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Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back Paperback – Unknown format, October 31, 2010
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About the Author
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first book I received was titled "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo. Needless to say, as a pastor I was skeptical! I thought, Oh no, not another I've been to heaven book! Beginning with 90 minutes in Heaven, the market has been flooded by books of peoples accounts of their journey to Heaven, Hell, and the Laundromat! I assumed this book would be little different and I thought I'd wind up relegating this book to the "not worth my time" pile. I was wrong.
"Heaven is for Real" is a a heartwarming, simple, and surprisingly biblical glimpse into a little four year old boy's journey into Heaven. Colton Burpo was four year's old when he found himself at death's door. His family didn't realize he had made his amazing journey until small but shocking revelations that amazed and bewildered his parents began to leak out. Colton didn't just have one sit down conversation, he let his journey be known one startling revelation at a time.
How could this little boy know these things? How could he know about relatives who had died long before he was born? How could someone so young offer such amazing insights into Heaven, Christ, and the glories that await Christians? How could he know things he'd never been taught and couldn't know?
As I mentioned before, I'm a skeptic at heart. A book like this one wouldn't likely catch my attention and certainly wouldn't win any praise from me. So many books like these are fanciful, unbiblical, and simply outright inconsistent with what I know to be true from the Bible. Colton Burpo's story was a refreshing and surprisingly accurate portrait of what awaits each of us whose destiny is Heaven. I read the book with a critical eye, looking for those little details that would prove this story to be at best inaccurate or at worst a fraud. I couldn't find them. His tale seemed honest. His descriptions fit the way a child would describe things, not one whose words had been fed him by an adult. Some of his revelations were simply amazing!
Who would be blessed by this book? I'd honestly say almost anyone. If you've recently lost a loved one or maybe you are a mother who has lost a child to miscarriage. You can find something here that will warm your heart and quite possibly help ease your pain. This book is a sweet, touching, and amazing story. I think you'll be blessed by it.
That said, you might wonder if I found anything in the book I didn't agree with. That's a tough question. I found nothing I'd say was blatantly wrong or in direct contradiction with the scriptures. There were a couple of things that made me raise my eyebrow but I can't quote a verse that says Heaven couldn't be like that, just a couple of things that didn't fit my expectation or interpretation of what Heaven would be like. Those things might make you wonder but I think you'll find they don't detract from what this book is meant to do, strengthen your faith, encourage you in your walk with Christ, and maybe just maybe long for Heaven just a little bit more.
Hope this review helps you make your choice of whether or not to pick up a copy of this book. I'd recommend you do.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Todd Burpo, co-author, husband and father, is a small-town minister and serves as the narrator. Todd went through a trying season of personal injury and illness, taking on large medical debts, which culminated in a life-or-death struggle for Todd's son, Colton. Colton had a bout of what seemed to be, and was misdiagnosed as, the stomach flu, but in actuality Colton's appendix had ruptured and the condition went untreated for five days. Railing against God for this Job-like testing, as Colton was wheeled into the operating room screaming, Todd thought he'd seen his son for the last time.
Against all odds, and through multiple surgeries, Colton miraculously recovered. The caliber of the miracle would not begin to be revealed till months later when Colton revealed to his family that he had been to Heaven. Over the course of time Colton would open up and share details of his experience; offering preternatural knowledge of things about which, his family says, Colton had no prior knowledge. As Todd described it, Colton's revelations came in the sort of call-it-as-you-see-it way of preschoolers who have not yet "learned either tact or guile." From details about Heaven to interactions with family members who passed on prior to Colton's birth, this story is one which invites the reader into contemplation of mystery.
What allows me to take this story seriously is the sense of humility and circumspection present in the narrative. The Burpos tread carefully with Colton letting him tell his story as he was ready. Seven years passed from the first inklings of Colton's experience to the publishing of the book.
The single aspect of Heaven Is For Real that concerned me was when Colton's reporting shifted from descriptive to predictive, recounting visions of a great battle-to-come at the end of time. In these visions, the forces of Heaven are arrayed against the forces of Hell and Christian men wield either swords or bows-and-arrows as part of God's army. Colton reported to his father that he saw him as a participant in that future conflict. What gives me pause is this: the Armageddon visions come much later than the earlier stories shared by Colton and are in a narrative peppered by frequent references to Colton's early and ongoing love for superhero battles played out with sword-wielding action figures.
Don't use this book as a basis for theological discernment about either the afterlife or the end of time. Take this book for what it is: a sweet story of the love of parents for their child, the care of Christians for each other in times of crisis, and the surprising mystery of the grace of God.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story is told in an easy to follow manner.