Carson himself appeared to concede that some details in the "hoax" exam story were embellished during an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.How trustworthy is Cecil Murphey, Carson's collaborator? Opinions will differ, but I just want to point out that Murphey has one other collaboration under his belt that's been even more successful than the Carson memoir: 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life,. written with Don Piper.
“You know, when you write a book with a co-writer and you say that there was a class, a lot of time they’ll put a number or something just to give it more meat,” Carson said on ABC's "This Week." “You know, obviously, decades later, I’m not going to remember the course number.”
An assistant to Carson’s “Gifted Hands” co-author Cecil Murphey, Twila Belk, told TPM on Monday morning that Murphey was declining all interviews about Carson.
As he is driving home from a minister's conference, Baptist minister Don Piper collides with a semi-truck that crosses into his lane. He is pronounced dead at the scene. For the next 90 minutes, Piper experiences heaven where he is greeted by those who had influenced him spiritually. He hears beautiful music and feels true peace. Back on earth, a passing minister who had also been at the conference is led to pray for Don even though he knows the man is dead. Piper miraculously comes back to life and the bliss of heaven is replaced by a long and painful recovery. For years Piper kept his heavenly experience to himself. Finally, however, friends and family convinced him to share his remarkable story.More, from the website of Don Piper Ministries:
Don Piper returned from the gates of Heaven to endure 13 excruciating months of hospitalization, 34 major surgeries, including some never before attempted in the United States, and years of painful therapy and rehabilitation. He now shares his incredible lessons of answered prayer, miracles, overcoming tragedy, pain and loss, and the reality of Heaven. Indeed, each time Don rises to speak, people are astounded that he can even walk onto the platform. But he does and those in attendance are simply not the same after he concludes his presentation.Yeah, I imagine there's a lot of channeling going on.
Around the world Don Piper has shared the story of hope and healing. He's appeared on NBC's Today Show, Dateline NBC, ABC's Nightline, FOX Network's Sean Hannity's America, and The O'Reilly Factor. A frequent guest on Trinity Broadcasting's Praise the Lord and Christian Broadcasting Network's 700 Club, Don has also appeared on D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Hour, and Life Today with James Robison, among many others programs. He's also been interviewed by literally hundreds of radio stations, newspapers, and magazines all over the world....
Don Piper is known around the world as, "The Minister of Hope." He founded Don Piper Ministries, a 501-c3 entity, in 2007, to channel revenues from book sales and speaking income to help over 40 ministries here and abroad.
Piper's book has come in from its share of criticism, even from devout Christians:
Piper’s description of heaven left me cold. I was dismayed to find that his heaven seems largely man-centered.... Piper did not see Jesus, nor did he see God, though, to be fair, he saw only the “outskirts” and did not pass through the pearlescent gates.... For ninety minutes he walked through heaven, greeted by those he knew in this life, all of whom were (quite conveniently), the same age they were when he had last known them.I'm not a believer, but even a lot of believers are a tad skeptical when confronted with books in what's come to be known as the "heaven tourism" genre. Earlier this year, LifeWay Christian Stores removed all such books from its shelves after Alex Malarkey, the subject of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, wrote an open letter telling booksellers that his story was made up. ("I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention," Malarkey wrote.)
... Piper is able to describe it in some detail, but what he presents is surely far too human to be heaven.
Cecil Murphey, however, is undeterred by the criticism of the genre. He's written several books with Piper -- not only 90 Minutes in Heaven (now available in a 10th-anniversary edition) but Daily Devotions Inspired by 90 Minutes in Heaven, the 90 Minutes in Heaven Member Workbook, Heaven Is Real: Lessons on Earthly Joy -- from the Man Who Spent 90 Minutes in Heaven, and Getting to Heaven: Departing Instructions for Your Life Now.
In addition, Murphy and his assistant, Twila Belk, have written a faith-healing book called I Believe in Healing: Real Stories from the Bible, History and Today:
When a loved one is injured or ill, what do Christians do? They pray, expecting God to intervene with a miracle of healing. They pray not only because the Bible says to do so, but also because God has shown Himself faithful to heal throughout history and even today. I Believe in Healing is a one-of-a-kind collection of true stories that demonstrate God's healing power. Readers will find dozens of biblical, historical, and present-day accounts of physical and emotional healings, written in Cecil Murphey's heartwarming, uplifting style that made 90 Minutes in Heaven a New York Times bestseller. Anyone who needs a touch from God for themselves or a loved one will find encouragement and inspiration in these pages.Should you trust a book written by this guy? Should you trust the biographical account of a presidential candidate who'd collaborate with a guy like this? I leave that to your judgment.