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Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review: Heaven is for Real

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back  is the story of Colton. Colton has just turned four years old and he has a life-changing experience with Jesus. During an emergency surgery to correct a burst appendix, and to clean out two or three abscesses, Colton visits Heaven. Over the next several years, Colton tells his parents bits and pieces of his amazing adventure. His adventure of meeting people he never knew and meeting Jesus and God.   I give this book a rating of 3/5

Finding this a thought provoking book was a joy. One thought I had was, why not? The language was simple and down to earth. There was no talking down to you and no in your face, fire and brimstone talk. Alternately, I cried and laughed. I cried when reading of all the troubles that happened to the Burpo family, and laughed when Colton said things how only a four year old could say them. The story also made a longing to see Heaven myself one day. I sat down to read it and read through it in just an hour.

(Spoiler Alert)
I had troubles with the story though:
  • At one point Colton implied that “Pop” did not know who he was (had to ask him if he was Todd’s son) but his unborn “sister” knew him and introduced herself.
  • Revelation 19:11 tells us that Jesus' horse is white, not rainbow-colored as Colton’s account stated.
  • Isaiah 49 says, “From my mother’s womb he has spoken my name”. Colton said his sister did not have a name, because his parents had not named her. Another point is that God was always naming people in the Bible. He renamed Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah. He named John the Baptist, and Jesus. Does anyone really think that God/Jesus would leave anyone “nameless” in Heaven?
  • Revelation 21:21 tells us “The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl”. Colton’s account claimed that the gate he saw was gold with pearls on it.
  • Do people have wings in heaven or is this just a myth/fairy tale that people love to believe?  I think that the myth/fairy tales on TV and in storybooks may have influenced Colton’s recollections in this regard.  The Bible only tells us that we “will be like the Angels” and this is talking about Marriage not physical attributes.  Another point is that God does not make us a new body but changes the one we already have new.
  • Revelation 1:13 tells us that “[Jesus is] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest”.  Jesus is wearing a gold sash in this verse.  Colton said that Jesus' sash was purple.
  • Revelation 19:12 says, “His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns”. Jesus in this verse is wearing "many crowns" not a single crown as Colton described it.
  • This is a physical question I had concerning Colton’s experience.  He described Jesus as having colors in the “palm” of his hand.  I do not think that the palm could take the stress of hours of crucifixion.  The nail would have torn the hand and would have torn out.  The nails were more than likely in the wrist where the bones would have been able to block the nails from tearing out.
I also had problems with the father saying, How could he know some of these things? Really? Colton has been attending church where his father is the minister. Children are smart and innocent, not simple and stupid. He would have attended the services from when he was a baby, he would have seen and heard his father preparing for his sermon, and he would have been read stories from the Bible itself. Does his father not hold devotions for the entire family? Devotions where the Bible itself is read? What from all of this makes his father believe he cannot understand things?
I received no compensation whatsoever for this review.  I borrowed this book from a friend and just wanted to publish my review.

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