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  • Book Review: Heaven is for Real

    Heaven is for Real
    Paperback: 192 pages
    Publisher:Thomas Nelson; None Given edition (November 2, 2010)
    Available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heaven-Real-...7106407&sr=8-1

    Product Description:

    A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven.
    Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
    Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us.
    Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.

    Teen's Review
    Teens' Rating: 10/10 Stars

    I bought this book for myself as a Birthday gift back in March, but refused to read it until I had finished the school semester. Turns out, I shouldn't of waited 2 months, because I ended up reading all 192 pages within 3 hours. I read the whole thing in one single, breathtaking, gulp. I was mesmerized.

    First, let me just say that I'm already believer in Heaven and Hell. But at the same time, I've also been skeptical of Near-Death Experiences (NDE), and still am to some extent. In this book it's hard for me to truly distinguish how much Colton (the subject of the book who goes on a 3-minute journey to heaven) may be making up and how much may be authenticate. I'm sure that if I were to ask Colton how much of it is real and how much of it is his imagination, I'm sure he'd respond that all of it is real. There are some stories in the book that just don't make sense, and lead me to believe that Colton is on to something, and that he must've really seen something. Furthermore, it's interesting to see how much his story matches up with other NDE claims of what heaven looks like ("90 Minutes in Heave," by Don Piper, and many other stories). Reading this book does not confirm heaven for me (I already believe in heaven), nor does it strengthen my faith in Christianity, but it does make me more curious about what heaven might look like someday. As far as the "thought-provoking" scale goes in books, this one knocks it clean. I give it 10/10 stars.

    Entertainment value: The book is highly entertaining, and every page leaves you wanting to read more. The authors of the book (Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent) tell the story very well. There are moments of laughter, and there are moments of sadness. Several times, I was on the verge of tears. More often than not, though, I was just amazed. Stories of people's compassion toward one another often move me greatly. When someone goes through a rough patch, human beings have an amazing capacity to show great kindness toward one another. I loved reading about the trials and struggles of Todd Burpo (the father), and how people responded to his struggles with compassion. The authors do a great job of showing that compassion and kindness, and leveling it with the right amount of style, with a touch of humor sprinkled on. The entertainment value rakes in a 10 for 10, simply because it keeps you glued to the book.

    This book will never settle the debate of whether heaven (or hell) is real or not. But it does throw some stuff out there to make people think about. It may bring comfort to some people, and it may make some people more skeptical. I truly and absolutely loved reading about Colton's descriptions of heaven and of Jesus. Two things that really stuck out to me is that heaven is the most colorful place imaginable (other NDE's say the same thing) and the eyes of Jesus. Those two things fascinate me beyond comprehension. For skeptics, it may make you wonder more about whether or not Todd Burpo (the dad) is trying to earn a buck for his financial woes and making whether or not he has coached his kid on the things to say. Skeptics may also wonder whether Colton is just making things up in his head, and I'll readily admit that this is a possibility. Regardless, when reading a book (or watching a movie or listening to music), it's important to take the book at face value, and enjoy it for what it is. If you can read this book with an open mind, it'll completely blow you away. If you already have pre-conceived notions about the after-life, you may be sorely disappointed. For me personally, I tend to take the open-minded approach to most things I do (including movies and music), and it makes the experience more enjoyable. For that reason, this book receives a huge 10 for stars.

    I recommend this book for all ages. Anyone that can read, whether they are 5 years old or 95 years old, they should read this book.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Someone's Avatar
      Someone -
      Christian Evolution: first, they threatened to torture and burn us if we didn't believe them, now, they unsuccessfully try using children to convince us. About shows how their position in the world has changed, thankfully.
    1. Paradiso's Avatar
      Paradiso -
      What a coincidence that "religious experience" always reflects the sociocultural context of those having it... If he had come back spouting off about Allah, Muhammad and infidel-killing then I'd be impressed. Never underestimate the power of suggestion; it's altogether unsurprising that this would happen to a pastor's son, and the rest can be accounted for by one or more of the following on the part of the adults involved: fraud, self-deception, and projection of their own expectations onto ambiguous parts of his story. People with faulty epistemic standards (e.g. those who think that propositions can be believed on "faith" rather than evidence) can be convinced, and convince themselves, of anything.
    1. scyld's Avatar
      scyld -
      Whoa, this is like immersive fiction: directly addressing the reader talking about some fantastical mythological place but treating it the whole time like it's totally real, and somewhere where the reader might go one day!Iiiinnovation!