I finished this book last night. It was a book that my oldest daughter had purchased and she loved it and recommended that I read it. Here is the premise of the book:
Heaven is for Real is the true story of a four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who experienced heaven during emergency surgery. He talked about looking down to see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear. In heaven, Colton met his miscarried sister whom no one ever had told him about and his great-grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born. He shared impossible-to-know details about each. Colton went on to describe the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us. Told by the Colton’s father often in Colton’s own words, the disarmingly simple message is that heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and to be ready … there is a coming last battle.
Here’s what really bothered me about the book. According to Colton, you have to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior in order to enter heaven. But what about people of other religious affiliations? What about people with no religious affiliations? What about people who are some of the most generous, kind, loving people on the planet, but are atheist?
What about people like me, who are spiritual, who believe in a Creator (God), who believe that Jesus was a prophet who walked this Earth many, many years ago and taught that we should all love each other, but I don’t go to church. I don’t read the Bible. I try to live each day doing what I can to spread love and kindness. I treat all living creatures with love and respect, and when I die, I hope that I’ve left this world in a better state than it had been before. Do I get to go to heaven when I die?
After I finished the book, I did some research online about the family. Apparently, there are many out there who believe the whole thing is a hoax, the family is just after money, etc. I don’t know if the hoax thing is true; I would like to believe that these experiences really did happen to Colton, and his family is just trying to spread the word that there really is something to look forward to after we die. I don’t like to think negative things about people, and so I’m going to choose to believe that the family is trying to do good.
In the meantime, I’m still left wondering what happens after we die. If anything, this book made me reevaluate my spiritual beliefs, and so that in itself made reading the book worth it.
I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars.