Heaven Is for Real was something of a box office surprise, finishing third in its opening weekend. Reactions to this movie within the evangelical community (and to the book it is based on) have been mixed, ranging from positive (this review from Eric Mataxas, for example) to rejection of the very idea of such movies or books (as in this John Piper podcast). We have posted the following review by Randy Alcorn, author of the book Heaven, which falls somewhere in between. We invite your comments.
The phenomenally popular book Heaven Is for Real—the bestselling evangelical book in the last ten years—has remained on the New York Times best-seller list after more than three years, with nearly 8 million copies sold. It’s also been translated into 25 languages and has now been made into a major movie by Sony Pictures, released in theaters this week.
The book was written by an evangelical pastor, Todd Burpo, and tells of his then four-year-old son Colton, who survived emergency surgery and later told his family that he went to Heaven. Colton described seeing Jesus and meeting his miscarried sister and his great-grandfather, who died before he was born.
As I shared in my past blog, I don’t see a false gospel in the book’s account of Heaven. I rejoice that Jesus is portrayed as the only way to God, in keeping with John 14:6 and Acts 4:12. I could have wished for a greater emphasis on confession of sin and repentance, but on major biblical issues I don’t think Heaven Is For Real, the book, contradicts Scripture.
Yet on some details, such as people in Heaven having wings and halos, something the Bible never depicts, I’m honestly just…uncomfortable.
Read the article.