August 10, 2009
Book Review: Crisis in Christianity: 21st Century
Crisis in Christianity: 21st Century presents a broad look at the popular, but heretical preaching occurring throughout the Christian world. Through well-researched chapters, Hank Hanegraaff digs deep into the teachings of popular preachers whose messages draw crowds, sell books and fill the airwaves...but are scripturally untrue. Reading his book brought to mind the verse in 2 Timothy: "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Our ears are itching to hear a gospel of comfort and wealth and personal power. Many preachers are stepping in to give us just that. As Hanegraaff points out, as Christians, we MUST test everything against the WHOLE of scripture, not just a few passages taken out of context.
Ever since Jesus' day, false teachers abound to draw the crowds and give them what they want to hear. I find it hard to believe anyone with a fairly decent knowledge of the Bible would believe the prosperity preachers since their message is so contrary to the heart of Jesus' teachings. Just because something is labeled "Christian" doesn't make it of God.
This book is definitely not an easy read, but I found it highly informative. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the history of prosperity preachers and dig deep into the present situation within the Christian church.