What do you think about the show Beyond belief and NDEs

Bob Woodruff just hosted a show about Near Death Experiences (NDE) called Beyond Belief. In it he said he had a NDE while covering the war in Iraq.

I know of two friends who told me about their relatives (a son and a cousin) having a NDE. Each described the stories as similar to ones presented in Dr. Moody’s books.

In the show, there is also an atheist who also had a NDE, but shrugs it off as just some natural occurance just before going into nothingness. The atheist thinks that folks who have NDE’s do not experience death at all, but just something very close to death.

The thing about NDEs is that just about all of these folks say that they are fully aware, that it is not some dream like state, and that all of their senses are fully functioning and are even more alert or sensitive to their surroundings.

There was a priest a while back who claimed to have a NDE, and says he would have gone to Hell had he not been revived.

Have you personally had any encounters with a NDE or has anyone you known had that experience ?

I heard a talk from an Indonesian religious Brother who had a NDE, and met Jesus.

To say the least, it was fascinating.

He said the doctor who had been operating on him was so convinced he had died, and returned, that he left his occupation and became a Jesuit Priest.

Until a few years ago (thank God it’s stopped) I used to experience sleep paralysis about once a year, usually associated with an intense sense of an evil presence and once also with an actual hypnopompic hallucination. I felt 100% awake and alert, yet what I seemed to experience clearly didn’t happen.

I’ve also had lucid dreams, in which I was fully aware that I was dreaming and was able to change the dream or act in it however I wanted, including very voluntary flying.

My point is that the human mind is a funny thing, and feeling fully aware and alert doesn’t mean you aren’t in an alternate state of consciousness.

Of course, I’m a theist and I believe in life after death, so I don’t deny the possibility of something like this. At the same time the idea of the soul partially leaving the body and then going back, or leaving the body entirely and then going back, seems pretty far fetched to me. Man-made resurrection?

Also the descriptions I’ve heard (haven’t seen this particular program) have generally seemed pretty lame. White light or floating above your body, and meeting grandma who tells you it’s not your time. Ok.

I guess I’m a natural skeptic. And I’m worried that these sorts of things will only make atheists think believers are uncritical thinkers.

I had what might pass for such an experience in the 1980s, except was not near death at the time. I still don’t know what to make of it.


Fascinating facts about what you experienced, and thank you for some sanity on the topic.

I don’t know what to think, and I’m a Respiratory Therapist with some thirty years of watching people die or trying to resucitate them. In all that time, with thousands of codes and quite a few ‘saves’, I’ ve never had a patient with an NDE. I’ve asked patients what they saw, heard or felt…and they tell me nothing.

And yet, I have no doubt that there is a soul. Having watched people who were ‘no codes’ die, having watched the light fade from their eyes, I’m sure there is a soul that goes on. Most nurses and therapists can walk into a room and tell instantly if a patient is dead. Something is missing from the body, something that can be sensed. Maybe someday I’ll find someone with an NDE…as I’d like to talke to someone who has. Until then, I’ll take a ‘wait and see’ position.

That would not be resurrection, but only resuscitation. The idea of a “soul” leaving a body depends on Greek dualism, a notion at odds with the Hebrew psychology of psychosomatic unity presupposed by the biblical writers.

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