linked an article that summarizes a lot of research findings on NDEs, particularly NDEs that are negative.

Here's a post in which I wrote more about NDEs and morality. Issues like universalism and the demonic view of NDEs are addressed in the comments that followed the first post.

I responded to a thread on NDEs at Tim Challies' blog.

Alex Tsakiris interviewed Nanacy Evans Bush regarding negative NDEs. I discuss the interview here. It's not just about negative NDEs. Other topics came up along the way, like other paranormal phenomena that are of a negative nature, inconsistencies among NDEs, and how to compare competing supernatural worldviews.

Here's a post about inconsistencies among paranormal phenomena, including NDEs.

Here's a post I wrote about the need for Christians to do more to address paranormal phenomena, including NDEs.

Here I linked to two articles related to NDEs. One is a post about a recent study of the brain activity of rats, which some people are associating with human brain activity and NDEs. The other story is about Eben Alexander's alleged dishonesty concerning his NDE.

I got involved in a discussion about NDEs and exclusivism at Alex Tsakiris' web site. Here's a Triablogue post in which I discuss the thread and link to it.

Here's a post about an interview with Patricia Churchland, in which she was evasive on the issue of NDEs.

I wrote a response to some comments John Piper made about NDEs. I addressed how NDEs relate to passages like Isaiah 8, in which attempts to contact the dead are condemned.

A commenter in the John Piper thread mentioned above asked me several questions about NDEs: whether the religious figures encountered in NDEs identify themselves or are being identified by the experiencers instead, whether I can provide examples of NDEs contradicting each other, how I explain the paranormal knowledge some experiencers seem to gain through their experience, how well the demonic view of NDEs explains the NDEs of children, and more. You can read my responses in the comments section of that thread. One of the issues I address is the range of options Christians have for explaining NDEs.

I quoted a couple of lines from a John Donne poem relevant to the sort of religious pluralism that's often associated with NDEs.

I reviewed Patricia Pearson's book, Opening Heaven's Door (New York, New York: Atria Books, 2014). In the review, I discuss many subjects related to NDEs (inconsistencies among NDEs, their subjective nature, how they relate to organized religion, etc.). And here's a post discussing an interview with Pearson.

Here's something I wrote about the need for Christians to learn more about and address apparitions of the dead, NDEs, and related phenomena.

I addressed whether spirits of the dead appear to people on earth. I think they do, and I explained why.

Here's a post in which I link to a podcast on the paranormal hosted by Christians.

I also discussed an interview Alex Tsakiris had with Leslie Kean, a journalist who's written some books on paranormal phenomena. In the post, I discuss the importance of philosophy and the evidence for organized religion in evaluating paranormal phenomena.

And here's a series I did on the Enfield Poltergeist.

I wrote a post providing an overview of how Christians should view the afterlife and paranormal phenomena.

I later wrote about an interview Alex Tsakiris did with Penny Sartori, an NDE researcher. The post addresses negative NDEs, the reluctance of experiencers and researchers to talk about them, aspects of NDEs that make more sense under a more subjective view of NDEs, and some other topics.

For another collection of resources on paranormal topics, including discussions of poltergeists, UFOs, healings, and other subjects, see here.

The threads linked above have a lot of significant material in the comments section as well, not just in the initial post.

1 comment:

  1. If anyone is interested, I've collected some links on Near Death Experiences from a Christian perspective in the below link. They include many of Jason Engwer's blogs, Steve Hays' blogs and other links.

    Near Death Experiences and Christianity