I Talk with Dead People

August 26, 2003

[We Don't Die](I actually wanted to write about something different related to this book, but it’s hard to do that without first describing the book.)

My new age mom gave me a book to read: We Don’t Die: George Anderson’s Conversations With the Other Side. It is an account of a psychic medium. To build bridges of communication with my mother, I tried to read the book with an open mind. After all, what do we really know of the afterlife?

To my surprise, I didn’t read about any specific thing that I could point to and say, “That contradicts the Bible.” George Anderson himself reminded me in some ways of John Wimber: he is remarkably accurate but doesn’t hype things in the least. And many years ago, I read Angels on Assignment which included the idea that when you die, you go to a “waiting area” before judgement. (The pastor to whom the angels appeared complained that he couldn’t find this idea in the Bible.) So I can accept the possibility that when you die, you do not immediately go to heaven or hell. What do we know? It does not seem unbiblical to suppose that judgement happens all at once at the end of the age.

The problem I have with We Don’t Die is that God is conspicuously absent. It doesn’t point to God at all. Instead, it is filled with account after account of psychic readings that comfort the grieving by saying their loved ones have not ceased to exist, but are continuing on. Don’t we already know that? In stark contrast, the thing that won me over to Angels on Assignment (even though the writing itself is terrible) is its continual focus on Christ. Jesus seemed to be the only thing the angels wanted to talk about.

Any sort of spiritual infatuation is potentially dangerous because it leads us to a fascination with something that was created (angels and such) or given (tongues and such) rather than captivating our hearts with the Creator and Giver.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

9 responses to I Talk with Dead People

  1. I made a friend of the guy who was Roland Buck’s youth leader during those angelic visitations. He assured me that Roland was a broken servant of God who had to endure a lot of criticism for publishing that book. I think another family member wrote a follow-up book as well.

  2. Well there you go, Greg — the six degrees of separation in action!
    (For those of you who don’t know, Roland Buck is the pastor who had the angelic visitations described in Angels on Assignment.)

  3. I guess my question is “What was your mom trying to accomplish by giving you the book?” My suspicion is she was just wanting to share “spiritual information” with you. You said, “filled with account after account of psychic readings that comfort the grieving by saying their loved ones have not ceased to exist, but are continuing on. Don’t we already know that?” Maybe she was trying to “help” you with your work by providing actual stories.
    Certainly I don’t know your mom, but generally we think people are trying to convert our thinking. Is that because we Christians are generally trying to convert *their* thinking? She could have been trying to *add* to the conversation.

  4. Good thought, Brian. I think a challenge for Christ-followers who are trying to engage normal people in genuine 2-way dialog is to apply the same principles to our own family members. Don’t whomp on them or assume the worst just because they haven’t been responsive all these years. Maybe it’s us.

  5. Hey Jon….
    Ya know what I always trip on with the whole “after life” thing. Us that follow Christ avoid “spiritual mediums” like the plague, but why…cuz we are afraid of that stuff. Lame…remember when Saul went to the medium and then Samuel talked through her ? Crazy, maybe we don’t know as much as we think….

  6. Well, there are spirits and there are spirits. And there’s the Spirit. You’re right, the medium was able to summon Samuel’s spirit — which proceeded to chew out Saul for looking to spirits for guidance instead of the Spirit.

  7. How can you realy know if these so called “I talk to dead people” people are telling the truth?? Im eleven years old, and i feel that if i was in some sort of place where some person was talking to MY DEAD FAMILY OR FRIENDS, and they were making all of this stuff up- then i would be REALY mad and wish that they were dead. So what im trying to get at is, befor you put your hopes up, check to make sure that that person could TRULY talk to the dead!!

  8. Hi Katelyn, thanks for your comments. I actually don’t care too much about talking with the dead, because I think it is much more valuable to hear the voice of God. I mean, there’s no contest.
    Anyway, I invite you to check out more recent postings (this one was back in August)!

  9. you dont hear dead people but feel the sound