November 29, 2010 - Book Review: Heaven is for Real
Recently I received a free copy of the book Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back through BookSneeze.com in exchange for my honest review. It's an account of a little boy named Colton who had an emergency appendectomy and in the following months dropped a bombshell on his family. He claimed he had gone to heaven and had a lot of interesting information to back it up -like the fact that he had met his sister who had been miscarried 2 months into his mother's pregnancy - something he had never been told about. He also somehow knew what his parents were doing when he was out on the operating table. He shared details about his great grandfather he had never met, as well as details about heaven itself that match what the Bible says. There were lots of other bits and pieces that spilled out over the course of 2 years that gave an overall beautiful and interesting picture of heaven - many which most 4-year-olds could never dream up, even in a family where your dad is a pastor (as Colton's dad is).
I approached this book with a healthy dose of skepticism. A little boy, almost 4 years old, coming back from heaven? It sounds like made-up stuff. Certainly not impossible, but something I wasn't too sure about. After reading the Burpo family's story, I can't say I believe everything, but, the entire story was interesting enough to capture my attention for the 2 hours in which I devoured all 157 pages. I did have a problem with a couple of Colton's descriptions - like the fact that everyone had wings (not just angels) and that everyone flew. I don't see any evidence of that in the Bible. Perhaps if Colton did have this experience, he interjected/mixed in a few of his own 4-year-old interpretations and thoughts into his experience. I guess I spent most of the time wondering if his father made up a lot of the story or if young Colton was sharing bits and pieces he had picked up here and there in a way that made it seem like he had actually gone to heaven. Maybe he did go! I guess you have to read the book to come to your own conclusion!
Heaven is for Real is a quick, but thought provoking read. Although I personally spent the entire time wondering if the story was genuine or not, I came away with a sense that, if it was, it's likely to be a real encouragement to those who have lost a loved one or are just wondering what heaven might be like. If not, it at least gets you thinking about the subject and for me it made me think that heaven is going to be greater than anything I could ever imagine - whether it matches Colton's description or not!