"Heaven Is For Real" by Todd Burpo
I originally read this book when I borrowed it from my now ex-fiance.
His mom past it down to him and I heard all the buzz so I checked it out.
It's a story about a 4 year old boy who has a near death experience and through it comes a supernatural encounter with God.
The first time around, I was literally a few days into really accepting Christ so reading this book was mind-blowing. My jaw was literally dropping on some parts and I felt very encouraged that I had made the right choice in getting closer to God (especially the part when Colton knows about his other sister). I just could not believe that a little boy knew so many things and not understand the magnitude of his experience and how this family could manage to overcome all of the turmoil. I especially liked the generosity of the community and when Colton finally identified the right picture of Jesus.
Now a few months later, I re-read this book with a much more critical perspective (both because now I'm further in my walk in faith and because I now blog about books to help people).
I gotta say, it's different when you've done your research. It didn't give me the "wow" it did the first time around.
I still breezed through it but I had a lot of question marks now.
I read a lot of reviews before I pick out a book to read now and will go out of my way to make sure I'm not reading anything from false prophets.
One person said a very insightful comment by noting that the marketing trick behind this was what's made it such a success. Everyone wants to believe it's from the child's point of view because of the cover (since children are less likely to manipulate because there's innocent). I know that's what I thought initially. I thought it was Colton writing with adults helping him out with the proper grammar but it's pretty much the dad narrating. That's also pretty much how it goes in interviews and Colton seems to have more of a personality in the book than on camera. Here's a link:
According to this interview, he doesn't even remember it vividly because of time and I'm sorry but if I felt I met our Lord & Savior, I don't think I'd ever forget that.
Do I feel that this book does its job? Yes. It definitely encourages us and reminds us of why we all follow God. It's also great for new believers who aren't familiar with Scripture (like it was for me then).
Do I think it's being done in the most accurate way? No. I think that the Burpos are genuine but I'm not exactly sure the experience was genuine. God provides us with all the information we need to know in His word and we should get as excited with that as we do with heartwarming tales like this.
This book is tremendously popular because it paints the picture we all imagine but people forget about what has to happen in order for that to be a reality..the Burpos didn't have this experience when everything was picture perfect..it was a hard road. We must remember that part of the story as much as the heaven part.
The only difference between this version and the regular version is there's more pictures, which is kinda cool. I remember thinking the original version was a treat with just a few pages but this one almost has a mini scrapbook going. Overall, a great story with the right intentions.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
'til next time, stay classy!♥