Look at that cute kid. If only his dad had been a little smarter.

Heaven is for Real is just another one of those bestsellers that make a lame attempt to prove that Christianity is real.  It was written by a pastor named Todd Burpo with Sarah Palin's ghost writer, Lynn Vincent.  Colton is apparently able to tell where his parents were during his operation, but it is highly likely that their memories have been disorted by Colton's retellings.

Plot Summary

Being the son of a pastor, Colton has been indoctrinated at an early age.  His family's constant praying, however, is not enough to stop his appendix from bursting. 

Colton is rushed to the hospital, where he needs expensive emergancy surgery and might not survive.  His father goes into a little room and yells at God.  Colton later tells him that he did that.  He also tells him that:

  1. Colton was carried to heaven by angels.
  2. Jesus rides a "rainbow horse."  (It sounds so much like a fairy tale, doesn't it)?
  3. Colton met a ton of people in Heaven.  In addition to Jesus, there are his miscarried sister, his long-dead Grandfather, and even God himself. 
  4. Colton did "homework" in Heaven.  This will make it really unatractive to first graders.
  5. Expect for Jesus, who moves "like an elevator," everybody in heaven has wings.
  6. Jesus also wears a white robe with a purple sash.  That looks a lot like the Jesus in that old Childrens' Bible of yours.

Even afterwards, Colton's "heaven expirience" seap into life.  Although he says that "Jesus loves all children," when his father does a funeral he insists that the dead man "had Jesus in his heart."  If the man had been a child, but without Jesus in his heart, where would he go?  Heaven or Hell?

After kicking and screaming at the hospital, Colton insists his parents pay their medical bills because the doctor "fixed me." Colton's family had major financial troubles, if you they had let Obamacare help a little.


People have come up with plenty of stories like this before.  A neuroscientist's heaven expirience was far more complicated than Colton's and yet they both spent time on the New York Times bestseller list.  The same people probably read both books.  What they should have understood is that at least one of them has to be wrong.

Studies have shown that near death expiriences often have to do with the person's religious belief.  [1] [2]  So if Colton had been raised atheist, none of this would have happened.

It is also important to consider the simple fact that NYT Bestsellers make the author money.   Todd could just be lying about the entire thing, knowing that a story about a three-year-old going to heaven would capture enough attention to make the NYT Bestsellers list. 

Picture Book

Much in the spirit of selling books to make money, plus indoctrinate their children, Todd and Sophia condensed it into a picture book with art "created under Colton's direction."  The book has a forward about needing to bring Jesus in or having your children suffer in Hell (The parents have also been brainwashed with this).  If you're considering buying this book for a child you know, know that it's not worth it.  All that will happen is that it will teach your kid about something that probably doesn't exist.  Why not teach them about the real world instead?