I typically don't read "theological" books unless I am fairly certain the author's beliefs are at least somewhat close to mine. I don't mean Christian vs Buddhism or something else so diametrically different. I mean Christian as in rather conservative Baptist. I'm still a KJV preferred translation Bible reader myself. So being given the opportunity to read Steve Sjogren's Heaven's Lessons I almost said, "No. Not this lady!" But then, I thought, "I've never read anyone's perspective on a near-death-experience. Let's give it a try."
Steve Sjogren doesn't go into a lot on his NDE in Heaven's Lessons as I presumed he would. Rather he addresses that in a previous book. In Heaven's Lessons he is sharing 10 lessons he believes he has learned from God (or what he believes God has shown him as a result of the NDE). I see these as his way of realizing that he came so close to "permanently" dying that he is going to live his life according to revelation from God for the remainder of life he has left to live. And he seems to be doing this in his personal, family, and church ministry life.
Sjogren is sharing each of these 10 lessons and how they have impacted his life and his personal and church ministry for God. Steve is pastor of a large non-conventional church that focuses on servanthood as a means of reaching the lost, unloved, unwanted humanity and bringing them to God.
Personally, I don't see anything wrong with this focus on servanthood and kindness to mankind. However, I also believe that Christians are to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and not a gospel of kindness or gospel of servanthood. When the two are combined with the Biblical preaching of the Word of God holding the prevalent position and servanthood and kindness an off-shoot of the saved reaching the unsaved, then it can work.
In Sjogrens book he does share how his "accident" occurred during routine gallbladder surgery when things went very wrong and very much damage was done. He ended up dead for around 6 or 7 minutes and during that time was floating above the operating table and recalled later the episode even to conversation being carried on during that period. The accident and experience left his body damaged and in need of repeated surgeries to repair the damage. It also required years of recuperation and therapy.
The lessons in Heavens Lessons are good for anyone to learn and they are not new for Christians. They are, though, often overlooked in importance.
- God is BIG
- God Especially Enjoys Irregular People
- Don't Fear Death (really good reading)
- Quit Quitting
- Face Your Fear (another good read)
- Be Thankful