It is making waves in the talk show circuits. It is on the best sellers list. Wal-Mart has a whole pile of the book. It is a smash hit.
Heaven Is For Real tells the story of a little boy, Colton Burpo, who undergoes a serious surgical procedure. While under the anesthetic Colton experiences the wonders of heaven, the very throne room of God. The story is told from Colton's dad's perspective. Todd Burpo is a Wesleyan minister. Colton begins to divulge little pieces of what he experienced long after the surgery. The book tells of the little pieces of Colton's experiences that he shared over the course of a couple of years.
This is a sweet book. The innocence Colton portrays makes you want to follow in his dad's footsteps, "Tell me more." It is a very quick read. I got through it in just a few hours. But I can't say that I liked the book.
I'm probably too much of a cynic. Maybe I'm ingrained in my own beliefs too much. But as I read through the story, I couldn't connect with the experience Colton had. There were just little pieces here and there that I couldn't fit into my worldview and theology. I am not going to go so far as saying it is bad theology. It is just familiar theology. And that is my sticking point.
I wish that I could lay aside the understanding I have come to. I wish that I could lay aside the years of study and discovery and let this story wash over me as a faith building experience. But I can't. There are just little points where ideological red lights go off and tiny sirens of doubt ring in my ears.
But with all of that in mind, I sincerely hope that Colton touches many people and gets them on the path to discovering God. I hope that his family shelters him from the crush of people who would love to take advantage of his experience of grace. And I hope that if you read this story, you will have a deeper blessing of God.