“The Chosen portrays the Good Samaritan as a true story, as opposed to a parable, and uses this premise to leverage an emotional payoff. But the premise of the Good Samaritan parable actually happening and meeting a villain of that story distracts from the emotional sensation that the show was going for. Instead of feeling powerful, it feels cheap.”
(Ray Fava – Evangelical Dark Web) After the brutal and choresome first season of The Chosen, I have not been eager to pick back up with my episodic review of the series. To summarize, the first season of The Chosen is a both unfaithful as an adaption of the Bible and is also bad television from an entertainment and quality standpoint. Having heard that season two is superior to its predecessor, I finally embarked on its first episode, “Thunder.” Continue reading
Usually theological liberals try to argue that there are two creation accounts, that days should be translated as eras, or some sort of God-guided Darwinian evolution. The Gospel Coalition instead argues that the entire seven-day framework is an analogy. They are not answering the question of seven days or seven eras, they are denying them entirely, writing them off as a “literary analogy.”
(Ray Fava – Evangelical Dark Web) Last month, The Gospel Coalition unveiled an incomplete commentary on the Bible, a work that they were fundraising to complete. Tim Keller, on of the founders of The Gospel Coalition is an avowed theistic evolutionist. We knew there would be problems with this commentary. Unsurprisingly, the problems begin on page one, or Genesis 1. Continue reading
(John Lanagan – The Word Like Fire) It only takes a few popular Christian leaders with national profiles to embrace a teaching that sounds Christian to bring about big changes in the church. –Ray Yungen
Louie Gigglio, Dave Ramsey, Dr. Russell Moore, The Bible Project founders Tim Mackie and Jon Collins, Mark Batterson, Amy Grant, and many other high profile members of the visible church have delved into the world of the Enneagram.
Does this mean the Enneagram is helpful to Christians? No, it does not. But for deception to be successful, it must be effective in masking its real nature. Continue reading
“The blatant brainwashing of young children into accepting or embracing Islam is overshadowed by the accusations of censorship hurled against those trying to expose this indoctrination. As the censorship argument clouds the indoctrination issue, adults are distracted and lose sight of the predominant issue at hand, which is the powerful influence that children’s books hold in shaping the beliefs and attitudes of their children.”
(Deborah DeGroff – What’s Inside Children’s Books?) In this blog I will demonstrate how easily children can be influenced to accept or reject certain ideologies through the power of story books. Continue reading
As previously reported, endorsements for Prosperity Pastrix Paula White’s book came from pastors Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, Greg Laurie, Jack Graham and others in the Evangelical Industrial Complex such as Jerry Fallwell Jr. and Ralph Reed. When the evangelical community got wind of this, a flood of protests were tweeted out which caused some of the above mentioned to quickly delete their Twitter endorsements of the book. However, one of President Trump’s spiritual advisers, Robert Jeffress, actually defended his endorsement. It is deeply troubling to find out that our highly regarded evangelical leaders are sorely lacking in spiritual discernment. Anyone who takes a few minutes to research Paula White will discover that her mentor is none other than prominent Word of Faith heretic, T.D. Jakes (here).
So with this background in place, David Robertson of Christian Today has a review of Something Greater. He writes:
Paula White has a new book out. In case you don’t know who she is, she is a televangelist, prosperity preacher and President Trump’s self-styled spiritual adviser; she is also no stranger to controversy. Continue reading
“[T]he book explains that sexual predators deliberately work their way into communities in which their position will give them access to potential victims. They look for communities in which they will be given positions of trust and access to vulnerable people. If this is true of the world of gymnastics, it is equally true of the church.”
(Tim Challies) Rachael Denhollander’s What Is a Girl Worth? is a hard book to read. But it’s also an important book to read. While it tells of the horrendous crimes perpetrated by just one man, it warns that many similar crimes have been and are being perpetrated by a great many other predators…. Continue reading
New Age, Roman Catholic mystic Roma Downey has a new book to sell. So she has turned to several evangelical luminaries to help promote her book. Check out who the people are who “rave over Roma’s every word.” Names are included as well as a few key words/phrases taken from their glowing testimonials.
But this is not about so-called evangelical leaders who endorse the work of false teachers like Roma. Lois Putnam of Learn to Discern Granny has written a stellar review of Downey’s book Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us: Continue reading
Dr. Gary Gilley of Southern View Chapel reviews Rob Bell’s latest stab at discrediting God’s Word, What is the Bible? How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything. In this book “beloved author” Rob Bell claims that Jesus didn’t have to die, denies God’s wrath, says he believes all people are saints….and there are far worse unbiblical musings from the former pastor. Berean Research wrote in a post about his 2016 book How to Be Here, “We are in for another round of worldly, self-focused fulfillment. Not in Christ, but in, you know, you.” Here we go again.
In this piece over at Junction City, Gabriel Hughes responds to questions about a so-called “Christian” movie.
Dear Pastor Hughes:
I would like to ask you a few questions regarding this film [Finger of God]. I read your blog, but I cannot find any new information. The Church I attend is planning to show this film. Would you recommend we do? If not, why? Any updated information will help me. Thanks, Mario
Pastor Gabriel Hughes has written a book report on Sinners In the Hands of a Loving God. He writes:
Brian Zahnd has a bone to pick. By the title of his upcoming book, slated to release on August 15, you might think his bone is with puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards. The title of the book is Sinners In the Hands of a Loving God, a play on words against Edwards’ famous sermon Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God, perhaps the most famous sermon ever preached on American soil. But Zahnd’s bone isn’t with Edwards. It’s with the Bible.
Zahnd hates the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement. He has made no secret of this. I believe that if he and I were sitting next to one another, he would go, “Yup, I hate it.” He agrees that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but he has a rather vague way of explaining that. Zahnd says, “We violently sinned our sins into Jesus.” Okay, what does that mean? Where is that in the Bible?
Lisa Leavens of Soldiers 4 Truth has written a review of (adept Scripture twister) Joyce Meyer’s new book “20 Ways to Make Every Day Better.” Leavens’ take on the book is that it provides 20 ways to distract us from spending time in our bibles. Here’s her review of Meyer’s book:
If just reading the Bible isn’t giving you the peace and happiness you desire, worry no more! Joyce Meyer claims that with her new book, you will “experience a new level of joy, contentment, and excitement about your life.” 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better will hit store bookshelves on April 4th and there is a sample available on JoyceMeyer.org that includes the introduction and the first two chapters. However, if the sample is any indication of what we can expect from the rest of the book, I’m willing to bet that it is full of twisted scriptures and total nonsense from beginning to end.
Joyce starts out her introduction talking about the problem with bad days saying, “I don’t believe for one moment that you have to go through life held hostage by your circumstances.” Then later in the same paragraph she says, “Your hope and happiness is not dependent on the world,” along with a bible passage, “He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The problem with her use of this passage is that 1 John is not talking about a bad day or our happiness, but it is talking about false teachers, which I find to be both interesting and ironic.
C.H. Fisher over at Truthkeepers reviews “Silence” that hit theaters this past December. He points out that what many people, including professing Christians, will miss is that, although the film is presented as true Christianity, it is actually Roman Catholicism which Fisher demonstrates in his review:
“Silence” is the latest movie by Martin Scorsese, who also produced “The Last Temptation of Christ.” I have read several reviews by professing Christians who are recommending it without reservations. Additionally, the Dove Foundation awarded the movie 4 out of 5 doves. Charisma News asks, “Is Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Prophetic?” CBN also presented a rave review. Christianity Today entitled its review, “Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Asks What It Really Costs to Follow Jesus.”
Another review in CT is entitled, “Silence Review: Hollywood’s Gift To The Church That Might Just Save Your Faith.” And what is the message of “Silence” that might save your life? The message of the movie is antithetical to true faith.
The title of Lumindeo’s review of the movie is, “Silence—A Christian’s Contemplative Guide.”  In the “About” section of the Lumindeo website it is described as “a network created by and for passionate followers of Jesus Christ.” If Lumindeo consists of passionate followers of Jesus Christ, why don’t they know that Christianity never grew in apostasy, but always in persecution and martyrdom?
See our Research Papers on Roman Catholicism and Contemplative Prayer
Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen reviews a book by “noted prophetic voice” Kris Vallotton whose the Senior Associate Leader of the nefarious Bethel Church in Redding, CA.
The endorsements alone are enough to warrant a “Warning: Heretical & Hermeneutical Danger Ahead” notice on its cover. With glowing endorsements from the likes of “apostle” Mike Bickle, Jesus Culture founder Banning Liebscher, Ted Dekker, Che Ahn, Heidi Baker, and Shawn Bolz, there is little doubt that Destined To Win is borne of a “wide path” false theology. Add the obligatory laudation from Vallotton’s cohort in charlatanry, Bill Johnson – whom Vallotton compares to Moses – and the assurance that the book will distort and defile the truth of God is more manifest than fake Holy Ghost gold dust blowing through Bethel Church’s air ducts.
Kris Vallotton, the author of this “everything God does is about you” tome, is the “senior associate leader of Bethel Church and co-founder of Bethel School of Ministry, where he has served with Bill Johnson for more than three decades.” This just goes to prove that one can spend decades in the “Jesus biz,” presumably surrounded by Bibles, (serving primarily as visual aids to prop up the “Christianized” illusion of Bethel’s otherwise heretical endeavors) and still not apprehend Biblical truth. As Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7)
Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pin reviews seeker-mergent guru Louie Giglio’s daily devotional that targets millennials. According to Ahlheim, Giglio often plucks verses out of context, “presumably because of their particular importance to the unidentified author and exposited in a Scripturally-illicit ‘what’s this verse mean to me’ sort of manner.” Pulling verses out of context and applying a meaning never intended by the author so that young adults will see themselves in the scriptural narrative only reinforces their view that the Bible really is all about them. And “Pastor” Giglio’s certainly aware of that! Learn more about this popular preacher buy following the links below.
Now to Bud Ahlheim’s review of “Simple Pursuit”:
Simple Pursuit is a daily devotional book that comes out of Louis Giglio’s Passion Movement. Merely containing an introduction by Giglio, with brief commentaries by “Christian celebrities” Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and Matt Redman, the daily devotionals are written by 68 “Contributing Writers” drawn from the book’s target millennial audience of 18-25 year olds.
Following Giglio’s brief introduction, the book issues its “268 Declaration,” a five-pointed mission statement for the Passion Movement that is sourced in Isaiah 26:8. The crux of the statement is drawn from John Piper’s Christian Hedonism theme, “The heart of Passion is God’s glory, and God is most glorified in us when we live lives that are fully satisfied in Him.” The outlined five points of Passion are:
Louie Giglio is no hero to be admired by Ken Silva
See Berean Research’s White Paper on the Purpose Driven Church
Tim Challies has written many excellent book reviews. This time he sets his sights on best-selling author Sarah Young’s just released daily devotional. As in Jesus Calling, the Jesus in Young’s new book is clearly not the Jesus of Scripture but an impostor, as Challies makes plain in his review:
This book is going to be big. Huge, even. Its predecessor has sold well over 10 million copies and more than a decade after publication has no less than 6 editions on the list of Christian bestsellers. Today, at last, comes the long-awaited sequel, releasing to great fanfare—a million-copy first printing backed by a huge $300,000 marketing spend. One way or another you will come across this book and so will most of your friends and neighbors. You will see it on Amazon, in Costco, in airport bookshops, and perhaps even at your church’s book table. It’sJesus Always, Sarah Young’s sequel to Jesus Calling.
Like Jesus Calling, Jesus Always is a little book—just 4.4 by 6.3 inches—and like Jesus Calling contains 365 short daily devotions. What makes Young’s little books distinct is her big claim: Her name is on the cover, but the words come from Jesus.
Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen reviews celebrity pastor Tony Evans’ book “Prayers for Victory and Spiritual Warfare.” Evans is the father of another celebrity, women’s Bible study teacher, speaker and author Priscilla Shirer. From Ahlheim’s report we learn some troubling things about Pastor Evans’ theology. Ahlheim shows that Evans’ teaching on spiritual warfare is decidedly unbiblical. For example, his understanding of spiritual warfare includes binding, losing and rebuking demons. “He also instructs readers on praying ‘hedges of protection’ and declaring the removal of curses as well as the imbuing of blessing by our words. Elsewhere Evans has suggested an eye-brow raising affinity for beliefs drawn directly from Word-Faith, positive confession teachings.” All of this is right out of the New Apostolic Reformation playbook.
So now to Bud Alheim’s book review…
Blogger, author and book reviewer Tim Challies reviews Christopher Ash’s Married for God: Making Your Marriage the Best It Can Be.
It’s not like we’re hurting for books on marriage. In fact, there may be more Christian books on marriage than on any topic besides prayer. This means that any new book has to be awfully good to stand out from an already-crowded field. It was pure joy, then, to read Christopher Ash’s Married for God: Making Your Marriage the Best It Can Be and see it do exactly that. It is one of the very best books on marriage I have ever read—and I’ve read a lot of them.
First published in the U.K. in 2007, Married for God has only just made its way across the Atlantic thanks to Crossway. Ash, who serves as Writer in Residence at Tyndale House in Cambridge, describes his book simply: It’s “a straightforward account of what the Bible teaches about marriage.” He offers it for consideration in a variety of contexts: for individuals who wish to use it for private study, for engaged couples preparing for marriage, for married couples interested in an informal marriage refresher, or for churches to use as the foundation for a brief course on marriage.
Eric Davis of The Cripplegate analyzes the popular packaged addiction program, Celebrate Recovery (CR) that many churches have adopted. The program, created by John Baker and Rick Warren, is supposedly based on biblical principles. In his review, Davis informs us that “CR is founded on eight principles taken from the Beatitudes and has similarities to the twelve steps of Alcoholic’s Anonymous.”
The question we must ask ourselves is, should Christians get involved in a program that stems from A.A.’s twelve steps? Absolutely not says researcher John Lanagan. Lanagan has done a massive amount of research on A.A., and what his research has turned up is that A.A. co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith were deeply involved in the occult aka spiritualism. “Alcoholics Anonymous has served its purpose,” says Lanagan. “That purpose has been to weaken the church, dilute the theology of Christians exposed to the 12 Step religion, and to point unbelievers away from Christ.” Discover the “spiritual” truth behind A.A. here.
So now to part 1 of Eric Davis’ 2 part series…
Enslaving behaviors are as old, and common to humanity, as sin itself. Since our fall at the dawn of time, we have been naturally enslavement to every destructive behavior possible. In response, various efforts have been made to deal with the problem.
One such effort is a packaged addictions program called Celebrate Recovery (CR). John Baker and Rick Warren of Saddleback Church created the program in 1991 to help people with various addictions. Rick Warren writes, “[D]uring the ten-week series that I preached to kick off this program, our attendance grew by over 1500!” (John Baker, Celebrate Recovery Leader’s Guide, 12). During the past 25 years, some 20,000 churches in the United States have reportedly used CR, with some 2.5 million people having completed the program. Needless to say, CR has had a major influence on the church.
Christian Examiner reviews a new documentary, “3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy,” that examines how abortion doctor Herman Gosnell was able to get away with murder for many years:
When a Philadelphia abortion doctor in 2010 was caught delivering live, viable late-term babies and “snipping” their necks to kill them, many pro-lifers thought it would be a turning point in the abortion discussion.
Many were certain it was a time when Americans would collectively examine the issue and realize there really isn’t any moral difference in ending the life of an eight-month-old baby inches out of the birth canal or inches inside the birth canal, even though the former is illegal and the latter is not.
Sadly, though, the case of the abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell didn’t receive the wall-to-wall mainstream media coverage it deserved — not in 2010 when he was caught, or in 2011 when he was charged, or in 2013 when he was sent to prison. His case wasn’t on the front page and didn’t even make any of those Top 10 stories-of-the-year lists.
Popular blogger and pastor Tim Challies has once again addressed Jesus Calling, the blockbuster book that contains “devotions for every day of the year.” Author Sarah Young claims direct divine revelations. Tim wrote a review (here) in 2011 and now lays out 10 significant problems with the hugely popular devotional.
Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling is a phenomenon that shows no signs of slowing down. According to publisher Thomas Nelson, it “continues to grow in units sold each year since it was released [and] has surpassed 15 million copies sold.” Nelson is involved in an expansive new marketing campaign that involves a new web site and daily radio devotionals. ECPA reports that “Thomas Nelson began its partnership with the Salem Media group to provide 60-second daily messages on Eric Metaxas’ show, which is carried on more than 100 stations nationwide and worldwide on SiriusXM Radio. The Jesus Calling radio devotional reaches more than 500,000 people each day through these segments.” With 15 million copies sold, it has marched its way into rare company.
Yet it is a deeply troubling book. I am going to point out 10 serious problems with Jesus Calling in the hope that you will consider and heed these warnings.
1. She speaks for God. Far and away the most troubling aspect of the book is its very premise—that Sarah Young hears from Jesus and then dutifully brings his messages to her readers. Jesus Calling makes the boldest, gutsiest, and, to my mind, most arrogant claim of any book ever to be considered Christian. The publisher describes the book in this way: “After many years of writing her own words in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to be more attentive to the Savior’s voice and begin listening for what He was saying. So with pen in hand, she embarked on a journey that forever changed her—and many others around the world. In these powerful pages are the words and Scriptures Jesus lovingly laid on her heart. Words of reassurance, comfort, and hope. Words that have made her increasingly aware of His presence and allowed her to enjoy His peace (italics mine).” There is no way to avoid her claim that she is communicating divine revelation, a claim that raises a host of questions and concerns, not the least of which is the doctrine of Scripture alone which assures us that the Bible and the Bible alone is sufficient to guide us in all matters of faith and practice.
2. She proclaims the insufficiency of the Bible. Jesus Calling only exists because Sarah Young had a deep desire to hear from God outside of the Bible. In the introduction she describes the book’s genesis: “I began to wonder if I … could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day.” In those few sentences she sets up unnecessary competition between her revelation and what we are told of the Bible in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Biblically, there is no category for what she provides as the heart and soul of her book. Biblically, there is no need for it and no reason we should expect or heed it.
Brian Lowry of Variety reviews “Belief,” a seven-night miniseries Oprah produced that explores the origins and impacts of different world religions. Without getting too far afield, Oprah says she’s a Christian. However, when we examine the beliefs she holds it becomes clear that her religious views are more in line with New Age/New Thought.
Now to Lowry’s review:
Oprah Winfrey narrated Discovery’s splendid nature series “Life,” and seeks to bring similar production values — including sleek photography and a sweeping score — to OWN’s take on faith in “Belief.” Yet as earnest and human-interest oriented as this seven-part production is, it will play best among those who buy into the billionaire mogul/personality’s particular brand of “Live your best life” mumbo-jumbo, a mix of spirituality and self-help. The Oprah seal of approval should make this a winner by OWN’s standards, but for all its positive energy, “Belief” will likely wind up preaching to the choir.
“My confidence comes from knowing there is a force, a power, greater than myself, that I’m a part of, and that is also a part of me,” Winfrey says in voiceover at the outset of each installment, summing up where she stands on the belief continuum. After that, however, the program is — literally and by design — all over the map, flitting to different spots across the globe to explore manifestations of faith in all its varied forms.
Popular blogger and pastor Tim Challies has written a stellar review of Paul Young’s latest attempt at distorting the true meaning of the Bible:
On the positive side, I think [William] Paul Young has become a markedly better writer since The Shack. On the negative side, he continues to use his writing to undermine and redefine Christian theology. By my reckoning, that’s a net loss. Where The Shack was meant to revolutionize our understanding of God, his new novel Eve is meant to revolutionize and rescue our understanding of the relationship between men and women. And it is no less troubling.
Now, obviously Eve is fiction, which means it can be tricky to determine exactly what the author actually means to teach through his story. There is a lot in the novel that is complex and symbolic and that awaits the author’s authoritative interpretation. But what is clear is that Young’s novel is a retelling of the creation narrative through which he means to right a great wrong
John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire expresses his concern over the actress the Kendrick brothers cast in their new film:
Photo courtesy newsbusters.org
I saw the movie, War Room, and liked it very much. Priscilla Shirer is an incredible actress, and the director made wise use of her facial expressions to tell much of the story.
Shirer is far more than an actress in a Christian movie. She is an author, speaker, and Bible teacher, and this movie is going to bring many women into her sphere of influence.
That’s not a good thing.