Sunday, August 31, 2008


This weekend I traveled to South Bend, IN to celebrate the wedding of my wife’s cousin as he married his college sweetheart. I have known Kevin since we were both boys, and it has been a joy to watch him grow both physically and spiritually these many years. The trip itself was VERY quick! I flew up there Friday afternoon and flew back to West Virginia Saturday night, so as you can imagine it was a hurried weekend. Yet in the midst of all the excitement, God taught me some valuable lessons that will stick with me for a long time. I am learning that every event in life is a learning opportunity; and so here, in no particular order, are the 10 lessons I learned this weekend:

1.Telling others the Good News about Jesus is more important than anything else. This is a no brainer right? Yet this is often easier to preach than to practice. I boarded my flight Friday with every intention of burying my head in a book for two hours straight. I had brought books I was determined to read on the trip so that I could tell myself I had been “productive.” I had the window seat and a woman named Tina joined me shortly after. After exchanging a few pleasantries we struck up a conversation and I began to learn about her life. Now I had a choice at this point, namely to politely drop the conversation and pick up my book, or learn more about her life and family. I chose the latter and it afforded me the opportunity to learn about her understanding the gospel and share with her the truth of Scripture. I could have easily missed that wonderful encounter with Tina had I put reading above people.

2.There are such things as “Scrabble Tournaments.” My new friend on the plane was flying to play the board game “Scrabble.” Now believe it or not, there is an immense amount of skill and strategy required for such an event. I assumed a large vocabulary would be sufficient, but hard-core “Scrabblers” will memorize words that contain letters that score more points, such as “X” or “Z.” And they know how many spaces separate every double word score and triple word scores and have words memorized that will maximize point values. All I can say is WOW!

3.There are more hurting pastors out there than any of us realize. At the wedding I met a pastor and his wife who have just left a ministry under painful circumstances. They knew of my recent departure from the church I served, and told me their story of being asked to resign with forty plus years of ministry experience. I do not know anything about the circumstances, whether such a thing was justified or not. All I know is that I met a man and his wife who have given their lives to the gospel ministry and are broken right now. And there are many more besides them.

4.Humility is a grace that does not come easily to my heart. I had originally been asked to officiate this wedding, but in the course of events the parish priest of the bride’s church was given the privilege and I served in a smaller capacity. This was a hard pill to swallow. I felt slighted and disrespected because communication was never clearly given to me about this until the last minute. I know that this was not done to hurt me in any way, but my ego got bruised a little bit. My pride said, “you deserve better than this; you were supposed to preach, but now all you are doing is reading Scripture and sitting down.” Yet I am convinced the greatest role I will ever have is a servant to Christ and others. I thank God I had the honor of reading His word publicly to men and women who do not know the Christ pointed to in Scripture. So I put my pride to death and praised God for the opportunity afforded to me, and my heart rejoiced in reading 1 John 4 publicly this past weekend. I will share more lessons tomorrow.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Movie Review - Amazing Grace

I know I'm late to the party on this one but I feel the need to express some appreciation and some frustration with this movie.

This movie is a depiction of William Wilberforce's fight to end the slave trade in England. His fight was eventually successful. I am not a Wilberforce expert but it appears to be accurate in most respects, with some exceptions for dramatic effect.

I appreciate the movie's portrayal of Wilberforce, from my understanding of his character the portrayal was accurate and honored the man. It also showed that Wilberforce's passion for abolition flowed from his Christian faith, I feared that this would not be the case. I found the movie to be quite compelling in this regard, but I do have some issues on this area that I will mention shortly.

I was also intrigued by his relationship with William Pitt, it is amazing to me how complicated friendship can sometimes be, I think this reflects as much on me as this movie, but Pitt and Wilberforce were close but issues drove them apart and then reunited them.

My one big objection was the portrayal of John Newton, Newton's role was downplayed and Newton himself was, without clarity, portrayed as a Catholic priest. They never identified him as such, but they never identified him as anything. But they referred to him as hearing confession and once as a monk. Newton was a Baptist I am proud to say and I am really confused as to this change in character. I don't understand why they made this change, I don't see that it adds any drama to the movie.

That last gripe aside, I recommend this movie highly. I think it would be an enjoyable movie for all. It could lead to some meaningful conversation with a lost friend or a young Christian being discipled. Like everything else in our fallen world it is a flawed movie, but worth the watch.

A Guaranteed Historic Event

We must acknowledge the differences in the policies and convictions of the candidates. But we need to remember and be thankful for something that we see going on here. Something historic is happening, an African-American is running for president for the first time. Whatever you think about his politics it is a good thing that our country is now ready for a minority candidate to have a real shot at the white house. This is true whether you want to see Mr. Obama there or not, racially this is a step in the right direction.

To ensure that this election will lead to some sort of first, we have on the other ticket a woman running as a vice president candidate. This is also a step in the right direction. We have seen the greatness of female leaders outside our nation before (just ask Dr. Mohler about Margaret Thatcher) and it is good that we are more open to this now.

So in November we are guaranteed an historic event, either we will have our first African-American president or our first female vice-president. Whatever your feelings are about either one's politics this is a positive trend in our nation.

PS - I will not discuss politics on this blog or from the pulpit, this is not an endorsement of any candidate, it is a simple observation. Please read nothing into it.

Great News and a Prayer Request

Edna and I have a huge announcement, we are now expecting our second child. Edna appears to be about a month along. So we are celebrating excited and nervous all over again.

The Prayer Request is about something scary that happened, on Thursday we were told that the baby was a tubal pregnancy (I only know doctor stuff from watching scrubs so this may not be an accurate title) and that we would probably have to lose the baby. We were then taken to some emergency blood tests and we appear to be in the clear now, but we have not been given the 100% guarantee and we have another test on Monday and again on Tuesday, so please pray for us. Thursday felt like the bottom of the world had fallen out and we really want to get that 100% safety nod.

Thanks, Jamie

Book Review - Life and Diary of David Brainerd

In the past year I have been twice challenged to read great books. Old books that have stood the test of time and been useful for generations. New books that are having a significant impact. The first of these challenges occurred in a seminary class (Dr. Wright's Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism) where our professor was shocked that some of us had never read certain great books. I took this personally as a challenge and have added to each new stack of books to read books that would fit into that category. The second of these challenges occurred while listening to the Sovereign Grace podcast on the Pastor and his reading. (found here

The first of these books was The Life and Diary of David Brainerd edited by Jonathan Edwards. I spent an embarrassing length of time reading this book. This was for a couple of reasons. First, I have never read a diary before and found adjusting to this format wasn't easy for me (also embarrassing), I also had developed the habit of reading five (or more) books at a time (also embarrassing and not helpful to boot) and this book usually got the short end of the stick in reading time. However, when I got to the part of the book when God began to bless his Indians with a powerful revival I found that I couldn't put it down.

Now in light of all that I want to say that this truly is a great book, modern American readers may struggle with the style (it does feel like an old book) and some of the older language (even evangelical lingo changes) but it would be well worth investing the time and developing the discipline to read.

Here we find a child of God that struggled deeply with depression, yet was able to be faithful to God in his ministry. Here we find a man whose heart was completely ravished with the glory of Christ yet his body was slowly but surely deteriorating. This for me was the great value of the book. The reports on the revival were amazing and encouraging, and they also give one hope that God in His sovereignty will choose to bless our ministries. But the deepest value was seeing in Brainerd an imperfect saint that in his deep love for Christ persevered to the tragic end.

Repeatedly in the diary we hear of his ups and downs, one day he is gloriously caught up in devotion to Christ, then the next five days his heart is far away and he is distraught by it. I was challenged by his awareness of the lukewarm status of his heart and his passion to regain his intimacy with God. We too often simply accept lukewarm as the status quo and never get worked up about it. A close reading of Brainerd would challenge us to pursue with a greater fervency.

In conjunction with this book I would recommend reading Marsden's biography of Edwards, there we see more of the time that Brainerd spent with the Edwards' and of his romance with Edwards daughter.

Well worth the read. *****

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Well it has been a month or two since I have written anything, and so I apologize for my silent exile. I confess that this season in my life has been the most challenging, spiritually draining, sweet and radically dependent on God I have ever experienced. In a nutshell, after an intense week or two of prayer and Scripture study, God in His wonderful and mysterious providence led me to resign from the church I served as pastor. This was the most difficult decision I have ever had to face, because I left the church with no ministry to step into, and no job period! I am not crazy (though it has been asked of me), I just understood very clearly that God was calling me and my family to take a radical step of faith. We are doing great, in fact my time with the Lord has been sweeter and more rewarding than it has been in a long time. I suppose one of many lessons from this is that we can discern the voice and call of God more clearly the more dependent upon Him we are. I have never been more dependent on the grace of God than I am right now (no job, a mortgage and a family to feed and clothes). And I have a freedom in Christ that is beyond words to describe. I write this coveting your prayers, and maybe even other testimonies from you about radical dependence upon God. Who knows? Maybe God is leading you to take a radical step of faith that is absolute insanity, yet it is absolute obedience to Him. Blessings!
PS. I will be posting more often so you are not forced to read the mindless rants of Jamie only :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Counterfeit Revival - Book Review

In light of the Lakeland 'Revival' and what we learned about Todd Bentley I asked around about books that dealt with this movement that I was largely ignorant of. Hank Hanegraaff's book Counterfeit Revival was recommended to me. Now in the arena of dealing directly with the Lakeland Revival this book will provide you with no help since it was written prior to those events. But what it does do is shed a lot of light on the soil that Lakeland sprang from.

There is much to praise in this book and some things that need to be critiqued. We will begin with the praise. This book was very well researched. I always keep a close eye on where the information is coming from (I prefer footnotes, I hate having to flip back to endnotes over and over again, which is the case with this book), and to his credit Mr. Hanegraaff cited repeatedly from the works of the people he was discussing. He also appeared to have contact with some (he made references to interviews and conversations). This all tends to give him credibility when exposing the error of another.

Also he did an admirable job of taking the historical claims of the Counterfeit revivalists and exposing them through the work of the historical figures appealed to.

The core of the book is an exposure and refutation of the ministry and claims of some extreme and downright wacky Pentecostals (now I am not a Pentecostal hater, real Pentecostals are opposed to the people dealt with in this book, besides most of my family are Pentecostal, lots of love). These folks are seeing and encouraging bizarre behavior and saying it is from God, they are also making grandiose claims that simply don't stand up under scrutiny, and they are handling the Word of God poorly (when they bother at all).

Mr Hanegraaf goes into extreme detail exposing these errors, however I have a small problem with his approach. He uses a kind of subtle mockery that I found a little annoying. He frequently introduced leaders in this movement as Counterfeit Revival leader so and so. I found this practice and others like it to be a little snarky. I also find constant alliteration frustrating and cheesy and this is the Bible Answer Man's stock in trade.

Overall, a helpful book in understanding where this phenomenon is coming from. It is also an easy read. But there are a few quirks that detract from the general quality of the book. And while there is a great deal of pointing out the error of the movement he has few corrective measures. So a fun read, lots of good information, good diagnosis, but look elsewhere for the cure.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Know What You Believe - Book Review

I first encountered Paul Little in my personal evangelism class in seminary. His book How to Give Away Your Faith was truly a great read. And what I really appreciated about him was that he wasn’t just giving techniques, rather he was helping us see how evangelism must be a lifestyle; a lifestyle that is fed by devotion to Christ and a commitment to discipling those who come to Christ. So I was very excited to discover another book by Paul Little, Know What You Believe. (He seems to have specialized in being extraordinarily helpful).

This book’s greatness is seen in three ways. First in its content, it serves as a great summary of essential truth that believers must believe. Second in its size, it is only 136 pages long (in my edition). Third in its simplicity, the author has an amazing ability to make complex things understandable to all. The combination of these three components, providing depth in a quick easy read, make it a true gem.

The chapters cover ten topics (or categories of truth), the Bible, God, Jesus Christ, Christ’s death, Man and Sin, The Holy Spirit, the Church, Spiritual beings (Angels, Satan, and demons), Salvation, and Things to Come (eschatology). Some may want to fight with him about which truths could have been left out and some that should have been put in. But it is hard to argue that these are bottom floor truths that are helpful to have explained.

I also want to praise his ability to carefully present where Christians can freely disagree and remain in fellowship, and at the same time drawing the line where we fall into serious error.

I would recommend using this book as a discipleship tool for new believers, exposing them to the fundamental truths that make it possible to grow into maturity. I also recommend this book to older Christians as a kind of refresher course, reminding us of what is essential and what is not. And to point us back to truths that we may have taken for granted. All in all a worthwhile read.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More News on Todd Bentley

Todd Bentley has called an end to his meetings in Lakeland and has also announced that he and his wife are separating. Ask me if I'm shocked, the answer is no. This man has been preaching an unorthodox message for years now. When your understanding of God is this off there is bound to be consequences in the way you live your life.

But what are we to think, most of us are not in Lakeland, most of us were not in the crowds swarming to hear him preach and see his sideshow. So what are we to think. How are we to respond to this failure.

First, I think we need to remember that we are sinners and capable of sin beyond what we are willing to entertain in our waking hours. Let us thank God that he has restrained us from a similar fall ourselves.

Second, we need to always remember that doctrine matters. What we believe can never be separated from how we live. They will always be connected.

Third, we need to remember that in desperate times hopeless people will cling to almost anything, Todd Bentley's ministry is living proof of that.

Last, we need to be careful to ground everything in the Word of God. Apart from God's perfect self-revelation we are rudderless and can fall for anything and fall in any way. Let us thank Him for His Word and then in dependence on the Holy Spirit seek to live out that Word.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Preparing for Sunday

It's been my experience that the things that I prepare for are always more meaningful and memorable than the things that I just show up for. I think that this applies to Sunday worship as well. We far too often show up bleary-eyed with arms crossed and eyes focused on the clock. In this post I want to share some of the things that help me prepare for a meaningful Sunday.

Be Prayerful - ask God to prepare your heart, ask God to do something amazing, ask God to bless us with a powerful awareness of His presence.

Come Early - I find it extremely helpful to show up early and pray for the service.

Have Your Quiet Time before you come - I like to start everyday with my personal devotion time. Why on earth would I change this practice on the day for public worship, I find this practice to be essential in preparing my heart for worship.

Have a big breakfast - lets be honest a growling stomach is incredibly distracting - we want to focus on God in worship.

Get a Good Night's Sleep - do I really need to explain this one. We need to be alert to worship, this is still true in college football season.

Be Open-Minded - be prepared to be challenged and ready to hear - remember that your leaders were set aside to lead you and we should be ready to heed their preaching of the Word.

Be a Berean - we must always come with the Word. We must have our Bible's and have them and make sure that we are hearing is truly the Word of God. We should be ready to hear from our leaders but only if it is truly God's truth.

Come Expectantly - come ready to see and hear the majesty of God. Come with a positive attitude trusting that God is still active.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Arguing Christianly

I was thinking today about my former methods of discussion (rants and arguments really) and began to think about some of my specific mistakes in argument. So I thought I would post these for you in a more positive manner.

1. Never treat an issue in a manner beyond its actual importance. This was a major struggle of mine as an early Christian. I became a theology junkie very quickly but was not yet discerning enough to understand what was an essential doctrine and what was not, so I argued about everything like I was standing before an executioner pleading for life and sanity. If something is essential argue with passion and intensity, but if its not that important save the energy for the tough stuff.

2. Never let your emotions rule the day. It is very easy to get worked up and let the emotions drive the car, but while we should not throw the emotions out of the car we must always drive with our minds. Making logical points, not simply winning the decibel war.

3. Never distort the facts. As Christians we are called to be truth tellers, distorting the facts to make a point or win an argument compromises our integrity and dishonors our Lord.

4. Always appeal to Scripture. Our ideas our bound by our limitations and are quite fallible. We should always begin and end with the timeless truth of God's word. It is the only infallible evidence we have.

5. Always remember that you are speaking to an immortal. (That is unless you are arguing with your pets and I don't have space to get into that). As C.S. Lewis said we are speaking with people who are either going to be so glorious that we would be tempted to worship them if we met them today or such horrors that we would terrified of them if we met them today.

6. Always argue respectfully. Even if you think a person is making a completely foolish argument we must remember that they are people made in the image of God and should be treated with respect.

7. Always argue in such a way that God is pleased and glorified. Do I need to explain this one?

8. Never disagree with someone who says that the Patriots are currently the greatest sports franchise on the planet. Its just not fun to be wrong.

By the way - I am using the word argument very loosely for any kind of meaningful discussion.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Can the Joker be Right?

I have a confession to make. I was a comic book nerd. And it lasted into high school. So I kind of have a soft spot for movies made about the superheroes I used to read about. So last night I took Edna to see The Dark Knight (in my defense I didn't have to drag her). It was dark and violent, and I would be very selective about who I would recommend see this movie (although it was gloriously free of sensuality) but there is a thought provoking side to movie that I want to explore a little.

(For an amazing discussion on the Joker and death go see (

The scene I want to discuss (if you haven't seen the movie then you may want to stop reading now) is the point in the movie where the leaders of Gotham are evacuating people on ferries because the joker has threatened the bridges. So there are two ferries with people on them in the middle of the river. One ferry has normal citizens on it, the other has prison inmates. The Joker reveals that both boats are loaded with explosives. The trick is that he has placed the detonator for each boats bomb on the other boat. And if they haven't pushed a button by Midnight he is going to blow up both ferries.

The Joker is banking on people's selfishness and sinfulness (he wouldn't use that word) to rule the day. He is expecting a mad dash to the detonator because people will do anything to save their own lives. But Batman is trusting in the goodness of the people to not push the button and give him time to stop the Joker.

The Joker is trusting in human sinfulness, our inheritance from Adam to rule the day. Batman is trusting in the Image of God in us (once again no one involved in this movie would use these terms). So the question I was faced with as I watched this scene was who was going to win out and who usually wins out here in the real world. Well in the movie no one pushes the button and Batman stops the Joker. The Image of God has won the day. But what about out here. I don't know about you but I don't much selflessness. I see a lot of me-centered activity. So if I were a betting man (which I'm not) I would have placed my money on the Joker to win this argument (I understand that for cinematic reasons why this went the other way - Batman is making a difference in the hearts of Gotham's citizens) I expect people to act in ways that are self-serving and destructive. But there is a glimmer of the Image of God remaining in us and this is why there are occasional selfless acts.

So why then is the Jokers worldview wrong. Because there is so much more to the story. The Cross. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ God is redeeming and transforming selfish and sinful people who come to Him in repentance and faith. A long look into the human heart could make us as cold, cruel, and crazy as the Joker, but the human heart does not rule the day and it is not the end of the story. The sovereign merciful heart of God will rule the day, this is where our hope comes in.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Horror of Sin

In his book Respectable Sins Jerry Bridges describes why so is truly so awful. In chapter three the Malignancy of Sin he gives several reasons, I felt that i should share them with you.

Our sin is an assault on the majesty and sovereign rule of God.

We despise God Himself when we sin.

We grieve our Father's heart.

We presume on His grace.

Every sinful thought and word and deed we do is done in His presence.

Christ suffered because of our sins.

Original Sin - By Alan Jacobs

A few years back a friend of mine told me that I should read A Trip to Vanity Fair by Alan Jacobs. This was a friend whose counsel I took very seriously, so I went to the campus bookstore to get the book, but when I got there I had trouble finding it until I looked in the clearance section. This did not commend itself to me (books that seminary students refuse to buy to the point that they end up in the clearance section are suspect in my estimation). But I trusted my friend and brought the book home. It was a book of essays, not normally a favorite genre of mine, so I thought I'll read one essay and be able to say that I'd tried. The next day when I finished the book I decided that I had a new favorite author and needed to purchase everything he put on paper.

And I have been doing just that, and this year he put out a new book called Original Sin. This was not a book of essays but rather a survey of western history and literature on the topic of Original Sin. And as usual I found it to be insightful and entertaining. I really enjoyed how he would pit two recurring commitments against each other. He pointed out that universal human sinfulness (the evidence of original sin) is the most provable doctrine. We see and experience our sin and the sin of others, then there is also the awareness of the inner war where we love the things that we hate. He pits this against the human resistance to acknowledge this universal sinfulness. We tend to think that we may make mistakes but we are not really that bad. I found the way that he entwines these ideas throughout the book really exposes the pride of our hearts and our ability to justify our own sin and condemn the sin of others. (I loved the chapter titled, The Wicked, but not Very)

This will not be a lengthy post, I just wanted to alert you to a book and an author that should be read much more widely. Now I would like to leave you with a quote from his afterword where he is describing what is necessary to hold the Augustinian (and I think Biblical) understanding of Original Sin.

"You must believe that everyone behaves in ways that we usually describe as selfish, cruel, arrogant, and so on. You must believe that we are hard-wired to behave in those ways and do not do so simply because of the bad examples of others. You must believe that such behavior is properly called wrong or sinful, whether it's evolutionarily adaptive or not. You must believe that that it was not originally in our nature to behave in such a way, but that we have fallen from a primal innocence. And you must believe that only supernatural intervention, in the form of what Christians call grace, is sufficient to drag us up out of this pit that we've dug for ourselves."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More Shack Stuff

I realized that my article was rather flawed and that I had read a review much superior, so here is a link to that better article.

This is the definitive debunking.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Exposing the Shack

I am aware that the Shack has already been ripped apart on many of the evangelical blogs but when I spoke about the book at Church last week there were many who had not yet heard about the it. So I felt the need to address it in the form of a blog. I was also asked to provide something of a resource for the discussions that probably will come.

I want to say also that in terms of quality of writing style I didn’t find it as bad as many others have . Yet that is not the reason to reject the Shack or be concerned about it. The reason is that the book is selling well (#2 on Amazon right now) and it contains a great deal of unbiblical teaching that may be swallowed accidentally, because of the nature of fiction. So I feel that we must address this kind of error and prepare ourselves to correct the deception so that we can proclaim the true Gospel.

I have broken down the errors of the book into three categories and will address them accordingly.

First – An Unbiblical View of God

· He says that submission is sinful yet it is clearly a part of how the members of the Trinity operate, for example,

· John 6:38 - For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

· 1 Cor. 11:3 - But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

· 1 Cor. 15:28 - When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

· In these passages we see Jesus submitting to His Father. Denying hierarchy in the Trinity has wide and often unforeseen consequences.

· There is an ancient heresy that often reappears called Modalism - this is the denial of the Trinity that says that it is only apparent - there is only one God but He shows Himself in three different forms.

· There are hints of this in the shack - all three members of the Trinity bear the nail-marks, they say that the Father was on the Cross when Jesus was, they all became fully human when Jesus did.

· Without these distinctions we have another God, whose holiness and grace make no sense.

· However the most recurrent error in the book is his presentation of God. First there is the gender problem, God is presented throughout this book in female form, but God is neither male nor female, and He has chosen consistently to refer to Himself in masculine terms - we are not free to change that.

· Second there is loss of God's majesty and terrifying holiness. When Isaiah saw God, he was terrified and cried out that he was a sinner, when Job was confronted with God he fell on his face and stopped his complaining.

· However when Mack meets God nothing like this occurs - we have a God in our image

· There is no awe, only comfort - Mack swears in front of God, Mack yells at God, accuses God, makes God cry because he is being so mean - this is not awesome God of the Bible.

Second - Unbiblical View of the Bible

· Let us first look at what the Bible has to say about itself

· 2 Tim. 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 competent, equipped for every good work.

· Rev. 22:18-19 - I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

· The Bible demands a place of prominence in the life of a child of God.

· Because of our sin our access to God is given only through mediation - this is where the Bible comes in - we hear God's words to us in His Word - a gift to us

· Yet The Shack paints a very different picture

· He says "God's voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects." - He is ridiculing the Bible as being prominent in the life of a believer.

· At one point Sarayu says, "You will learn to hear my thoughts in yours, you might see me in a piece of art, or music, or silence, or through people, or in creation, or in your joy and sorrow. My ability to communicate is limitless, living and transforming, and it will always be tuned to Papa's goodness and love. And you will hear and see me in the Bible in fresh ways. Just don't look for rules and principles; look for relationship - a way of coming to be with us."

· Without the solid ground of the Bible - we are subject to every whim of our heart or lie we hear.
· We must uphold the Bible and cling to it, love it, love it, and relate to God in the ways that He has shown us in His Word. We have no other option, only the gracious gift of the Bible.

Third - Unbiblical View of Salvation

· The cross is central in understanding how salvation is accomplished and applied

· But Paul says in 1 Cor. 1:23 - but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,

· Jesus said in John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

· We have a sin problem that had to be dealt with - this is where the Cross comes in, Jesus being punished in our place, bearing our sin, bearing the wrath of God that we deserve, and through faith and repentance in Him we find salvation and forgiveness

· The author has God say "I don't need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring from the inside. Its not my purpose to punish it, its my joy to cure it."

· This reveals a misunderstanding of God's nature, of sin, and it simply makes a mockery of the cross, if Jesus was not dying for sin what on earth was He doing.

· There is also a misunderstanding of how one becomes rightly related to God - The author has God say that those who love him come from every kind of human division, including other religions.

· This is not exactly universalism, but it certainly error, He is saying that people from other religions are in a true relationship with God without trusting in Christ.

· He has Jesus say "That He is the best way to any human can relate to Papa and Sarayu" not THE way, only the best way.

· Jesus is the only way to be reconciled to the holy God that we have sinned against - we must reject anything that proposes anything else.

· We must embrace Jesus and proclaim Him.

In Conclusion

I am not recommending that you read this book (unless maybe there is someone close to you being led astray by the book, then you may want to consider reading to better help your loved one or friend), if you are looking for a book to read, we can make some recommendations but this one will not make the list. However, I do believe that this book will be read by many and we as Ambassadors for Christ should be prepared to answer the questions and use these opportunities to point people to the True Gospel of the Crucified Savior found in the inerrant Word of God.