Supposedly, when Alex Malarkey was six years old he went to heaven and lived to tell about it. Now, as a teenager he has publicly admitted that the story was not true and he does not want the lie to continue to spread. You can and should read his entire public statement about the book, which can be found here. In part, it reads;
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.
I can’t imagine how much courage that must have taken him and I commend him for it.
His recantation has become national news now. It should make people question the heavenly tourism genre of books and movies, but I’m not so sure that it will. I am glad to see that the publisher, Tyndale House, was finally pushed into pulling the book (NPR reported it). Pulpit and Pen also updated its post based on Warren Throckmorton’s reporting that Lifeway will be pulling the book from store shelves too.
But what should still be of serious concern is that, according to Phil Johnson, Tyndale House Publishers have been aware the story was false for some time, and did not act until now. You can find his explanation here and an email exchange he had years ago with Tyndale House regarding this book, “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven.”