“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. 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.” – Alex Malarkey, 10 year-old quadriplegic, in an open letter to Christian bookstores asking that they stop selling his hit book.
From the website Pulpit & Pen:
This will be welcome news to many concerned Christians who have for years lobbied both of these organizations to stop profiting from the sale of “Heavenly Tourism” books, supposed “true stories” of people (often young children) visiting heaven and coming back to tell about it, which inevitably become best sellers. One of the main criticisms of these books, of which there are many, is the frequency with which they out-rightly contradict each other, regaling the reader with diametrically opposing details on the afterlife, including details of who will be there, what Jesus looks like, and the like. A simple example would be that in Colton Burpos’ book Heaven is for Real, readers are told that everyone in heaven has wings. Don Piper’s book 90 Minutes in Heaven makes no mention of wings on the residents of heaven. (Note: the Bible indicates that the residents of heaven, before the resurrection of the saints, do not have bodies. It’s unclear why people with without bodies would need wings.)
Malarkey’s retraction is headline news across the Christian blogosphere and accusations are flying that the book’s publisher and the president of the nation’s largest Christian bookstore chain knew that the boy’s story was false.