Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Heaven Is For Real! (and so is necromancy)

Several Bible passages should cause Christians to question (and ultimately reject) accounts of heaven tourism, such as that related in the book Heaven is for Real (the film version of which is now out in theaters). One could note the many differences between the saccharine images painted by modern authors and the accounts of strange and glorious heavenly visions found in the Bible. Or one could note  that the Apostle Paul indicated that when he was caught up into Heaven, he indicated that neither he nor anyone else was permitted to speak concerning the details of Paradise (2 Cor 12:1-4; this may be one reason why the other biblical accounts of heavenly visions regularly seem to incorporate symbolic of apocalyptic images).

As John Piper recently indicated, however [HT:: Justin Taylor], there is no need for systematic or even biblical-theological formulation in order to understand why Christians should reject these currently-popular books (and now a film) on trips to Heaven. Rather, these accounts are a direct contradiction of the point that the LORD is making in Isaiah 8:19, And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? "Necromancer" is a term that refers to someone who seeks communication with the deceased; the authors or subjects of books like Heaven is for Real claim to have been dead or to have entered a deathlike state. Piper notes:

God’s beef with necromancy is that it belittles the sufficiency of his communication. Why would you inquire of the dead to find out what you want to know instead of inquiring of me? And if they say: Well, I have inquired of you and you didn’t tell me what I want to know. He would say: Well, that is your problem. I have told you what you need to know. You don’t need to know about such and such if I haven’t told you. And, in fact, if you go trying to inquire about such and such that I haven’t told you, you are dishonoring me. So that is the nature of the argument. And, therefore, I think the prohibition of séances and necromancy applies to this kind of thing and people ought to stop writing those books.

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