Friday, April 29, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found


VideoREWARD!! Trooper a gray & white male cat is missing from County Road 429 Stockdale. He might have been accidently transported off. Missing since 11/13/2015. Call 512-629-2005.
*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound

VideoLost: Pitbull mix, brindle male, answers to Jake, since April 7 on I-37 between 536 and Hardy Rd. No questions, help Jake come home to his family, 361-765-7373.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Shuttle Bus drivers needed, full-time and part-time, no experience needed. Good job tenure, clear criminal background/driving record required, $11.50-$12 DOE. Email sunny.myers@lkjordan.com. L.K. Jordan & Associates.
Experienced electrician needed. Call 210-885-4101, fax 830-393-0909, or email srallaelect@netzero.net.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

South Texas Living


Polished Edge: ‘Heaven is for Real’ and the Gospel of Life




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
May 21, 2014 | 3,952 views | Post a comment

By Dr. Paul Kengor

I recently bought the book Heaven is for Real and saw the movie. That was unusual for me. I don’t typically do the books and movies everyone else is doing, especially the touchy-feely spiritual ones. Maybe it’s the snob in me, or, really, I just don’t like to do what the culture is doing. But this time, I made an exception.

The story is about the near-death experience of a four-year-old named Colton Burpo, a pastor’s son from Nebraska. I’ll say up front that I didn’t care much for the movie, unlike the book. The screenwriter took too many shortcuts and liberties and redirections with new characters. Most annoying was the sexualizing of the little boy’s mother, Sonja Burpo. Don’t get me wrong, she’s no Miley Cyrus or Madonna, but she’s repeatedly represented in an alluring, suggestive, sensual manner. I was almost expecting a nude scene.

The writer/director, Randall Wallace, explained Sonja’s portrayal this way: “So many people believe that Christians, and particularly the wives of ministers, would be these sexless, sweet, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-their-mouths kind of people, and that was the opposite of what I thought Sonja was or should be. And Kelly [Reilly, the actress who plays Sonja] just had this sense of romance and charisma -- you couldn’t take your eyes off of her.”

Really? Who are these “many people” who think of Christian women this way? Must we cater to narrow-minded secularists who imagine that the vast sea of American churches they never visit have no attractive women inside? If some 20-something “progressive” New Yorker is that insular and prejudiced, too bad. Let’s not tailor to his ignorance by sexualizing the church-mom in a story about a little boy’s visit to heaven. I wonder how the real-life Sonja Burpo feels about this portrayal of her.

But on the positive side, there was much about young Colton’s story that was compelling and convincing.

Generally, both the movie and book detail things that this child, even as a minister’s son, couldn’t have known ahead of time. I don’t have the space to detail all of those here. You’ll need to see for yourself. Actually, read the book first, because it details these things far better and more believably than the movie. But I will share just one especially poignant example that really touched me when I viewed the movie trailer; in fact, it prompted me to buy the book first.

Well after he has come home from the hospital and recovered, Colton one day out-of-the-blue tells his mother that he has two sisters. Sonja casually corrects him, “No, Colton you have your (one) sister.”

“No,” Colton responds. “I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?”

“Who told you I had a baby die in my tummy?” a stunned Sonja responds to her four-year-old.

“She did, Mommy. She said she died in your tummy.”

Sonja is speechless. She had a miscarriage a few years before Colton’s birth, but no one ever told little Colton. How did he know? He knew because he said he met the deceased sister in heaven.

A shocked Sonja, long grieved by that miscarriage, asks Colton the girl’s name. He tells her that she doesn’t have one, because Mommy and Daddy never gave her one. The crushed Sonja responds that they indeed didn’t name her, because they never knew she was a she. It’s okay, Colton tells his mother, she’s fine, she has hair just like yours, and God has adopted her: “She just can’t wait for you and Daddy to get to heaven.”

This scene really hit me. My wife and I have a bunch of kids, but between the second and third there were miscarriages. I’ve often thought about those unborn lives. Should I pray for them? Are they indeed children waiting for us? This innocent, hopeful account by this little boy really struck me. A cynic might say that this is a purely emotional response, that this book/film pushed my buttons. But I’m not like that. I think there’s more to it. Consider: My faith teaches that life begins at conception. I know it. I believe it. I write about it. I teach it.

So, if that’s the case, then why wouldn’t I believe that those miscarriages, which were lives that began at conception, are waiting in heaven, just as the lives that make it out of the womb go to the other side?

It makes sense, doesn’t it? Did it take little Colton Burpo’s feel-good story about how heaven is for real, to help me -- this chastened writer and academic -- understand that those unborn lives are also for real, in heaven?

Call me a sentimentalist, but something about this particular account of heaven struck me as really real.

Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

South Texas Living Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hear John Muir music at San Antonio Missions (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Judy Bolton Mysteries (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Kendra Scott Trunk Show in Poth (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Merle Haggard tribute to highlight Opry (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mother’s Day Bake Sale (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Musical Club hosts a Bealls style show (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. See ‘Shenandoah’ at Night in Ol’ La Vernia (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Suspected bank bandits charged (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Sängerfest brings German choral feast to Floresville (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Theatre Arts students plan variety show (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Treat Mom to a play May 8 (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. America needs old-fashioned values (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Boy Scouts will mark 105 years April 24 in Floresville (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cowboy Breakfast will benefit families in need (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Dance to the ‘Countrymen’ April 24 in Geronimo (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Davy Crockett lunchbox (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy Parish Festival May 1 (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Gospel Music Association plans convention (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Historian’s archives secure the past for the future (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Jazz Festival to feature Grammy winner (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lions seek vendors for upcoming Car Show (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Paper Clover Campaign continues (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Road Runners group run April 23 (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. See Johnny Rodriguez at Texas Theatre (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Shop books and more at Falls City library (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Annual Cowboy Breakfast set for April 23 (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cutting the cord on sugar (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free Grafting Seminar (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free movie night at El Mesias (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hanging out at Hangar 9 (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Match Safe (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Play Texas Hold ’em to help children (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Powerful illustration takes top prize (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Register your ride for the Lions Club Car Show (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Saddle up for Poth’s Ride to Remember (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. St. Hedwig church feast is April 24 (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Suspects taken to jail in Floresville (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Aggie Muster is April 21 (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Beauty hides work to save historic county courthouse (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Blue Bonnet Club supports SISD Hope Day (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Bluebonnet Festival of Texas is April 9-10 (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Celebrate the Burton Cotton Gin Festival (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy free jazz concert in Kerrville (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Find out the many uses of native plants (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. First Baptist to host Bible Conference (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. It’s not just complaining (It’s about justice) (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. It’s Swing Dance time in Seguin (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Jump-start SA party at Fiesta Fiesta (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. OLPH plans tour, wine tasting fund-raiser (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pilgrim Opry set for April 9 (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Playhouse 2000 features ‘forgotten’ Mark Twain play (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Ruby Glass (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Service Through Music benefit (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Shoot skeet, play washers for ACTS (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Witness ‘The Gospel Side of Elvis’ (April 6, 2016)
WCN Photo Contest HHF
WWII Clippings HHF
Coupon Q&A HHF-right
coupon home-rght
Triple R DC ExpertsEast Central Driving SchoolVoncille Bielefeld homeHeavenly Touch homeAllstate & McBride Realty

  Copyright © 2007-2016 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.