"Heaven is for Real" book by Todd Burpo

Just read this extremely inspiring book written by a Christian pastor about his young son’s account of what he saw and learned when he nearly died during an emergency operation. Although not written by a Catholic, the sights that the boy relates to his family appear to hold true to Catholic teachings, including the Holy Trinity, our Blessed Mother, the angels, and saints - and even the battle between good and evil.

I was especially intrigued by another item briefly touched on in the book. Apparently a woman related to the author of how her young daughter asked her after Church one day why some people in Church had “lights on their heads” and some didn’t.

Just wondering if anyone else who has read the book has any thoughts on everything that was written (especially in relation to Catholic teachings) or about the “lights” comment…

Just finished it. I thought it was beautiful and very intriguing. Not a lot of mention of Mary - but then again, it is not from a “Catholic” perspective. It sure does sound convincing, doesn’t it? The part about the “power shots” (I think that’s what he called them) when the Holy Spirit would grace his dad while preaching gave me goose bumps.

Yes, it really does sound convincing - and very comforting, too. I also loved the part about the Holy Spirit “shooting down power”! I can now almost visualize it coming that way for all of us when we need those special graces.

Also interesting about the prayers being heard from Heaven and responded to. Love it!

As someone with seven kids, the book reeked of falsehood to me. Sorry, I’ve just never met a 3/4 year old who spoke that way or even close to it. Also, how convenient that this image of Heaven fit the belief system of this man’s strip-mall Christian faith. I don’t know. It seemed very fishy to me. Would be nice if it were real, though.

:smiley: Never heard that expression before but how apt! LOL I know exactly what you mean. I haven’t read the book but I wonder about these genius children…

D Never heard that expression before but how apt! LOL I know exactly what you mean. I haven’t read the book but I wonder about these gifted children…almost like Munchhausen Syndrome with religion.

Good point about the age of the child, although the writing did seem pretty sincere to me, and much of what he related was similar to the language I recall my children using at that age. I’m sometimes gullible, though.

I have read quite a few books relating near-death experiences, and many of the sights mentioned in Burpo’s book have also been mentioned by numerous others throughout the years - as well as by nurses and doctors dealing with terminally ill patients. I have no doubt that Heaven is as beautiful as Colton says, and I hope he’s right about most of the rest, too! (Although the part about the fight between the forces of good and evil doesn’t sound like fun to witness.)

I also had never heard the “strip-mall Christian” term, but I try to be open-minded about our fellow Christians as much as I possibly can. Better for someone to be almost any denomination than an atheist, I think, especially when one meets his Creator!

I’m not usually one to make fun of someone’s name, but Todd Burpo sounds like exactly the type of pen name a young boy might create.

So, if a Catholic child I know has a very Catholic sounding near-death-experience where they talk about eg. Mary, then I should hold it to be untrue precisely because thats what the child has been conditioned to believe somehow… Interesting thought… and right out of a religious psychology book which says we are all nuts, Catholics and Protestants alike.


It’s actually the boy’s Dad’s real name - he wrote the book relaying his son’s experience.

That’s not what I meant. Because we know that Mr. Burpo’s faith does not hold the fullness of the Truth - how can it be that Heaven so neatly fits his personal model? It would have been much more believable, to me as a Catholic, if the boy had talked about the Blessed Virgin, saints, etc. If this little boy really did go to the Heaven “he” describes, we should all quit being Catholic and go join “Todd’s Office o’ Jesus Worship!” down next to the K-mart and Petco.

Also, if you read the book, the “3 year old” is quoted as sounding like a bad approximation of what an editor thinks kids talk like. An editor without kids.

I think Heaven looks different depending on your religion. I read that people in India who have near-death experiences see Hindu imagery in Heaven.

Love the strip-mall metaphor! :slight_smile:

Makes sense. From what I’ve read of near-death accounts, no matter what their religion, most people seem to see that all-encompassing, extremely comforting, beautiful, brighter- than -bright light of goodness and love that they immediately recognize as God.

Thats why I dont believe most accounts of near death experiences. I read one where a dying lesbian woman recognized homosexual angelic beings, and one where the person saw Khrishna and Buddha.
And I have read one by a unknown Christian who claimed he saw Buddha in hell.
Accounts of any kind must be taken with a big grain of salt.

I am aquainted with one lady personally who died and met the Lord. Her story is the only one I believe without reservation. She saw a great many things. I met her, she is very down to earth. She had the experience before she even knew anyone had ever had them. I have wept many tears of joy when I read her testimony, and were so touched by the simplicity and how she told about Christ in a way that just fitted with what one could expect and totally not expect at the same time… leading to repentance and a feeling of safety and love all at once…
Anyway she is a Lutheran - and wasnt told to change churches by the way - she later became a pastor in the Lutheran church. She was given to know many things in heaven she said, one thing was that reincarnation doesn’t exist (big news for many in my new age country) she also said that Catholics have something right when they ask saints for intercession, because the dead do pray for the living. She is very ecumenical now and prays the rosary sometimes… She said she is not afraid to die anymore.

It’s great to hear you relate this, Grace! Is there a link anywhere to anything she has written about her experience? If not, can you possibly tell us more? Thanks!

I just finished the book.

A one word review would be “convenient.”

Everything, and I mean everything the child said was immediately confirmed by the father remembering a scripture passage. Not once did the father need to refer to his bible. Not once did the child say something that made the father question his beliefs.

Too convenient for me.

Yes, please tell us more, Grace!

See, that doesn’t seem fishy to me. Protestants (Evangelicals) know their Bible inside and out. Especially pastors!! My friend is a Baptist pastor and he could honestly do the same things as this pastor did.

Know their Bible yes. Everything the child said confirmed by what the father already knew, no.

I see the author as a guy trying to get people into his church and trying to make money with a bestseller.

Like we said, the father knew the Bible, so what you’re saying is that the child confirmed the Bible. I, personally, believe the Bible as truth, so it doesn’t sound convenient or fishy to me. It confirms what I know to be true…the Bible is true.