Friday, June 24, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: Is Heaven for Real?
Is Heaven for real???? YES!!! Fortunately, I didn't need this book to confirm that for me, however, this is a really amazing book about a family's heart wrenching medical experience with their young son who took a trip to Heaven (yes, for real) in the process. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.
"Heaven is for Real" was my book club pick for the month of June. I am interested to meet and discuss this book and see if my book club (which currently consists of one other lady, don't laugh) has the same ideas about this book that I have.
I will admit that if you are not already a Christian, I personally don't believe this book alone will make you into a believer. On the flip side, if you are a Christian, this book will definitely increase your faith. The author, Todd Burpo, who is the father of the young boy who went to heaven, is a very candid, simple, straight to the point writer, and I was able to finish this book in two days, which I haven't been able to do since middle school. I really enjoyed the Timeline of Events, included in the back of the back, because it helped me keep everything straight. The months leading up to their son, Colton's, time in the hospital, was filled with several other tragic events. I also enjoyed all the family pictures included in the book; I just wish I could pinch Colton's cheeks!
The best part about this book, is when Colton began to speak about Heaven and his adventures there, seeing Mary, and Jesus' cousin, his parents....listened. So often, when kids speak just to talk about what they did that day, we as parents are so wrapped up in our own stuff that we don't even listen and engage them. The Burpos took the time to listen to Colton, ask questions, and they ran with it. The parents' response to what Colton had to say, I'm sure strengthened his faith and was a confidence booster that he will benefit from for the rest of his life.
I totally believe Colton's journey to Heaven, I guess I do have that childlike faith that Todd speaks about. I didn't need a lot of convincing and massaging, however, I felt like the book continued to unnecessarily reiterate that Colton couldn't possibly have known this or that because he was so young. I feel like most of those parts could have been left out, because let's face it: those that want to believe, will believe, and those that don't want to accept heaven, won't. Someone trying to verify someone's account to heaven by saying they couldn't have known a certain fact will not personally make me believe the account.
Lastly, there's a point where Todd Burpo says that the Bible doesn't speak on what happens to babies that die. I'd like to site II Samuel 12:22-23 NLT; David's infant son that he had with Bathsheba had just died in these verses, and he says, "22 David replies, 'I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, 'Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.' 23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me."
I am very far from a theologian, however, this passage and my faith in who I know God to be is enough for me to know that I, too, will go to the son that I lost before he was born.
All in all, this is a great book, and I totally recommend it.