on February 5, 2007
Brian Stiller's book on What Happens when we die attempts to tackle a serious subject but falls short, not because of the subjects addressed but of his self assured point of view. Stiller starts off with few interesting chapters discussing why we deny death and near death experiences. The most interesting aspect of his view of death was about examining our life and it's worth much as in the Gospel of James point that by our works we may be known in the beyond. Stiller quickly dismisses a few of the many other cutural/religious traditions in the world in Ch 4 disregarding that most of them existed centuries before the christian view of heven/hell as an afterlife. Stiller's five argumets for the existance of God in Ch 5 seem seem weak, lacking intellectual force. He seems to rely on life experiences and faith which are a matter of personel interpetation. In chapter 6 he contrasts the death of Jesus and Soctates and in my mind Socrates seems more attuned to the reality of his death while Jesus seems to be acting out a predestined Hebrew script that he must endure. Surely if Jesus is divine he must know the ultimate reality of his passion and resurection..
Most of the following chapters by Stiller starting with 'What we can Know about Heaven' are pure conjecture and strictly his opinions. In short I obtained this book while my Mother was in the dying process and I found little in it to share with her or take comfort from. Maybe those with a strong conservitive Chrisitian belief can get someting out of this tripe; but then why bother; if they are already convinced of there eternal reward for merely believing the church's view of Christ's message?