Monday, February 4, 2013


Last week, I found that hymn, "Safe in the Arms of Jesus."

Recently I also read, on my Kindle, No Pressure, Mr. President!, by Eric Metaxas. In it, he references his website,, and says you can find the story of the dream that was part of his conversion, and I found a video of him telling the story of his conversion. I also watched a video promoting a simulcast presentation and, in that video, speaking of Bonhoeffer, Metaxas says, "He calls death 'the last station on the road to freedom' -- freedom to walk into the arms of your savior when he calls you."

Then I read an article about near death experiences, called The Real Purpose of Near Death Experiences. I didn't search for the article; it was on a site I frequently visit. It was an interview with Betty Eadie, the author of a book called Embraced by the Light and also featured a video from the 1990s of Ms. Eadie's appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Both the title and her talk again feature the motif of being not just welcomed but embraced by Jesus after death.

When certain phrases or themes keep coming to me, I believe God is bringing them to my attention. The recurrence of this theme concerns me. The most attractive idea is that God is comforting me for the recent losses in my extended family, or perhaps equipping me to extend comfort. A more worrisome idea is that he is preparing me for a closer, imminent loss, or possibly my own journey to heaven.

Also, some of what Ms. Eadie says seems theologically incorrect (for example, the pre-conception existence of human souls) or at least extra-biblical, and I plant my standard on orthodox Christianity. I believe in the divine inspiration of scripture but can only look at her experience as apocryphal, and, as the Belgic Confession says of the Apocrypha: "The church may certainly read these books and learn from them as far as they agree with the canonical books. But they do not have such power and virtue that one could confirm from their testimony any point of faith or of the Christian religion."

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