The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge.   Wild at Heart  by John Eldredge

Blue Like Jazz   by Donald Miller and Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential  by Joel Osteen

Prose, put forth as “christian” literature these books will encourage women to connect with their inner self and discover the strength and beauty to live fully. Men are encouraged to accept the wild, sometimes dangerous, not destructive person within. Blue Like Jazz are a compilation of short non-religious essays about an inward journey toward the Christian life while Joel Osteen’ self-help guide offers a seven-step program, based on spiritual principles, leading a more meaningful and rewarding life on a daily basis.

There are "christian" books to teach how to govern your thoughts, discipline your will and achieve balance in your spiritual life. There are books teaching the keys to your most abundant and prosperous life and books teaching christian prosperity and self help principles.

The “me” generation has become more focused, but not on God. No longer God focused, the focus has turned to man, to self. Self esteem, self preservation, self satisfying, self gratifying. Self.!. Man focuses on self, magnifying the gift and the recipient's possession and enjoyment of the gift all too often forgetting the Giver of the gift. The One who holds our very breath in His hands almost always forgotten as the church runs to and fro; learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

A former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary offers this for our consideration:

“If our sin is viewed as causing the death of Jesus on the cross, then we ourselves become victims of a 'psychological battering' produced by the cross. When I am led to feel that the pain and torment of Jesus death is due to my sin, I inflict upon myself spiritual and psychological torment.”

When worthiness is attained through even a little bit of self-effort, it gives credit to man not to God. In the grace centered theology of the New Testament, there can be no room for this exaltation of man for the Bible from beginning to end is about the exaltation of God.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

'The church is not for "seekers" or for "Me centered" people. It is for disciples and "He centered" people. The church can and should reach out to a dying world and that means engaging the culture with the truth that Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life (John 14:6). It also means becoming more like Him daily, walking in faith and in His strength. 

Paul sums this up well when he says:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.Galatians 2:20
At the end of the day we are all simply beggars telling beggars where we found bread. Let us bear witness then to this fact in our culture so that we can change the "seeker sensitive" church of 'me,' back to the Bible based church of He.'
Matt Smith, Pastor
Barabbas Road Church


  1. Pretty scary stuff being passed off as "Christian." I think Midwest Christian Outreach's title of "Wildly Unbiblical" for Eldredge's book is right on. Of course, that would apply to every other book you list also!

  2. In researching, I visited Amazon seeking "Christian Self Help" books. Found a listing for a book by Oprah' friend Eckart Tolle listed among the "christian" books...

    and sadly, millions do not even know the difference.

  3. Motivational speakers, self-help gurus, 'release the power within' types...

    If they claim to be Christian, they should at least understand the depravity of man as David understood it in Psalm 14...

    And then turn to the real help of Romans 8:13 where Paul specifies that in contrast to self help, overcoming sin is done "by the Spirit," that is by the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives...

    Great post!