Skip to comments.Boy’s Tale of Heaven Is Publishing Phenomenon
Posted on 03/11/2011 10:08:14 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
Just two months shy of his fourth birthday, Colton Burpo, the son of an evangelical pastor in Imperial, Neb., was rushed into emergency surgery with a burst appendix.
He woke up with an astonishing story: He had died and gone to heaven, where he met his great-grandfather; the biblical figure Samson; John the Baptist; and Jesus, who had eyes that were just sort of a sea-blue and they seemed to sparkle, Colton, now 11 years old, recalled.
Colton's father, Todd, has turned the boys experience into a 163-page book, Heaven Is for Real, which has become a sleeper paperback hit of the winter, dominating best-seller lists and selling hundreds of thousands of copies.
Thomas Nelson, the books publisher, said it had broken company sales records.
The publisher, based in Nashville, began with an initial print run of 40,000 copies.
Since the book came out in November, it has gone back to press 22 times, with more than 1.5 million copies in print.
On the New York Times best-seller list for paperback nonfiction last Sunday, Heaven Is for Real was NO. 1.
The book remains in the top spot this coming Sunday.
Colton told his parents that he had met his younger sister in heaven, describing her as a dark-haired girl who resembled his older sister, Cassie.
When the Burpos questioned him, he asked his mother, You had a baby die in your tummy, didnt you?
While his wife had suffered a miscarriage years before, Mr. Burpo said, they had not told Colton about it.
Theres just no way he could have known, Mr. Burpo said.
The Burpos said that Colton painstakingly described images that he said he saw in heaven like the bloody wounds on Jesus palms that he had not been shown before.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Todd Burpo and family...
Colton, just after his recovery in 2003, with his father Todd Burpo
just a coincidence?
My take is the boy had something happen and the account was greatly embellished by the parents who saw a book and money in the future. Though not this much money
People want to believe. Want to believe.
Fine folks, evangelical Christians...but...
Visions of this sort are possible, but I have my doubts about this one, esp. about the part where Jesus told him his Daddy will fight in Armageddon.
The boy may indeed have had some unusual near-death experience. But I suspect that Daddy Preacher has “interpreted,” spelled out into detail some of the things the kid may have said that Daddy thought would not be understood unless he, Daddy, just tweaked them a bit.
The Armageddon part is one such possibility.
Colossal fraud, most likely.
I just finished reading it. Put aside for a moment his visit to Heaven, as a Parent of a young boy myself, I was horrified for a few chapters there as he was fighting for his life. Had this big ole guy nearly in tears reading through his fathers telling of it.
As for the boys story of Heaven and the parents documentation of it, I could find nothing that would have me doubt that the story is true. The only questionable part is when he says his great grandfather, Pop had wings, and he had little wings himself. Contrary to many old movies and even cartoons we do not become angels. When I got to that part of the book, that is when just a little natural skepticism set in. I was hoping for a little help from his pastor father to ask more on that, but he just let it go. Still it was a good read, and I think the story is highly credible.
Having read the book, do you think it’s plausible that the boy could have overheard his parents (and other family + friends) talking about some of the things he saw? Kids absorb and retain so much information about their environment - perhaps this information served as the basis for his experience?
I have this book.
I agree. It’s a wonderful book.
The part about Jesus’ blue eyes ..... hmmmmmmm.
Yes, it is amazing.
There are no coincidences.
I’d much rather go straight to the source, which is my bible, to read about Jesus and heaven.
Cute kid and I’m glad he’s okay, but I’m gonna pass on this book.
You would be 100% WRONG.
Why wouldn't he have blue eyes? I know Jewish people with blue or steel gray eyes.
In my Book, it's all possible. And more than just "possible".
I totally agree with you. Even if the parents did not do it for the money and their few minutes of fame, and thought it would help others believe, they have not read Luke 16 lately, which is very sad since the father supposedly is a minister of the gospel. It is the power of the gospel that saves, not the power of some "experience" and faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Luke 16:19 "There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich mans table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abrahams side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.'
25 But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'
27 And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my fathers house 28 for I have five brothersso that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'
30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
31 He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"
People will NOT come to true faith from reading the account of the book according to Christ. They come through hearing the gospel and being convicted of their sin. I wonder if sin is even mentioned in the book, or repentance?
It’s plausible he had a âglimpseâ of the after-life. If so it is a spiritual realm beyond the physical senses. The 5 senses won’t operate there. It’s a spiritual experience that he would have interpreted sensually based on his known world.
You are absolutely thoroughly WRONG.
He was quite sheltered from such information.
You haven’t read the book.
For years, when his family traveled or passed an art gallery or Christian bookstore, they’d ask him if any of the depictions of Christ were at all close. EVERY TIME, HE’D SAY NO. NOT AT ALL.
Years later, they learned of Akiane Kramarik’s visits to heaven also at a very young age . . . and her depiction as a gifted child prodigy artist of Christ. Finally, they showed him the painting pic on the net.
Colton got very very quiet. And finally said,
THIS ONE’S RIGHT.
BTW, As confirmed by the young little girl artist prodigy . . . who had trips to Heaven just cause Jesus wanted to give them to her . . . here’s the picture of
THE PRINCE OF PEACE
as confirmed by Colton:
AKIANE KRAMARIK PRINCE OF PEACE:
BTW, The parents were exhorted by many friends and relatives to write a book for years and they resisted. Finally, relating the story one evening in a church, a woman’s life was deeply touched in a positive way and they realized that the book would have a beneficial ministry for the Kingdom of God and they relented.
Throughout the experiences over the years of drawin Colton out, they DID NOT ASK HIM LEADING QUESTIONS. They insisted on him telling his experiences in his own words and at his own pace.
Folks making ignorant statements about Colton and his experiences either have not read the book or are so blinded by stubborn pride and bias they have no interest in nor capacity for the truth.
That’s just the way it is.
His book is probably the best and purest HEAVENLY VISITATION narratives I’ve ever read. Even when his father would try and trick him to see if he could get him to alter his story—Colton would EVERY TIME tell his dad the correct (and Biblical) truth per Colton’s Heavenly visit experiences.
but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
I’ve also read the book and found some things, like the wings, a little questionable. But one has to remember that this was a 4 year old’s experience and his interpretations are that of a 4 year old. There was one thing that stood out that really caught my attention and that was his experience with his sister who died as the result of a miscarriage. It really touched me because it brought to mind all the millions of babies whose lives have been taken from them through the atrocity of abortion. With all those millions and millions of “babies” who are now with Christ as a result of murder by their mothers and the abortion doctors, I have a have a hard time understanding how Christ can ever forgive this abominable sin. But, then it’s hard for me to believe how He forgives someone like me too.
There are no coincidences.
What a coincidence, I was just thinking the same thing. s/
sorry, just couldn’t resist :)
Burpo? What kind of name is that?
When people ask me why we stopped at one child, I tell them that's not true, we have a second child we have not met yet. But we will, and what a glorious reunion that will be.
My favorite part of the book was the little boys innocent telling about Jesus and His Father beside him on the Thrown. “Jesus wants us to see his Daddy” is how he put it. You know, I think he is exactly right - and there is not a Pastor, Priest, or Rabi on this planet that could have put it any better than this little 4-year old.
Quix, would you care to elaborate? Your meaning is not at all clear. Thanks in advance. 668
It comforts me to know that
millions of people aborted are in Heaven . . . many of whom would have grown up and sinned their way into hell big time.
Thanks for your kind reply.
It really touched me deeply and I’ve read all such narratives I could more or less lay my hands on for most of 50 years.
Its plausible he had a âglimpseâ of the after-life. If so it is a spiritual realm beyond the physical senses
I think you are exactly right. I had a friend who was a “play therapist” working with terminally ill children. She overheard one child tell another not to be worried about dying because God was a very kind man who looked just like Santa Clause.
There are so many mysteries about Heaven that our puny little mortal minds trying to make sense of it all could never come close to understanding it.
I thoroughly agree.
The kid was at the age when there was total innocence and total lack of artifice, affectation or anything false.
He just narrated his experience as HE EXPERIENCED IT. period.
He didn’t really give a flip what others thought—he knew the truth.
I thought it was touching that he too, like Apostle Paul, learned things God told him not to tell—even to his Dad. And he hasn’t.
I thought the wings somewhat disagreed with the narratives of others. However, My God is big enough to give each individual a very tailored and unique experience of Heaven without violating reality. He is God, after all.
And, it’s not like no one else has seen such wings on people, many have. It’s just that Colton seemed to see them on many more than most other people have.
Were the wings a depiction for the little boy, of the capacity to fly through the air at will? I don’t know.
First, let me say that I'm not attacking you. I'm merely offering an alternative to what you're saying.
You say, that the parents did not, over the years, ask him leading questions. How do you know that? Were you present for each and every conversation they had?
Or, are the parents saying they never asked leading questions?
Can you see the difference? One is an eyewitness account and the other is hearsay based upon what you read in the parents' book.
You’re very welcome...
It also comforts me to know that
millions of people aborted are in Heaven.
(over 50 million in the U.S. alone)
I have not a microgram’s doubt that these are THE BIBLICAL END TIMES.
Facts are such that folks who are willfully blind, willfully ignorant of the realities involved with the BIBLICAL PROPHECIES, DYNAMICS, STRUCTURES, GLOBAL GOVERNMENT, MARK OF THE BEAST, HOLY SPIRIT’S LEADING, OPERATIONS ETC. ETC. ETC.
AT A GRAVE DISADVANTAGE—TO THE EXTENT THAT IN MANY SITUATIONS, THEIR IGNORANCE AND BLINDNESS WILL RESULT IN UNNECESSARY AND UNTIMELY DEATHS OF THEMSELVES AND/OR THOSE THEY LOVE.
Will some dying earlier than necessary die without Salvation through Christ? Probably so. I pray not. Logically, many will. That is horrifying and disgusting, to me.
“Colton Burpo, the son of an evangelical pastor
just a coincidence?”
No coincidence. Faith.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
perhaps it depends on what one means by “beyond physical senses.”
Every convincing Heavenly visit narrative I’ve read has spoken of HEIGHTENED SENSES . . .
deligious fruit with the juice running down arms,
etc. etc. etc.
Etherial intangibility is not part of the Heaven experienced and described.