"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.”
©2010 Todd Burpo (P)2010 Oasis
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
An excellent story told in a rather strange way - - there's an interview at the beginning that completely SPOILS the entire book. Skip that part and go straight to the story of heaven as revealed through the eyes of a child. I was much more interested in what the little boy said than in his father's interpretation and translation. But, the story is so interesting because it seems like it was the boy's personal heaven - - an amazing and special concept that I hope doesn't get lost in the father's need to explain why it fit into a pretty standard biblical interpretation. Still, the story provides a great comfort and a wonderful sense of hope.
It is obvious from the reviews that there is a split between believers of the Bible and skeptics. As a believer, I would have been terribly disappointed if the father had not referred to the appropriate scriptures. I knew immediately that the boy was spot on with scripture but I didn't have to look them up before listening further to the boy's story. There is no doubt in my mind that this boy went to heaven. Any believer could tell you that, unless the whole thing is a scam, which I do not believe it is, this boy saw heaven and did not hear these things at home. For one thing, a child that age would not have grasped the significance of what he saw, even if he had heard the stories. Some of these things are argued about by theologians even today. The boy's simple descriptions blew the complicated descriptions of theologians right out of the water. The father did exactly what I would have done: make sure the descriptions matched the scriptures. No believer wants their child to have misinformation about its spiritual future. No child could have had such understanding at that age. The descriptions are very simple, yet very deep. Much too advanced for a child to have figured out without actually seeing it. The skeptics seem to believe that the father put his own "interpretation" on the boy's story or on scripture. He did not. He simply read the scriptures and said what they obviously say. The boy "got it" from seeing it. I am grateful that the pastor/father wrote this book and shared what his son said. I would not have wanted to miss it.
Great story to make you think that there is something out there that is much bigger than we are. I enjoyed it and appreciated the innocence of the child and the purity of what he saw. I appreciated the way the parents hesitated to bring this story out for fear of the backlash,I really feel like there was a reason to share this vision.
Not as compelling as expected.
Perhaps telling the story chronologically rather than bouncing back and forth.
I am a Christian and truly believe in heaven. I wish the book was more focused the little boy. I think the father tries too hard to prove this really happened. Not sure I would recommend, but it did give me hope that I will be reunited with those I love.
I enjoyed the story but it was tough to listen to this narrator. He emphasizes each word which makes it come across too childish. Just because the story features a child doesn't mean you need to read it like you are speaking to a first grade class. The emotions from this reader seemed like someone reading a Christmas tale, and not a serious spiritual story. Sorry, but I cringed through this. For some this may not be so terrible.. just depends if you like this guy's reading style.
a little skeptical... not about heaven, but the father trying to put his own interpretation and comparison to scripture and the fact that he (father) is a pastor/minister
No two ways about it, the information FROM the boy was very interesting. The book, however, is a preacher's vehicle. I'm glad the story was made available but probably would have benefited more from a point of view that didn't reference everything the boy told them to the author's own line of work.
If, however, you are involved in any christian philosophy and enjoy sermons with a positive message, this is the book for you.
I have read several books on near death experiences. It seems that since Raymond Moody wrote "Life After Life" & removed the taboo of relating these experiences, you can find them everywhere. I sometimes wonder if the abundance of these accounts encourages some to seek fame or money by fabricating their story. I have never read an account that included so much orthodox doctrine as this account. It all fits too neatly into an opportunity to preach for me to find it believable. Years ago I knew a man who referred to "faith promoting rumors" when talking about tall tales passed off as true to make a point the originator believed to be true. This book has that feel.
Even though I am a believer, I must be honest and admit that I do have my moments of wondering if it’s all real. As most thinking Christians look around, there is the inevitable time when we ask ourselves the hard questions. I’m betting my entire life and after life on the gift of Salvation offered by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and I want to be certain I haven’t taken anything for granted. As a result of that mindset I am one who openly welcomes a boost to my faith. This book provided that and then some. If you possess the gift of unshakable faith then perhaps this book will not go beyond the realm of interesting. For the rest of us it is far more. I admit to being very cautious before diving into such works. So at the advice of my closest friend and Pastor, I listened to the book with an open hand. At no time did the book violate Scripture so I am left to only wonder at the amazing possibility that every word is true. I especially enjoyed the part of what Jesus looks like. I won’t tell you about that…you’ll have to get the book to solve that mystery. Trust me, that alone is worth it. One word of caution, as a parent the first third of the book is difficult to listen to. I cannot imagine the pain the Burpo family endured and it made listening as a father painful. It is all necessary to the overall story, but I wasn’t prepared for that side of the story and it took me by surprise so be ready.
In close, if you could use a boost to your faith then I highly recommend this book. Oh, also, the narrator did a wonderful job. A narrator can make or break an audio book; my compliments to Dean Gallagher for a job well done. Now, give this a listen and enjoy the ride.
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