Question from E:
What do you think about Mary K. Baxter who apparently saw heaven and hell in dreams for night after night straight for a long time. First hell then heaven I think. How is this possible?
Answer by SmartLX:
In a few really easy to imagine ways. One is a recurring dream, one is a series of lucid dreams in someone who doesn’t know what those are, one is fabricating the whole story.
This isn’t one of those supposed visions that’s accompanied by a real-world miracle; we only have Baxter’s word for what she saw in her sleep. Some of it matches scripture, some is so different from it that certain theologians warn against believing it. This is consistent with someone who’s very familiar with the Bible but doesn’t know it back to front, or has her own personal preferences for what the afterlife should be like. These preferences could come through in her subconscious as she dreams, or in the usual way as she makes up a story from whole cloth.
Baxter’s testimony is a set of claims for which there is no more evidence or reason to believe them than any other part of Christianity, and probably less. Christians might find it all reassuring but it’s worthless to those who don’t already believe.