Heaven Is for Real
Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back is a best-selling book by Christian pastor Todd Burpo, co-written with "co-author" Lynn Vincent. The book tells the story of Burpo's son Colton, who claims to have visited Heaven during a near-death experience at the age of four.
Colton claims that he was carried into Heaven by an angel, where he saw Jesus wearing a white robe with a purple sash and riding a rainbow horse. He also saw his great-grandfather and a sister who had been miscarried.
A great deal of what Colton described emerged through questioning by his parents over two years. It is unclear how much of the book's content is directly from Colton, as opposed to input from people subsequently involved in the project, including his father and the book's co-writer, Lynn Vincent, a noted conservative writer and author of Sarah Palin's book Going
Naturally, when they're told that a four-year-old claims to have seen things in Heaven he couldn't possibly have known about, by the boy's father who's a highly knowledgeable pastor who stands to make quite a bit of money from of the publicity regarding this story, the standard reaction among the target audience of gullible evangelical Christians was to unquestioningly accept everything the book said. Mercifully, at least someone, namely Susan "Spirited Atheist" Jacoby of The Washington Post, has taken these people to task for their ridiculous naivete.
A movie version of the book has been produced.
- "The Spirited Atheist" Susan Jacoby on Heaven is for Real and other related books (and there are quite a few)
- Colton Burpo's Visit to Heaven (update) A video interview of Colton Burpo aged 14 and his family. Colton apparently has loving parents and his community see him as special; despite this, worry lines are already appearing on the boy's face. What pressure do kids in Fundamentalist Christian families face?
- Heaven is For Real Ministries