Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Book Review: Christianity in Crisis

Hank Hanegraaff's Christianity In Crisis: The 21st Century is an eye-opening expose of how heretical and corrupt the modern batch of “Word of Faith” popularity preachers have become. Hanegraaff bars no holds on televangelists and mega-preachers such as Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and the entire TBN Network. The book well-researched—a necessity for the kinds of accusations that the author levies against the heretical teachers. He quotes liberally from television shows and phone interviews, from book and pamphlets, newspapers and magazines. Sometimes the book is repetitive, but the reader can easily pass over arguments and accusations that he repeats from section to section.

For those who do not regularly watch charismatic, word-of-faith, prosperity Gospel shows or read their books, Hanegraaff reveals there is much more to them than simply asking for money. In chapter after chapter, Hanegraaff exposes tri-theism, Adoptionism, Arianism, Dualism rampant in “teachers” such as Creflo Dollar, Frederick Price, T D Jakes, John Hagee, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen and many more. The author also traces their “word of faith” teachings to New Age “reality-creating” teachings.

Hanegraaff does miss a few beats here and there. He is very uncomfortable with the Apostle's Creed confession of the descent into hell. While the preachers Hanegraaff exposes misinterpret the purpose of Christ's descent into hell as one of suffering, the author dismisses any positive interpretation of the event as the Harrowing of Hell. Likewise, the heretics the author attacks preach a gross and gnostic kind of apotheosis, but Hanegraaff seems ill-suited to contrast this with the Mormon doctrine—and with the Orthodox doctrine of theosis. In sections were the author advocates for a more traditional doctrine, his approach is a little too fundamentalist for my taste, but this is a small quibble.

3 comments :

  1. masonbeecroft said...

    Speaking of crisis, are you going to join me for a drink on Friday in Norman?
    +mason

  2. Christopher D. Hall said...

    Absolutely!

  3. Christopher D. Hall said...

    BTW--Mason is referring to the District Convention that we will be attending in Norman this weekend.