“A beautifully written glimpse into heaven that will encourage those who doubt and thrill those who believe.”
—Ron Hall, coauthor of Same Kind of Different as Me
“Do you remember the hospital, Colton?” Sonja said. “Yes, mommy, I remember,” he said. “That’s where the angels sang to me.”
When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery–and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.
With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how “really, really big” God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, Heaven Is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”
Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.
Topics: Family, Christian Afterlife, Angels, Nebraska, Midwestern America, Inspirational, Heartfelt, The Afterlife, Heaven, Near-Death Experiences, and Miracles
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Thank you for writing this book.more
As being a mother who has also lost a child to miscarriage, it helped me find some peace and understanding that I had not been able to find in the seven years since the miscarriage.
I think I can honestly say that there has been no book that has impacted me quite like this one, to where I can say I still think about it over a year after reading it!
In my opinion, you can't go wrong reading this book, even if it's just to give yourself a little spiritual uplifting (and I am not the most spiritual person, by far - even though I should be!)
Truly touching! There isn't one person that I would not recommend this book to!more
1.) I would have never read this of my own accord. I read it only for book club.
2.) I was skeptical going in.
3.) Though I'm a born-and-raised Catholic, I would classify myself as an agnostic, at best.
4.) I'll also admit I skimmed huge chunks of this book. It was the only way I was going to get through it at all. It was worse than I expected.
Things that Bothered Me (in no particular order):
1.) The first half of the book is the father rambling about his illnesses. Yes, I'm very sad the guy had kidney stones and breast cancer and [some other ailment I can't remember]...but I don't see what any of that has to do with the kid getting sick.
2.) If this was all so moving, why did they wait seven years before writing the book?
3.) The kid is 11 now. Don't you think that's old enough that he could have wrote the book on his own? Or at least contributed a chapter in his own words?
4.) Others have said this, but it bears repeating: isn't it convenient that this miracle happened to a pastor's kid? The dad keeps going on and on about how Colton just "couldn't have known" about so much of this religious stuff. Really? Kids are remarkably perceptive. I would find this all much more moving if it had happened to a kid who had never heard "the good word."
5.) The parents only dragged the story out of the kid over the course of years. As a parent, this is extremely odd to me. If my kid started telling me one day he'd been to heaven, you better believe I'd be asking some questions, and right now, not five years later.
Finally (and this verges on a rant), it kind of annoys me how many Christians are saying that this changed their life / moved them to be better parents / etc... I'm sorry...you have the Bible. The WORD OF GOD isn't enough for you? It takes a fairy tale as told by a three year old to convince you that maybe you should get your act together and start acting like a Christian?
Fundamentally, I was just the wrong person to read this book. I am not its target audience. A belief in heaven presupposes a belief in God. Until you can sell me on that, there's not much this (poorly written, highly questionable) book is going to do for me.
ETA (2/2012): I think it's pretty clear I think this particular book is crap. However, if you're interested in first-hand, post-death experiences, I'd suggest reading, "90 Minutes in Heaven". It's similar in its premise--a man dies, spends 90 minutes in heaven, comes back and tells his story--, BUT it's experienced by an adult and told by that same adult. (Unlike "Heaven", which is merely the dad's retelling of the kid's story.) I read it several years ago, but remember being much more impressed by it. I will offer the caveat that I was a much better Catholic/Christian at that time than I am now, so that likely colored my perception of the book. However, even accounting for that, "90 Minutes" is certainly the better written book.more
Did this book make me believe there is a heaven? Not any more or less than I did before I read it.
What annoyed me most about this book was that Colton's descriptions of heaven were so completely accurate with scripture. I don't think it is possible that, if there is a heaven, the people who wrote that particular version of the Bible that Todd Burpo references got it right down to a tee. There are so many different versions of the Bible that each version is bound to have different thoughts of the details of heaven. Yet Colton's "visit" lined up perfectly with the details in the Bible his dad used to preach.
The second most annoying thing in this book is how saturated it is with scripture. It makes it feel preach-y. Definitely not something I enjoyed.
I don't profess to know what (if anything) happened to Colton Burpo. However, I do know my own mind. And my own mind didn't enjoy this book.more