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Near-Death Experiences
As Evidence for the Existence of God and Heaven

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Author Bio

Author Interview





Blog Reviews



  1.  "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 the Afterlife.
  2.  "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 Defense.
  3.  "...very 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)

Author Bio

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 Psychiatry, The Lancet, Critical Care Quarterly, The Journal for Near-Death Studies, American Journal of Psychiatry, British Journal of Psychology,  and Resuscitation and Neurology. NDEs have  been studied both retrospectively and prospectively by medical professionals in hospital settings.


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 dimension.


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 life-changing.


Book Contents

(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 evidence.

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 study further.
• A comparison of NDEs with Christian teachings.
• Recommendations of key books, researchers, and publications for further study.


Excerpts from Reviews


See full Reviews on

  1. "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, Bestselling Author)
  2. "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. belief in both God and Heaven was strengthened considerably."
  3. "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)
  4. "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)
  5. "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 Anderson)
  6. "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)
  7. "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 Spoonts)
  8. "...[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 Book Review)
  9. "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 Year) 


6/17/2013 - Recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year 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 publishers."

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 Australia.

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 possible review. 


J. Steve  Miller - Erkundung der Ewigkeit
The German Edition, Due out February, 2014


Blog Reviews, Blog Interviews, Guest Posts


Audio interview on Apologetics 3:15 Site