Is Heaven Real? (the answer is yes)

Colton Burpo is famous for being the boy who had a near-death experience when he was 4 years old during emergency surgery for a burst appendix. Doctors offered little hope he would survive.

Not only did he live, he says he went to heaven during the operation, met Jesus, John the Baptist, his great-grandfather(whom he'd never met but later easily identified in pictures) and a sister he didn't even know he had (she was miscarried before he was born), then came back to tell his folks about the trip.

A book about Colton's journey —Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back (Thomas Nelson, $16.99) — is such a phenomenon that its Nashville publisher says it has broken all sales records for the company. For the past three weeks, it has been No. 1 on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list.

Jane Love, buyer of books in the religion category for Barnes & Noble, calls the mega best seller a "crossover," meaning the book isn't being bought by just evangelical Christians.
 
Stories about people going to heaven and reporting on the trip are surprisingly common —Ninety-Minutes in Heaven, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, The Five People You Meet in Heaven — but Love believes the Burpo book is different.

"This one is very specific, in a voice people can relate to, from a child's point of view. From the mouth of babes, as they say," she says. "People buy it, believe it, and talk to their children about it."

Three things convinced the Burpos their son had gone to heaven: his knowledge of where they were when he was being operated on, his claim that he met a sister he never knew even existed, and his declaration that he met his great-grandfather, a man he never knew but could readily identify later from photographs of the man at a young age. (The good news, Colton says, is that people are younger in heaven; and his miscarried sister was a little girl with a striking family resemblance who introduced herself.) His total time in heaven: three minutes.

But Colton is very specific about what he saw and heard, right down to what the angels sang to him. "Well, they sang Jesus Loves Me and Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho," he told his parents. Heaven also was filled with bright colors and lots of rainbows.

He knew exactly where he was, too. "I was sitting on Jesus' lap," he said, looking his father right in the eye when he shared that piece of information.

Todd Burpo is used to all the debate by now. He says he understands. "I questioned my son, too," he says. "We were completely unprepared to have this discussion, but when he told me where I was when he was being operated on, that got my attention because no one knew where I was, including his mother." (He was in a hospital room both praying to and lashing out at God.)

"If he was making it up, he would have gotten something wrong," Burpo says. "But he got nothing wrong. He got it all right. That's what started our journey."

10 comments:

BILL LIVINGSTON said...

I think you just gave me my song of the day...Talking Heads.

A discussion about heaven {and inevitably Hell}...man, that may have to be done over a nice dinner there would be so much to say that wouldn't come out the proper way in mere text.

Anonymous said...

You ake your own Heaven and Hell right here.

Liberal Elite said...

I can't wait for the movie. Who's doing it? Monty Python?

If you went to sleep at night and saw Heaven, how do you know if you were actually in Heaven, or if you just dreamed of Heaven? What test could you perform to distinguish those events? New knowledge claims don't cut it, especially in this case.

And if you have no test, then why can you accept such claims with total gullibility? Aren't you the least bit skeptical of other people's claims?

Two Sentz said...

What reason would a four year old have for making false claims of that nature?

Reconciled1 said...

My wife loved the book... couldn't put it down.. Thanks 2C.... great post. BTW, Brian said he saw you the other day. Apparently you all hang out at the same grocery store. Hope to see you out next Saturday night.

biazzio said...

Heaven is relevant I believe to your perception of it. Pearly gates and white robes with big G (god) on the pocket are not what I believe heaven will be like, no flying angels or blaring trumpets announcing my arrival.
My version has good fishing days and great duck hunting days in blinds with close friends. Good dinners with slick dumplings and piles of pasta with my family. I believe your reward is in relation to what you do here, while you have the chance.

afterthegoldrush said...

YES!

Click on afterthegoldrush for my personal proof.

RightCoast said...

I saw the interview with the little guy. Can't wait to read the book.

Good Friday and Happy Easter TS.

Two Sentz said...

Just got it yesterday. So far so good. Happy Easter to you too.

Liberal Elite said...

@TS "What reason would a four year old have for making false claims of that nature?"

Uhhh. To please the parents? Apparently they were very highly pleased. How many 4 year olds have you known? Where does imagination and play time end?

Actually, I see the parents as utter scoundrels.