Published On: Thu, Apr 9th, 2015

‘Heaven is For Real’ and ’90 Minutes in Heaven’ expelled from Lifeway as Baptists expand ‘banned lists’

LifeWay Christian Resources is in the process of removing literature from bookstore shelves that are now labeled “heaven tourism,” or stories purportedly based on the accounts of people who claim to have visited heaven. At the top of the list to go is Heaven is For Real and 90 Minutes in Heaven, which is currently being made into a film.

Marty King, director of communications for LifeWay, told The Christian Post that the move was decided upon last summer. The Southern Baptist-affiliated bookstore chain responded to decisions over doctrine and have moved to separate themselves from this material.

90 Minutes in Heaven banner photo“We stopped re-ordering heaven visitation resources last summer. All remaining such items have been removed from our stores and website, and will not be replenished,” King said. “We have more work to do aligning the LifeWay Retail Division with LifeWay’s vision and values, so we covet your prayers as we continue to provide trustworthy biblical solutions for life.”

Joel Osteen, William P. Young, and Joyce Meyer already headline a list of authors not available at the popular Christian outlet.

Their stance is that these “books and movies purporting to explain or describe the afterlife experience” describe heaven “from a subjective, experiential source,” and they “contain details that are antithetical to Scripture.”

Other evangelicals have condemned the genre along similar lines.

A new article titled “LifeWay Removes Unbiblical Resources from Their Stores” by Cameron Dobbins lists authors on the out: “I want to applaud LifeWay for this decision which will encourage Christians to be more discerning about what they read and share with others,” wrote Dobbins on his blog.”…LifeWay still has a long way to go because though their list is exhaustive it still is missing other authors who are harming the church with unbiblical doctrines.”

Along with Christian bestsellers, the list Dobbins published includes names like controversial philosopher Peter Singer, New Age author Deepak Chopra, and Matthew Vines, author of “God and the Gay Christian.”

Christianity Today list some of the “bans” and battles over items sold at Lifeway:

  • 2009, LifeWay was asked to ban Mark Driscoll’s books from its stores at the SBC’s annual meeting, but the motion failed to pass.
  • 2009, motions reportedly requested to have The Shack and books by T.D. Jakes, John Hagee, and “Catholics” removed.
  • early 2011, CT reported when LifeWay dropped its “read with discernment” sticker program, which targeted books that “may have espoused thoughts, ideas, or concepts that could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology.”
  • 2012, LifeWay pulled The Blind Side from shelves after complaints over the film’s profanity and use of a racial slur. The same year, the chain declined to carry Rachel Held Evans’ book A Year of Biblical Womanhood.
  • 2012, LifeWay declined an SBC request to remove the 2011 NIV Bible translation from its shelves, and halted sales of a breast cancer awareness Bible amid concerns over the book’s beneficiary: Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which also partners with Planned Parenthood.


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. ‘Miracles From Heaven’ Review: Jennifer Garner brings Christy Beam’s journey of faith to life - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] movie fans will love it, maybe even those Baptists who object to “heaven tourism,” because the Miracles From Heaven is just moving. Perfectly safe for kids, ages 7-9 and up, with […]

  2. Darth Cthulhu says:


  3. Sue says:

    Another good reason to not ever join a Southern Baptist church. Talk about censoring.

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