Recently I have seen many references from friends about the book “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo. I decided to download the book to my kindle, and give the relatively short book a quick read.
I must say, having a daughter that had a ruptured appendix at a very young age as well, I could identify with the author and the book really gripped me for the first half.
In this book Todd Burpo, a Methodist minister, writes about a situation that happened to his four year old son. Young Colton Burpo has a ruptured appendix, and after 5 days of misdiagnosis, undergoes emergency surgery. During the surgery and the grim prospect of his little boy making it; his father finds a room to himself to cry out to God, and his mother is in a waiting room calling family and friends, and praying. During surgery, young Colton slips away from his body and sees his father in one room and his mother in another room.
The young boy makes it through surgery and recovers. Months later, he astounds his father and mother by telling them of different things that he should not have known about. He accurately describes where his mother and father were and what they were doing while he was in surgery, a fact he could not have known. He also mentions he has a sister in heaven. Mom and Dad are astounded by this because they’ve never told their son about a miscarriage they had prior to him being born. Other things begin to emerge over a period of months about him seeing his grandpa as a much younger man now in heaven and other such things.
It was a really nice story. Sadly, after we get through the tale of the physical surgery and such, and him seeing his mother in one room and his father in another, I have to stop believing it’s anything BUT a story.
You see, it just doesn’t line up with what a vindicated prophet of God taught us. In the book, Colton mentions his grandpa had bigger wings than he did. Bro Branham never mentions this. He tells us that not even all the angels have wings.
Colton mentions sitting on Jesus lap, yet when Bro Branham went beyond the curtain, he was told Jesus was “higher than this”. Colton also describes God having a big throne, Jesus having a smaller one, and the Holy Spirit having a different one as well. This is obviously a problem as the Bible tells us there is one throne, and that God is ONE Lord.
I could point out all the disparities between what we’re taught by Bro Branham and what is set forth in this book, but there would be no reason to continue, really.
It may sound harsh or hard to take, that I’m disagreeing with a four year old boy, but what else can I do? A vindicated prophet of God tells me something, I will take that over a Methodist minister’s tale of what his young boys tells him.
I do want to clarify though; I do believe HEAVEN IS REAL. I just don’t believe the book in question accurately depicts what Heaven is like. I know there are many who are encouraged by this book and the many others out on the market like it. I’m encouraged to know Heaven is real myself. In fact, we have a timeless Book that was given to us called the Bible. IT tells us Heaven is real, if we’d just put our faith in THAT, we wouldn’t need an unlikely story from a youngster to give us a spiritual lift.
If you chose to read it, take it for what it’s worth…a nice story, a tale of something incredible, and perhaps a bit of embellishment.