John Burke was an agnostic. He didn’t know if there was a God or if the afterlife was real. The closest he got to spirituality was believing that Jesus was a good teacher whose life somehow became the stuff of legend and myth.
Then John’s dad got cancer, and John began to wonder more deeply about life’s big questions. During that time, someone gave his father a book of original research that coined the term “near-death experience.” When John read people’s stories about bright lights, tunnels, and strange visions, it set him on what became a 35-year quest to examine those experiences more deeply.
The result was John’s own spiritual conversion and his best-selling book, Imagine Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God’s Promises, and the Exhilarating Future That Awaits You.
John examined the stories of over a thousand people who claimed a near-death experience: surgeons, commercial airline pilots, pastors, bank presidents, college professors, and more. Along the way, he discovered commonalities between their stories and devised what he calls “interpretive keys.”
For example, the imagery associated with the afterlife is often sublime. John offers an explanation. Imagine the dimensions of space and time that we exist within as a two-dimensional, black-and-white photo. In death, our soul is separated from our body, which is like being lifted from that two-dimensional black and white photo and experiencing the full size and color of the room around it. Then imagine being pressed back into the flat black-and-white photo and describing the color and vastness of the three-dimensional room in two-dimensional, black-and-white terms.
John says he wrote the book for two reasons: to provide skeptics with evidence for near-death experiences, and to show how those experiences align with teachings in the Bible.
We’re talking with John about his research on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Holding on to the Hope of Heaven.” Join us on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.
We’ll send you a copy of John’s book Imagine Heaven for a gift of any amount. If you can’t afford it, we’ll still make it available to you and trust that others will take care of us financially for doing so. Visit our website for more information.
These uncertain times can challenge us in many ways, but we still have hope in Christ! However, if you’re feeling anxious, we want to remind you that our counselors are available. We’d love to schedule a time for you to talk to them. We’re a phone call away at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) and would love to address your questions.