In recent years, books related to peoples’ alleged trips to heaven have caused quite a stir in the evangelical community. The books certainly sell and make the publishers money, but what doctrinal value are they providing to the church of Jesus Christ? Are we supposed to take the claims of these people and paste them to the back of our Bible and consider them the latest addition to Holy Writ?
The critics of this genre of Christian literature, known as “heavenly tourism”, have pointed out that in Scripture not even the apostle Paul was willing to describe his trip to heaven. He was uncertain as to how he came to see what he saw.
In light of these words from Paul, and the shadow of doubt they cast on all claims of heavenly visitations (which are replete with detailed descriptions), it is not surprising to hear that Alex Malarkey, of the book The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, published by Tyndale House, has publicly recanted his story. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and whether others will come out and recant, and whether the church’s fascination with this genre will finally wane and provide the publishers with no more profit. To learn more about this breaking story:
- Read Alex Malarkey’s published statement
- Read Phil Johnson’s (John MacArthur’s right hand man) commentary on the heavenly tourism genre.
- Read Phil Johnson’s personal correspondence with Tyndale House regarding Alex Malarkey.
Sadly, all signs point to Christian publishers and bookstores having no concern about making money off of false doctrine. We should not be surprised by this, however, for that very same Paul who gave us no detail about heaven gave us great detail regarding these latter days on earth: