Room For Discussion
“Except that ‘Heaven Is for Real” turns out to be about cynicism and doubt for a sizable chunk of its running time — the struggle within those who already believe rather than the conversion of unbelievers. That makes it a surprisingly nuanced entry in the Christian film genre, even if the movie finally and firmly comes down on the side of angels, Day-Glo Elysian Fields, and Christ as nice guy incarnate. The faithful should welcome it warmly. Others may come away unconvinced while appreciating the film’s sincerity and lack of anti-secular axes being ground.
Why is this a big deal, here, in this blog? Back in February of 2011, I blogged about this after receiving an email from a reader:
I just finished reading “Heaven is for Real.” I am thinking that the Akiane Prince of Peace is very similar to the man in the Turin Shroud. STURP and now the Shroud Science Group with all its scientific books and journals cannot begin to match the power of this story. Four-year-old Colton Burpo left the hospital operating room and went [to] heaven where he saw Jesus. Later, he confirmed that Jesus looked like the Akiane Jesus. The Akiane Jesus looks like the Turin Shroud.
I wrote at the time:
The Akiane Prince of Peace? The book, Heaven is for Real? A kid who saw Jesus in heaven during some sort of purported near-death experience (NDE)? Really? And does this visionary picture look like the man in the Shroud?
I also wrote:
Akiane Kramarik seems to be a child visionary. Growing up in a home with an Atheist mother and a lapsed Catholic father, she apparently began having “divinely inspired visions,” which she translated into poetry and art. By age four (Colton’s age) she was painting and writing poetry. There can be no denying, at least, that she is a prodigy. She appeared on CNN, World News Tonight and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Forget that she is a child; her work is amazing.
She was just eight-years-old when she painted Prince of Peace, her first portrait of Jesus. This is the painting Colton said was right. It is reproduced in the back of every copy of this best seller. . . .
. . . Yes, I’m sure that such a popular image, if indeed many people think it is similar to the image of a man on the shroud, will have an impact on belief about the shroud. Nonetheless, the goal of the Shroud Science Group (as was the goal of STURP) is not to sway opinion. It’s purpose is to pursue the scientific and historical truth about the shroud, whatever it may be and wherever it may lead, and to disseminate that information in a responsible way.
That said, I say go read the book and make up your own mind. I’m intrigued but not swayed. Then again, it took me five years to conclude that the Shroud of Turin was probably real.
Now, I should probably add, go see the movie.
And now to the crux of the matter: Phil Dayvault, whose work has been discussed on this blog and who has participated with his own comments, has a new (or updated) web page, The ISA Tile and the “Prince of Peace” and a video that you should watch (you may need to hit the pause button if, like me, you are a slow reader of white on black).
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UisIxFV_M6M
There is room for a lot of discussion here. How good are Dayvault’s methods? Can they be reproduced by others? Can the software be revealed and examined? I didn’t see any obvious morphing going on, but is there any? Tilting? Angling back to front? Changing horizontal and vertical proportions? Any other Photo Shop stuff I didn’t think of? Any control work with other faces?