First let me say there is an awesome and miraculous story in this book of a precious little boy who was healed through God and the work of physicians that will make you cry and rejoice at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first part of the book that told about the struggle that 3-year-old Colton and his parents went through and then the ultimate day of his getting to go home from the hospital.
However, that is as far as my liking this book goes. I want to list a few of the concerns that I have with this book and its portrayal of Heaven.
#1. “A natural question popped into my head: “Colton, what did the angels look like?” He chuckled at what seemed to be a memory. “Well, one of them looked like Grandpa Dennis, but it wasn’t him, ’cause Grandpa Dennis has glasses.” Then he grew serious. “Dad, Jesus had the angels sing to me because I was so scared. They made me feel better.”
It appears that they may be saying that people become angels when they leave this earth and take up residence in heaven. If this is the case, it is theologically incorrect. There is never any mention of people becoming angels, as a matter of fact the Bible is clear that we are the same people as we were on earth without sin and with new bodies.
#2. “What do people look like in heaven?” “Everybody’s got wings,” Colton said. Wings, huh? “Did you have wings?” I asked. “Yeah, but mine weren’t very big.” He looked a little glum when he said this. “Okay . . . did you walk places or did you fly?” “We flew. Well, all except for Jesus. He was the only one in heaven who didn’t have wings. Jesus just went up and down like an elevator.”
Again, there is no reference to humans ever getting wings in heaven. It appears again to me they may be saying that the people become angels. It is a great disservice that has been done to Christianity for people to see depictions of humans in heaven as angels and many people just assume that is what we become. There is no indication in scripture that we will fly in heaven. (I am not saying that we will not) but I doubt it, it is not what we do here. God made the birds to fly, not humans.
#3 “It was also possible that time in heaven doesn’t track with time on earth. The Bible says that with the Lord, “a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Some interpret that as a literal exchange, as in, two days equals two thousand years. I’ve always taken it to mean that God operates outside of our understanding of time. Time on earth is keyed to a celestial clock, governed by the solar system. But the Bible says there is no sun in heaven because God is the light there. Maybe there is no time in heaven. At least not as we understand it.
The Bible says in Genesis 8:22 the following: TNIV
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
The Bible is clear that God operates outside of time as we know it, He is Spirit. However, as humans we operate in seasons, days, nights, and so on. There is no indication this will change when we are in our eternal home.
#4. “Colton, what did Pop look like?” He broke into a big grin. “Oh, Dad, Pop has really big wings!” Again with the present tense. It was weird. Colton went on. “My wings were really little, but Pop’s were big!”
See Reference above for #2
#5. “With all my heart, I wanted to believe. At that moment, the details of our conversations began to pile up in my mind like a stack of Polaroids—pictures of heaven that seemed uncannily accurate from the descriptions we all have available to us in the Bible—all of us who can read, that is. But these details were obscure to most adults, much less a kid of Colton’s young age.
There certainly are some things that seem accurate according to scripture but the things above cannot be linked to scripture.
#6. “When I asked him what Pop looked like, Colton would talk mainly about his clothes and the size of his wings. When I asked him about facial features, though, he got kind of vague. I have to admit, it was kind of bugging me.
See references to #s 4 and 2 above
#7. “Knowing how many pictures Colton had rejected, Sonja and I finally felt that in Akiane’s portrait, we’d seen the face of Jesus. Or at least a startling likeness.
There are no pictures of Jesus to begin with and we don’t know what he looked like in great detail. We actually have very little to go on in scripture. The picture referenced here looks very American and he has blue/green eyes. Jesus was a Jew, born in the Middle East, he would have looked like a middle eastern man. There is never a reference in the Bible to say he has changed in his birth looks and features. Matter of fact people recognized him as Jesus after he rose from the dead. they would not have known him if he looked like me.
This is a good read for the story of Coltons miraculous healing. However, I believe the only thing we can hold to is the scripture to tell us what heaven is like. I do not doubt this boy had some kind of experience and maybe God allowed him to see heaven, I do not know. I do know that several key things in the book do not match up with scripture.