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Nearly two decades ago Hank Hanegraaff’s award-winning Christianity in Crisis alerted the world to the dangers of a cultic movement within Christianity that threatened to undermine the very foundation of biblical faith. But in the 21st century, there are new dangers—new teachers who threaten to do more damage than the last.
These are not obscure teachers that Hanegraaff unmasks. We know their names. We have seen their faces, sat in their churches, and heard them shamelessly ...
Nearly two decades ago Hank Hanegraaff’s award-winning Christianity in Crisis alerted the world to the dangers of a cultic movement within Christianity that threatened to undermine the very foundation of biblical faith. But in the 21st century, there are new dangers—new teachers who threaten to do more damage than the last.
These are not obscure teachers that Hanegraaff unmasks. We know their names. We have seen their faces, sat in their churches, and heard them shamelessly preach and promote the false pretexts of a give-to-get gospel. They are virtual rock stars who command the attention of presidential candidates and media moguls. Through make-believe miracles, urban legends, counterfeit Christs, and twisted theological reasoning, they peddle an occult brand of metaphysics that continues to shipwreck the faith of millions around the globe:
“God cannot do anything in this earthly realm unless we give Him permission.”
“Keep saying it—‘I have equality with God’—talk yourself into it.”
“Being poor is a sin.”
“The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews!”
“You create your own world the same way God creates His. He speaks, and things happen; you speak, and they happen.”
Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century exposes darkness to light, pointing us back to a Christianity centered in Christ.
From the Preface:
“Having lost the ability to think biblically, postmodern Christians are being transformed from cultural change agents and initiators into cultural conformists and imitators. Pop culture beckons, and postmodern Christians have taken the bait. As a result, the biblical model of faith has given way to an increasingly bizarre array of fads and formulas.”
Posted September 14, 2009
Title: Christianity in Crisis: The 21st Century
Author: Hank Hanegraaff
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Almost twenty years ago, Hank Hanegraaff wrote the book Christianity in Crisis to alert the world to the cultic movement within Christianity. At the time, there were dangers enough, but with this updated version, Mr. Hanegraaff exposes newer and even more insidious leaders among this community. These men and women that are exposed for their heresy in this book are not someone that no one has ever heard, but very popular preachers.
As I read this book, I was aghast at the claims that some of these so-called prosperity preachers espoused. They have the audacity to say that God can do nothing on this earth unless someone gives Him the authority! To think that for one moment God needs our permission to do anything is simply asinine. The Almighty does NOT need my permission, and He is not some genie in a bottle that we can rub the magic lamp for Him to do as we tell Him to do!
This is a book that I would recommend to anyone who is curious to know what people are teaching today in their "crystal palaces." It exposes this men and women as the frauds that they are. These are not people following God's Word, but bastardizing it. The tragedy of it all is that many will follow these false prophets straight to hell. Wake up, America! There is only one Savior, and that is Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life. No man, woman, boy or girl will go to Heaven except they repent of their sins, and accept Him as their Savior! (John 14:1-6)
Pros: Should be used as a text book in seminaries across America.
Cons: It often reads like a text book.
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Posted January 16, 2013
Excellent book for those who wish to discover the heresies of the modern day TV Preachers and in particular the new name it and claim it groups.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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
Posted July 24, 2009
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 28, 2009
I was not aware of this particular movement in the Christian realm. The movement in question, and addressed in this book, is the Faith movement. Some of the names mentioned in the book (Copeland, Hinn, Roberts, etc) are all well known if you watch Television evangelism. I am fairly confident that even if you don't watch television news, you are familiar with these names.
Essentially, the Faith movement is synonymous with the "Name it/Claim it" movement. They say that you can get what you want by naming. "Words are power."
This book is an eye-opening treatise on this philosophy. Hank takes each and every topic and relates it to the scripture as quoted by the Faith proponent, and refutes it. If the Faith proponent is not using scripture, Hank uses the Bible to refute the "traditions of men" as they state it.
Another interesting and very helpful technique that Hank uses liberally in this book is the "Error begets Error" section at the end of most every chapter. This was quite helpful in not only outlining the errors of the closing chapter, but prepares the reader for the next chapter.
Finally, Hank has written this book in a very understandable and readable format. This book is by no means a book with huge words spouting philosophy according to Hank. It is a great work written in layman's terms refuting false doctrine.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone not only wishing to find the fundamental errors in the Faith movement, but also those seeking to bolster their faith and understanding of the scriptures. This book will go a long ways towards helping readers understand their faith and how the scriptures should be interpreted.
Posted May 29, 2009
All errors are not created equal.
Christians can "differ in good conscience when it comes to secondary issues. They cannot do so, however, when it comes to the primary doctrines."
Hanegraaff addressed this concern over 20 years ago with Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century and he has updated those concerns in this book, addressing the similarities between pop sensations such as Rhonda Byrne's The Secret and Joel Osteen's Your Best Life Now.
"Having lost the ability to think biblically," Hanegraaff claims, "postmodern Christians are being systematically transformed from cultural change agents and initiators into cultural conformists and imitators." I have to agree with him, this is precisely what I see all around me. Many of us don't think doctrinally, many of us don't have a grasp of deep theology; many of us don't have a leg to stand on biblically. Can you identify a doctrinal deviation when you hear it? Do you recognize when Osteen gives us a script rather than scripture, when he twists the text of God's Word and presents it as God's Word?
Hanegraaff gives precise examples where Faith Teachers have twisted the text of scripture, all meticulously footnoted. The current Faith Movement presents God as a "pathetic puppet governed by the impersonal force of faith" and that faith is a force and "words are the containers for this force." The Faith Teachers "strip God of His omnipotence and rob Him of His omniscience." The author calls for a "shift from perceiving God as a means to an end to the recognition that He is the end."
I struggled through this book, taking over three months to get through it. The reading is smooth and easy, but the digestion is laborious; the reader must sit and chew quite often. The author is big on acronyms, which helps. He goes into tremendous detail over doctrine, contrasts the spiritual laws of the Christian faith with the spiritual flaws of the Faith movement, reveals scripture misuse and advises the reader how to get back to the basics. What I love is how the author's concern is more for the disillusioned, discouraged Faith followers, not so much for the Faith teachers themselves, but the many that've left the church due to failed Faith formulas. This is not an angry book, but a loving book.
Get a copy of the book; keep it on your nightstand. Peruse a different section each day and think about it. Observe religion in our culture. See what you think, but please, most importantly, think.
Posted May 11, 2009
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/
Posted April 28, 2009
Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century by Hank Hanegraaff.
Christianity today is in crisis. It's being attached by the "Faith Movement". This movement turns the gospel into a self-help program. God seems to have been put here to serve us. He wants us all to be rich.
Hanegraaff goes at the people and organizations spreading this spiritual garbage head on, exposing their lies and greed. He balances their false doctrine against scripture, shedding light on how deeply wrong their teachings are. He exposes their histories, lifestyles and some of the insane things they say.
Joel Osteen, for example almost never speaks about Jesus Christ. About his atoning sacrifice on our behalf. Rather, he preaches that God has created us all to be successful and rich. He's essentially Tony Robbins with a church.
There are others such as T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn; all wildly popular preachers with leading the uninformed spiritual seeker nowhere at all.
For the Biblically sound Christian, this book is a great resource. It shows us another face of the enemy and gives us another tool in the war against evil. We all know someone that believes one of these people, and now we have some real background on them.
Posted April 22, 2009
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.
Posted April 20, 2009
As a member of the Thomas Nelson Review Blogger program http://brb.thomasnelson.com/ , I had the opportunity to review Hank Hanegraaff's informative book which exposes the so-called harmless doctrines of the false teachers behind the faith and prosperity movements who are "systematically turning the truth into mythology" (page 6) to the light and truth of scripture.
In the New Testament of the bible, there are numerous warnings about false teachers. Galations 1:6-8, "I am amazed that you are so quickly turning.. to a different gospel, not that there is another, but there are some who.want to change the gospel of Christ." In the spirit of the apostle Paul who through his letters warned the Christians of his day concerning the errors of false teachers and their dangerous doctrine, Hanegraaff has written this book to warn modern day Christians of the errors of these false teachers.
This book discusses the dangerous doctrines in detail and how they deviate from the true message of the bible. The layman is provided with a general overview of essential Christian doctrines, and a comparison with the distortions of the false modern cult-like movements. The reader is empowered with the information needed to discern the true word of God from counterfeit Christianity. Furthermore, specific false teachers as well as false doctrines are mentioned and discussed in detail. Objectively written and well researched this book is essential reading for all Christian believers. I highly recommend this book.
Posted April 8, 2009
From the back cover: "Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth." The Apostle Paul
In this updated edition of Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaff exposes those preachers who twist and misquote the Scriptures to fit their messages of a prosperity gospel. The author quotes some of the current well known "Name it and Claim it" preachers, such as Joel Olsteen, Mike Dooley, Joe Vitale and Joyce Meyer, then compares their statements with the Word of God.
One of the most shocking examples in the book is about the author and contributors of "The Secret" made popular by Oprah, which teaches that thoughts create our circumstances. When one of its contributors appeared on the Larry King show, King asked whether Jessica Lundsford, the child brutally abused and murdered, attracted this horror to herself. Joe Vitale responded, "We are attracting everything to ourselves and there is no exception".
The author cuts away at the false doctrines with expert precision. Example after example shows the error of men and women claiming to be speaking the word of God, but in reality speaking from the pits of Hell.
The book is extensively footnoted and includes a scripture index, subject index, and a bibliography. I highly recommend this book for anyone who seeks truth. It could easily be used for a personal Bible study or small groups study.
Posted April 6, 2009
Christianity in Crisis by Hank Hanegraaff is a powerful indictment of the Faith or Name it and Claim it movement within Christianity. Sometimes Christians are afraid to point out the flaws in famous pastors' theology for fear of creating discord within the faith and causing nonbelievers to question all Christians. Hanegraaff has no such fears, and his book is powerful and stunning because of his courage. I was newly shocked with every chapter. I had no idea that so many famous pastors preach such heresy, people I had respected, preach against substitionary atonement, as well as the idea that God has no power without us. The author is outraged by this kind of preaching, and the reader will be as well by the time he/she finishes the book. While it is a bit polemic, it's a fascinating read. It's definitely a book I will be talking about with friends and family for long after I've put it down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2009
Much needed tool for the believer. I give it five stars.
Not having read the earlier edition, I did not find this current volume too large. The bibliography, chapter notes, scripture index, and numerous mnemonic devices make it a terrific resource for personal use along with assisting others subjected to this sort of theologically dangerous pap.
Hanegraaff is to be commended for his perseverance in documenting in reasonable detail this material. For over forty years now, I haven't had the stomach to endure listening to these supposed teachers. Yet their tribe continues to increase! Might this not be a commentary on the state of Bible teaching in our churches, along with the absence of equipping the saint to study their Bible?
Eliphaz the Temanite condemned Job on the basis of what Job had said: surely Hanegraaff has demonstrated a similar indictment of these false teachers.
Kudos to Hanegraaff and his team. May their tribe increase!
Posted March 20, 2009
I remember reading Christianity in Crisis when it was published in 1993, thinking, "Finally, someone has written a biblical, researched, challenging response to the growing Faith movement."
However, as a young pastor less than three years out of seminary, little did I know how controversial and polarizing Hanegraaff's book would become not so much among those in the Faith movement in our community, but among Christ followers who attended Protestant mainline denominational churches in our city and watched these preachers on television.
This updated edition is much needed in our eclectic, shallow, pseudo-Christian culture. While retaining the "core of the original," the most notable addition has been the "cast of characters." Hanegraaff includes an overview of a number of Faith movement preachers and why their teachings are unbiblical, cultic, and serving to undermine the very basics of the Christian faith.
While Hanegraaff spotlighted such preachers as Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, and Paul Crouch in his previous book, in this edition he includes the more recent mega-superstars - Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, T.D. Jakes, and Rod Parsley.
The bulk of the 427 pages are devoted to unpacking the heresies of the Faith movement by developing the acronym, F-L-A-W-S, which stands for Faith in Faith, Little Gods, Atonement Atrocities, Wealth and Want, and Sickness and Suffering
Hanegraaff presents a thorough refutation of Faith movement heresy, an accurate teaching of biblical theology, and comprehensive research into this cultic movement with a humility and meekness that is polar opposite of the arrogance and conceit of those leading the Faith movement.
This book should be required reading for every Christ follower, any serious student of the Word, and all Christian teachers and leaders.
Posted March 14, 2009
Christianity in Crisis 21st Century -Hank Hanegraaff
Seeing this book back in print and updated for the C21st makes me happy and sad at the same time. Hanegraff's original edition of Christianity in Crisis did an excellent and complete job of showing that the faith teachers have a different Jesus and a different Gospel. Yet the sad part thing is the faith teachers are still in business, dressed in pure wool suits, and fleecing the flock. I remember being devastated as a young Pentecostal going along to hear Benny Hinn. I never read anything but the Bible and was looking forward to the signs and wonders, but I went to hear him. What I heard was heresy, Hinn said temptation only came when we are far away from God. The Bible says Jesus was tempted in every way as we yet is without sin. in Reality temptation comes the closer you get to God. Secondly, Hinn said, the flesh is our fallen nature, John tells us that Jesus came in the flesh. That was a painful evening leaving me feeling all alone, then I came across Christianity in Crisis and found out I wasn't alone and indeed the crisis I had stumbled upon was worse than I thought. Hanegraaff shows that the faith teachers God isn't the sovereign omnipotent God of the Bible but a genie who responds to the force of faith. Hanegraaff builds his case in the words of the faith teachers themselves.
This new version isn't a new book but it has new characters, the flawed theology of the faith teachers is the same as ever. Some of the faces have changed, Hank has built in quotes from Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Rod Parsley and "the latest shooting star" Todd Bently. Hanegraaff rightly refers to Bentley as a shooting star so much so that by the time of printing he is a spent force. This isn't the case for Christianity in Crisis, this is a book that is well researched, easy to read and is very necessary. Although I don't move in circles where the names of the faith teachers come up on a daily basis a visit to the local version of a national Christian bookstall reveals that the faith teachers are still the best sellers. People are being deceived by the faith teachers and need to hear what they are saying in light of Scripture. This is a book that deserves to be read, the original book had a tape version which proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that these were not the words of Hanegraaff but the faith teachers themselves. I hope Thomas Nelson bring out an up to date audio version.
Posted March 7, 2009
Hank Hanegraaff's Christianity in Crisis the 21st Century Edition (CNC21) is a vital resource for every Christian library. Updating his previous edition, Hanegraaff address the flawed theology of the Word of Faith movement, which began with E.W. Kenyon, whose aberrant theology was passed on through past Word of Faith luminaries like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Fredrick K.C. Price, John Avanzini, Robert Tilton, Marilyn Hickey, Paul Yoggi Cho, Charles Capps, Morris Cerullo, and Paul Crouch. Moreover, in CNC21 Hanegraaff highlights the doctrinal errors of new stars in the Word of Faith constellation, such as Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, John Hagee, T.D. Jakes, Rod Parsley, and Paula White.
Using the mass media engine of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, teachers within the Word of Faith movement dispense their doctrinal poison by the mega-dose. Using cultic term twisting, they say faith is a force and words are containers of that force. They pronounce man is a little god, God is a mere man, and Satan is the god of this world. They undermine the Christian doctrine of atonement by declaring Jesus, the Son of God, became a demonic sinner on the cross, suffered in hell, and in hell's belly had to be born-again. They reason that their faith-filled words can positively confess unlimited wealth. Moreover, they also reason that their faith-filled words can positively confess perfect health, and the only reason why faithful suffer is their lack of faith!
Two thumbs up for Hank Hanegraaff who boldly exposes this aberrant theology that has infected the church from within.
Posted March 4, 2009
I recently read the book "Christianity In Crisis: 21st Century" by Hank Hanegraaff. I have read some of Hank Hanegraaff's work before and found it to be very good. He does a great job of using the Bible in context. That is why he has a radio program called Bible Answer Man that can be heard throughout the United States and Canada. "Christianity In Crisis: 21st Century" was an interesting read. It is a follow-up work to a book that Hanegraaff had written some twenty years ago that was called "Christianity In Crisis." Both books deal with some "movements" that claim the title of Christian but have very untraditional theologies that prove them to be anything genuine Christian.
Some things that were really good about this work was that Hanegraaff gave some specific examples and didn't seem to be "attacking" a person. He really made it a point to target the teachings and not the people themselves. Though at times, Hanegraaff is very bold in his wording, I agree that with errant teachings, Christians do not need to be tolerant and worry about the feelings of other people. I really think that the reason that many "teachers" of the kind of theology that Hanegraaff exposes in this work have massive followings because not many people have had the courage to stand up and call them to account. I also really liked the fact that he cited all of his references so that someone could come behind him and check his work. Hanegraaff is definitely not trying to hide anything. He was rather calling some false teachings to be laid plainly on the table.
There were some things that I would have liked to seen differently. I know that Hanegraaff was trying to give some credibility to what he was going to talk about, but the almost seventy pages of the "cast of characters" was a little long. I know that there are many in this "word-faith" teaching, but it was just hard to get through all of the characters when they seem to be the same thing over and over.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who might be wondering about all these tv preacher guys (and ladies). While not everyone on tv is teaching false doctrines, many are. Sadly, many who are outside of faith in Christ base their belief of Christianity by what is readily available to them. I think that this should encourage churches to get into their communities and be the true body of Christ and not leave it to someone who might be errantly representing Christ on tv to do so.
Posted March 2, 2009
It is a discussion of (really an expose of) the Faith movement, the many preachers and authors who belong, and why what they preach and teach isn't biblical. Here is a comment from his equip.org website: "Hanegraaff is deeply committed to equipping Christians to be so familiar with truth that when counterfeits loom on the horizon they recognize them instantaneously." He has three goals stated in the introduction: 1. bring the truth to current people who have joined the Faith movement, 2. Clarify the position of the Faith movement for committed Christians, 3. show outside observers how the Faith movement is not biblical.
The book has extensive notes and quotes in the back and these make some of the most interesting reading. It is one thing to see what Hanegraaff describes as the beliefs of the Faith movement, and at times I don't agree with his interpretation based on a single comment, but the collection of quotes from the cast of characters provide a very good picture of what these people believe, or at least preach.
He identifies belief such as denying the deity of Christ, struggling with death and disease due to a lack of faith, and affirming that we are equal to God and Christ. One that keeps coming up is that God can't act until we pray or command Him to do something. This is so contrary to the sovereignty of God that it is ludicrous. The positive spin is that this Faith movement puts the individual in charge of their own fate so they can't sit down and claim victim status any more. The insidious side is that much of what happens in this world is not under our control so then the blame for an illness or setback or death is placed on the "lack of faith" of the individual.
After reviewing the cast of characters and providing an overview of what they believe, Hanegraaff takes each major point and shows how the major Faith movement preachers present their point of view and then contrasts that with the Bible to show how their teaching is unbiblical. He ends with a section reaffirming the way to equip ourselves to be able to discern the truth and a section stating what the Bible teaches are the true foundations of Christianity.
There is some repetition of stories and quotes, but there are enough of them that they seem to provide a good picture of each person's belief-system. The author also deals with different aspects of some of the issues in different places, so the repetition provides a reminder of the text while he builds a different point. A very good book with a very timely point, drawing people back to true faith.
Posted March 2, 2009
I found Hank Hanegraaff's "Christianity in Crisis 21st Century" somewhat disturbing, annoying, judgmental, and ridiculous. From the very first page of this book, I felt that the main point of the book was not to "expose the truth," but to simply drag down other leaders and make them look bad, simply according to his own opinion. I did not feel that the research backed up his argument, but that he was simply stating that his own opinion and feelings were substantial enough to make such ludacris accusations. I do see where he gets a few of his points, but I believe that he is taking comments that others have made and blowing them out of proportion. He is watching other leaders like a hawk, looking for any comments that might not match up with the Bible in the slightest bit. I think, instead of ragging on other leaders, he should pause for a moment and take the "plank" out of his own eye first, and realize that he does not truly know everything there is to know about Christianity or the Bible. I would not recommend this book.
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Posted March 1, 2009
Despite the claim of Hank Hanegraaff in his sequel to best-seller Christianity in Crisis, Christianity in Crisis in the 21st Century, to impartial source-gathering, the author still chooses the material he presents for his specific attacks on the Faith Movement.
Hanegraaff claims to have met personally with several of the named church leaders he biographies, in an effort to get them to see the truth.
Christianity in Crisis in the 21st Century is filled with acronyms to fulfill Hanegraaff's goal to make the book readable, complete and accurate and in a memorable format. FLAWS to describe the false teachings of those in the Faith Movement, and ABCDE to help readers find Biblical truths are certainly memorable.
The false teachings of the popular often mega-church Faith Movement include scripture twisting, deification of humanity and the transforming power of the spoken word into life-changing results.
This last vestigial new-age thought process seems to get Hanegraaff's goat the most. He makes his disputes against these false claims through use of going back to the original biblical languages. Biblical faith, he declares, must have a knowledge element, an agreement element, and a trust element - ie, that we will not come to harm to we act on our faith.
People are desperate to learn the secrets theories of amassing wealth and getting the desires of your heart here and now instead of learning the truth of Christ's teaching and hope for the afterlife. Thus they are willing to get involved with this cult-like movement, often to their own detriment, even death, and certainly loss of their own wealth into the pockets of these charlatans.
The book was laid out perfunctorily, with the problem first, the biographies and claims of the false teachers, the description of what the truth is and how to get (back) there and very detailed appendices and indices.