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Return from Tomorrow by Ritchie [01 March 1988] Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1996
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Top reviews from the United States
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Is what you take away from this book. Thank George for his remarkable account of what Jesus wants us to know and practice in life.
all. To see Jesus in all. I'm grateful to have my eyes more opened to these truths.
I know two people who physically died, but returned. Most recently it was a friend with cancer who said that, upon dying, (and while his family was freaking out), God told him "It's not time yet." He went on to live about 6 weeks more. They were six of the most peaceful weeks he had ever lived. His experience showed him that life continues after this physical one is over. He didn't dream it. His heart stopped. His nurses resuscitated him. But whether or not you believe in any of this doesn't matter. All that matters is this: Are you interested in what THIS author's experience was? Then read the book. Do you think all this NDE or afterlife is a bunch of hooey? Then don't read the book. I hope this helpful. That was my intention.
P.S. Occult? I read someone refer to this book as occult in nature, saying that it goes against Biblical teaching. (Sigh), that is so disheartening. You shouldn't just say the Bible says this or that unless you really know what you are talking about. People seem to use it to say what they already believe, sometimes turning the Bible into a weapon. I respectfully advise others to actually read the Bible. It is CHOCK-FULL of what is so readily deemed occult these days. God speaking to us in dreams? The Bible is loaded with examples! A medium being consulted and channeling the dead? Try 1 Samuel 28. Ghosts? Apparently, even the disciples believed in them (i.e. Matthew 14:26 and Mark 6:49).And Jesus spoke with Moses ("dead") and Elijah ("dead") in Matthew 17. Oh, and rising from the dead? Ever heard of Lazarus? The only part missing is what Lazarus remembered of the experience.
Anyway, this book is simply for anyone interested in one man's experience and the way he remembered it.
According to the Sola Scriptura view of Christianity, NDE are typically not Biblical and therefore likely deceptions. See the SolaSisters blog and the Critical Issues Commentary Ministry website for some useful discussions on this point. Also found an interesting article asserting a similar view point from the Orthodox point of view. At first I was quite shocked by this view, given the preponderance of NDE described, both in and out of Christian literature. In fact, it seems the hot trend these days is in fact Christian NDE books, of which I suppose this one is one of the earlier ones of the modern wave. How could it be that so many earnest Christians are subject to such regular deception? And why would have a deception led the author to Christianity? Would not have a deception led to the opposite? Does the fact that the author became Christian arising from the experience lend credence to the idea that his NDE was genuine and not a deception?
Well a while back I read an interesting article on the Prophecy in the News website, where the host Gary Stearman, a Christian, recounts how he had a UFO experience. He described the experience, at the time, was exhilarating and filled him with joy (not too far from the typical New Age description of such things). Yet, when later in life he became a Christian, he was able to recount the experience and conclude that it was in fact a demonic encounter (for those of you who would scoff, I recommend you first research the idea that UFO and ET experiences are actually demonic ... Chuck Missler is a good place to start ... the evidence is in fact quite compelling). So here is someone who became a Christian IN SPITE of a rapturous demonic experience.
So, what I would propose as an possible alternative understanding of this story, is that the author became a Christian, through the help of his Army friend, IN SPITE of the NDE, which possibly could have been a demonic deception, as some would assert nearly all NDEs are.
I myself have not decided one way or the other on this point, but it's an interesting way of looking at this rather compelling story.
Top reviews from other countries
One of the most enjoyable things about this book is Ritchie's personal modesty with regards to his story. At no point did I feel I was being told what to believe about what had happened to him - he simply tells of his experiences with an engaging simplicity and openness.
I think the problem with NDEs and books about them is that they are taken to "prove" or to tell us something concrete about life after death. This book does not attempt to do that.
I was strongly reminded of C. S. Lewis's "The Great Divorce" by much of what Ritchie recollected. It was fascinating and sometimes horrifying to read.
I don't think Ritchie's story "proves" anything, but the story itself, and Ritchie's changed life afterwards, should give food for thought to anyone who is willing to come to the book with an open mind. Overall, interesting, and a book that has stayed with me over the months since I read it.
For those of us that have never had an NDE it is hard to imagine the reality of one. To me, this book leaves me wanting to be a better person and feeling that there is reason to try.
We'll worth a read.