Sunday Night Journal — August 19, 2012
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UCC!!!!! This does not sound like a UCC story!


What is UCC?

Oh wait, I get it--you're right, it doesn't at all.

I've been interested in these for some time now. They're definitely legit. Recently I've been watching a show on BIO called "Beyond and Back," where people recount their experiences. It's really well done, and very convincing. (Haven't read this yet but I plan to.)

Touchstone had a good piece on the phenomenon a while back. I'll see if I can find it in their archives later.

the United Church of Christ?

the Uniform Commercial Code?

Church of Christ. In this country at least they are toward the Unitarian end of the religious spectrum--not real big on anything supernatural.

Yes, I can recall my teacher Professor Cowan (orally imagine a Southern lady's voice), 'the church of Christ [Chrast] don't believe in much except being gooood'

But what has that got to do with being judged by how you loved the people in your life?

Not that there's anything wrong with being good, she might have added.

What we were thinking of (assuming Janet and I were thinking of the same thing) was that the UCC seems like an odd place for somebody who's driven by a really intense spiritual experience. Odd that he would choose it, odd that it would choose him.

Yeah, but Grumphy, there's a hugh difference between the Church of Christ and the United Church of Christ. The Church of Christ basically take the Bible as the only rule of faith. They REALLY believe in the Bible and they're fairly conservative. The UCC is far left and doesn't seem to have any definite rule of faith at all.


One of my favorite things about these (so-called) NDE stories, is when the person witnesses events occurring in the general vicinity of the body, and then has it all corroborated after "coming back". For instance, I remember a story where a little girl was having an operation and witnessed conversations her family was having in the hospital cafeteria (she'd died for a time during the procedure). A few days afterward she recounted the conversations word for word to her astonished mother. "I flew over to where you were, Mommy."

There are tons and tons of stories where this happens. I don't know how skeptics could explain it away...I'm sure they'd be able to fashion something, but I wouldn't think it would be very convincing.

Ok I confess I didn't read the article. It's the first week of term. It's a very intriguing article.

Heck, I don't read half the stuff I form opinions about.

I couldn't find the Touchstone piece in their archives, possibly because I think it came out in the past year or two and didn't look further back than mid-2010, and it was actually in 2001.

Yes, Noah, things like that seem to be a pretty consistent feature of these experiences. I don't know how skeptics explain the memory of conversations outside the room where the patient was, but people have a great capacity for tossing evidence that doesn't fit their theories.

I'm sure you're familiar with the explanation that the whole thing is a mechanism thoughtfully provided by nature to ease the pain of death, which is a complete non-explanation. If you're a materialist trying to explain something, evolution is pretty much your only scheme, and what evolutionary advantage could an NDE possibly provide?

re the Church of Christ--I wonder which one Louise Cowan was talking about. I never heard of the UCC until I was 30, probably. When I was growing up, the Church of Christ was the one the Baptists considered too conservative.

I don't know. It was thirty years ago. I had never heard anyone speak about the Protestants like that before. I had never heard voiced the sentiment that the problem is simply disbelief.

That is very interesting, Mac. I admit I haven’t paid much attention to near-death experiences. I suppose I am a skeptic – I didn’t know that some could provide corroborating evidence. Part of my skepticism is based on the fact that, so far as I had heard, everyone who had such experiences was going to heaven. (Does that make me a misanthrope?) Why was no-one going to purgatory? Or hell? The story above is very interesting from that point of view.

Have you ever heard anything about such experiences in other cultures? Do Hindus meet Jesus and angels too, or do they meet Krishna? It seems to me that “NDE”s, while they may pose serious problems for atheists, could pose problems for Christians too. I would want to handle them with kid gloves.

Craig, I've heard accounts of people who went to hell. Don't have time to elaborate.


I'm sorry that Touchstone piece is not online, because it approaches NDEs from a somewhat agnostic, or at least not unquestioning, point of view.

I don't really know much about this, but I think there are a lot of Christians who have serious reservations about the idea. I'm pretty sure some of the more excitable types have pronounced them satanic. The everybody-goes-to-heaven problem (I know, that does sound bad) has definitely been mentioned, but as this story indicates and as Janet mentions there do seem to be accounts of rather different experiences. I think I read somewhere of a suicide finding himself in a very bad place. I don't know about the question of experiences in other cultures.

Jerry Lewis said that when he died for a period of time once there was nothing. That's the creepiest thing of all.


Not to me. I assume you mean literally nothing, no consciousness at all? My imagination can and does come up with much worse things, which I will not share because I don't want to put them into anyone else's head.

Yes, consciousness and nothing else.


I mean, I could expound on the horrors of this, but I won't.


You don't need to. Consciousness and nothing else is the worst. I thought that was only my nightmare. Now I'm scared.

Just pray and keep receiving the sacraments.


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