Friday, March 29, 2013

Charlotte-born doctor talks about time in heaven


Last Friday night (March 22), March Madness was in its televised glory. And Taylor Swift was singing and strumming at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Despite such competition, Christ Episcopal Church managed to draw 1,100 people.

The attraction: A doctor describing his time in heaven.

Not just any doctor. Sitting on stage, answering questions from the Rev. Chip Edens, the church’s rector, was Dr. Eben Alexander. He’s a Charlotte native who wrote “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife.” His book is such a mega-seller that he has talked to Oprah – and Universal Pictures won a bidding war to turn it into a (probably 3-D) movie.



Christians believe life doesn’t end with physical death, that the soul lives on – hopefully with God. But that scenario has always been a matter of faith since those who die generally get a one-way ticket.

So there’s a natural fascination with – and a big market for – books by people who claim to have had a near-death experience, in which most report traveling down a dark tunnel, being welcomed by dead relatives, and running smack into a loving divine light. A few of these books are intriguing; many are cheesy attempts to proselytize.

Alexander’s “Proof of Heaven” is definitely in the intriguing category. Here was a man of science who had been skeptical of this idea of life after death.



After his own brain was attacked by a rare bacterial infection, he had a unique seven-day experience, in which he says some part of him entered a gateway to paradise, wordlessly communed with God – or the Core – and felt love and peace.

On Friday, Alexander was articulate, soft-spoken and yet passionate. He impressed this reporter. Decide for yourself: To watch a video of the interview, go to the church’s web site (www.christchurchcharlotte.org) and click on “Christ Church TV.”

 Alexander is now a self-described Christian who attends an Episcopal church in Virginia. He told the crowd that his experience convinced him of the following: reincarnation makes sense, but hell doesn’t; scientists know less than they think they do, but there’s no contradiction between science and religion; and God loves all of his creatures – Christians, Jews, atheists, big-time sinners, etc.

Now that he’s back? “I’m nicer” and “I’m not afraid of death. I know it’s not an end.”

 I got in one question: With Easter on the horizon, how does he view Christians’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection?

 “I realize that Christ came to show us the eternity of all of our souls,” he said. “It’s all about understanding that gift of love. This talk about coming back to life someday in physical bodies doesn’t really make any sense. It’s all about souls being eternal. Easter is just a confirmation of the real miracle of Jesus coming back. But he was doing that as a gift and … showing us what we all have: eternal life.”

-- Tim Funk

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's one born every minute, and in this case, 1100 of them showed up to prove it. What a total crock.

TM Martin said...

6:39
I hope you remember that when you are standing before him....God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

Well, if Oprah believes it, it must be true.

Anonymous said...

"This talk about coming back to life someday in physical bodies doesn’t really make any sense."

Picking and choosing your so-called "miracles" doesn't make much sense, either, now does it?

None of it really makes any sense.

Especially if it isn't part of your religion.

Anonymous said...

This guy's a fake. If he'd really been in Heaven, God would have taught him not to wear a polka dot bowtie with a striped shirt.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Alright, genius. "Anonymous." For the sake of argument, what IF you're wrong?!

Anonymous said...

And we wonder why the rest of the country laughs at Charlotte. Front page material right there. Yes sir!

jay1937 said...

The Easter season is a time for reflection on our lives. For whatever reason about 1/2 of the population of the earth believe in heaven and hell. Where do they get that inner belief? Personally I believe it is within and a call from God to remember that he is waiting for us when our time on this earth and possibly many other worlds in the universe are called to meet him. There is just too much evidence that everything we now see in the universe came from something scientist cannot see. With that in mind, I must, in faith, accept the Supreme Being as well as his Son Jesus. Those that don't believe in anything after this life must feel very lacking in the day to day rut of worldly attractions. Jesus told many stories about this sort of thing and I, for one, accepted Christ as a young man and I'm holding him to his promise.

Anonymous said...

Having experience something similar to what this doctor experienced, I find this both interesting and in keeping with what I experienced myself.

Anonymous said...

I think the doctor's book is quite compelling in a number of ways. I appreciate the neuroscience aspect along as well as the transformation theology.
...a good "resurrection" account.

Anonymous said...

He is also, apparently, a big believer in capitalism.