“Heaven is for Real” review

Heaven is for Real coverHeaven is for Real:
A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip
to Heaven and Back

by Todd Burpo (with Lynn Vincent)
Thomas Nelson Publishers
2 November 2010

I’ve had this review in the back of my mind for almost a month trying to decide how to write what I think about Heaven is for Real. If I take it wholesale and tell people it’s amazing and “finally, some proof of (a Christian) Heaven!”—which I don’t believe—I’ll be written off as someone who believes too easily. (Another reviewer didn’t like the idea of “finally having proof” either, but for a different reason than I don’t like it.) If I criticize it the way I’m inclined to do—as a skeptic—I’ll be told I “need to have faith to understand this kind of story”…

Well, either way, this 160-page memoir is an easy read. The story is about a young boy, Colton, who becomes gravely ill from a burst appendix at the age of four and then, after a life-saving surgery, claims to have been to Heaven. His father, Todd Burpo, a pastor at a small church in Imperial, Nebraska, narrates the story. After a series of Bad Things Happening to the Burpo family—so much so that Todd’s congregation begins calling him Pastor Job—things finally start to settle down and the family goes on a trip, partially in celebration of having survived that year so far.

Then, during the trip, Colton gets sick and eventually, the parents decide to take him to the hospital. The doctors rule out appendicitis almost immediately and try a lot of other things, but Colton keeps getting worse and worse. Finally, the Burpos move him to another hospital, where the doctor takes one look at the kid and tells them it’s obviously a burst appendix and that if they don’t perform surgery immediately, Colton will die. Colton has the surgery and (miraculously) survives and then, sometime later, tells his father that during the surgery he visited Jesus in Heaven.

It only gets more… faith-based from there. I don’t want to say “it gets stranger” because the Burpos fully and truly believe that their son went to Heaven. The kid was only four at the time, Todd Burpo says, why would Colton make that stuff up? Well, he probably wouldn’t. During the months and years following Colton’s surgery, Todd and his wife (Colton’s parents) cautiously extract details about Heaven from the child. They begin playing a game, “What’s wrong with this painting of Jesus?” Since Colton saw Jesus in Heaven, when he looks at a painting of Christ, he can usually tell something’s wrong with it, even if he’s not able to pinpoint the exact wrongness. (The artists of these paintings aren’t claiming to have seen Jesus, after all; this is just how they imagine him.) Then, they see Akiane‘s painting, Prince of Peace. Akiane is a child prodigy who also claims to have been to Heaven and seen Jesus, and her painting of him is the only one with which Colton seems to find nothing wrong.

Colton’s mother and father ask him more and more about Heaven, and he always gives them answers without hesitating. He also met Todd’s father there (a man who died decades before Colton’s birth), and a child the Burpos lost to miscarriage before Colton was born (a child he never knew about before). He told them about Mary, mother of Jesus, and all the animals he saw while he was in Heaven. There, he says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”

I must admit, I read Heaven is for Real sort of under the assumption that it was fiction because it was easier to suspend my disbelief than it was to take the story at face value. Though, it does not purport to be fiction. It’s presented as a true story that happened to real people, and—who knows?—it may be. Who am I to tell the Burpos that maybe their son was actually hallucinating, or maybe he just has an overactive imagination, or maybe they’re believing in miracles because they can’t find any other explanation (regardless of whether or not there is another explanation), or maybe God presented himself to Colton in a way he knew Colton would understand because the family is Christian? I don’t know. Maybe it’s true. I can’t tell them it’s not. But I’m more like Doubting Thomas: I’m unlikely to believe it if I can’t see it for myself.

I believe in Heaven, but I don’t know if I believe that people can know what’s in Heaven before we go there ourselves for good. If you’re a Christian who believes in miracles and likes happy endings, Heaven is for Real is a good read. If you’re not a Christian but like reading about unexplainable-by-science recoveries and don’t mind strong Christian overtones, this book isn’t a bad read. It’s fast—you could read it from cover to cover in 12 hours or less. As for me? I’m giving the book to my mother, who’s a sucker for this kind of story. She’ll like it much better than I did, if only because she actually believes it already. More power to her, and more power to the Burpos as well.

DISCLAIMER: I received Heaven is for Real free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in return for a review of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

55 thoughts on ““Heaven is for Real” review

  • Monday, 07 March 2011 at 13:15:20
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    The Bible in my home is “the Original African Heritage Edition” King James Version. In other words, there are no white people or white images in our family Bible. Hallelujah! They will not grow up with images of a white Jesus aka god. What christianity is doing to American youth is a form of child abuse. Children are born atheists. Next thing you know these children will be seeing Hercules in their dreams…Gilgamesh…Kambili…Aphrodite…

    Reply
    • Tuesday, 19 April 2011 at 13:12:14
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      What does any of your post have to do with the book? Take a look a the Jewish people. You will see what the first created humans looked like. Sorry, life did not originate in africa. Get over it.

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      • Sunday, 22 May 2011 at 07:39:20
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        Pacman. Are you living under a rock? All the research gathered over the years by scientist, a lot smarter than you or I indicate that life began in Africa. Where do you think life began? Get over it, if you are human, you have some African in you – look in the mirror.

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        • Friday, 07 October 2011 at 14:28:32
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          Fritz you may be a little lost…but if you go to a Bible
          preaching church….probably a baptist church since they
          they like to use the King James Version you may find out that
          Jesus is Jewish. Surprise! Regardless this was a wonderful
          book people. And if you read the good book you will learn
          God tells us there is mystery in the word. They only
          question is will everyone be ready? Do you believe Jesus
          died for our sins cause it says that is the way home.

          Reply
    • Friday, 23 September 2011 at 10:52:11
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      “there are no white people or white images in our family Bible. Hallelujah!”

      That sounds about as well-balanced as there being ONLY white people in your bible. I realize people want as accurate of a rendition of the truth as possible when considering things such as the ethnicity of Jesus of Nazareth, but teaching your children that Caucasian people simply did not exist in the Bible is a bit absurd. In as impartial a way as is possible, allow me to share this data with you.

      Based on the Scriptures, Jesus was most likely a Galilean Jew and therefore a Semitic Caucasian that would have had features that resemble modern-day persons from the Levant in the Middle East. Just in case you are not aware, that would mean that Jesus the Nazarene would not have been either “White” or “Black.” He would appear a bit different from both. It seems clear that you do not want your family bible to reflect *any* Caucasian aspects of origin whatsoever which is absurd.

      Christianity and the “Jesus mentality” is about tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness. The ethnicity of the person truly is not relevant. If a dread-locked Nubian, “black-as-midnight” Jesus appeared out of the clouds today I would fall on the ground and worship him. If a Caucasian, “White” Jesus appeared to the world and declared his return…. I wonder if you would do the same…. Interesting indeed.

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    • Thursday, 12 July 2012 at 04:59:31
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      You ‘re silly. Who cares what God looks like.

      Reply
  • Monday, 14 March 2011 at 05:58:08
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    The Bible, (if you have actually opened it and read any of it)is a Love Story that God has for all people in this whole world. If you feel anything tugging at your heart strings its the Lord calling you to have a personal relationship with him. I know my life would be nothing and it would be empty without the love of Christ. Open the Bible and know what God has to say to you. He has the only love that never changes for you. This book is beautiful and has increased my faith by leaps and bounds. I thank the Burpo family that they have shared this beautiful story God has blessed them with.

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    • Tuesday, 19 April 2011 at 13:15:19
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      I cannot accept extra-biblical revelation from a heavily sedated 3 year old child. Parts of the book just do not line up with the revelation given in the bible. The cannon of scripture is complete. We need to be careful to not “add to”.

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      • Friday, 07 October 2011 at 14:33:23
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        Hey Pacman…

        This book is not based on extra-biblical revelation it is a
        personal account of what happened to their family. True or
        False it was beautiful.

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  • Monday, 14 March 2011 at 14:15:42
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    Fritz, you are a fountain of information, but how do you know these things. Or perhaps it’s just your belief that children are born atheists…

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  • Monday, 14 March 2011 at 17:23:18
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    Sherry: actually, I have read the Bible. I’ve read the whole thing, cover to cover. There are some parts of the Bible that are amazingly beautiful, and yes, I’d say those parts are love stories, or perhaps part of a larger love story. But I think the Bible is much more complicated than you’re making it sound. There are some horrible things that happen in the Bible—people are literally massacred, women are raped and otherwise abused, God punishes believers for simply questioning.

    In the very first paragraph of my review, I write that if I don’t just take the story as wholesale truth and awesomeness and actually criticize it, I am afraid that people will just say that I don’t “have enough faith”… which is basically what you’re accusing me of in your comment. I also made sure to say in my review that I don’t know one way or the other whether or not Colton’s story is true. Maybe it is. Anyway, I’m not sure if I’m just more critical (that is, I think things through more fully, not critical as in “this is bad”) than you seem to be, or if you’re not aware of how you sound in your comment.

    JB: I’m not sure what Fritz’s comment even has to do with my review (maybe in that Jesus wasn’t white/Caucasian?… or something?), but I don’t know whether or not children are born atheists. I suspect not, but not because I think that everyone should believe in God. I think that when children are born, they don’t have any concept beyond themselves of anything whatsoever. They’re still developing; they’re not atheists, but they’re not theists, either.

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    • Friday, 07 October 2011 at 14:39:44
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      V.E. there is no complication to the Bible. We can not change
      a thing about the Bible. Yes God did hand out his judgement.
      The New Testament is our “Hope and Salvation” Jesus has died
      for all of our sins.

      Reply
  • Saturday, 19 March 2011 at 22:57:15
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    I read thru the book today. I was concerned that his father is a typical pastor. But I’ve gone thru the Boy’s words and his testimony, and he seems legit!

    I’ve come to the realization that today’s clergy – laity system is the Abomination that causes desecration. This system is not only unbiblical, it spoils the new testament daily sacrifice, the believer offering his life as a holy living sacrifice to God. This system tarnishes the sacrifice of it followers. It can no longer be holy!

    http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/the-fall-of-the-abomination/

    http://truthinscripture.com/2010/04/24/abomination-that-causes-desolation/

    Reply
  • Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 12:18:22
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    Christianity is not “a form of child abuse” as stated by Fritz. Read the bible, more specifically the ten commandments, and Jesus saying in John 13:34 “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another”. Jesus makes no mention of what skin color of people, just that we should love one another. In the same regard, I wouldn’t care what skin color Jesus has when I go home to heaven.
    Why can’t people just enjoy the story in the book Heaven is Real? Any detail of heaven is precious to me.

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  • Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 14:08:20
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    Let’s hope heaven is not for real. We’re simply not made to exist in an environment without contrast. There has to be bad things happening to make the experience of good things possible. This video illustrates the point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLEwr49YTDs

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  • Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 17:21:44
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    Glenn: I tend to agree that the current system of religion, specifically Christianity—which is the religion that surrounds me the most, anyway—definitely needs an overhaul, if not a complete break down and revolution. The way it is now is pretty much no good for the general masses. People are social, though, and generally speaking want to belong to something, be that religion or otherwise.

    Cindy: I don’t think Christianity, generally speaking, is a form of child abuse, but I do think that people have perpetuated child abuse in the name of said religion and in the name of God. You may not care what color Jesus’ skin is, but some people do, and those people have abused others because they believed that the people they were abusing were not actually people just because of their (different) skin color. Having a role model who looks like you is more relieving than you might realize. Just saying that you wouldn’t care his skin color is a sign of privilege.

    Allan: Thanks for the link! That video is certainly thought-provoking. Maybe we’re actually already in heaven right now and we won’t even know what we have until we’ve lost it. However, I don’t agree that a person must experience hardship and evil in order to more fully appreciate abundance and good. After all, if you had vanilla ice cream and liked it, that wouldn’t mean you couldn’t also like mint chocolate chip ice cream (or your flavor of choice) more, could it? In that situation, we have two good things, one more good than the other, as opposed to having one bad thing and one good thing.

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  • Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 01:24:32
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    Just read the book, and as a Christian, still don’t believe it. I’m not suggesting Colton is lying, but has been influenced by his father who obviously is fundamentalist in his views and this has influenced his son. I think 1Cor 15:35 onwards is probably the clearest explanation of what goes to heaven, and I think it is pretty clear there that there is no physical body in heaven.

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  • Wednesday, 30 March 2011 at 19:13:07
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    Sounds like a good book. i just ordered it. Maybe his story is real, maybe it isnt. we will never know.

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  • Thursday, 31 March 2011 at 12:45:49
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    I just read the book. I found it to be intriguing, but I am a little skeptical. In some ways it doesn’t square with the Bible. For example, the Old Testament says that we cannot see God and live. Even Moses was only allowed to see God’s back. Additionally, Isaiah 53:2 describes Jesus as follows: ‘He has no stately form or majesty that we should look on him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.’ This certainly doesn’t square with the description of Jesus provided by Colton or the painting, ‘Prince of Peace.’ I think we all need to be aware of deception that will become more and more prevalent in this world. The Bible says that deception will become so convincing that it will fool even the ‘elect.’ The Bible also says that Satan and his demons can appear as angels of light. I’m sure they can take on many forms, even appearing as loved ones who have died. Furthermore, Satan would have full knowledge of the events that occurred in the Burpo family; and he could exploit them. I’m sure that Colton saw what he said he saw. That doesn’t mean that it was a true representation of the afterlife. As for me, I will cling tenaciously to the Bible for my ONLY source of Truth.

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      • Monday, 07 November 2011 at 13:05:15
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        Amen! 1 Cor 15 also concerning the physical and spirtual body.

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  • Thursday, 31 March 2011 at 18:28:00
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    I just finished reading Heaven is for Real from beginning to end and couldn’t put it down. Only after I die will I find out if it is real, but I am going to enjoy believing it until then 🙂 Young Colton was given a gift and lovingly generous to share it with us. May God continue to bless his life and family.

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  • Friday, 01 April 2011 at 23:20:30
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    I haven’t read the whole book yet, but my dad emailed me 15 pages out if it to see if I’d be interested. I read all 15 pages in one sitting, and couldn’t stop thinking about it for 2 days. I was amazed and delighted by this book. But now a shadow of doubt has crossed my mind….could the Burpos be making this up in order to make money on the sale of this book? Don’t get me wrong, I am a believer and I really hope this book is true…but then again…with his background as a pastor, Todd Burpo would be the perfect compelling storyteller…I hate to be a skeptic but I worry this could be a sham. I hope not! Either way I know there is a heaven and that Jesus is waiting for me up there!

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  • Monday, 11 April 2011 at 12:40:49
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    God would no want us fighting about him or his word or who has what faith. Love one another. And cherish this story it is beautiful either way you look at it. Thank you for the review. I recently read the story as well and I thought it was amazing and truly inspired me to reach out for God even more. This book was a good style of book to read for those who have “child-like faith” as repeated in the book to have and is said strait from the mouth of Jesus 🙂

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  • Monday, 11 April 2011 at 12:43:45
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    Kathy: I even went threw that after reading the book. Don’t be afraid to have an easy going brain about the book. Don’t over think what your reading and over analyse the miraculousness of this book. Think of it as a special gift from God. You know whose sending you those negative thoughts… Its okay to believe every once in awhile and feel secure in the Lord without doubt!

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  • Saturday, 16 April 2011 at 09:13:50
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    I look forward to reading this book. Are the proceeds from this ‘blessing’ being donated or are people profiting from it’s telling? Just a question.

    I am a lifelong Christian, but I have fellow Christians praying for me because I’m not the ‘right kind’ of Christian. This is a hard pill to swallow. Bottom line, Jesus came to teach us a ideology of love for one another, to care for one another, and self sacrifice in order to serve our fellow man. The prevalent Christian attitude is anything but this ideology—and if this book is constructed in any way to enforce this way of thinking, I fear I will be hugely disappointed. A tome using God/Jesus to support conservative Christian values would be, most definately, the work of the devil.

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  • Monday, 18 April 2011 at 01:15:32
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    I’m inclined to believe “Heaven Is For Real” – I choose to believe it just like I choose to believe in God. After reading a number of books on the subject of near death experiences, it seems harder to believe that ALL of those people are making these (largely similar) stories up. But I wonder that Todd Burpo seems to base all of his belief in near death experiences on his son’s one experience. He suggests that we believe his son’s experience while i wonder whether he believes the equally convincing (and more scientific, less Christian-faith tilted) thousands of examples of other similar experiences. The book “Evidence of an Afterlife: The Science of Near Death Experiences” presents the results of research analyzing the experiences of hundreds of people. It is more convincing than “Heaven Is For Real” because it is written by a doctor who tries hard to be unbiased. In that book, we discover that the near death/glimpse of heaven phenomenon is not something only experienced by Christians. Jews, atheists, Muslims, and every other category have had these experiences. The believability comes in how similar the experiences are and how changed the person is after the experience. I am a Christian and it seems fitting to discover that God mainly is about love, that He loves all equally, Christian or not, and that non-Christians go to Heaven too. I know this will bother some Christians, but it comforts me.

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    • Tuesday, 19 April 2011 at 13:25:02
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      Someone who rejects Jesus goes to heaven? Are you kidding? That false doctrine is what Paul and the other apostles fought against.

      Bottom line – this book goes beyond what the bible has revealed to us. And the very fact that people who reject Jesus say they went to heaven and came back – I don’t think so. Beware of lying spirits. They are deceptive.

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  • Sunday, 24 April 2011 at 10:37:56
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    Readers of this book should be reminded of the terrible injustice that was done to the owners and employees of child care centers based on the testimony of those who interviewed the children by asking leading questions. Children, eager to please adults, would give the answers that the questioners were seeking. Unfortunately, that bit of insight, known to every child psychologist, was not taken into account until the accused had spent many years in jail, even though the children’s statements were so obviously contradicted by the circumstances of the child care centers (e.g. abuse, voodoo practices, etc., etc., with all of the doors open and the practices easily observed). Children at that young age try to please. Ask a question, and they will give an answer that they think the adult (especially a parent) is seeking.
    The most disturbing aspect of the book is that so many people will believe it without thinking of a more logical explanation.

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  • Thursday, 12 May 2011 at 21:33:16
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    I think the major flaw is the concept of ORGANIZED religion. One set of books compiled into a bible, books whose very nature was under examination by the elite at the time, cannot be wholly believable. Yes, the message is there, but is so convoluted by man, as much as everything we touch is. The message is simply thus- we are all connected, we are to love each other, despite our differences. My understanding of The doctrine that Jesus is God is different than the mainstream belief, I believe Jesus is God as much as you or I. He was a child of God, as are we all. I believe the thought that Jesus is the only path to God is misunderstood by many. It is not so much that we must pray to Jesus for salvation as it is that walking in his path (I.e doing as he did) is the way to Heaven. He is our savior in that he has shown us the way – that we are all capable of being as he is. I’ve never read a thing which states Jesus wanted worship from his followers, he was here to show us the way. God is in us all, not specifically in catholicism or Christianity or muslim. The belief that any mortal can be the gatekeeper for our way to Heaven is ludicrous. Open your eyes. Open your heart. Open your minds. God is here, waiting for you to walk the path that others have shown. The power is in each of us, individually. God gave each of us the roadmap all you have to do is listen.

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  • Sunday, 05 June 2011 at 16:21:14
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    I found several things in the book that don’t mesh with God’s word–most have already been mentioned in other people’s reviews. It worries me that people are so willing to believe these sorts of stories. The Bible warns us about being deceived…It seems that a pastor’s child would expect that his dad would go off and pray for him, that his mom would call friends and church members for prayer or to tell the about what’s happening, and that’s why the boy “saw” them doing those things. Why did Jesus have a beard (which was ripped out!) yet had holes in his hands (I thought that the nail holes were in his wrists…)?The Bible said that Jesus would ride a white horse, not a rainbow horse. Lights above people’s heads, and wings? Biblical? Auras have been proven to be fake (I saw a challenge that The Amazing Randy did years ago). The Bible says we’ll have new bodies, so why did “Pop” have his old one, yet the miscarried sister had a fully formed one? What I did like was reading that the author and his wife were snapped out of their pride of being self sufficient–vulnerable enough to let others bless them…

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  • Sunday, 05 June 2011 at 16:26:15
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    Sonja, I hope that you are willing to put aside the beliefs you mentioned above, and read the Bible and take in what God has said. It’s His word to us, for us to learn by and to follow. If He wanted us to each have our own beliefs, and all beliefs are valid and equal, He never would have given us His word. I’m so thankful that He did give us His word. Otherwise we all would live by whatever we want to be true. I may come back and list what the Bible says about your points, or at least where you can find the info. I’m out of time. I’m sorry. I hope that people can be nicer to each other about their beliefs. Most of us are trying to figure out the truth. We just need to look in the right place for it. And that’s God’s word…

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  • Tuesday, 14 June 2011 at 08:24:04
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    I’m with V.E. on this one. Someone gave me this book and I flew through it in a day. I too am a skeptic and the book did not change that. I went along in the beginning but then it went too far. I have a hard time believing that Colton was not exposed to any of the ideology that he encounters in his trip to heaven that he recounts. Furthermore, using your child for financial gain which is what this really boils down to, is not a very Christian thing to do.

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  • Friday, 24 June 2011 at 05:47:33
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    The choice –to believe or not to believe- rests with the reader here. I approached the book skeptically and decided to believe it. The descriptions of the events may not match with adult senses of reality or acceptability. They originate, presumably, in the mind of a four-year old.
    The beliefs of many reviewers here appear carved in granite. Too bad. Why not try to read the book with an open mind. Then put it into your own fiction/non-fiction world and move on. Burpo is sharing a story for you to understand on your own terms. Why analyze it to pieces.

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  • Saturday, 25 June 2011 at 19:50:17
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    Sometimes, it seems that the brain confuses what the heart sees.
    That little voice that we all have, is not am or fm.

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  • Thursday, 30 June 2011 at 23:40:13
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    This is a well written and honest outline, combined with kind but honest observations. I found a rather skeptical review over here: http://is.gd/zm64aS

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  • Monday, 11 July 2011 at 09:12:48
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    I would like to believe that Colton did go to Heaven, however, there are many things that don’t mesh with the 3 minutes that he was “in Heaven.” Firstly, during the time Colton was “dead”, his father never performed a sermon, so how could Colton have seen “bolts of power” sent down from Heaven? Secondly, in three minutes, Colton’s gone from sitting on Jesus’ knee to meeting Pop and finding out Pop’s history, to being introduced to his dead sister, to seeing his dad fight monsters and having Jesus win. I also have reservations in believing this story since Colton’s father is a pastor. It’s easy to read too much into what one says, especially if you have a very religious background..what is the “real” reason for publishing this? Finally, why does it never say that the Doctor’s ever mentioned that Colton was “clinically dead?” The father seems confused that the physicians never mentioned this, well, why didn’t he ask them if Colton had ever “stopped breathing,” or that his “heart had stopped for 3 minutes?” For me to truly believe, I need these questions answered.

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    • Monday, 11 July 2011 at 15:42:52
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      actually, there’s an entire section wherein Colton’s dad mentions specifically that Colton wasn’t dead during the time he went to heaven, and that the father had just been assuming that because he’d assumed that a person has to be dead for them to see heaven, which—he realized—isn’t necessarily true. also, regarding the all the time that seemed to pass in what was just three minutes… there’s something Einstein said once that I think applies to that situation, or at least could apply, “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.” or it could be that the dimension that Colton was in when he was in heaven doesn’t have the same time span and flow that this one does, so something that takes three minutes here could actually be hours and hours there (see: the land of Narnia through the Wardrobe and every sci-fi movie dealing with time travel ever). that doesn’t, of course, explain why Colton knew it was only three minutes here, but it’s something to think about.

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      • Friday, 07 October 2011 at 14:48:41
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        Did God not say that 1 day is like a thousand years? I
        suppose some of us are just smarter than God and know more
        than him….. You want to compare science fiction to a man
        that created the world in six days? Now thats a true time
        line.

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  • Monday, 01 August 2011 at 22:41:35
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    I think it is easy to get so caught up in the details that the point is missed entirely.

    Colton’s story is just a young boy telling us what he saw and how he perceived it in the language of a child. To expect every aspect of the story to accord precisely with the Bible – or one’s ideas of heaven – is expecting Colton to be perfect not honest. The retelling of any story will have kinks but that only endorses the genuineness of the experience.

    And, besides. Heaven is a reality, is very close and each person stands at the doorway everyday. There have been thousands of death bed testimonies describing visuals of heaven and the people there. We shouldn’t be surprised when it bleeds through occasionally.

    And for those worried about the time factor, remember that we live in time, heaven is eternal. Heavenly time keeping doesn’t run parallel to earthly schedules.

    I did a review at http://nowthinkaboutit.com/2010/11/heaven-is-for-real-by-todd-burpo/ and added a few other posts to explore additional questions.

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  • Wednesday, 07 September 2011 at 16:37:02
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    The book, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL was a fascinating read for me. For many it has given them hope for eternal life.
    To me, this is a far too important a subject to put my hope in a little boy’s experience. I wanted to see what
    God had to say so I went to the Bible. I have written a Bible study about heaven.
    I would be delighted to send you a free copy. Email me at heaven.study@yahoo.com and I will email you a copy.
    Trish Pickard

    Reply
  • Friday, 16 December 2011 at 06:43:06
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    I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when I first started this book too. As I was explaining the story to my mom, she suggested that perhaps the Burpo’s put more into Colton’s story because of their religious background. And for the first part of this book I thought well maybe she is right. But as I got further and further into the book something else occured to me. What if this occurs more often than we think? Maybe Burpo’s were in a position to understand and interpret what Colton experienced because of their understanding of and belief in God and the bible. I think most people who do not attend church on a regular basis and who do not study the bible, would probably not be able to understand if their child were to come to them with this information. I think all too often we brush it off as a “wild imagination”. Beautifully written story…I couldn’t put it down…and it was a real eye opener. Thank you to the Burpo’s for sharing little Colton’s story.

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  • Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 12:08:32
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    The bible as fact!!?? A blue eyed Jesus!!??
    The kid’s father a preacher…coinky dink maybe??
    Give me a break…
    The bible…a brutal neolithic text that has been repeatedly altered, edited and rewritten through history. The commonly sited version, the King James, was created to conform to the Church Of England’s ideas of theology…The main reason we have a separation of church and state.
    There are 96 English language versions of the bible…note, I wrote versions and not translations. And of course the adherents of each version declare theirs to be the one and only true word of God. Either way that collection of folk tales, myths and legends spawned the three desert “sky god” religions…Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Who together have been responsible for more death, destruction, suffering and pain than practically all other causes.

    I once had a close friend a Catholic priest who worked in the Vatican’s Papal Library for over five years and authored three books on Christianity. His view after the time spent researching and writing? That there probably is a God…and everything else is a coin toss.

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  • Wednesday, 02 May 2012 at 13:34:54
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    If you could just experience the soul-altering, all-consuming, ridiculous LOVE that your Savior has for you, all doubt would fade away and you would be forever changed.

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  • Monday, 14 May 2012 at 13:10:42
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    My son at age four loved to tell us stories. His neighbor friend would come through the dining room wall, knock over his juice, and go back before being seen. He remembered being in utero and how spacious it was, with a fridge in there, and so much food… Point is, the story would be better if an adult told it – all children love telling stories.

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  • Friday, 13 July 2012 at 23:50:59
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    I do believe in God & Heaven, just couldn’t shake the same feeling I had when I read “A Million Little Pieces”, which turned out to be a scam. Sorry, too many contradictions. Many things that could have been heard/learned by overhearing adult conversation & being the son of a Pastor and weekly church goer.

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  • Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 03:29:14
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    I have The Book Heaven is For Real, Our Womens geoup did study on iy and discuss it. Anyone in Question to HowPowerful God is and see His Glory as he uses a child. He says in the word have faith of a child. meaning have child like faith. I read some of the reviews and alot of you have alot of misleading. The one who said there is no White Jesus. Everyone listen. Jesus is a Jew yes he spoke Arabic, He is Meditraian. I Love The Lord and yes we can be visited by the Lord. I know I have, do not deny this child his chance to spread the gospel. He had heavenly experenice. Love those they are Awesome. GOD will never stop visiting us, he wants us to love his Presence. and He is not a rude GOD or here to Condem. He is a loving GOD. No Matter how you have sinned he Loves you so much He went to the Cross for all your sins.What friend would do that. I will never doudt GODs ability to use a person to experience a Thrown room experenice they are so blessed. and and something to Cherish. Study the Bible and Learn the Jewish Jesus, and he will feed you and teach you. Colton keep up speaking about your encounter wiyh the lord .Awesome Story.non-believers this can show you tha tthere really is a GOD who loves everything about you do noy close GOD out of your Hearts and let Science rule.GOD WON.

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    • Thursday, 13 June 2013 at 15:52:08
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      Why has this unique experience occurred to only this one chosen 4 year old whose father just happens to be a pastor eager to accept anything, no matter how fantastic, to confirm his faith?
      It never occurs to him to examine the boy’s contentions as those of a 4 year old whose grasp of reality has not completely formed.
      Huge contributions to his church? That can certainly erase doubts.

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  • Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 03:42:00
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    To Know GOD is to Love GOD, We can not see GOD as one races prefrance. He is GOD to All colors.thats why he is Meditrain.GOD Give Us The Wisdiom To Know the Love Of Christ To Open Our Mids and Allow GOD’S Compassion to Pour into our Lives Study GODS word,

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  • Wednesday, 28 November 2012 at 16:20:07
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    Well, you say that you believe in Heaven and God but you haven’t seen either one but yet you believe they exist. There is no way Colton could have made that stuff up especially at the age of 31/2 and with the fact being that his stories match up to scripture. Just because not everyone has died then came back doesn’t mean that the ones that have experienced this is making this up. Consider the little girl in the book who had a mother that was atheist and had no knowledge of God or the Bible and she paints pictures with the visualization from heaven in which is a perfect confirmation as to what Colton has seen. This is not a coincidence this is a message from God himself. It is not wise to doubt what you cannot see or hear and for you to call your mother or anyone else who believes this story a sucker is ridiculous!

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  • Thursday, 13 June 2013 at 15:36:08
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    The troubling aspect of this book is the enormous number of gullible people who can believe that the memory of a 4 year old, told by a pastor, and be anything other than fantasy. Dispensing with the necessity of proof for belief of occurrences that conflict with experience and logic is much too frequent in our society, and not restricted to religion.If it is true, why has it happened only to this one chosen child? And so, our politicians, financed by the wealthiest community, can through propaganda convince voters to aid the 1% to increase its enormous outsize portion of income and wealth.
    Not so? Check the statistics. It is in plain sight on the internet.

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  • Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at 03:11:52
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    Dear v.e,
    After going through various reviews randomly ur review is perhaps the only one I agree on. Well done…

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  • Sunday, 20 September 2015 at 10:57:46
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    killer to find this

    Reply

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