On 16 January 2015, Phil Johnson made public his unanswered June 2014 letter to Tyndale House, publishers of the The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven book that is the centre of an unfolding scandal. Shortly after, Tyndale House Senior Publicist, Maggie Wallem Rowe, issued the following statement:
Due to inaccurate statements currently being disseminated on some social media outlets, Tyndale is providing a further statement on our decision to take The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven out of print.
“Earlier this week Tyndale learned that Alex Malarkey, co-author of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, was retracting the story he had told his father and that he recounted in the book they co-authored for publication in 2010. It is because of this new information that we are taking the book out of print. For the past couple of years we have known that Beth Malarkey, Kevin’s wife and Alex’s mother, was unhappy with the book and believed it contained inaccuracies. On more than one occasion we asked for a meeting with Kevin, Beth, Alex and their agent to discuss and correct any inaccuracies, but Beth would not agree to such a meeting.”
Phil Johnson, who is Executive Director of John MacArthur’s Grace to You organization, has published Tyndale’s statement on his own website, together with his email response to Ms. Rowe. In that email, Johnson asserts that Rowe’s statement ‘is demonstrably untrue on several levels’, and provides supporting documentation. He writes that he has ‘many more emails between various Tyndale representatives and Beth Malarkey that further prove the point’, and that he is ‘willing to make them public if that’s what it takes to make the truth of the matter known.’
Johnson concludes his email by highlighting the primary issue, which is why Tyndale House would ever have published a book containing supposed extra-biblical revelation and false doctrine:
I cannot close without pointing out that on top of all that, the book itself tells a tale that on the face of it is highly dubious and in places patently unbiblical. It seems quite at odds with Tyndale House Publishers’ founding principles. Instead of trying to spin the facts and make excuses, Tyndale ought to apologize to Beth and Alex Malarkey, and to the reading public as well, and consider instituting major reforms.
Photo credit: Liane Metzler.