Thursday, February 2, 2012

Book Club: Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo

This week's book club was a short book, but I expect that the conversation's it causes will not be.

So first the easy part: book summary according to me:

The book is about a man who's 4 year old son has a burst appendix resulting in near death and emergency surgery.  Over the next months and years, the family slowly comes to realize that the boy had an out of body experience and went to heaven during his surgery.  The father is convinced when the boy has knowledge of what his parents were doing during his surgery as well as seemingly first hand knowledge of theological concepts he had not been taught at church or by his parents.

I almost didn't write a review of this book and even typing this I'm tempted to stop, leave it at a summary and walk away.  I have no idea what book club will be like.  There are so many directions to go...

How about the the question answered by the title.  Is heaven for real?  If you have a strong opinion one way or the other, I doubt this book will change your mind.  People who believe in heaven will see it was a confirmation of the faith they hold.  Those who don't, will point out that children overhear lots of things and could have pieced together the story, even innocently.  There's probably some science and brain chemistry issue that could be introduced into the debate as well, although I don't intend to delve into that aspect now.

So you're reading my blog, you probably want my answer. Is heaven for real?  In times of loss, I think it's only natural to cling desperately to the hope that loss is temporary, that eventually the pain will go away completely and we will reunite with our lost loved ones.  And I love that beautiful thought.  I really, really do.  I've clung to that hope and ridden it across dark times.

But, I'm an engineer, I can't change my nature.

"Our first rule here, Miss Taggart," he answered, "is that one must always see for oneself."

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