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Best-seller about journey to heaven is pulled

Associated Press
NEW YORK (January 16, 2015) - A best-selling account of a 6-year-old boy's journey to heaven and back has been pulled after the boy retracted his story.

Spokesman Todd Starowitz of Tyndale House, a leading Christian publisher, confirmed Friday that Alex Malarkey's The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven: A Remarkable Account of Miracles, Angels, and Life Beyond This World was being withdrawn. Earlier this week, Malarkey acknowledged in an open letter that he was lying, saying that he had been seeking attention. He also regretted that "people had profited from lies."

"I did not die. I did not go to Heaven," he wrote. "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 Boy Who Came Back From Heaven was first published in 2010 and told of a 2004 auto accident which left Malarkey in a coma. According to the book, co-written by Alex's father, Kevin Malarkey, he had visions of angels and of meeting Jesus. In 2014, Tyndale reissued The Boy, which on the cover includes the billing "A True Story."

The facts of The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven have long been disputed in the Christian community, which has challenged reports of divine visions in Malarkey's book and other best-sellers such as Todd Burpo's Heaven is for Real. Last June, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution declaring "the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations to guide one's understanding of the truth about heaven and hell." One of the leading critics has been Malarkey's mother, Beth. In April 2014, she wrote a blog posting saying that the book's success had been "both puzzling and painful to watch" and that she believed Alex had been exploited.

"I could talk about how much it has hurt my son tremendously and even make financial statements public that would prove that he has not received moneys from the book nor have a majority of his needs been funded by it," she wrote.

"What I have walked through with Alex over the past nine years has nearly broken me personally and spiritually. I have wept so deeply for what I have watched my children go through, been made aware of how ignorant I was of some things, how selfish I was, and how biblically illiterate I was which allowed me to be deceived!"
Last June, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution declaring "the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations to guide one's understanding of the truth about heaven and hell."

Thanks for this. [Some fundamentalist] christians won't believe someone's first hand account of what they experienced, but they'll believe a book written hundeds of years ago by people they've never met.

If they will never believe eye-witness testimony unless they like it, I'm not sure they should be jurors.
Not only the Southern Baptists, I read a Catholic dissertation on NDEs recently which also does all it can to uphold church dogma's. I guess its understandable that they must do this because their whole faith is founded on these (outdated) dogmas. If one cracks, the whole house of cards caves in, and fundamentalists tend to sense this intuitively. They go through life in fear of the 'slippery slope' and what they believe to be eternal hell and damnation. I once told my father, who is a very dogmatic christian fundamentalist, I'd rather wait outside the gates of heaven until the last soul was saved than to feast with the angels while an other soul burned in hell. As long as there's anyone out there, so will I be, to help them as best I can. I realize its not up to us to decide these things, and that that is a Good Thing, but its the attitude that is important.
The article that started this thread tears away the credibility of nder's. I can understand why non-experiencers reject our accounts.

I think the churches do much to teach us about the afterlife and our creator. Unfortunately, many people have had bad experiences with un-reputable church leaders. I believe there are many more excellent leaders, than bad. Personally, I have known many amazingly wonderful church leaders and workers...but, very few bad eggs.
Some televangelists are admittedly, very weird and scary.
Without good church leadership ...can you imagine the way society would be? No good, I think.
One of the problems with leadership is that people so often prefer just the type of person that is most dangerous as a leader.

They value properties like self confidence and the ability to influence others. You know, basic psychopath character traits...

What is really needed is leaders in love. And to keep us all on track we need about a billion of those all helping out just a handful of others. No more, no less. No power, limited influence and lots of love!

Let's do it!
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