What is it?
Who wrote it?
Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent
What did I like about it?
A coworker gave this book to me and told me to read it. In case you don’t know what this book is about, it’s the story of a four-year-old boy who nearly died and woke up in the hospital with memories of spending time in heaven. It was way down on my list of priorities, though, as I really don’t get into these kinds of books. There was a large upsurge of these types of books some time ago, which can be bad or good just depending on your perspective. I’m not usually a fan. It’s not that I don’t believe that Near Death Experiences are real. The people I know who have experienced them have felt that they were real and those experiences affected a real change in their lives, so who am I to say that they didn’t experience it? The way I see it, God uses all sorts of methods to reach us.
What I liked the best about this book is that for the writer made sure to compare what his son was telling him to Scripture. Oftentimes, that’s the part I have the most trouble with when people talk about near death experiences. They sometimes talk about things that aren’t backed up by Scripture as though they’re absolute truth, and that’s where I have to draw the line. But this book makes sure that everything they know for sure has a foundation in the Bible.
What didn’t I like about it?
I’m not a dramatic person, and I lose interest in overly dramatic storytelling very quickly. Now, don’t get me wrong, this was a terrifying event. What happened to this little boy was traumatic. But the way the writing is done treats a doctor’s visit like the end of the world. Yes, this poor family has suffered a lot, but that tone doesn’t change throughout the book. If you want to keep the tension up, that’s one thing; but you have to vary the emotion. This book has no variance. Everything is extreme. And maybe that works for some folks, but it’s not my cup of tea.
Should you read it?
I’m not going to say you should or shouldn’t read this one. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised. It was better than I expected. I know this book comforted people who read it, but I didn’t go into this book with doubts about whether or not heaven exists. But that’s me. Honestly, I don’t see that this book would convince anyone of that either, but I’m kind of old-fashioned that way. It’s a book about a brave little boy who had a pretty amazing experience that has encouraged a lot of people. That about sums it up. And if that floats your boat, you should read it. If it doesn’t float your boat, it’s probably not a bad idea to read it either in the interest of expanding your horizons. It’s certainly not a poorly written book. It’s just a book about one of those topics that doesn’t really interest me.