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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2014
Retold by his father, "Heaven is for Real" is the true story of Colton Burpo’s trip to heaven and back. When he was four, Colton had to undergo an emergency appendectomy. Overjoyed at his miraculous survival, his family never could have expected what emerged in the following months. They were astounded at what Colton recalled from his hospital stay: angels singing to him, sitting in Jesus’ lap, seeing his great-grandfather whom he’d never met and meeting the sister he never knew he had because his mother miscarried before he was born.

Bonus material in this special movie edition of "Heaven is for Real" includes a new introduction, photos from the movie set, updates from Colton and his father Todd on recent events, as well as interviews with the movie’s filmmakers and actors. The movie, starring Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo, premieres on 16th April. You can watch the trailer here: [...]

I had this book on my radar from the time it was first published but for some reason never got round to reading it. I am so glad I didn’t pass up the chance to read the newly released movie edition of "Heaven is for Real". It is a truly remarkable and inspiring story. I have no doubt that it is a true story. Colton’s father Todd is a pastor. He was as surprised as anyone would be when his son began recalling his experiences of heaven. Colton knew things that no four-year-old would know. Todd began testing his son’s memories of heaven against the Bible and found that his Colton’s recollections held up to Biblical truths.

"Heaven is for Real" will forever change the way you think of eternity. If you have lost a loved one, you will find comfort in Colton’s experiences. Do not pass up the chance to read this book.
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132 of 138 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2012
This e-book was provided to me for free courtesy of the BookSneeze programme.

I have to say that I wasn't sure whether I was going to like Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. It's the story of Burpo's son's visions of heaven in the context of a life-threatening episode of appendicitis when he was only four years old. And I wasn't sure I was going to like it because unfortunately this genre tends to attract rather colourful stories of unlikely visions, many of which can't be substantiated in Scripture or which seem to have led to pride or even subtle twisting of faith in the writer.

So it was to my great delight to find that this book is, in some ways, different. Burpo, a pastor, tells how the story of his son's visions came out only over time and in small parts. As he and his wife began to realise that something had happened to their son, they began to ask him questions about the experience; and so it is that we have in this book the details of some of what Colton Burpo saw. Most importantly for me, Todd Burpo - as a pastor who loves his Bible - was keen to test how the things his son claimed to have seen measured up with Scripture and would even try to trick his son with questions to see whether his son would affirm things about his experience of heaven which the Scriptures expressly deny!

As someone who has a healthy - even extreme? - tendency towards cynicism regarding this genre, I found this book incredibly faith-enhancing in fact. There were a handful of things which Colton claims to have seen that I don't think can be substantiated from Scriptural accounts of heaven and which sound a little far-fetched. But then...nor does Scripture expressly deny those things either! It is because of this fact that I would not give this book to a new believer unless I was prepared to sit with them and do a detailed Bible study to help them test its content; I still maintain that believers are to test carefully against Scripture anything which purports to be revelation and worry that some new believers might get very excited about this book and not necessarily follow on to reading the Scriptural accounts of heaven.

Yet, truth be told, what this book did for me was to reignite an excitement. Excitement that heaven - this dimension of reality so wonderful that you'd think it could only belong in a fairytale - heaven is for real! Excitement that actually the life of faith is all about Jesus, how much he loves us and how he longs for us to enter into relationship with him. And, as I was brought to a place of childlike wonder and love for Jesus, I remembered his own words that the kingdom of heaven was open to those who would come as children. Todd Burpo's book invited me to come as a child and marvel at all the wonders which will be our inheritance. If you are longing to stand and stare at the joys of heaven, the face of Jesus, this book might just reignite your heart for Jesus, your longing for heaven and your passion for the Scriptures.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2012
I have to say I was pretty sceptical about this book "heaven is for real" by Todd Burpo and I have read critiscm regarding this book before I opened the first page which probably did not help. When I started to read this book,I was overwhelmed by the accounts of this four year old's visit to heaven and by what he had encountered there in such a short space of time. This book answers questions regarding heaven, death and the after-life in short clear answers from a little boy who gives his account of his visit over a period of a few years.

I am a new Christian and I have found this book very difficult to put down and have read it over a couple of days and I just found it so enthralling and I have found it hard to put this book down. I would recommend this book to anyone and even to an unbelievers eyes, this book would be very difficult not to love let alone find it hard to question Jesus etc.

I am so looking forward to heaven and to seeing Jesus and God but I am so looking forward to experiencing a closer walk with Jesus in my own life whilst I am here on this earth.

This is a book through a child's eyes and an account that is so accurate and true that who could find this hard not to believe and yes, scripture backs up this little boy's experiences whilst in hospital. Whether this little boy actually died, we dont really know.

If you havent read this book, I would highly recommend it and trust me this will bring you close to Jesus, God and The Holy Spirit without a shadow of a doubt.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2014
This is fantastic - the best bit - and what proves it's true, (and always brings tears to my eyes), is when he said 'mum, in heaven, this little girl would not stop hugging me saying 'I died in your mummy's tummy!'. The lad had no idea his mother had a stillbirth before he was born. The wonders of this, are that the girl recognised Colton without previously seeing him, and that it shows that stillbirth children go straight to heaven. It also implies that aborted children also go directly to heaven. What a wonderful 'silver lining'! To those of us, like myself, who have a genuine love for children, (children are one of God's richest blessings for all of us to enjoy), heaven will be wonderful, because it will be filled with millions of happy children! :-).
Another joyful thing, was when he met his dad's granddad, who'd died before he was born. His dad showed him a photo of his granddad shortly before he died, but Colton said 'dad, no-one's old in heaven'. When they showed him a picture of the granddad aged 29, Colton said, 'yes, that's him'. Presumably all adults will be about 33 years old for all time (the age of Jesus at His crucifixion). The granddad had spent most of his life not believing in Jesus, but had asked Jesus into His life in prayer, shortly before his death.
So my message to everyone is - believe, ask Jesus into your heart, then you'll live in heaven in 100% joy forever!
This book is now being shown as a film; look out for it, and take everyone with you to see it :-)
God Bless you
Geoff Franklin
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2012
Have you ever wondered about what happens when you die?
Is there/can there really be life after death?
What is heaven like?

These are not questions that are easy to answer.

So reading `Heaven is for REAL' (my emphasis) - was a long-held ambition. Ever since I had heard about Colton Burpo's near-death experience as a 4 year old boy, I wanted to hear the whole story. This book does what it says on the tin.

The story unfolds just as it happened to Colton and his family. After Colton didn't die - the medical records state so quite clearly - he started to talk about his experience in heaven. He didn't sit down and relate a wonderful, out-of-his-imagination typical four year old's story. Instead, far more convincingly, small pieces of information kept cropping up in conversation: in four year old language. Colton had met `Jesus' cousin' (he didn't remember his name). Jesus had told Colton to be `nice'. Jesus had `markers' on him - discussion showed these to be the marks on Jesus' hands and feet which, to a four year old, looked as if someone had drawn with felt tip marker pens. In heaven, Colton met his great-grandfather and unborn sister - who had died before Colton was born. Colton couldn't recognize the Jesus he had met in any pictorial representation of Jesus - until he saw a picture painted by another little girl who had had a similar experience. As his father Todd carefully examines Colton's experiences in the light of Biblical knowledge, he is amazed at the accuracy of everything Colton relates.

Sometimes there can be a degree of scepticism about accounts such as these. Yet Colton's experience rings true on every page. Read it. You will be drawn into Colton's world - and that's a wonderful place to be.

Life. `Death'. And some answers.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2011
This is MUST read!! I read it in two hours, so it's an easy read. It's a true story of a three year old boy who has an out of body experience and goes to heaven and back. Absolutely astounding, and essential reading for anyone who is curious about heaven. He's three so he says what he sees. Definitely recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This book is truly a "Must Read". I read it in one sitting - admitedly speed reading parts. But I gave a very careful reading to everything which directly related to the context and content of this little boy's experience of heaven. The authenticating factors for me, was the fact that what he experienced was directly in line with Scripture, and the fact that he was too young to have such depth of knowledge of the Bible. Our faith does not rest on experience, but reading this will encourage and deepen faith.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2014
Brill for anyone wanting reassurance of Heaven's reality but especially comforting for anyone who has lost a child through miscarriage or stillbirth - this little boy relates in one chapter how he met his other sister during his short trip to Heaven, who had 'died when in their mummy's tummy'; his mum had had a miscarriage before he was born and didn't know whether it would have been a boy or girl so his parents found it very comforting to hear they had another daughter waiting to meet them in Heaven.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2015
I really enjoyed reading this book. I think it's very well and very cleverly written. The story is told from the father's angle, which in fact makes sense since Colton was too small at the time to have recorded the events himself. Todd Burpo also gives us a detailed account of the events that led up to his son's NDE. This type of book helps people all over the world to have faith in life after death and in the fact that there is indeed a supreme being out there who loves us deeply. I am a Catholic who happens to be open-minded and I respect other religious beliefs as well as my own. This book can easily be read by people who are not Christians, because it basically deals with an ordinary American family trying to cope with it's son's extraordinary experience. Thank heavens for the Internet ! It was while watching videos on the subject on You Tube that I first heard about Colton Burpo's voyage to heaven. I decided to order a copy of his book immediately. Finally people can share their NDE experiences with the world and give hope to millions. A big thanks to the Burpos !
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on 24 May 2014
"Heaven is for Real" is a New York Times bestseller, with over 8 million copies sold. It's the 24th most sold book through Amazon as of this writing, and the Kindle edition is the second most popular work in the category Religion and Spiritality. It has a whopping 9,114 customer reviews. About a month ago, the motion picture version was released. And according to the author, Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo, it's all a true story!

"Heaven is for Real" revolves around Todd's son, three-year old Colton, who had a near-death experience (NDE) following an emergency operation. Colton was taken to Heaven, where he got to see Jesus, God and Gabriel, sit next to the Holy Spirit (the boy describes him as "something blue"), and meet both deceased relatives and an unknown sister. Colton saw animals in heaven, including a harmless lion. He also saw the Devil, swords in the hands of the angels, and says there will be a war in Heaven soon, during which most of Earth will perish... (These darker statements are somewhat downplayed, though.)

The heavily Christian character of Colton's NDE is hardly surprising, given his Christian upbringing in the "Bible Belt". More interesting to non-Christian NDE researchers are statements suggesting that the experience might in some sense be "objective". Thus, Colton saw what his parents were doing at the hospital ward while he was sedated (a classical out-of-body or OOB scenario). He knew that his mother had a miscarriage, something his parents hadn't told him. Colton's vision of Jesus is seemingly confirmed by a similar vision by Akiane Kramarik, a 19-year old (sic) Christian painter and mystic in Idaho.

People who believe in the reality of NDEs and OOB's will get struck by the book's Christian exclusivism. Todd Burpo attempts to prove his son's experiences by Biblical proof-texts, the term "near-death experience" is - as far as I can see - never used at all, and little Colton's experiences at one point convince an inclusivist-oriented person to become a more strict Christian (the babysitter Ali). Todd and Ali are innocently unaware of the fact that, of course, these kinds of miracles happen in other religious traditions, as well...

I admit that I found Howard Storm's "My Descent into Death" (another Christian NDE book) more interesting, but as cultural studies, I suppose I could give "Heaven is for Real" three stars.
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