Author Lee Strobel, after brush with death, explores ‘Case for Heaven’ in film
(RNS) — When bestselling creator and previous journalist Lee Strobel made a decision to check out the notion of heaven, he couldn’t have predicted his composing about death would intersect with a international pandemic.
Now, the conclusions of his 2021 ebook, “The Circumstance for Heaven: A Journalist Investigates Proof for Everyday living Soon after Dying,” will be a Fathom Occasions aspect following week (April 4-6) in additional than 950 movie theaters nationwide.
“I consider there is a individual curiosity in this subject matter subject now mainly because of the COVID outbreak,” Strobel informed Faith News Assistance on Wednesday. “I imagine the subject matter of what does certainly occur immediately after we depart this world is more appropriate to a whole lot of people these days than it was a few of years ago.”
In “The Circumstance for Heaven,” director Mani Sandoval highlights Strobel along with students and people today who report owning around-loss of life experiences. The pretty much two-hour documentary also capabilities pure cinematography from across the place that Strobel believes is “just a shadow of what heaven will be like.”
Strobel, 70, an evangelical Christian ordained by Chicago’s Willow Creek Local community Church, is the founder of the Lee Strobel Heart for Evangelism and Utilized Apologetics at Colorado Christian College, which he said will soon graduate its to start with master’s diploma pupils who have taken online classes to learn how to protect their religion.
“That’s really my legacy task,” claimed Strobel, who also authored the bestselling “The Case for Christ” and went on to publish a range of other apologetics textbooks. “To equip the upcoming technology to be equipped to share what they believe that but also why they consider it.”
Strobel spoke with RNS about his possess brush with loss of life, what he thinks is proof of heaven and his interview with Luis Palau soon ahead of the evangelist died.
Relevant: Can previous journalist Lee Strobel make a convincing case for miracles?
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Why did you select this particular time to try to remedy these seemingly eternal inquiries about eternity?
It commenced when I nearly died numerous a long time ago. My wife uncovered me unconscious, called an ambulance. I woke up in the crisis home and the physician looked at me and claimed, “You’re just one action absent from a coma, two techniques absent from dying.” I experienced an unconventional medical affliction termed hyponatremia, which is a serious drop in blood sodium ranges. So I hovered among life and loss of life for a while there and, I explain to you, that’s a extremely clarifying expertise. At that second, absolutely nothing is far more essential than what happens when you close your eyes for the very last time in this globe.
Did it adjust your viewpoint or hopes about heaven?
It designed me extra hopeful. As a Christian, I believe what the Bible teaches about heaven, but I have received this skeptical streak simply because of my history in journalism and legislation. And so just seeing the evidence that bolsters the biblical training on heaven was an encouragement to me, and I imagine it has presented me additional assurance about what happens when I do go from this globe.
Did you have a around-death expertise?
Mine wasn’t technically a around-death practical experience. I was shut to demise, I had a brush with death, but it wasn’t technically a in the vicinity of-loss of life expertise. I didn’t have any of the typical phenomena that accompany individuals, like separation of spirit from physique and out-of-entire body activities.
You said at a person position, “We know a good deal about heaven, but we don’t know a good deal about heaven.” Could you make clear?
The Bible states that no eye has found, no ear has listened to, no thoughts has at any time conceived of what God has in retailer for individuals who like him. So I think there are factors to heaven we just can’t have an understanding of at this place. And as a result, the Bible takes advantage of a large amount of figurative language and metaphors to counsel what heaven will be like. We’re offered a great deal of hints about what heaven is like, but I really do not feel 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?
I believe the proof of around-death activities is effective and persuasive. That in truth, following our medical loss of life, our consciousness, our spirit, our soul does keep on to reside on. And that is confirming of what the Bible teaches. And then, of program, 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 lifeless, I feel, gives us self esteem that we can trust what Jesus tells us about the afterlife. So he has trustworthiness, like no one else.
How do reviews of around-death experiences relate to some variety of proof of heaven’s existence? How do you attract that line?
I tend to be a skeptic when anyone tells me, “Oh, yeah, I died. I met Jesus. He’s 5 foot 10, has a good smile. Really pleasant dude.” I don’t know if that is correct. I have no way to corroborate that. But when we have corroboration — when people today are capable to report matters they have seen or listened to — that would be impossible, unless of course they’re out-of human body-encounter were being genuine. That type of corroboration offers me confidence that, in truth, there is a phenomenon of our consciousness continuing to exist following our clinical loss of life. As a person experienced in journalism and regulation, I’m usually looking for corroboration. I’m wanting for some way to ensure what individuals are telling me and we have a lot of circumstances like that — of this type of confirmation.
If the vast majority of people today do not have close to-death activities, how do these place to the existence of heaven?
Well, there are specified situation that have to choose place for a man or woman to report back again on a around-loss of life experience. They have to be clinically useless. And they have to be, ultimately, revived. A lot of individuals who die, they ended up irreversibly useless and they are not going to occur again into this world. Other people who have brushes with dying, like I did, do not get to the stage in which their consciousness separates from their actual physical entire body. So I assume it is predictable that we would only have specified situations exactly where folks went by way of the total phenomenon.
The movie incorporates parts of an audio job interview with evangelist Luis Palau near the conclude of his lifestyle. What struck you most about his viewpoint on what occurs immediately after demise?
I had the final official job interview with him before he handed. The issue that he reported that moved me the most is he appeared at me and he claimed, “Lee, when you get to the end of your daily life, and all is stated and done, you will never regret remaining brave for Christ.” I imagine that is an admonition or an encouragement for all Christians, that we’ll hardly ever regret all those situations we took a threat and we shared this fantastic information that there is a bash waiting for us in heaven.
Did you communicate to him on the mobile phone or in person?
In particular person. For me, as an individual who considers Luis to be a hero of the faith, it was a really shifting working experience. He even gave me the sermon notes of his on the subject matter of heaven, and I’m acquiring people framed for my place of work mainly because it’s incredibly nostalgic and poignant for me.
The documentary discusses the common dread of dying and incorporates discussion of “symbolic immortality projects,” which you and others say selection from parents hoping to are living on as a result of their small children, folks who commit violence to obtain notoriety and those concerned in political activism. Have you experienced your individual immortality challenge?
Effectively, I definitely did when I was an atheist. (laughs) I was at the Chicago Tribune as lawful editor and I try to remember holding a copy of my resume in my desk drawer, just in situation I ever were to die so that they would have a finish accounting of what a great life I’d lived as a journalist, so that maybe that would be a footnote in background. I no for a longer period have those impulses in gentle of my partnership with God at this level.
You appear self-assured that you will fulfill men and women in heaven, men and women who died before you. Who do you, in certain, anticipate to fulfill?
I’m hoping to meet up with my father, Walter. We experienced a really difficult marriage in our life. He died alternatively younger at 64. We never actually fully reconciled with the conflict that we had in our romance. But I feel he’s a Christian. I believe he’s in heaven. And so I hope that we’ll be ready to reconcile in heaven and devote eternity in the sort of father-son connection that we never ever seriously rather experienced in this everyday living.
Related: Creator Lee Strobel on ‘The Case for Christ,’ now a film