Patricia Hofer

Re-“viewing” the Bible

In Miracles, Lewis poses the idea that there is more than a “one floor” or two floor reality. There are really many “floors,” he wrote, “different Natures, different levels of being, distinct but not always discontinuous” (251-254). For me, Lewis’ “different levels of being” become different levels of consciousness, levels that help to explain the Biblical visions of Abraham and Samuel, of Isaiah and Ezekiel. When Jacob awakened from his dream with the image of “a ladder resting on the earth and reaching up into heaven,” in fear and awe, he called it “the house of God, and the gate of heaven” (NCV Gen. 28:16-17). When Paul talks of being “caught up to the third heaven” or of being “caught up into paradise,” what is he describing to us? We Christians don’t dismiss the “unexpressible things” Paul hears in his continuing conversations with the Lord (NIV 2 Cor. 12:1-4).

So where does all of this leave you? I know where it leaves me. For me, credible near death experiences are another proof that there are many “different levels of being,” different levels of consciousness.  They don’t contradict the Bible at all. And they don’t contradict my relationship with the Lord or conflict with it at all. Speaking from all time and for all time, Jesus said to the Jews, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad” (NIV John 8:56).

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