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View Full Version : Alex Malarkey, 'The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,' Admits He Made It All Up



shunyadragon
01-19-2015, 04:59 AM
A bestselling Christian book that claims to detail a boy's trip to heaven and his return to Earth is being pulled from stores after one of its co-authors admitted he made the whole thing up.

The 2010 memoir, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven," was written by Alex Malarkey and his father, Kevin Malarkey, a Christian therapist in Ohio.

In 2004, when Alex was 6, the two were badly injured in an automobile accident. Alex ended up in a coma for two months, and the book claims to tell the story of his trips to heaven during that time.

Malarkey described a heaven with a "hole in outer heaven" that goes to hell. He detailed his conversations with Jesus Christ and meetings with the devil, who at one point blamed him for the accident.

But on Tuesday, the boy, who was left a quadriplegic in the accident, took it all back. The Pulpit & Pen website published "An Open Letter to Lifeway and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven,” written by Alex.

Bill the Cat
01-19-2015, 06:16 AM
We have a thread on this in the Christianity forum as well:

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?5176-quot-Boy-who-came-back-from-heaven-quot-recants-his-story

NormATive
01-19-2015, 07:40 PM
A bestselling Christian book that claims to detail a boy's trip to heaven and his return to Earth is being pulled from stores after one of its co-authors admitted he made the whole thing up.

The 2010 memoir, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven," was written by Alex Malarkey and his father, Kevin Malarkey, a Christian therapist in Ohio.

In 2004, when Alex was 6, the two were badly injured in an automobile accident. Alex ended up in a coma for two months, and the book claims to tell the story of his trips to heaven during that time.

Malarkey described a heaven with a "hole in outer heaven" that goes to hell. He detailed his conversations with Jesus Christ and meetings with the devil, who at one point blamed him for the accident.

But on Tuesday, the boy, who was left a quadriplegic in the accident, took it all back. The Pulpit & Pen website published "An Open Letter to Lifeway and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven,” written by Alex.

I recall when these "NDEs" first began oozing out in Christian circles. I also recall how complete 180 they were from basic, Biblical understanding. None of what is described in these accounts can be found in scripture regarding what actually IS in Heaven (according to the book itself). It's clear in scripture that people will not be reunited with their families - they will be like angels:




Mark 12:22-25 ESV ...Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

I think what happens is that sometimes folks who experience brain death begin to hallucinate. What forms the content for these hallucinations? Probably stuff they see in movies and read in books. Or, some colorful sermons that take license with Biblical imagery. The mind has an incredible ability to create very real illusions given the right stimulus (such as hallucinogens like LSD, and serotonin).

I think it took a lot of courage for this young man to tell the truth.

NORM

Enjolras
01-19-2015, 08:31 PM
I recall when these "NDEs" first began oozing out in Christian circles. I also recall how complete 180 they were from basic, Biblical understanding. None of what is described in these accounts can be found in scripture regarding what actually IS in Heaven (according to the book itself). It's clear in scripture that people will not be reunited with their families - they will be like angels:

These stories are not only incompatible with Scripture, but wildly contradictory when compared to one another. Eben Alexander would have us believe he was "a speck on a beautiful butterfly wing; millions of other butterflies around us. We were flying through blooming flowers, blossoms on trees, and they were all coming out as we flew through them..." whereas Colton Burpo tells us that Jesus rides a rainbow-colored horse and that the souls of dead children must still do homework in heaven.

Worth noting is that when Hindus have near death experiences, they meet Krishna or Vishnu in an ornate temple; Buddhists meet Buddha under a tree; Muslims meet Mohammad in the garden of virgins; and Crow Indians visit the happy hunting grounds.


think what happens is that sometimes folks who experience brain death begin to hallucinate. What forms the content for these hallucinations? Probably stuff they see in movies and read in books. Or, some colorful sermons that take license with Biblical imagery. The mind has an incredible ability to create very real illusions given the right stimulus (such as hallucinogens like LSD, and serotonin).

Sam Harris points out that everything that Alexander described about his experience has been reported by DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) users.


I think it took a lot of courage for this young man to tell the truth.

NORM

Sadly, instead of admitting he made the whole thing up, Burpo is just doubling down: http://www.christianpost.com/news/colton-burpo-says-his-heaven-is-for-real-story-is-true-132739/ In his defense I think his Dad, perhaps even unwittingly, helped create the whole narrative.

Doug Shaver
01-19-2015, 08:45 PM
None of what is described in these accounts can be found in scripture regarding what actually IS in Heaven
So, if I read an account that is consistent with scripture, I should believe it?

NormATive
01-19-2015, 09:13 PM
So, if I read an account that is consistent with scripture, I should believe it?

Nope. There's only one way to find out for sure.

NORM

Darth Executor
01-20-2015, 06:15 PM
Alex Malarkey

At least he lived up to the family name.

Doug Shaver
01-20-2015, 06:31 PM
There's only one way to find out for sure.

If I only have someone's word for it, and if it seems antecedently very improbable, I can't be absolutely sure it didn't really happen, but I don't think I'm being unreasonable if I think it probably didn't.

Jedidiah
01-20-2015, 09:10 PM
If I only have someone's word for it, and if it seems antecedently very improbable, I can't be absolutely sure it didn't really happen, but I don't think I'm being unreasonable if I think it probably didn't.

I am a believer. I believe "heaven" is real is real. But I do not believe that these there and back books are true, even if the author (or experiencer) is convinced their experience was real.

NormATive
01-21-2015, 04:13 AM
...I do not believe that these there and back books are true, even if the author (or experiencer) is convinced their experience was real.

Why not? Are you referring to even the ones that are in line with proper Christian doctrine (I know there were a few)? So, if these people were dead, what happened to their souls?

NORM

Christianbookworm
01-21-2015, 05:23 AM
They were only clinically dead, not brain dead.

Jedidiah
01-21-2015, 02:56 PM
Why not? Are you referring to even the ones that are in line with proper Christian doctrine (I know there were a few)? So, if these people were dead, what happened to their souls?

NORMThere are non in line with "proper Christian doctrine" since "proper Christian doctrine" does not have any detail about what it is like in heaven. Plus the facts that you don't get to come back once you really die.

whag
01-31-2015, 10:33 AM
There are non in line with "proper Christian doctrine" since "proper Christian doctrine" does not have any detail about what it is like in heaven.

Revelation 21:10-27

10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadiac in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubitsd thick.e 18The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.f 21The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

22I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.


Plus the facts that you don't get to come back once you really die.

That's what skeptics say.

jordanriver
01-31-2015, 10:44 AM
all over America at 5:00 PM on Fridays, millions of dead come back to life.