Heaven Is For Real: An Introduction

"Do you remember the hospital, Colton?" Sonja said. "Yes, Mommy, I remember," he said. "That's where the angels sang to me."

When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren't expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy's trip to heaven and back.

Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery—and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details of heaven that match the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.

With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how "really really big" God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton's uniquely simple words, Heaven Is For Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, "Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses."

Heaven Is For Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.

Read an excerpt from this book.

Return to the Patheos Book Club for more book resources and conversation.


"You will be moved by the honest, simple, childlike accounts of a little boy who has been to heaven. It's compelling and convincing. It's a book you should read. If you're ready to go to heaven, this book will inspire you. If you're not ready for heaven, allow a little child to lead you. Like Colton says, Heaven Is for Real."
—Don Piper, Speaker and Author, 90 Minutes in Heaven

"Every now and again a manuscript comes across my desk where the title intrigues me. That's what happened with this particular book called Heaven Is for Real. I thought I'd just skim through it, but I couldn't put it down. I read it from cover to cover. I was so impacted by the story. It's a book that will not only make you love God more and fear death less, but it will help you understand that heaven is not a place where we just sit around for a thousand years singing Kumbaya; it's a place where we begin to live as we were always meant to live, before the fall. If heaven is something that intrigues you, or troubles you, if you wonder what our lives will be like, then I highly recommend this book."
—Sheila Walsh, WOF Speaker and Author, Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God

"Heaven is not a consolation prize. It is a real place that will be the eternal home for all who believe. Take a journey with Colton and Todd as they describe firsthand the wonders, mysteries, and majesty of heaven. It will make earth more meaningful and the future more hopeful."
—Brady Boyd, Senior Pastor, New Life Church, Colorado Springs

"There have been many stories of 'near-death' experiences that I simply have not read because I frankly didn't know if I could trust the author. Well, I have read this book cover to cover and, moreover, I could hardly put it down! Why? Because I know the author and I believe him. Todd Burpo gives us a wonderful gift as he and his son lift the veil on eternity, allowing us a quick glimpse of what lies on the other side."
Dr. Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Author, Why I'm a Liberal and Other Conservative Ideas

"In this beautiful and well-written book, Colton, age four, has an experience consistent with a near-death experience (NDE) while under anesthesia. I have scientifically studied over 1,600 NDEs, and found that typical NDEs may occur in very young children and while under anesthesia. Even after studying so many NDEs, I found Colton's experience to be dramatic, exceptional, and an inspiration to Christians everywhere."
—Jeffrey Long, MD, Founder, Near Death Experience Research Foundation, Author, Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences

"A beautifully written glimpse into heaven that will encourage those who doubt and thrill those who believe."
—Ron Hall, Coauthor, Same Kind of Different as Me

3/16/2011 4:00:00 AM
  • Book Club
  • Vision
  • Children
  • Death
  • Heaven
  • Illness
  • Mainline Protestantism
  • Memoir
  • Parenting
  • Christianity
  • Evangelicalism
  • About