With more than seven million copies in print, Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo is one of the bestselling non-fiction books of all time. Tomorrow (Friday, July 6th) at 9pm EST, Barbara Walters will feature Todd and his son, Colton, in a special called, “Heaven: Where Is It? How Do We Get There?”
Todd is the pastor of a small Wesleyan church in Imperial, Nebraska, just 150 miles from my hometown in Kimball, Nebraska. He is also a wrestling coach and a volunteer fireman. He operates a garage door company with his wife, Sonja, who is also a children’s minister, busy pastor’s wife, and mom.
Heaven Is for Real is a true story about Todd and Sonja’s son Colton. At the age of four, he almost died during an emergency surgery. While unconscious, he claims to have gone to heaven and had some extraordinary experiences.
When I read the book prior to publication, I was, frankly, skeptical. I didn’t know how the book would fit with my theology. I also didn’t have much confidence in the recollection of a four-year old little boy.
But I couldn’t put it down. In fact, I read through it in one sitting. Millions of others have had a similar experience. It has a four-and-a-half star rating on Amazon with almost 3,000 reader reviews. Colton’s experiences are compelling. It is a book of hope that demonstrates this life is only part of the picture.
In this video interview, I ask Todd to recount the story of Colton’s illness and experiences in heaven. He only scratches the surface, but it will give you an idea of why the book has been so hugely successful. I also asked him the value he thinks that the book offers to pastors and others in a leadership role. This is a book you will want to read and pass on to others.