“Heaven is for Real” opens tomorrow, with Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo, a Nebraska pastor whose four-year-old son says that he visited heaven during surgery for a ruptured appendix. It is based on a best-selling book Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, by Burpo and Lynn Vincent (co-author of Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue). Burpo says that his son, Colton
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.
The movie follows the essential elements of the book pretty closely. The Burpos dismiss Colton’s description of heaven at first. But when he describes where they were during the operation, identifies the great-grandfather who died before he was born and the sister his mother miscarried as people he met and spoke to, they are persuaded that he saw something real.