“The best-selling book that documents a 6-year-old’s journey to heaven and back during the two months he spent in a coma is being pulled from shelves after the boy, who is now 17, recanted his story,” reports Yahoo! News.
Young Alex Malarkey was in a car crash in 2004 that left him in a 2 month long coma, and ultimately left him paralyzed. When he emerged from his comma, he claimed to have visited heaven. He subsequently co-authored a book with his father, Kevin, about his experience. The book—THE BOY WHO CAME BACK FROM HEAVEN—sold more than a million copies.
Tindale House Publishers is now pulling the book from distribution because Alex (17 yrs old at the time of this writing) has recanted his story, claiming that it was entirely fabricated as an attention-getting ploy.
“Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short. I did not die. I did not go to Heaven. I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.
It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven ... I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.”
According to the WASHINGTON POST, Alex's mom claims that she has not profited financially from the book, since the contract was exclusively with Alex’s father, Kevin. She also claims that she has tried, for years, to make the publisher and distributors aware that the book was not based on actual experience.
Alex has also tried to sound the alarm, but, as his mom recalls, “When Alex first tried to tell a ‘pastor’ how wrong the book was and how it needed to be stopped, Alex was told that the book was blessing people.” Now, with this open letter, Alex himself has stepped forward to try to publicly right the wrong of the deception.
Alex’s book is just one of a number of books which publishers and media have recently labeled “heavenly tourism.” Such books as NINETY MINUTES IN HEAVEN and HEAVEN IS FOR REAL have also become major best-sellers, the latter even becoming a high-grossing Hollywood movie.
While Alex’s recanting does not automatically nullify the veracity of other, similar “heavenly tourism” publications, it does give us cause for pause to consider the weight of his premise: We don’t need a supernatural experience to know about and understand heaven. As Alex reminds us, “The Bible is sufficient … the Bible is Enough.”
Indeed, Heaven is for real, not because Alex or anyone else tells us so. It is for real because God Himself, in the pages of Scripture, tells us so.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” (Revelation 21:1-5, ESV).