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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven is for those who BELIEVE.
This guys is simply put, a pharisee of our days. The author demonstrates his lack of faith and does not "believe" what he cannot comprehend. I have to say, but this book seemed like a desperate and failed attempt to make some extra money off of a successful book that encourages people and leads people to Jesus Christ. PLEASE, look at the fruit of the books, this book...
Published 11 months ago by Watcher

versus
501 of 525 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Discernment or trusting "Logic" (PS: some of the 5 star reviews are for the original Burpo book - NOT THIS ONE)
There is one question that continually arises from the pages in this "rebuttal". Is the author truly using Biblical discernment or is he trying to discredit the Burpo family using human logic? I will be the first to say that, as an educated man, I have a modicum of trust in the intellect of man which I believe to be given to us by God. I believe that all healing comes...
Published on November 6, 2011 by D Tillery


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501 of 525 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Discernment or trusting "Logic" (PS: some of the 5 star reviews are for the original Burpo book - NOT THIS ONE), November 6, 2011
There is one question that continually arises from the pages in this "rebuttal". Is the author truly using Biblical discernment or is he trying to discredit the Burpo family using human logic? I will be the first to say that, as an educated man, I have a modicum of trust in the intellect of man which I believe to be given to us by God. I believe that all healing comes from God, be it through the God given intellect of human physicians, the miracle of the physical body, or the scientists who work tirelessly in an effort to find cures for diseases. However, this seems to be an attempt to defy the Spiritual with a mortal thought process. Also, the author flirts dangerously with blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in some of the accusations such as "demonic influence". It is beyond irresponsible, as a Christian, to attribute the works of God to Satan, and shows a HUGE lack of Spiritual discernment if this is the author's intent.

The author speaks of discernment, but where does discernment come from? Discernment comes through a foundation in Faith and as a result, directly from the Spirit. Those without a strong foundation in Faith CANNOT have true Spiritual discernment. Trying to approach a rebuttal to a miracle of God through a thought process of a feeble human mind, regardless of the amount of human intellect, is simply not discernment. It seems as though the author found the claims of the Burpo family to be ludicrous and foolish, and the "wise" has been confounded. He seems to feel offended that his mind can't logically explain such events, so the book is an attempt to explain them away.

Just remember that discernment comes through God's guidance. If you feel that "check in your Spirit" while reading this or any other book, it has happened for a reason. Faith defies logic by it's own definition in Hebrews 11:1 - "Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen."

I'm not telling anyone to not read this book. Neither am I saying that the author's heart isn't in the right place. I just can't help but feel that this writing comes from "Mr. Spock" perspective and is a bit misguided.
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412 of 449 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Heaven is for Real, The Book Isn't, September 5, 2011
That was no reputable refutation of the story of Colton Burpo's experience. For someone so educated he didn't prove his point. Expressing his 'feelings' as proof is such an affront from someone who relies on their intellect to get them by as Mr Williams does in his pamphlet. His supposed examination falls very short of proving itself. Indeed, very short of truth. It appears to be just a scam to sell his own books. It looks like he needs to examine his own heart and motives 'way down deep'.
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96 of 101 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak Arguements, No New Revelations, Mostly 1 Star Reviews ("Astounding"?!!!) Felt like it was a rip off., January 23, 2012
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This review is from: Heaven Is For Real, The Book Isn't: An Astounding Refutation Of A Story About A Trip To Heaven And Back (Kindle Edition)
I read the original book, "Heaven is for Real." I was skeptical for a while. By the end of the book however, it just did not make sense to me that a 4 year old would be capable of making up some of the things the boy talked about. Yes, some of what he described could have been things he picked up at Sunday school or in picture books. The boy may have honestly thought some of those were what he remembered (psychologists call these "false memories" that even adults can be subject to). ON THE OTHER HAND . . . Some of what this boy described was absolutely amazing and were things there is no way he would have known about. If I wanted to play the devil's advocate, I would go more with the idea that the parents made it up. The Mom and Dad and older sister, would all have to be in on the scam though, and I just can't see a small town, committed Christian pastor, his wife and daughter, foisting such a hoax to their congregation and then to the whole country. Not impossible, not unprecedented, but in this case . . . tough to imagine.

Now to the book at hand:
I thought D. Erik Williams refutation was rife with weak arguments, and ascribing as implausible anything that was remarkable. How can Mr. Williams critique a book about someone's experience with God where anything outside of the ordinary is deemed "implausible"? I would have to ask him, "What miracle would seem plausible?" Would any healing, being delivered from long term addictions, being saved from an accident due to bizarre twists of fate, would any of these seem plausible to a skeptic. No. If we saw miracles happen every day all around us we would soon cease to call them miracles. That is the circular reasoning of much of his argument. It would therefore be impossible for him to believe any miracle because "if it's remarkable, it must be implausible". Skeptics are often proud of their skepticism, but sometimes they confuse the healthy examination that skepticsm brings, with an attitude of doubt concerning anything they can't wrap their mind around. That pervasive attitude of doubt can often lead one away from the truth instead of to it.

Does that mean we have to believe every claim someone makes? No. I don't know for sure what that boy saw. I'm not certain that he was taken up to heaven. I don't need it to be true for my own faith. The original story is very compelling though. I was looking for something to challenge my thinking about the original book. I found this "refutation" sorely lacking in terms of the strength of its arguments. They were a weak and unconvincing compilation of ideas that seemed hurriedly thrown together with little thought, little reflection on his own ideas, and little self-critique. There is no new event or headline that would cast any derision on the original book. The author describes this refutation as "astounding." That may have been good marketing but I think it sorely failed to deliver. Mr. Williams may be a fine author/researcher, but in this instance I didn't feel like he put much into this. I only paid .99 for it through Kindle but still feel like I wasted my money, not because I disagreed, but more because there just wasn't much there.
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363 of 398 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Railing accusation, August 29, 2011
This review is from: Heaven Is For Real, The Book Isn't: An Astounding Refutation Of A Story About A Trip To Heaven And Back (Kindle Edition)
It is sad to find such an accusation against a family who merely shared a testimony. The Burpo family does not deny the deity of Christ in their book Heaven is for Realnor present their story as dogmatic teaching.
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107 of 118 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Title misrepresents the contents, October 9, 2011
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This review is from: Heaven Is For Real, The Book Isn't: An Astounding Refutation Of A Story About A Trip To Heaven And Back (Kindle Edition)
The title here is misrepresentative of the contents. There is no "astounding refutation" of the Burpo story here. Williams simply provides his opinions about why he doesn't believe the Burpo story could be true. He provides a few reasons why he believes the Burpo story is naturally unbelievable, then lists a group of theological concerns. Even then, his theological concerns are addressed from his particular method of interpreting Scripture. For instance, he believes the Book of Revelation is purely symbolic and that one cannot expect that there are literal gates of pearl and streets of gold. When I read the Burpo story myself, I too thought it sounded somewhat difficult to believe. Nevertheless, Williams' very brief (24 pages on my iPad) critique is not nearly adequate enough to be considered "an astounding refutation."
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88 of 98 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible, November 12, 2011
I am heartbroken that someone calling themselves a Christian would publish something like this! The book by Todd Burpo has been a comfort to me in my life and to the many many people I have given a copy who have also lost a loved one. If you listen to the stories of those who have died and come back, there is too much consistancy in what they saw to be made up. People from all different backgrounds have experienced and seen many of the same things. This young man's story is consistant with the others who have gone and returned because it was not their time. I cannot believe someone would try to discredit something so wonderful that turns people's eyes to Heaven and to Jesus. There is no "bad" fruit in Todd Burpo's account of what happened to his son. The Bible says you are known by your fruit...the book by Todd Burpo has produced positive fruit, turning people towards God. This book by Eric Williams to discredit it does nothing but produce anger, confusion and make Christians look bad. The enemy is the one who comes to confuse and destroy and this author is letting the enemy use his confusion to confuse others to even produce a book like this. There is a very detailed book about Heaven by author Randy Alcorn that gives scriptures to explain eternity and I really do not see anything this young man saw that was out of line with the other book. Having lost my own child to cancer, he promised to send back a certain sign to let me know he was okay. This sign has happened too many times to be coincidence. We are eternal spirits living in a limited physical body. I am a Christian but my faith has never been stronger when I keep my eyes on heaven and what is yet to come. So don't read this book, buy it or support it. Don't allow it to steal the wonderful experience of heaven this young innocent boy had.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars makes a point, but far from perfect, November 1, 2011
By 
Lacy Thon (Kearney, NE, US) - See all my reviews
I didnt want to rate this 3 star. The part of me that did find hope and comfort from the Burpo's story really wanted to give it 1 star, but after reading several other reviews I have to give it more credit than I would like, but I still have several issues with the authors assessment.

My opinion is that Colton Burpo did have a "heavenly revelation" at age 4. But because I have my own 4 year old that tends to exaggerate and have faulty memories, I cant say that I can believe his testimony is holy accurate.

One of my problems with this author's points was his perception of a what a child that age would and would not know about heaven and theology in general. Oh and his misreading of the original Burpo book. "I find it impossible to believe a 10-year-old (the age at which Colton supposedly learned the definition of "sash") would be without this knowledge" My understanding was that one of Colton's very first revelations of heaven what what Jesus looked like, a conversation when Colton would have been around 4 years old. Not 10. My four year old wouldnt know what a sash is nor would she identify "light" as a "halo".

"..kids often pick up on things that Daddy and Mommy are certain they have kept under wraps. Indeed, it is not unlikely that Mr. and Mrs. Burpo specifically discussed the possibility of their baby being in heaven..." Like the Burpo family, I lost a child before the arrival of the little ones I have now. He suggests that Colton would have heard about his sister either from his parents discussing it when they didnt think he was listening or from outside the home by means of 'gossip'. I feel this is unlikely because 1) losing that child was the most difficult thing my husband and I went through. We DO NOT discuss it because is often painful to do so. Any discussion would be highly sensitive and definately would not be done in the presence of my young children. 2) A miscarriage that happened 4+ years ago is old gossip. Its doubtful even in a small midwest town like Imperial, Nebraska that anyone is discussing it, let alone HAPPEN to be discussing it around young Colton.

Suggesting that Colton was influenced by demons under anesthesia? Now he's really reaching. I have my own testimony of when I believe that God/the Holy Spirit reached out and communicated to me. So if my testimony doesn't match up with something in scripture than it must be a demon influence?

Saying that "Rather than inspire readers to place faith in Jesus alone, it guides people to locate their source of encouragement outside a living relationship with Christ." I didnt get this at all from the Burpo testimony. And I dont feel there is anything wrong with supplementing a living relationship with Christ with books like Heaven is For Real, or other texts written by authors like Max Lucado, Rick Warren and even Dr Eric Williams, if so inclined.
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic Purpose and Disappointing Premise, November 29, 2011
Every so often a book, essay, or journal is published that is so incredibly ironic and comical that it simply requires a response to address it. This book by D. Eric Williams represents the quintessence of a such a work, which also highlights a current trend in Evangelicalism that criticizes popular media, culture, and literature while remaining simultaneously unafraid to use it for its own profit.

Williams spends the bulk of his book deconstructing the "argument" (which of course is the personal story of an ethereal experience) given by a young child. The reasons for a fully-grown adult with a MA to argue the biblical legitimacy of a child's story, whether it is real or not, are completely beyond my comprehension. Additionally, Williams seems to construct rather unconvincing arguments, so it is ironic that he attacks the logic of a child's spiritual experience so fervently when the very foundations of his cynical certainty are shaky at best.

If this book offers any contribution to society, the value is found in the way this work exemplifies the way modern Evangelicals comically entrench themselves into positions against bodies of work that are released, whether they be children's stories, movies, academic works, or otherwise. Take for example the numerous "responses" the Rob Bell's "Love Wins," or the Christian hip-hop artist KJ-52's response to an Eminem song. The marketing is predominantly based off what the original artists already established, as these Evangelicals borrow images from the authors they so passionately decry, repackage the faces of these items with slight changes that parody the original positions to make them agree with their assertions, and sell them. They make a profit off the popularity of the items with which they find such offense, trying to make a name for themselves not only on the back of other artists and writers, but by using the popularity of the item they critique to their advantage. This type of reactive writing makes me wonder if modern Evangelicalism has anything else to offer society outside critiques that self-serve on a financial scale.

In conclusion, I would not recommend this book for purchase. When writing a book that is meant to logically deconstruct the conclusions of something, it is expected that the logic behind the deconstruction is sound. Additionally, on a more personal note, I don't see the value in buying a book from an author who is trying to make a pretty dollar from arguing with the alleged spiritual revelation of a child that had a near death experience. I would hope that the next time this author puts a pen to paper that he will think about whether or not he can offer something more to society than the criticism of a kid. It seems Williams has exemplified for us just how irrelevant Evangelicalism is to society now in that all it offers is labored and sloppy critiques of the musings and dreams of children. How sad.
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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Heaven is For Real/the book isn't, November 29, 2011
By 
I was very unhappy when I received this book only to find the author had purposely used the same cover layout and title (with differences undetected if you aren't carefully reading as it looks like the book Heaven is For Real). It isn't that I'm offended they disagreed with the book they are refuting, but I AM offended he uses trickery (close to plagerism) to get people to buy it. If it is a book worth reading he needs to let it stand on its own merit and not capitalize off the book he refutes. I'll sure watch closer when I'm ordering a book online from now on. As far as the book itself goes, the arguments it contains are pretty lame.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I tried to buy the 'real' book, Heaven is For Real', November 7, 2011
By 
Steven W. Dow (MUKILTEO, WA, US) - See all my reviews
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I tried to buy the book, 'Heaven is for Real' and clicked the button too quickly without realizing what I had bought as they looked the same (yellow, small). To me is was a blatant attempt to sell books on the tails of a really good book, Heaven is for Real.

I wished that the writer of the book refuting the story of a trip to heaven and back would have sold his book in any other color than the good he was targeting. It may have been the only way anyone would buy that book refuting the 'good book'!

I will now be much more cautious when purchasing from Amazon after this past experience.
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