The Story, NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People. Max Lucado and Randy Frazee (Foreword). Zondervan, 2011.
Are you tired of all those chapter and verse numbers in your Bible? Are you tired of all those sections that are just nonsense to you? Are you confused by all those big theological words? Are you tired of just feeling bad when you run across all those Scriptures where Jesus actually demands something of His followers? Are you tired of all those verses that just get in the way of that perfect personal relationship with your Personal Jesus?
Then, let us be thankful that we have the compilers of The Story to lead us out of the darkness we have been in for 2000 years with the Bible. They took the NIV 2011 translation, and then took out that pesky Scripture that just doesn’t affirm the Personal Jesus and just doesn’t make it read well, then added their own comments to make it better! It reads exactly like a novel, now!
And then they made it even better! Your church can get into the program that many churches have undertaken. You too can take 31 weeks in your church, hearing sermons from this brand new and improved BIBLE! You too can discuss it with your church mates, even with your own FAMILY, as they have teen and children’s versions just for them! Dad, Mom, and the children can literally be on the exact same page for 31 weeks!
Let’s not hear it from just me, let’s hear from some other satisfied customers:
“I have loved The Story series. It has been a great journey for me, for my preaching, and for our members. We have had visitors throughout the entire series and have given over 100 books away… Getting God’s word into people hands is always a good thing!”
Tim Halstead, Senior Pastor, New Life Community Church, Odessa, TX
After all, a busy pastor just doesn’t have the time to rightly divide the word of God, does he? Here’s another satisfied customer:
“We have enjoyed walking through the Bible in a chronological manner. In addition, we have LOVED being on the same page as our parents.” Julie Chors, Director of Children’s Ministry, Hosanna Church, Lakeville, MN
And without ever actually opening the Bible? How cool is that?
You too can experience this phenomenon that’s sweeping the churches today! Finally understand what God wants to say to you without actually having to listen to Him! It’s not the Bible, it’s better! Buy The Story today! And thank us by buying in bulk for your whole church!
Rating: 0 out of 10. (It’s more useful as kindling for your winter fire)
Image Source: Amazon.com
On a serious note, to pastors or anyone else thinking of seriously adopting this: As a teacher or leader, you will be judged more harshly before the Lord for being in a place of teaching authority:
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (James 3:1)
The architects of this book have already reaped their just condemnation before the Lord for taking away from the words of the Lord. The Story presents Christianity in a very different light than the Bible, neglecting most spiritual matters, along with the responsibilities of disciples before the Lord. As Scripture says:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 timothy 3:16-17)
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)
That this Churchian program has gotten popular is an indictment against those who adopt it. As it is written, you need to:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Futhermore, we live in a time that is wicked. This time is definitely at hand:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)
The Story gives shelter to those that do not hold onto sound doctrine, and only furthers those things that enrage God and are an abomination to Him. The Story is not sound doctrine. It is not “God’s Word” or “the Bible” as it is adulterated. If you adopt this, pastor or teacher, be sure that you are only scratching itching ears, and only will reap condemnation for yourself.
To God alone be the glory in all things!
This video is a good parody on the whole idea of Churchianity (H/T Hillsongilmio). When it becomes about the idol of the organization, it’s going to become about perpetuating that organization beyond all else, including over Jesus Himself. Instead of being the Lord, Savior, and King, He simply becomes the Personal Jesus, there to suit their own whims instead of serving Him.
Anything for the numbers and nickels.
I should point out that while most churches aren’t as forward as some of the shysters that really are out there to enrich themselves, they still are in this mold if they’re simply just doing the Churchian thing and don’t know any better. Building these palatial empires requires money, along with the accumulation of employees, paying the bills and maintenance. So they have to adopt this kind of attitude to keep things going, along with the pressure in bringing in this kind of money.
For example, the church I am aware of most financially (who posts those things in the bulletins) requires $15,000 per week to maintain what they’ve done. This is not a huge church, but you get the idea of what kind of money is involved with most of these places.
None of them are wise enough to see the treadmill they’ve put themselves on, so they continue more and more into the religion of Churchianity and the religion of numbers and nickels. More numbers means more givers, and more givers means more nickels. So even if these people have the best of intentions, they still get sucked into this scummy theology where “following Christ” becomes warming a seat and hemorrhaging cash.
“Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.” warns Kenda Creasy Dean (nevermind the theological problem) in this CNN article Author: More teens becoming ‘fake’ Christians (H/T Cappy Cap).
As the author is pushing a book, a CNN religious writer is pushing that message. But it’s interesting that this is a surprise to anyone. As Cappy writes: “And NOW the MSM and church leaders are finally getting hip to this?” For those of us who have been paying attention, it’s very old news. I’ve written about this since the beginning of the blog, as well as other bloggers. George Barna wrote about this trend in his book Generation Next: What You Need to Know About Today’s Youth, back in 1995.
Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Translation: It’s a watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.
As the relationship that most churches preach of Jesus is shaped by the person involved. Jesus is there to service the person, make them feel good, and justify them in all that they do. Moral relativism is the common belief of today, where there is no absolute truth, nor there is anyone defending it. As Barna writes, 3/4 of both teens and adults reject the notion that there are absolute moral truths, and 4/5 reject the idea that anyone can know for certain what truth is. (1)
In such an environment, it should be no surprise that there is a movement towards the morally relative Personal Jesus, consistent with Gnosticism. As a result of moral relativism, where there is no right and wrong, or any dualistic notions, it should not be a surprise that the author observes:
“If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation,” wrote Dean, a professor of youth and church culture at Princeton Theological Seminary.
When what is sin for you is not sin for me, you get a whole host of whitewash, as Barna documents in his book. He writes that 4 out of 10 teens hold a view different than the Orthodox view of God. (2) 55% of teens believe in relative theism, where they believe all faiths worship the same God. (2) The strongest statement is where teens reject the idea of inflexibility and hold a belief whereby they are allowed to deny or reject principles of the faith at will. (3) Both Barna and the author couches it in these terms:
Teens want to be challenged; they want their tough questions taken on, she says.
The problem is not that teens are being challenged, it’s that the whole group is not being challenged in the right ways. Absolute truth isn’t taught, nor upheld. As Barna writes (4):
* Six out of 10 say there is no such thing as absolute truth.
* Nine out of ten say that right and wrong depend on the individual and the situation–that is they espouse moral relativism.
* One out of four deny the notion that acting in disobedience to God’s laws brings about negative consequences.
* One out of three say that as long as something works, you can be sure that it is morally or ethically right.
* More than 4 out of 10 say that Satan is just a symbol of evil, not a living force.
* One out of three contend that Jesus Christ committed sins while on earth.
* Three out of 10 say that all faiths teach the same lesson.
* Half say that people can earn their way into heaven through good works.
The problem is not an enthusiasm gap, but a holiness gap. When the Church does not reflect the light of God, do not be surprised that truth goes by the wayside. It has done that at the moment when Christians decided to start serving the world instead of serving Christ – numbers and nickels. As the author writes:
She says pastors often preach a safe message that can bring in the largest number of congregants. The result: more people and yawning in the pews.
“If your church can’t survive without a certain number of members pledging, you might not want to preach a message that might make people mad,” Corrie says. “We can all agree that we should all be good and that God rewards those who are nice.”
But is the answer to weep in sackcloth and ashes before the Lord and walk in His ways again and not each of our own? Given the person we’re dealing with, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s not:
She says parents who perform one act of radical faith in front of their children convey more than a multitude of sermons and mission trips.
A parent’s radical act of faith could involve something as simple as spending a summer in Bolivia working on an agricultural renewal project or turning down a more lucrative job offer to stay at a struggling church, Dean says.
But it’s not enough to be radical — parents must explain “this is how Christians live,” she says.
So given the answer, it’s not to please God, but to please the teens in the light of Churchianity. How Christians live is to separate themselves from the world and walk towards Christ, not go on short-term mission trips!
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6)
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15)
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2)
It should not be a surprise when you see men and women, claiming to be of Christ, running off to please men, that sheer anarchy results. Even so, Come Lord Jesus!
(1) Generation Next: What You Need to Know About Today’s Youth by George Barna Page 31-32.
(2) ibid page 76. (3) ibid page 94-95. (4) ibid page 104-105.
As I dig further into the issues surrounding the corruption of things such as the family, I’ve found an interesting facet of what God has laid out. For lack of a better term, God has instituted a separation of powers in His ordained governance.
We can see these things in both the Old and New Testament. In Israel when they came out of Egypt (for instance), God ordained a civil government (Moses as head), and a priesthood (Aaron as head). Naturally, the family was ordained much earlier. Each of these have separate intended functions and are best left alone by the others.
The Family (Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:23)
The family is the most elemental governance. Man as husband and father, wife as helpmeet and mother, children under subjection to their parents. It can be argued that the chief mission of the family is to multiply and raise children up in the Lord:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:27-28)
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:1-4)
The Church – The Keys (Matthew 16:19; Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 6:1-8)
The argument can be made here of both the Church and the old Hebrew priesthood. Here, this governance concerns itself with moral matters before God. This is the group that is to transmit the Lord’s will and uphold it before others. A part of this involves action, in terms of separation from the flesh and the world (Romans 6:12-13, 7:18-24, 8:13; 1 John 2:15-17; 1 Peter 5:8-9), and move towards Christ (Ephesians 4:13-15) Both groups are identified as priests, which is consistent with the function of the Church:
it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses. (Leviticus 10:9b-11)
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)
The Civil Government – The Sword (Matthew 26:52; Romans 13:1-8; 1 Peter 2:13-16)
This is what most people are familiar with as national, state, and local governments. The appropriate function of the national government is order, as illustrated:
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (Romans 13:3-4)
He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. (2 Samuel 23:3b)
In short, a good government is to encourage what is good and be a terror to the evil. Most notably, this function avails itself in the punishing of wrongdoers. If one murders someone or robs someone by due witness, the civil government steps in to deal with the issue.
Where the Conflict Begins
What is notable throughout history is where the different “governments” clash – great evil results from it. There are a number of examples in Scripture of how to deal with these conflicts. Daniel and his three friends are most notable. They disobey the civil authority because the civil authority has usurped God’s proper place in demanding worship. The divine right of kings began with the Babylonians, was adopted by the Romans (Acts 17:7) and has extended to relatively recent history. This divine right of kings has extended into the Church as well, where the Church effectively becomes an organ of the State, there to represent the State instead of God.
In addition to the State-Church, the Church-State has existed in history through the Roman Catholic Church. The divine right of popes led to the power to anoint kings who were mere vassals to the pope. When a church entity attains the power of civil government, it becomes a terror to all in its effort to support all its dogmas by the sword. (The reaction to this period was so extreme that many State-Church situations came about to respond to it.) Godly love goes by the wayside, as well as legitimate faith (true renewal can not come by another, by force of arms or any other method – Romans 12:2. We are not to be conformed, but be transformed), and holiness. Free conscience and conviction are of God (witness how God Himself deals with Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:6-13, also see Romans 2:15-16), torture and death is not. More martyrs were produced in this period than any other in the history of the church.
Then as chronicled many times on this blog, the State have made assaults on the family of varying natures. The Church has intruded upon the family as well in different ways over history (namely influence via the different feminist movements). A modern Churchian example of this is the children’s church, where families abdicate their responsibilities to bring up their children in the Lord to the Church, and fathers are ultimately are never coached by the Church to be ministers in their homes.
One of the reasons why I wanted to deal with this material is to provide background to some previous material. It is well to note that the doctrine of separation of church and state was born out of the lessons of this history, as well as much of the Bill of Rights. This will be of concern for some planned future material.
There have been many conflicts throughout history between these three entities, which have shaped much of history. When one usurps the authority of the other, only problems result. When one abdicates its responsibility to the other, problems result. It is always best to leave them separate. When morality is allowed to be dictated by a single party to his own whims without checks and balances, wickedness always results.
One of the interesting threads of discussion in Dalrock’s post From celibate boyfriend to celibate husband (true love doesn’t wait). has been the very issue that the post has covered:
The drive to teach abstinence in the church is really a drive for the delay of marriage.
Now wait a minute, how could that be? Isn’t teaching abstinence a good thing? Well it is. But it really is leading to something else, as evidenced by the number of (even Christian) women fornicating and the lack of rebuke from the average Christian pulpit.
As fads in Churchianity go, things get introduced and their memory comes and goes. There was a group called True Love Waits, which was created by the Southern Baptists in 1993 and has spread from there. Naturally, with all things Churchian, it was filled with lots of style and symbolism, but not much substance. Things such as purity rings, and purity balls, which end in pledges to abstinence. As this Huffington Post article describes them:
For those unfamiliar with the ritual, a purity ball is a religious ceremony in which fathers and daughters dress up in ball gown attire, spend a night of dinner and dancing together, and end the evening with a vow to abstain from sex until marriage.
While being a worldly article and standing against the Biblical idea of chastity, a linked article goes on to point out the strangeness of this concept:
It’s hard to know where to start with this: the notion of sex as “impurity,” the fact that it’s all daughters and no sons, the idea of dressing a preteen girl in something that looks awfully like a wedding dress.
Be sure to visit the linked site, as there are several pictures of participants of these purity balls (with limited copyright or I would have put one to this post). Creepy when you look at them, huh? Then as part of the ceremony, we get the pledge the daughters take:
“Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate and my future children to be sexually abstinent from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship.”
So we get a ceremony that looks like marriage, and for the daughters, which ends with a pledge before God
Given the lust for the marriage ceremony that women have, this fits the bill. Then the pledge saves themselves for God alone. . .or rather each daughter’s Personal Jesus, and ends up with their own
marriage purity ring. Such a commitment definitely fits the idea that most Christian women have that they are married to Jesus, and needs to have her perfect Personal Jesus as her husband.
That said, I searched “True Love Waits” and found the reading pretty interesting. It was sparse given that this particular Churchian fad has had such an amount of time to go away. One has to admit that they did a perfect job with the sloganeering. But quite inaccurate given the message that has been sent. After all:
I suppose that, among other things the title: ‘The Godly Young Man or Woman Does Not Have Sexual Relations Outside of Marriage’ was just not catchy enough.
Genesis 29:20 came up consistently in the search: “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.” In reading the entire story, we can typically see that the application of this Scripture is out of context. They are taking a single isolated Scripture verse and then fashioning a whole doctrine after it, which is inconsistent with the rest of Scripture.
It’s amazing how many different references to Genesis 29:20 I find. Basically put, whoever came up with that doctrine shopped, deciding to conform Scripture to their wishes instead of conforming themselves to Scripture. In other words, they are taking an exceptional case out of Scripture and turning it into the norm.
Granted, the majority of the writers that came up in the search got this verse right. The most interesting writer out in left field is this one. You can recognize the feminist tropes spread all throughout:
* “Jacob turned his head, took one fateful look, and it was without a doubt love at first sight.”
* “We get the idea that he was so fascinated by Rachel’s beauty, and so enchanted by her charm, that he failed to recognize her shortcomings or even to consider the will of God in his relationship with her.”
* [Jacob reminded the shepherds that grazing time was lost], “probably a ploy to get rid of them so he could talk to Rachel alone.”
* “Could he [Jacob] have been showing off just a little?”
* “But from the beginning we are a little dubious about the match. We know that a relationship based primarily on physical attraction rests on a shaky foundation.”
* “But when a man is enamored of a woman, he does not want to hear those things. He is going to have her, and nothing else matters.”
* “One great test of true love, therefore, is the ability to wait. Infatuation is usually in a hurry because it is self-centered. It says, “I feel good when I am with you, so I want to hurry up and get you to the altar before I lose you and lose these good feelings.” Love says, “Your happiness is what I want most of all, and I am willing to wait, if need be, to be sure this is what is best for you.”
* “Jacob could have accepted his marriage to Leah as the will of God for his life and learned to love her alone.”
There is much more that could be gleaned out of the piece, but the author clearly makes Jacob into the villain for not desiring Leah alone in the first place. This is because of the clear Churchian teaching that men are not to consider attraction when considering their wives. So it seems that, given Genesis 29:20 is used so much in connection with this phrase that:
The “True Love Waits” mantra is for men, not for women.
This can be easily seen in how the term is meant. “True love” in the sense it is meant, is really feeling and not action. In other words, instead of marriage being the proper place to experience romance and sex, we have romance becoming the proper place to experience marriage and sex.
So in the decision of marriage, men are supposed to wait until the women are ready for marriage – after all, true love waits, right? It really only comes down to the preferences of the woman’s personal Jesus.
True love waits until the man who meets her 643 point checklist comes along. After all, the perfect man God has just for that woman is out there.
Meanwhile, men are to sacrifice throughout all of this and wait until she is ready. After all, according to the Book of Oprah, her heart is to lead the marriage. So the message to men who are waiting:
True love waits until she’s established in her career.
True love waits until she’s had a ride on The Carousel, and rack up her n-count in a series of long-term relationships.
True love waits until she’s had the chance to travel.
True love waits until she’s had time to serve the Lord long-term.
True love waits until she’s had a “marriage” and a couple of children.
Then the women notice their prospects have dried up and cry to folks like Andrew Walker, Jon Lakin, and Albert Mohler, who then respond with growls and shouts to man up and marry those sluts, instead of seeing the situation for what it is.
These individuals have noticed the long period of waiting, and correctly call for early marriage, but miss the reason behind it, along with the sex doing the delaying. This is common, and to be expected.
If True Love Waits, then the third word indicates that the wait has to end sometime. These people are correctly seeing that the wait is too long. Until they can look in the mirror, and truly hear the message that “You are that man.”, they can talk all they want. But it still won’t make it happen, especially at the hands of these people. This makes such a pronouncement as this hot air, and consequently worthless. The proof in the pudding (so to speak) will be if these three men (and the others of the SBC) can repent of the wickedness they’ve perpetuated.
Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality. Michael Spencer. WaterBrook Press, 2010.
Something is very wrong in the church. People have been noticing, and getting more vocal about it lately the last few years. The Church hasn’t been matching up with what Jesus set it out to be. The Church has supplanted Christ as the ultimate interest of worship and concern. Hence the term Churchianity, which reflects this shift in mind.
It’s under this view that Mere Churchianity is written. Michael Spencer observed that what is on the label often doesn’t match up with what is being presented. He observes the number of “church leavers” that are going away in order to find Jesus – something with more integrity, authenticity, and honesty than the Jesus presented in most churches.
Spencer begins discussing the disconnect that the average church goer has with Jesus, due to the connection to their church organizations. People are conformed to them, and not to Jesus. Besides this, they become very prideful, unable to see their poor actions reflecting against Jesus despite the clear evidence witnessed by others.
The author points out that people often have a picture of God defined by their own ideas, concepts, and preferences. The answer is following Jesus Christ, One who can not be controlled or defined by others. This Jesus the one that we allow to shape us, not organizational policies or other things.
The book then presents a discussion of how a differing Jesus is presented today, resulting from the cultural confusion and church manipulation that has happened over the years. This has clouded the correct view of discipleship via rules, tradition, and culture. Spencer then points out that Jesus is not restricted to these churches or by these churches and is working in the world in His own will. The author’s answer to break out of this discipleship to church organization, reading the Bible for yourself is presented. Additional qualifications and conditions are often placed upon faith, making it works-based. This encouragement causes people to lie to themselves and others about the state of sin in their lives. Discipleship to church organization, dictated by programs and policies, is contrasted to discipleship to Jesus, which involves relationship and observation (learning by doing). In other words, Spencer points out that an association with a church does not a Christian make, no more than association with a garage makes you a car.
Spencer then describes the human element: The conditions of being involved in an organizational church setting involves a fear of individuality and encouragement of conformity. Those looking for authentic faith then admit defeat and leave rather to live life as a hypocrite. Discipleship looks very different in one who follows the organizational church than who follows the real Jesus.
The author covers a lot of ground in the 18 chapters he has written. Using an observational style, he will challenge you in a number of respects about the nature of church, versus the nature of real worship and service to Jesus. You will have a lot to think about in the course of this book, whether you agree or disagree with Spencer’s assessments. His assessments are often spot on.
Given Spencer’s observational style of writing and the amount of content, his book would benefit by organizing the content and making the points clearer. In addition, Spencer encourages a Personal Jesus based on worldly moral relativism at many points (for example p 76-77) in his book. It seems as many times, Spencer, as well as the previous author, fails to appreciate the gravity of sin and the nature of holiness that should exist in the life of the Jesus follower and in the life of the holy Church. As well, Spencer presents a nihilistic faith with respect to the sins of those who follow Christ (p 146).
Overall, this book is very valuable as an entry point to understanding some of the things that are wrong with the church. It echoes many of the points made here at the Society of Phineas and brought up some others for possible reflection. However, the lack of organization in the writing will cause you to have to read certain passages a number of times to understand the concept that Spencer is trying to relay. Spencer will give you much to ponder as well.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
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As It Was in the Days of Noah: Warnings from Bible Prophecy About the Coming Global Storm. Jeff Kinley. Harvest House Publishers, 2014.
When I was looking for something interesting to read at the book store, I came across Mr. Kinley’s book. Given the interest in the end times, it should be a natural that this kind of book would garner interest from a great many people.
Mr. Kinley writes about the story of Noah as it appears in Scripture, and the linkage that Jesus developed that the end of the age would be as the days of Noah. He does this by relaying the story of Noah, the wickedness of the age, the story of how he built the ark, and the flood itself. Then he describes Jesus’ teaching on the matter.
Mr. Kinley then relates the godlessness of the world. Most interesting is his experience of teaching a group of European teenagers who have never heard about Jesus (page 78). He then develops some of the sinful tendencies of men like violence, sexuality (Sodom and Gomorrah is featured heavily), and apostasy using 2 Timothy 3 as an outline. Regarding the topic of apostasy, his rebuke of “Consumer Christianity” (p 119-120) is especially refreshing to read. To round out the book, the author then describes the return of Jesus, and the imminence of that return.
As one may gather, Mr. Kinley has been more responsible than the majority of prophecy writers, as he has stuck to Scripture a vast majority of the time in his book. This, coupled with relevant and interesting stories makes it an interesting read.
As well, the presence of a mostly honest treatment of sin, unlike most modern church literature in this book was especially refreshing.
However, Mr. Kinley’s urge to his readers to bend to “the spirit of the age” and accept homosexuality in others (p 99) was particularly disturbing, as he fails to appreciate or discuss the issue of holiness in those that would follow Christ regarding the acceptance of sin. What Mr. Kinley writes is very consistent with the idea of friendship evangelism, which is the idea that one must be friends with unbelievers, accepting them in every way, in order to get the chance to present the Gospel to them.
As well, Mr. Kinley’s book exhibits the typical myopic Churchian focus towards pornography and homosexuality, bypassing discussion of all the other sins tearing the church apart in the name of sexuality.
While some readers might find the treatment heavy, others who are familiar with the basics of the end-times through Scripture will find it a light treatment with no surprises whatsoever. This light and elementary treatment of Scripture will frustrate those who are looking for more in-depth study. Other than the stated reservations, this book functions as a relatively decent introduction into the topic of biblical prophecy.
Rating: 6 out of 10.
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