Interviews over months with Mr. Mika, his teammates, paramedics, surgeons and loved ones paint a portrait of an unexpected survival and recovery that defied the expectations of every medical expert he encountered on the day of the attack.
He has since sought to escape the attention showered on the victims of high-profile shootings in the United States, trying to resist the feeling that his identity is solely that of a survivor.
The doctrine of hell is disturbing. The very idea of suffering and separation beyond the grave elicits a wide range of responses, from anguish to anger.
The possibility of departed loved ones languishing in outer darkness only adds to the grief of those laying flowers on their graves. Some atheists cite hell as a reason to deny the existence of a loving God.
What’s more, Anglican cleric John Stott, who wrote the influential book Basic Christianity, found the idea of eternal suffering in hell so repugnant that he rejected it in favor of annihilationism.
According to a 2014 survey by LifeWay Research, fewer Mainline Protestants believe in hell than do Americans in general (55 percent vs. 61 percent, respectively).
And for many evangelicals, hell remains an inconvenient truth.
Ok, some Christians say. But maybe hell is not forever.