What Happens When I Die by Bill Wiese is a compilation of evidence from scripture as well as collective near death experiences that support the afterlife. Coming from a respected authority- this credible book bears great spiritual weight.
The title of Wiese's book, makes a pretty bold claim. Especially bold are the promises to inform the reader about specific aspects of Heaven through a variety of sources, visions and even literal visits to heaven and hell. This book is a great springboard or outreach tool to introduce any reader to the gospel message. As far as marketing, this book will draw in many curious reader- religious and secular, alike. Many readers, filled with curiosity- most of which probably have only limited experience or a superficial grasp of the actual text of the bible, will find it hard to resist a book with such monumental claims. To add additional legitimacy and authenticity- the author provides a variety of sources. This book is not simply the product of one person's vision but a compilation of shared experiences- yet distinct that support the basic scriptural message of the afterlife.
Nevertheless, Weise's thought provoking book raises spiritually complex issues such as the issue of the legitimacy of private visions apart from revealed scripture. While it is true that some NDE can be ruled out as the side effects of a dying or injured brain, not all can be scientifically ruled out. Some perhaps might be supernatural in nature. Nevertheless that does not mean they should automatically be accepted as biblical in nature or truth. I must admit I am skeptical when it comes to believing modern day visions and NDE. For example, there are so many alleged apparitions of Mary in the Catholic church, that I believe most to be hoaxes, and in other cases, demonic in nature.
The reader places his faith by accepting the word of the the author of this book. Once the reader decides to accept the author's word that the various stories are legit, it is up to the reader to discern the source or supernatural power behind the NDEs. This is where most readers will most likely accept with blind faith that these wholeheartedly are true accounts and that it is based on biblical truth. This is because most people want to believe this heartwarming and comforting message is true.
Any responsible reader familiar with the bible will be aware that he or she is faced with the task of determining if the experiences are spiritually based on truth, or if it perhaps is an indirect attempt of Satan to mislead believers into accepting false information. Paul warned in the letters of the new testement, especially in the book of Galations, that even Satan, and evil spirits can appear as angels of light, deceiving many. So, if this is true, then is it possible that as accomplished and respected Christian speaker and authority might be decieved and misinterpret the collective experiences as being from God when it possibly isn't? That possibility must be acknowledged by anyone who reads this book. While Paul acknowledged the possibility of personal visions in the ancient church, he himself did not place on any believer the burden of accepting any other private vision other than the message contained in the bible. As Paul himself suggested in his letters, it is wise to be skeptical of private visions, and he himself never endorsed or encouraged any believer to believe any private vision or revelation. In a book about heaven, for the purpose of credibility and fidelity to bible, I believe any extraneous visions, dreams, experiences etc that are not divinely inspired/ biblical should be carefully considered before taken to heart.
As far as the other details- knowledge and information could be obtained from evil sources for the purpose of adding "authenticity" and misleading believers into believeing the other aspects of the visions shared. The evil spirits are known for mixing truth with falsehood. We are in a spiritual battle, and nothing is off limits as far as the evil spirits of this world are concerned. they will try all sorts oftricky and decieving deceptions. They will try any underhanded tactic even going so far as using Christian elites, educators, leaders and the faithful, as tools to mislead others. It isn't always obvious to everyone to sort truth from untruth unless they are firmly grounded in the Holy Spirit. Even those involved in the occult such as palm readers and fortune tellers, can sometimes fortell the future or the past with amazing accuracy with supernatural information supplied by the evil spirit realm. In sum, the sole purpose of this book isn't in the after death experiences or sensational stories, but rather to deliver the life saving message of the gospel. These stories serve as a springboard or bait- in the true sense in which Jesus refers to all apostles, followers and believers as fishers of men.
All in all there is no doubt that Wiese has written this book with authority and scholarship. The author has left no stone uncovered in his survey of the subject of the afterlife. This book is so complete that it could even serve as an academic text. There is additional information in the appendixes on the authenticity of the bible and biblical prophecy. The overall purpose is to give the reader a sense of urgency and to come to faith in the true Gospel. That is after all the purpose of the gift of salvation through the Good News. And in this sense, Weise has accomplished his purpose- tailoring his book to a receptive audience in a package that is irresistible to countless curious, and spiritually hungry readers.
As a blogger for the Booketeria I received this book from Charisma house publishers for the purpose of writing this review. It is with caution I would suggest this book to anyone to read as it is best for serious study for a reader that is willing to take the time to discern, in light of scripture, the validity of the messages from collective after death experiences.