Director: Randall Wallace
Writer: Randall Wallace, Chris Parker, and others
Actors: Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum, Lane Stylesw, Margo Martindale, Thomas Haden Church.
Producers: Joe Roth, T.D. Jakes
I have resisted seeing this movie for a long time. However, this weekend being sick with fever and ague I felt that I was in the perfect state for watching this movie.
Plot: Todd Burpo (Greg Kinnear) is a small town pastor trying to keep bills paid, food on the table and the flock fed by the word of God. But times are getting tough money is scarce and his part time jobs aren’t covering all the bills. On the return from a family outing Colton Burpo (Connor Corum) bursts his appendix and is rushed into surgery. There Colton experiences a vision of heaven where he tells his dad that he saw him in the chapel angry at God telling him not to take his son, the doctors working on him, his Mom calling the church members to pray, and then Colton saw Jesus. Jesus then took Colton to meet different people including the great-grandfather who died before he was born and the little sister who he never met that died because of a miscarriage
Colton survives the surgery and continues to talk about his experiences in heaven to various people in the town which disturbs the town folk to no end and the board members of the church also. Todd Burpo seeks to find out if what Colton experienced was near death hallucination by talking to a professor at a local college who tells him that at death it has been proven that the brain fires off impulses that causes a person to hallucinate. But Todd points out that his son Colton didn’t actually die so that can’t be it. It finally comes to a head in church where Todd says that he supports his son’s visions. Later as Todd is looking up an article about a Lithuanian girl who paints the vision she see of Jesus Colton looks at the picture and says that is the Jesus he saw.
Now let me coin a phrase here: Bad theology makes bad movies.
I have no beef with the production values, or the acting in this movie although I do think Greg Kinnear should make better role choices. But that is neither here nor there. My biggest problem with this film is the idea that Jesus takes people up to heaven for a little get together and then sends them back. My second biggest one is the end bit where we learn that a little Lithuanian girl is painting actual pictures of Jesus, a Caucasian Jesus, which I find disturbing and against God’s commandments to not make an image of God. (Exodus 20:4) Plus why would God take someone to heaven just to send them back, heaven is the abode for the believers, it is our ultimate home we earnestly desire to be with Christ it makes no sense for Christ to show this kid the glory of heaven and to send him back. Now if I recall in the film correctly they put in a weasel work by saying this isn’t the heaven, heaven it is just a “heaven” not necessarily the ultimate abode of the saved.
Bad theology, no gospel, and violations of God’s law I give this two stars.