July 15, 2024

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Author Lee Strobel, after brush with death, explores ‘Case for Heaven’ in film

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(RNS) — When bestselling writer and previous journalist Lee Strobel made the decision to explore the concept of heaven, he couldn’t have predicted his producing about loss of life would intersect with a worldwide pandemic.

Now, the findings of his 2021 book, “The Scenario for Heaven: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for Everyday living After Death,” will be a Fathom Functions function upcoming 7 days (April 4-6) in more than 950 motion picture theaters nationwide. 

“I consider there’s a individual curiosity in this issue make any difference now simply because of the COVID outbreak,” Strobel instructed Faith Information Assistance on Wednesday. “I feel the topic of what does without a doubt happen after we go away this earth is a lot more related to a whole lot of folks nowadays than it was a few of many years back.”

In “The Circumstance for Heaven,” director Mani Sandoval highlights Strobel alongside with scholars and men and women who report acquiring around-dying encounters. The pretty much two-hour documentary also attributes normal cinematography from throughout the nation that Strobel thinks is “just a shadow of what heaven will be like.”

Strobel, 70, an evangelical Christian ordained by Chicago’s Willow Creek Neighborhood Church, is the founder of the Lee Strobel Centre for Evangelism and Used Apologetics at Colorado Christian University, which he claimed will shortly graduate its very first master’s diploma learners who have taken on the net classes to master how to defend their faith.

“That’s actually my legacy project,” reported Strobel, who also authored the bestselling “The Situation for Christ” and went on to generate a amount of other apologetics publications. “To equip the next era to be equipped to share what they imagine but also why they consider it.”

Strobel spoke with RNS  about his individual brush with dying, what he thinks is evidence of heaven and his interview with Luis Palau shortly prior to the evangelist died.


Relevant: Can former journalist Lee Strobel make a convincing circumstance for miracles?


The job interview has been edited for duration and clarity.

Author Lee Strobel. Courtesy photo

Author Lee Strobel. Courtesy picture

Table of Contents

Why did you decide on this certain time to try to respond to these seemingly everlasting queries about eternity?

It started out when I virtually died quite a few many years back. My wife located me unconscious, called an ambulance. I woke up in the emergency room and the doctor seemed at me and mentioned, “You’re 1 phase absent from a coma, two ways absent from dying.” I experienced an abnormal health-related situation named hyponatremia, which is a severe drop in blood sodium concentrations. So I hovered in between daily life and demise for a even though there and, I inform you, that’s a really clarifying working experience. At that moment, practically nothing is additional vital than what takes place when you close your eyes for the past time in this environment.

Did it alter your point of view or hopes about heaven?

It designed me a lot more hopeful. As a Christian, I think what the Bible teaches about heaven, but I’ve received this skeptical streak because of my background in journalism and regulation. And so just observing the proof that bolsters the biblical teaching on heaven was an encouragement to me, and I feel it has specified me a lot more assurance about what occurs when I do go from this world.

Did you have a around-dying experience?

Mine wasn’t technically a near-dying knowledge. I was shut to loss of life, I experienced a brush with loss of life, but it was not technically a near-demise experience. I did not have any of the common phenomena that accompany individuals, like separation of spirit from body and out-of-body encounters.

You explained at a single point, “We know a lot about heaven, but we never know a large amount about heaven.” Could you reveal?

The Bible states that no eye has viewed, no ear has listened to, no mind has ever conceived of what God has in shop for all those who enjoy him. So I assume there are elements to heaven we simply cannot comprehend at this stage. And for that reason, the Bible works by using a great deal of figurative language and metaphors to recommend what heaven will be like. We’re presented a great deal of hints about what heaven is like, but I really don’t believe we know with huge clarity what will in fact transpire.

How would you summarize your conclusions about the existence of heaven —the essence of the proof you have?

Poster for “The Case for Heaven." Courtesy image

Poster for “The Case for Heaven.” Courtesy graphic

I feel the evidence of around-demise ordeals is powerful and persuasive. That in truth, after our medical death, our consciousness, our spirit, our soul does carry on to dwell on. And that’s confirming of what the Bible teaches. And then, of course, the evidence that we have from heritage that Jesus not only claimed to be the Son of God, but backed it up by returning from the dead, I think, presents us confidence that we can rely on what Jesus tells us about the afterlife. So he has trustworthiness, like no person else.

How do reviews of near-demise experiences relate to some variety of proof of heaven’s existence? How do you attract that line?

I are inclined to be a skeptic when any person tells me, “Oh, yeah, I died. I satisfied Jesus. He’s 5 foot 10, has a awesome smile. Definitely great man.” I don’t know if which is genuine. I have no way to corroborate that. But when we have corroboration — when people today are in a position to report issues they have seen or heard — that would be unachievable, except if they’re out-of system-practical experience had been reliable. That form of corroboration presents me self-assurance that, in truth, there is a phenomenon of our consciousness continuing to exist just after our scientific loss of life. As someone qualified in journalism and law, I’m often seeking for corroboration. I’m hunting for some way to verify what people are telling me and we have many cases like that — of this form of confirmation.

If the broad the greater part of men and women do not have near-death encounters, how do those people place to the existence of heaven?

Well, there are sure circumstances that have to acquire area for a individual to report back on a around-demise knowledge. They have to be clinically lifeless. And they have to be, in the end, revived. A large amount of persons who die, they have been irreversibly lifeless and they’re not going to occur back into this world. Other folks who have brushes with loss of life, like I did, never get to the point wherever their consciousness separates from their actual physical human body. So I consider it is predictable that we would only have sure circumstances in which people today went by way of the overall phenomenon.

The film features portions of an audio job interview with evangelist Luis Palau in close proximity to the conclusion of his daily life. What struck you most about his viewpoint on what takes place following death?

I experienced the very last official interview with him before he handed. The factor that he stated that moved me the most is he seemed at me and he stated, “Lee, when you get to the finish of your everyday living, and all is claimed and performed, you will hardly ever regret currently being courageous for Christ.” I imagine that is an admonition or an encouragement for all Christians, that we’ll under no circumstances regret those people times we took a threat and we shared this good information that there is a get together waiting for us in heaven.

Did you chat to him on the cellular phone or in man or woman?

In individual. For me, as someone who considers Luis to be a hero of the religion, it was a really shifting encounter. He even gave me the sermon notes of his on the subject of heaven, and I’m acquiring people framed for my business mainly because it is quite nostalgic and poignant for me.

The documentary discusses the popular fear of death and features dialogue of “symbolic immortality jobs,” which you and other individuals say vary from mother and father hoping to reside on through their small children, individuals who dedicate violence to attain notoriety and all those involved in political activism. Have you had your very own immortality undertaking?

Very well, I certainly did when I was an atheist. (laughs) I was at the Chicago Tribune as authorized editor and I keep in mind retaining a duplicate of my resume in my desk drawer, just in case I at any time were to die so that they would have a comprehensive accounting of what a amazing everyday living I’d lived as a journalist, so that perhaps that would be a footnote in heritage. I no for a longer period have people impulses in mild of my relationship with God at this level.

You seem to be confident that you will fulfill people in heaven, people who died prior to you. Who do you, in specific, be expecting to meet up with?

I’m hoping to fulfill my father, Walter. We experienced a quite challenging connection in our lives. He died relatively younger at 64. We under no circumstances actually fully reconciled with the conflict that we experienced in our connection. But I believe he’s a Christian. I feel he’s in heaven. And so I anticipate that we’ll be capable to reconcile in heaven and invest eternity in the sort of father-son romance that we by no means really really seasoned in this everyday living.


Relevant: Creator Lee Strobel on ‘The Situation for Christ,’ now a movie

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