If you’ve seen the news yesterday or today, you may have been surprised to find this, this, or this. After five years of people swearing by this book, the truth has finally broken through the surface of the news. The frail but brave voice of Alex Malarkey, who, with his father, wrote the bestselling book “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven,” has at last been heard by the world. In “an open letter to Lifeway and other sellers, buyers, and marketers of heaven tourism,” published on the Pulpit and Pen (where you will find more info as well), Alex wrote this:
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 may you learn of Heaven outside of what is written in the Bible…not by reading a work of man. 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.
I applaud Alex for the courage it must have taken to get the truth out. I applaud him for having the persistence to be heard in this. He and his mother have both tried to set the record straight before, as can be seen here, and here. I also applaud Alex for keeping the main thing the main thing in his brief letter. I applaud him for pointing to the Gospel, and for making much of the sufficiency of Scripture. This is, after all, truly the issue it all comes down to in any discussion of the heaven tourism accounts — the Bible is enough. Scripture is sufficient. “The limits of our curiosity are thus established by the boundary of biblical revelation” (MacArthur).
How should this breaking news affect how we think about other books on visits to heaven? If nothing else, I think it must surely give us great pause about believing other accounts. I urge you to take seriously Alex’s plead for a reliance on the sufficiency of Scripture. I also encourage you to read this review of “Heaven is for Real,” in which I deal largely with the issue of the Bible alone as our sufficient and infallible revelation of the glory of heaven. We must be willing more than ever to take after the Bereans and weigh absolutely everything against the infallible, inerrant rule of Scripture. God’s Word is not only unchanging and far more reliable than the words of children, it is enough—it is sufficient!