“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.
|Contributor(s)||Todd Burpo , Lynn Vincent|
|About the Contributor(s)||Todd Burpo
Todd Burpo is pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan and a volunteer fireman. He and his wife, Sonja, have four children: Colton is an active teenager; he has an older sister, Cassie; a younger brother, Colby; and a very special sister he met in heaven. Sonja Burpo is a busy mom and pastor's wife. A certified elementary teacher, Sonja is passionate about children's ministry and helping women work through the difficulty of miscarriage.
Lynn Vincent is the New York Times best-selling writer ofHeaven Is for Real and Same Kind of Different As Me. The author or coauthor of ten books, Lynn has sold 12 million copies since 2006. She worked for eleven years as a writer and editor at the national news biweekly WORLD magazine and is a U.S. Navy veteran.
|Publish Date||Nov 2, 2010|
|Accelerated Reader Interest Level||MG+ (Grade 7 thru 9)|
|Accelerated Reader Points Awards||6.00|
|Accelerated Reader Reading Level||6.30|
- Review by Karen
I was subsequently emailed by Thomas Nelson publishing for a year to write a book about it, however I never pursued it, as I didn't want to profit from the gift I was given (and I'm a disabled woman veteran in a powerchair). But if I DID write a book about my dream and all the circumstances surrounding it (which is actually my testimony), ALL proceeds would go to God-honoring Christian ministries, and I wouldn't hesitate to say what they were. Here is my review:
"Everyone who reads 'Heaven is For Real' needs to get out a Concordance and check everything this child says against Scripture. I myself haven't done this yet, but I was struck by Colton's claim that people in heaven have wings. There are no Scriptures describing wings on the redeemed in heaven. For example, Luke 9:28-33 describes Moses and Elijah appearing and talking with Jesus in the presence of the disciples Peter, James and John.
These disciples recognized Moses and Elijah but I'm quite sure they would have thought they were angels if they'd had wings. Scripture makes it clear that people who are saved will have resurrected human bodies--just as Jesus does. We will reign with Jesus for a thousand years when Jesus returns to earth. It's highly unlikely we will have wings.
Also, in 1973 I had a dream in which I believe Jesus came to me as I emerged from a severely traumatic childhood from a mother who had worked the Ouija board when I was 11. He did in fact have breathtakingly beautiful blue eyes--eyes filled with love and compassion. But He did NOT have the 'rough but kind-looking face' pictured in "Heaven is for Real."
He was perfect in beauty. He spoke with the deepest, most powerful, authoritative voice I ever heard. He told me, "Repent NOW. Turn from your sin NOW." I won't go into it any more as that isn't my intent. But one day I found in Psalm 27:4 something that excited me concerning what Jesus looked like in my dream. David wrote, "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the BEAUTY of the Lord."
The Jesus I saw was perfect in beauty as David the Psalmist describes. He looked nothing like the Jesus in that little boy's book. There's no description of Jesus riding a horse with a rainbow-colored mane in the book of Revelation. I'm also concerned about this child saying Jesus refused to give him a sword because it would be too dangerous. There IS no danger in heaven.
And not ONCE does his pastor father encourage people to read the Bible. Why would people believe an account of a ten-year old seven years after an event, but not the Bible, written by people with first-hand accounts like the disciples? I was also disturbed by a television interview in which Colton was asked what was being done with the money made by the book.
He seemed a little nervous, and said some was probably being put aside for his education, then he asked his father what was being done with the money. His father gave a vague reply about helping the orphans. WHAT orphans? I'm involved with an organization through which I'm privileged to sponsor underprivileged children, and as previously stated, if I wrote a book about the amazing dream I had in 1973, ALL proceeds would go to the Lord's work, and I wouldn't hesitate to name the ministries.
I feel many red flags with this story, and it makes me sad that people are so excited about it, but not what Jesus Himself says in the Word.
(Posted on 7/25/2016)
- Review by Mark