As Evidence for the Existence of God and Heaven
View or Purchase Book on Amazon.com
- "For some time we've
needed a well-researched, compelling introduction to this
exciting field that focuses on the evidence. Miller
delivers! - Jeffrey Long, MD, author of Evidence of
- "Can we survive death? Is
there a God or a heaven? Miller provides the discerning
reader with ample reason to think that the answer to these
all-important questions is 'yes'." - Dr. Peter
Schaefer, Senior Research Psychologist, Department of
well done—accessible, wide-ranging, engaging. A most welcome
addition to this fascinating field of study."
(Dr. Paul Copan, Author and Professor of Philosophy and
Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University)
J. Steve Miller has taught audiences from Atlanta to Moscow.
He teaches (Instructor of Philosophy) at Kennesaw State
University. He is known for
drawing practical wisdom from serious research and
communicating it in accessible, unforgettable ways.
Steve is the founder and president of Legacy Educational Resources, providing global resources for teachers of life skills in public schools, churches, and service organizations at
A self-styled "wisdom broker," he collects wisdom from many
fields and packages it for teachers and writers via his
published books and the Web. His wife, Cherie, and their seven
sons continually remind him what works and what doesn’t. Connect
with him at
Q: Steve, what motivated you to write this book?
A: A relative asked me to read the popular book, Heaven
is for Real, about a little boy who had a near-death
experience (NDE) and came back describing a heavenly adventure. I
read it, but deemed it evidentially weak. Yet, one of the blurbs
in the front of the book was by an NDE researcher who said the
experience jived with NDEs he'd researched. I thought, "Do you
mean to tell me that serious researchers have been studying
NDEs?" I'd never taken these experiences seriously as evidence,
assuming they were just private experiences, meaningful only to
the experiencer. So I launched my own investigation to see if
there was anything there.
Q: In brief, what did you find?
A: For 35 years, serious academics and medical professionals
have been studying NDEs. Each researcher seems to have a story of
his or her own, typically hearing about NDEs, reacting initially
with skepticism, then launching their own research and
concluding they are real trips to the other side. Respected
cardiologists such as Pim van Lommel in Holland, Michael Sabom
at Emory Medical School, and Maurice Rawlings, were astounded to
interview their cardiac arrest patients and find that many of
them (up to 20%) told of "realer than real" experiences of
hyper-consciousness in another realm while their hearts weren't
beating and their brains should have been incapable of rational
thought or laying down memories.
These aren't a few isolated studies. Over the past few decades,
over 55 researchers or teams have published over 65 studies of
over 3500 NDEs. In fact, over 900 articles on NDEs have been
published in scholarly literature, including such respected journals as
The Lancet, Critical Care
Quarterly, The Journal
for Near-Death Studies,
American Journal of
Journal of Psychology, and
Resuscitation and Neurology. NDEs have
been studied both
retrospectively and prospectively by medical professionals in
Q: And what did these researchers discover?
A: Those who experience NDEs are sane, intelligent people who
are typically reluctant to share their experience, since they
fear people will think they're crazy. There's no good reason for
them to fabricate these stories, since there's nothing in it for
them, unless they're wanting to write a book about it.
The first natural explanation that comes to mind is wish fulfillment -
surely they were expecting to see heaven when they died, so
their mind somehow fabricates it. Yet, what they experienced
seldom coincided with their expectations. In fact, most of van Lommel's patients didn't even believe in an afterlife, so
expectations offer little by way of explanation.
One by one, the naturalistic explanations have been tested
and found inadequate - lack of oxygen, hypercarbia, drugs administered in the ER, natural chemicals in
the brain, etc.
Q: What do people experience on the other side?
A: Unlike dreams and hallucinations, which are all over
the board, NDEs exhibit one or more of 12 or so themes. Many see
themselves leaving their bodies and often view medical teams
trying to revive them. Some go through a tunnel toward a bright
light. They often speak with deceased relatives in a place where
time and space seem to disappear and communication occurs
effortlessly - mind to mind rather than from mouth to ears. Many
have life reviews, which convince them of the importance of
love. Why the consistency of experience across cultures,
regardless of prior beliefs about the afterlife?
Q: But is there any real evidence that it's more than
an exotic dream?
A: I found 12 lines of evidence that convinced me that these
are legitimate experiences with a heavenly realm. For example,
people who were born blind have no visual memories. Thus, they
don't even dream in visuals. Talk to them about black or gray or
yellow and they can't comprehend what you're talking about.
Yet, scientists have
interviewed people born blind who had NDEs and experienced, for
the first time, clear vision. How could this occur unless they
were seeing with something other than their physical eyes?
Second, NDErs often accurately report medical procedures that
were done on them when their eyes were closed and they were
apparently unconscious. Dr. Sabom compared the descriptions by
NDErs with guesses about their procedures by a control group of
cardiac patients who had no NDE. The control group consistently
guessed wrong. NDErs consistently guessed right.
Over and over, researchers found objective evidence that
people had left their bodies and experienced life in a different
Q: How did this research impact you personally?
A: It impacted me in the same ways that NDErs themselves
report being impacted. It strengthened my believe in both God
and heaven, helped me to focus my life on things that matter -
like empathizing with others and showing kindness to those
around me. Research has found that those who study NDEs tend to
be changed in similar ways. I just had to write a book about
this research. It's truly thought-provoking, encouraging, and
(From the back cover) - Reports of near-death experiences are
flooding the media with books, articles and interviews. People
describe hovering over their bodies, details of their surgeries,
talking with deceased relatives, and reviewing their lives in
vivid detail, often while their brains should be incapable of
producing rational thought or memories.
While the accounts are no doubt interesting, do they provide any
solid evidence for the afterlife and the existence of God?
Miller argues, in nontechnical and engaging prose, that it does
indeed. He began his study doubting that NDEs provided such
evidence, but found himself convinced by the weight of the
Here the reader will explore:
• The common naturalistic explanations for NDEs.
• Evidence that NDEs point to God and heaven.
• The results of 35 years of research into NDEs by doctors and
other professionals, fully documented for those who want to
• A comparison of NDEs with Christian teachings.
• Recommendations of key books, researchers, and publications
for further study.
Excerpts from Reviews
See full Reviews on Amazon.com
- "This is an excellent book for anyone new
to NDE research and reading. It provides an eloquent and
very easy to understand guide to the history of NDE
research, the major books in the field, and the many sources
of anecdotal evidence about NDEs." (Anne Rice,
- "Wow! I don't really shy away from
technical jargon since I have a doctorate in Engineering and
two masters degrees (math and experimental statistics) but
was delighted not to have to look up or guess at any highly
technical medical terms. There were substantial descriptions of many NDEs which gave
the book a life of its own. The appendices, footnotes and
references will keep me reading for quite some time. ...my
belief in both God and Heaven was strengthened considerably."
- "I found his book to be fascinating
and very compelling, it struck a familiar chord with me in
that my reading gave me so much feeling for the total life I
live, not just a physical temporary life here on earth.
Steve's book fills in a lot of the gaps in my own belief and
inspires me to give more thought about my life, my purpose
on earth and what to expect in the hereafter. I would
recommend this book to anyone and everyone that has an
interest in reading about this sort of experience."
(Dr. Robert McGinnis, author)
- "Having extensively studied the
NDEs of intensive care patients in the UK, I see the need
for a book that's both a nice read and a great introduction
for those new to the field. This book delivers both. This is
a highly accessible manuscript, easy to read and factual.
There is also an extensive and comprehensive resource list
at the end. A lot of people who are new to the field of
near-death studies will benefit from the knowledge in this
very interesting book. "
(Dr. Penny Sartori, PhD, RGN)
- "Though written in a highly readable
style, the author approaches this work as he would a
research paper. He appeals to the intellect rather than the
emotions and gives ample, compelling evidence for each
conclusion. Rather than trying to persuade, he offers tools
for the reader to conduct an investigation of his own. If
you're alive, this book deals with a topic that's highly
relevant, however uncomfortable it may be. I recommend you
make an honest assessment of facts presented here. This
stuff is too important to shrug off. " (Yvonne
- "I appreciated how easy it was to
read this book with simple language, short chapters, and
creative word pictures. I found the studies fascinating and
liked how Miller took oodles of research and reliable
references and condensed them into a thorough yet brief
study on NDEs. Are you looking for the meaning of life and
the purpose of your existence? I highly recommend this
wonderful book of inspiration and hope. " (K. Payne)
- "I started reading the book with the
thought of just glancing through it but once I started
reading it I was compelled to read every sentence. The book
is excellently written and researched. Both pros and cons
(believers and non-believers) are examined in detail and
looked at from a neutral position. Whether you believe in
near death experiences or not, you should read this book and
evaluate the positions set out and examined." (Tom
- "...[This book] examines 35 years of
research by doctors and professionals (with full
documentation), compares NDEs with Christian teachings,
explores what can be learned from NDEs, and much more. An
exhaustive set of appendices explores other articles and
perspectives upon NDEs, including a critical
cross-examination of Blackmore's "Dying Brain Hypothesis",
and a guide to further teachings. A reader-friendly that
nonetheless holds to rigorous logical and scientific
standards in order to make its case, Near-Death
Experiences As Evidence for the Existence of God and Heaven
is highly recommended especially for curious individuals and
public library religious studies shelves." (Midwest
- "With a
perspective that is at times microscopic and at other times
panoramic, Steve Miller gives a thorough and well documented
study of 35 years of research in his book Near-Death
Experiences. While accounts of these experiences are
interesting, Miller asks one central question: Do they
provide evidence for the existence of God and the afterlife?
He began the study with the eye of a skeptic, but was
convinced by the weight of what he calls "sufficient
evidence." For me, this book was inspiring in that it made
the incredibly compelling stories of life beyond the
dimensions of space and time more trustworthy and
believable. I now see these rare experiences as a means of
grace for the four percent who experience them, and for
those of us fortunate enough to read about them in such a
book as this." (Edwin Chase, judge for Georgia Writer of the
6/17/2013 - Recipient of the
Georgia Author of the
award for the Spiritual category. "The Georgia
Writers Association recognizes Georgia's authors of
excellence by presenting the Georgia Author of the Year
Awards. The GAYA has the distinction of being the oldest
literary award in the Southeastern United States...."
5/13/2013 - Recipient of an
Eric Hoffer Award.
This award "was established at the
start of the 21st century as a means of opening a door to
writing of significant merit. It honors the memory of the
great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting
salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small
12/3/2013 - Recipient of Finalist for a Best Books Award
(USA Book News).
Events and Features
9/19/2013 - Review in
Truth Bomb Apologetics.
8/13/2013 - Audio Interview on
Skepiko - Science at the Tipping Point
6/25/2013 - Related article on The
Tentative Apologist: An Exploration of Faith, Knowledge, Reason
and Doubt, entitled
Near-Death Experiences Ripe for Philosophical Reflection.
3/4/2013 - Audio interview with
Trish Jenkins in
3/2/2013 - Audio interview with Brian
Auten (Belfast, Northern Ireland) for the popular
Apologetics 3:15 site.
3/1/2013 - Random House Germany
wrapping up contract for publication in German. (Update:
Now slated for publication in 2014. See below)
12/20/2012 - An editor for the
Journal of Near-Death Studies requested the book for
The German Edition, Due out February, 2014
Blog Interviews, Guest Posts
Audio interview on
Apologetics 3:15 Site