T.D. Jakes: ‘Heaven’ Movie Reflects ‘growing wonder’ about Afterlife

By Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service On April 19, 2014

The Christian Post/Scott Liu

Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas, visited the Atrium at the American Bible Society in NYC on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, for an exclusive interview with The Christian Post.

RNS) Bishop T.D. Jakes, a producer of the new movie "Heaven is for Real," said fascination with the story of Colton Burpo, a 4-year-old boy who claims to have glimpsed heaven after a near-death experience, reflects a "growing wonder" in the afterlife that spans religious backgrounds. The Dallas megachurch leader answered emailed questions about the film, which opened in theaters on Wednesday (April 16).

Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Q: The book on which the film is based was a best-seller and is again. Why do you think it has prompted so much interest?.

A: People are attracted to the simplicity of Colton's story. The vivid detail and the certainty of his experience are the most compelling elements. I also believe that there is a growing wonder about life after death in our culture. The notion of heaven captures people's imagination regardless of their religious predisposition. The need to find purpose in life is often driving that curiosity. Believing in the hereafter provides an anchor for the soul, and a resting place for one's faith.

I also think that people relate to a father wrestling with unbelief, and struggling to find meaning in his son's experience.

Q: Your previous movies have had predominantly black casts. Is there a reason you're branching out?

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T.D. Jakes,
Heaven is for Real