afterlife discussion has nine lives

A recent gracEmail titled "Boy Who Told Fibs About Heaven" told of 16-year-old Alex Malarkey's announcement that his book, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven (co-written with dad, Kevin), was untrue. Alex never went to heaven, he now says, but rather as a six-year-old made up the whole story to get attention. The gracEmail noted three major elements in Alex's story that contradict biblical … [Read more...]


"Physical with limits. Mortal by creation." Thus, we bear the Image. Mark of our Creator indelibly imprinted. Autograph of Maker certifying product. Personal inspection gained his high approval. He pronounced it "very good." His signature now spoiled and smeared, the image yet remains; reminder of our origin and of his rightful rule. He formed the human first from dirt; from stuff of earth at … [Read more...]

Obedience and trust as fruit and root

When I was a child, we often sang a hymn that admonished us to "trust and obey," assuring us that "there's no other way to be happy in Jesus." The two verbs go together: we obey because we trust, and because we trust we obey. Trust and obedience are well-suited companions, but more. Related, but more. They live in symbiotic relationship, each nourishing and being nourished by the other, each … [Read more...]

God, the gospel, and the nations’ obedience

When God chose Israel as his special people and covenant partner, it was his intention through them ultimately to bless the world. "By your descendants," God promised Abraham, "shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 22:18). God blessed Israel so that, through Israel, all nations would be blessed. The chosen people prayed: "May God . . . bless us, that thy . . . [saving power] may be … [Read more...]

Boy who told fibs about heaven

Titled The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, this 2010 bestseller from Tyndale by Alex Malarkey and his father Kevin Malarkey has sold more than a million copies. And why not, we ask, for a book that purports to tell the story of six-year-old Alex, who sustained head injuries in a vehicular collision that left him comatose for two months and paralyzed permanently. While in the coma, said Alex, … [Read more...]


Long before humans existed, God already knew that they would reject him and fall into sin and death, and he graciously planned in exquisite detail how he would rescue them and bring them back to himself. God imagined these details for his own joy and pleasure in contemplation, but he told no one his imaginations in great detail. When the time was right and God actually pulled off this Rescue, it … [Read more...]