Saturday, April 11, 2009

Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century

A book review for Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Hank Hanegraaff is the host of Bible Answer Man, a radio program heard daily throughout the US and Canada. He is president of the Christian Research Institute and author of several books. In Christianity In Crisis: 21st Century, Mr. Hanegraaff takes on the Faith movement or prosperity gospel. He rails against so-called prosperity preachers including Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. While I am certainly no fan of any of these people, I found Mr. Hanegraaff’s attacks to be almost of a personal nature rather than doctrinal. While I am uneasy with the likes of Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer, I also found myself uneasy with Mr. Hanegraaff. After googling him, I found that he is himself a very controversial figure having been sued several times and accused of plagiarism, unethical behavior and financial fraud. While I don’t put much credence into anything found on the Internet, these findings did somewhat confirm my uneasiness about blindly accepting Mr. Hanegraaff’s assessment of these prosperity preachers. In fact, I can’t even determine that he has any formal education in theology. He offers supposed examples of the Faith preachers’ heresy, complete with numerous footnotes, but I found his book to be redundant with repetitive use of the same few examples. He employs extensive use of mnemonic devices which I found to be a little hokey and largely unnecessary. Please read this book with a healthy dose of skepticism and do some research on your own of all the players mentioned.

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