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March 15, 2011



I have nothing profound - just that - this was an extremely entertaining read. Bless sweet little Colton and his sweet miracled life.


i thought it was quite a cute story. i was sure that the hand-held-world was fo'sho' evidentse!


Yes, I esp loved the comment about God holding the entire world in his hands. He's obviously bored with being pimped by his parents. I talk with more enthusiasm about yogurt twists from Braums than this kid described the divine. Unfortunately, my dad, whose tv is stuck on FoxNews, is crazy for this stuff.

Lorrie Corbin

OK. You made coffee come out my nose. Great read. Thank you!

Michael Laprarie

A minor correction Greg, Fox News is mostly hot blondes. Try actually watching the network some time.

As for Colton Burpo, well the world always needs more Marjoe Gortners, doesn't it?

Greg Horton

Michael, I was talking about the audience (the friends). Try giving me the benefit of the doubt sometimes! I actually knew a few of the Marjoe's in my pentecostal days. Don't miss 'em at all.

Katie O

Wow, it sounds like you are quite angry over this story. I'm praying for you all. Really. . . .


My sister, bless her heart, gave mom this book when she was over here for a track meet with my nephew. In sis's defense she only gets over here a couple times a year and doesn't spend much time checking out our bookcases or she'd notice that the collection runs heavily to Merton and Fox with a side order of Eckhart and every Celt I can find.

The kid is cute, so is his story. In the immortal words of Garfield the cat "I don't do cute."

I did almost snort my tea reading your post. I've been working my way through your blog from the beginning. And loving it. You are an articulate spokesman for those of us who find ourselves spiraling in and out of "respectable" belief. (respectability is highly overrated)


Yet another "atheist" who is little more than an arrogant jerk because he think's he is "too smart" for Christianity. St. Paul wrote truthfully in the first chapter of Romans: "Thinking themselves wise they became fools"


i can only say enjoy your trip to hell


I'm imagining an absurdist melodrama a la Kafka in which a man wakes up one morning literally unable to say anything other than "Enjoy your trip to hell!" It would make for one hell of a scene at the breakfast table.


"I can only say, 'Enjoy your trip to hell.' And that last sentence, and this one, and the next one. Four sentences for the rest of my life."

From an information-theoretic perspective, you could combine those four sentences in a total of

C(4,4)*4! + C(4,3)*3! + C(4,2)*2! + C(4,1)*1! =
1*24 + 4*6 + 6*6 + 4*1 =
24 + 24 + 36 + 4 = 88 different ways, assuming you just pause for a noticeable time in between combinations. That's more than enough to set up a rudimentary alphabetic system. Communication would take a lot longer than usual, but it's certainly doable.


So wrong. Why is it that people can not believe that God used that boy to deliver a message to any who were willing to listen? And why if you don't believe, do you have to belittle and be so critical of those of us who do? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, however with all the evil in the world today, it might be time to rethink a life of believing in NO God or greater power. Sad that some people's reaction when hearing a story like this is to immediately call it a hoax. Faith is a beautiful thing, and it is readily apparent that many are living an empty life void of any faith or belief system and for those people I feel extreme sadness. God is good, instead of so readily dismissing those of us who believe and have faith, why not spend just a little time studying why we do believe. Just sit down and ask God to come in your life and show you the way you should go. What do you have to lose? I bet you just might be surprised at what actually happens!!!


Why is that some people are searching so hard to believe in something that nobody on this whole earth can prove that they will take this book as the literal truth.... the Gospel in short form because there is NO WAY a 4 year old could make this shit up!!? I have taught PreK for 5 years. Trust me, this kid had heard in those 4 years in his nightly bible stories and many hours of church and sunday school enough to come up with and describe each and every scenario mentioned and embellished in his dad's story. Yes, it is his Dad's story. By now, little Colton, (bless his heart) surely believes that everyone has wings in heaven and they fly around. Jesus is in a constant invisible elevator. The kids study with Jesus as their teacher. Sounds great! Did you catch the part that in none of Colton's medical records was there any mention of his heart stopping. So, I'm not saying Colton, (bless his heart), didn't see these things he mentioned... in his drug induced dream state! Or maybe I'll just enjoy that trip to hell.... Maybe I'll come back and write a book about it!!!


To this day...still...I have yet to meet an intellectual athiest.

Greg Horton

These punchy insults are sooooo much funnier when you spell shit correctly.


Yep. It'a all an accident, isnt it? The Earth just happens to be in perfect line with the sun, moon and other planets...right? And rain falls in perfect droplets instead of just dumping out of the sky, right? What an interesting day it will be as you non-believers are dying...clutching your chest as your heart stops...I bet I know what you're gonna say. "Oh God, please help me!" Suddely, you'll be face to face with him. Change your ways, before it's too late, people.

dr dobson

Hi, Paul. How's Damascus these days? Your post reminds me of contemporary Christian music: About three years late on the evangagina trend-du-jour and never unique. By the way, the witchhunt was given up by most reformers in the early eighteenth century. Why haven't you given it up yet?

elizabeth gettys

Paul is exactly right . There too many signs, too many phenomena
that occur with precision timing and work symbiotically not to have been designed by ahigher power. Given that you may say why did the kid see jesus? Because jesus is the son of god. All other paths to heaven are simply a religion, a bunch of strict laws that is impossible for a flawed human being to keep all the time. Christianity is a relationship with a loving god that requires nothing more than your trust in him

dr dobson

Elizabeth, your god as described by you in your post and (allegedly) by Paul's is a coercive monster, not a "loving" one. I don't expect you to agree with me, but it just is. A husband who demands his wife's affection and love lest he kick her ass is not a loving man. Think about that (hint: your Strong's concordance won't say anything about it).


Hey folks, I just got done reading the book, and was doing a little web surfing to see what's out there about the book, family, skeptics, etc. I came across this blog entry and it's various comments. I must say I'm a little sad. I surely hope the book is a true story; it certainly was heartwarming to read. I'm sad because there are obviously folks out there who, without a miracle, don't have a chance in hell of ever reaching heaven (or Heaven), either during an "out of body" experience or when they pass from this life. I offer the following food for thought -- I hope (and have faith) that our life on this planet is not the highlight of our existence. If you don't believe there is a Heaven, you better be right (and more importantly, what if you're wrong?) Is it worth the gamble not to believe, and thereby jeopardize your eternal happiness just so you can live as an atheist for about 100 years or less. Seems like a bad bet to me. Think about it, I'm praying for you, and God bless you.

dr dobson

Hey, majorconcrete. How are Major Dad, Lee Majors and Leutinenant Dan doing? Tell them all hi for us, please. As to your post, thanks for your completely condescending concern for our souls. I, too, am sad. I'm sad that there are those like you out there. Alas, my sadness about people like you is tempered, however, when I recall that (thankfully) Jesus didn't talk about the stuff you are talking about, nor did he believe that life here in earth (Earth) sucked balls like you would have us all believe. Thanks for continuing to pray for us, though.


Hey Doc, I never cared much for Major Dad, but the $6M Man and Forrest Gump were great!! I'm sorry if I came across as condescending; I was trying to be a realist. I don't comment on blogs very often, so I'm not very good at it (I don't even do Facebook). And I never meant to imply that life on Earth sucks balls; I've got a good life, am blessed with a wonderful family, and hope to be around for quite a while yet. I'm just secure in my faith that there's a better place waiting for me when I leave here. Still praying, you're welcome, and take care.

Skeptical Christian

A bit of a bitter review, but I wholeheartedly agree with you. As a Christian, I am crying "bullshit" on this one. I saw the interview on the Today show and the lines Colton delivered sounded verbatim what was fed to me by my Sunday School teachers (also in the midwest).

I think it is presumptious to assume this world is all there is, but I haven't a clue as to what exactly the hereafter is. But I'm pretty certain the description that seemed was plagarized right out of the book of Revelations is not literally what it is, furthering my skepticism of this little boy's "journey".

Yes he almost died. Yes he probably endured some trauma and had some pretty trippy dreams. Yes it was a miracle he survived.

But I think sometimes we get so eager to accept something, we try to connect dots that don't connect...force puzzle pieces in where they don't belong...we forget to remove ourselves a little and think rationally and logically about what it is that we're trying to make sense out of and we immediately point to the supernatural for the reason, bypassing some serious questions.

And this family's background and everything else involved...it just raises some eyebrows to it's complete authenticity.




I was going to reply, but most fundies are drive by posters anyway, but I did enjoy that the book bringing her to tears was sufficient evidence of its value. Ugh.


Wait. You have your own a jerk, Greg? I want one.


No, Jack Nicholson, I have not, in fact, danced with Greg in the pale moonlight.


This is sad. I feel sorry for you.


Here is another book for you: "What's so amazing about grace?"
A must read for anyone who tells someone to enjoy their trip to hell.
Basically, most Christians


You frickin Church people ...still think you are better than everyone else and still clutching on to a book with some of the most ridiculous stories any one could ever believe .... a man built a boat and he put 2 of every animal in the world on this boat to survive a forty day flood .... 2 of EVERY animal... and all the storage for food and water to sustain all these living creatures....and the lions didnt eat everything else... and hippos gladly walked onto a boat....really??? pray for yourselves cause you are hopelessly gullible and we are the people with no intellect ....I would rather be in hell than stuck in a place full of you morons.


To this day I have yet to meet a Christian that's not a complete asshole that thinks they are better than everyone else, you all think you are so smart ....enjoy the big let down. Your god is is a forgiving God so I am sure he will forgive you for acting like your better than us dumb asses. Good for you buddy!!

Greg Horton

jeez, brad, ratchet it down a notch. might be time for some anger management. i do get some bizarre christian types on here, but there are some good folks too. ease up on 'em. besides, you're ruining the mood of my birthday.


How could you go on a rant like this without even having read the book to know what you're talking about? Most intelligent critics would at least download a free version so they get their facts straight. Angry much? Didn't get much love in your childhood? It really tickles me that you'd get so worked up over this just because you hate religion. Go for a jog or do something productive with your life.


*sigh* here we go...

This "pastor" is simply scamming his own fellow christians for their hard earn money for the good of his church. Plain and simple scam.

Where I am from, this is illegal. But religious americans don't think the Dutch will go to heaven after all, ha-ha-ha

Greeting from Holland


Why so much hate? As humans, we have to embrace each other and our differences. I have met wonderful, brilliant-minded athiests as well as Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus. Humanity will never advance if all one is concerned about is trying to diminish another person's spirits. Yes, you can spout off that which you believe, but that does not change anything! Personally, I have many things I could tell you to back up my beliefs, but they are for me. Not to justify to someone who is not willing to hear me out. I feel like I've grown so much as a person over the last few years because I have learned that people are different. I am still so amazed at the stupidity on blog posts like this. I just wish for everyone to have the epiphany that I have experienced. Stop being close-minded.
Love is everything.


“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”


Whether they be atheist or believers, I find it to be true that those who think they are incredibly "open-minded" tend to be the most "closed-minded" in the end.


"Hallucintions are real to the people who have them" - Dr. Oliver Sacks


It's great how the Bible has all of those fanciful get-out-of-jail-free quotes littered throughout, isn't it Carl? There's another one about the Devil in there too, or so I'm told. God knows (sorry!), if I was contributing to a book that is constructed around the cynical malleability of the ignorant, I'd place those circular little defenses in there as well!


As a Christian, I took philosophy at a Christian university, and my devoutly Christian philosophy professor once said, "There are a lot of awful arguments for God that nobody should ever believe." IMHO, Heaven is for Real is one of the worst. And I repeat, there are some AWFUL arguments for God.


I just think it's stupid people believe this type of crap, but when kids speak of things they weren't even alive to experience (wars etc) people chalk it up to imagination.

Speak of "heaven" and "god"? Oh heaven is definitely real! Kid talks (in depth)about being in a war that happened almost 100 years ago that he's heard nothing about? He has an active imagination.

The book is stupid and obviously a huge money making scheme.


Aside from the obvious fact the Burpos are lying is the fact the Coulton's father looks like a deranged, unhinged maniac who has pretty much forced this kid to turn what may have started as a child's overactive imagination and lies to gain attention, into a lucrative business.
The mother looks a bit dark and seedy. She's seen some bad shit, done some bad shit and looks like a hollowed out old drug addict.
It's hard to say how much longer this crazy garbage will go on. But I can see in the kids face when he tells the bullshit stories that his heart isn't in it. And I see a resentment forming towards the cameras themselves.
What kid would want to live their childhood forced to repeat an old lie repeatedly?
I suspect the kid may blow the scheme eventually or good Ol' Dad will take the hoax a bit too far.
You give people money and it just exaggerates who they are. And this very dark looking family has millions at their disposal. Only a matter of time before this scam comes apart.


The book HEAVEN IS FOR REAL was a fascinating read for me.  For many it has given them hope for eternal life.  To me, this is a far too important a subject to put my hope in a little boy's experience.  I wanted to see what God had to say so I went to the Bible.  I have written a Bible study about heaven.  I would be delighted to send you a free copy.  Email me at heaven.study@yahoo.com and I will email you a copy.  If you have only seen the movie, I would suggest you read the book.  The movie changed somethings, add things that did not happen and left out some great material.


What's the hurt in believing, such a wonderful experience.


Wow, i guess I'm not surprised by people believing this kid's ridiculous claims. Kinda reminds me of 2000 years ago when a bunch of people believed someone else's ridiculous claims...Fact is, people are sheep and Jesus was a damn good shephard. Hook. Line. Sinker.


And hey, not trying to be a hater. Went to Catholic school K-8, Jesuit HS, Jesuit College. Started smelling something funny bout fifth grade but went along for the ride. Pains me any time I'm dragged to a mass. Pains me to read about the "miracles" attributed to Pope JP2 (posthumously, no less). Been to SLC and seen Catholics look at Mormons like they're aliens. Glad to see more and more people coming around to the idea that organized religion is total horseshit. False promises, false claims, spare some change?? Here comes the basket!! The biggest bullshit story every told (shout out to G Carlin).


So have faith because what if your wrong??? I'm sure god can appreciate that...

If the afterlife is so wonderful it sure seems like Christians do a lot of praying to avoid it, why? Shouldn't you all be praying that people die, so they can more quickly join the lord in heaven.


When I was 4 I had a very vivid dream that I remember to this day.... Skeletor was marching up my driveway and got in an argument with me about who my stuffed animals belonged to. He had such an odd cackle. He knew my parents names, the location of items in my house.... How could he not be real? All hail lord Skeletor.

The smart pig

My daughter had a dream that the big bad wolf came into our house and flushed her Grandma down the toilet.... BE AWARE OF THE Big Bad Wolf....he will huff, puff, and blow your house Dow!

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