Thursday, August 11, 2011

Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo

Book Review:

Heaven is For Real

Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

Heaven is for Real is the account of a child’s 3 minute visit to heaven during surgery for appendicitis, and the circumstances leading up to and afterwards. I have to admit that I came to this story with skepticism, and left it with a sense of enjoyment mixed with questions. This book is an easy read and can be read within a couple of hours or days depending on your reading style. The doubts I entered with concerning certain details weren’t converted, but other things were fun to read. As a Christian, I wanted to make sure I looked at this story fairly and tried to come from a scriptural perspective…. Are the things backed up scripturally? Are Colton’s remarks realistically portrayed from his viewpoint and age appropriate within reason?

I think Todd’s writing is good, and the story progresses nicely in most aspects but it is not a meaty book - it’s more like candy. It gives you some sweet pictures of Heaven but no real depth that some might look for, which I wouldn’t expect from a 3.5 year old’s perspective/story.

In retrospect, I believe the Burpo’s have recorded Colton’s testimony accurately. Now is Colton’s testimony accurate? I’m left with doubts on a few items that I believe are not directly supported scripturally nor contradicted scripturally. I’m left with a doubt about why Colton answered some of the questions or made remarks that appeared to show a lack of enthusiasm or excitement that I would hope to hear from someone (child or adult ) who visited heaven. On the other hand, I believe the overall message is encouraging. But for anyone reading this, you need to remember that scripture is the final authority and that faith should not be built upon this story….this story should encourage you to check out the Bible, to study it and learn who Jesus is, get to know Him and learn what eternity has in store for those who love God.….

Overall, I would recommend this to Christians who know God’s Word. I don’t know that I would use it as an evangelism tool, because even though there are scriptures in the book, they are sparse and specific to an experience. I believe the Bible is the best evangelism tool…. God’s Word to us directly.

I checked this book from my local library.  Thank you O'Neill Public Library.

PS As I study more of God's Word, the less I believe there is any accuracy in this book and do not recommend it as more than a work of fiction, and for those whose knowledge of the Word is new, they should avoid the false teachings in this book.

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