I was not going to talk about this again. Then Challies posted this.
I'm not commenting on it; I'm just going to muse about "heavenly tourism" as he calls it.
I'm not sure that visions from God never happen to people. But at the same time, God is not going to show such a detailed description of heaven as it's not in the Bible, and when he did show someone heaven, he told the guys not to say anything.
In 2004, I had some dream that the book of Amos said that Osama bin Laden would attack America. I read Amos 9 that morning and I still get the chills. But why would God show me that? It has nothing to do with the price of tea in China. I'm certain that it was not so that I could brag about what I know, though I do that quite frequently. Maybe God just wanted to affirm to me the Bible's veracity, especially at Trevecca where they love German higher criticism.
Then, in 2009, Mom change her address to be with the Lord. Before then, Dad had a vision of us grieving over her before she was even sick. Then afterward, Dad dreamed that he saw Mom and my sister Amanda, who died as an infant, in heaven. Then around my birthday, I dreamed I was in the Greenwood mall eating ice cream with my mom and worrying about my weight. That summer I dreamed I was Skyping with her. Even Mom's friend Frances dreamed she was asking Mom if she'd like to come back, and Mom replied, "No way!" I don't doubt that God sent those visions to comfort us or that there isn't some truth to them, but I don't believe we saw heaven. I believe God was just comforting us.
I don't doubt the sincerity of Todd Burpo or Don Piper, but I really don't think they saw heaven. They saw just enough to know that it's real and to be comforted. Not to make bestsellers out of it. That is all.