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Christianity In Crisis: The 21st Century

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Provocative and challenging

    As an update to his earlier book Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaff's Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century warns of twisted teachings and false prophets. Simply put, Christianity in Crisis addresses concerns about the "prosperity gospel" movement. Hanegraaff is bold in his naming of names and labelling of heresies. In this updated edition he builds around the same core acronym F-L-A-W-S while providing recent quotes and examples as illustrations. It examines the evolution of the word-faith movement over the last few decades and singles out "mega-faith stars" Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, John Hagee & T.D. Jakes for particular criticism in this new edition while he traces their teachings from EW Kenyon to Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, and Benny Hinn.

    Hanegraaff also details what he describes as "eerie similarities" between Rhonda Byrnes The Secret and Joel Osteen's Your Best Life Now. Certainly neither rank up there as great works of literature, but his comments were sobering nonetheless.

    Recommended by both the Billy Graham organisation and Focus on the Family Hanegraaf advocates a return to fidelity to God's word as a primary objective away from "faith formulas" ensuring material wealth, leading to Spiritual security. It certainly brings to mind Phillipians 4:12 for me.

    Grateful for what you have, when it is plenty and overflowing, and grateful in times of lack and little. Linking my salvation to my standard of living is abhorrent to me. Although it seems that there are those who live an ascetic life in order to "earn" salvation as much as there are those who contend that they must outwardly display material blessings because it shows how pleased God is with them.

    Hank Hanegraaff uses the words of the Preachers and teachers of the "prosperity gospel movement to present his case against them. He argues that they can and do twist and contort, abuse and misabuse, warp Scripture.
    He uses their own words, both written and spoken, and argues that all he writes about these preachers and personalities is "carefully documented" and "contextually defensible." In legal terms I hope so, because otherwise there may be fireworks! Both in the text and in the end notes he suggests what these preachers and teachers have said, have preached, have believed, have promoted. Hanegraff presents their message. Then presents proofs as to how their interpretation cannot be the correct one through the use of scripture.

    One of the most shocking things I learned while reading this is that there are a handful of preachers out who teach that Christians should not pray the Lord's Prayer. They explain that it is wrong, unbiblical, and even spiritually damaging to pray "if it's according to your will" or to say "God willing" because this isn't taking ownership of the power within you.

    Hanegraaff's argument is never that the people who listen to these messages are stupid and foolish. That they're to blame, at fault, guilty. He does not attack the listeners. Instead he attacks the message itself.

    If Hanegraaff is accurate in his "careful documentation and the quotations and illustrations he uses are "contextually defensible" then what he has to say should shake the church out of apathy. If he is right then I doubt the sinking feeling I often get when i read of the rejection of Truth from within the church itself is going to go a

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  • Posted July 24, 2009

    Interesting and chafing

    WOW. That would sum up Crisis in Christianity in one word. And I don't mean wow in a good way. I can say, in all honesty that this is one book I don't think I'd recommend to people. Mostly because of the fact that I disagree with the author, not entirely, but with most of what he says. I felt that Hank Hanegraff was finger pointing and blame laying without substantiating his accusations. He referred to scripture references but did not actually give you the scripture itself. I felt that if Hank had a problem with what certain people preach and/or teach that he should do as the bible tells us and first confront the person face to face and so on. I also felt that, while he did have some valid points about the need to be balanced in our faith, he failed to speak his opinions in love. I also felt that it was not necessary to start calling people false prophets or to accuse them of leading people astray purposefully. It was very offensive, to me at least, and was off putting from the start. I could almost feel the anger emanating off the pages. Didn't make me real eager to finish the book. It did, however, get me to take a closer look at what I believe and why I believe it. Definitely food for thought.

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  • Posted May 11, 2009

    Good but Difficult Read

    Christianity in Crisis by Hank Hanegraaff is a thought provoking and eye opening read. The author examines the "Word of Faith" movement,better know as the "prosperity gospel," within the Christian church. Hanegraaf exposes the Biblical flaws in their teaching and the heresy in the words and messages they are preaching to millions of people. The quotes from these famous evangelist range from the laughable to the downright frightening! Christianity in Crisis starts with a "Cast of Characters" that exposes the false teachings of prominent "Word of Faith" teachers including: Kenneth Copeland, John Hagee, Paul Crouch, Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.

    Overall, Christianity in Crisis was an informative book about the false teaching within the Christian church. It not only informed and warned you about the false doctrine but attempted to equip you to know the truth for yourself so that you can recognize false teachings. The book was difficult to read - it read like a dissertation. In an attempt to make the points easy to remember Hanegraaff used acronyms. But, he used WAY too many. It's impossible to keep up with the 10+ acronyms used in the book. Essentially, the book could have been condensed and the points made in a more concise manner. The same quotes and illustrations were used several times - a couple of times I stopped to make sure I wasn't reading the same page over again. Not a book I would pick up just for the sheer pleasure of reading but definitely if I had questions about the "Faith" movement.

    Thomas Nelson Book Reviewer: http://brb.thomasnelson.com/

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  • Posted April 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good read, but gets repetitive

    Christianity in Crisis is the latest apologetic resource by Hank Hanegraaff. His latest offering seeks to inform and warn Christians about the growing Word of Faith movement involving some popular evangelists on TV.

    The book started off on a high note. It was very interesting. Hanegraaff starts off the book by giving us some background on the Word of Faith movement and identifies some of the more prominent faces like Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. We get to read some rather astonishing quotes from these "false teachers" that could make your head spin. I found myself getting angrier and angrier as I read through the chapter entitled Cast of Characters. Hank does a great job highlighting blunders and countering them with Scripture.

    Unfortunately the book loses momentum. Hanagraaff gives us several acronyms which are supposed to help. I found them confusing. They take away from the intellectual tone of the book. Second, the book started to repeat itself incessantly. The quotes heading the chapters were repeated. Some chapters repeated some of the same quotes from previous chapters. I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over, because I was. I found the book harder to read as I got closer to the end.

    If you are into apologetics or have ever wondered about Osteen and Meyer (or anyone else on TBN ) I would pick it up. You might want to wait for the paperback edition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

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