Our summary and review of the Life After Death issue of the Areopagus Journal (Fall 2011) concludes with the paranormal. If this topic makes you uncomfortable, welcome to the club—that’s probably true for the vast majority of rational beings like you and me. But like it or not, some people do claim to experience things that are beyond the range of our normal experience or scientific explanation. Should we believe them? Are there good apologetic arguments to support Life After Death that make sense based upon paranormal claims?
The Life After Death issue of the Areopagus Journal addressed two paranormal topics: near death experiences (NDEs) and ghosts. Rather than redact the articles by Dr. Gary Habermas and Dr. Ron Rhodes—as I did in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series—I will link in external material and do more of a paraphrased summary of the points they make (for details get the Areopagus Journal).
Near Death Experiences and Worldview Concerns: Addressing Difficult Questions
Dr. Habermas touched on this topic earlier this month at the 2013 National Conference on Christian Apologetics. Two things strike me about his approach to apologetics. First, he makes minimalist arguments—reducing a debate to the minimum number of elements that he needs to make his point, without overreaching. Secondly, he is very conservative in drawing conclusions—which is a hallmark of credibility. Here is a quick synopsis of his views on NDEs, from the One Minute Apologist.
After hearing him relate specific cases he has researched, I was enthusiastically thinking those cases would make self-evident apologetic arguments. After all, a few of them are amazing, and very reliably documented. But as my co-blogger is quick to point out, we should consider both the affirmative and negative sides of the debate to develop an informed opinion.