Monday, November 16, 2015

Linking: Ten Serious Problems With Jesus Calling

A few years ago I came across a copy of Jesus Calling, Sarah Young's extremely popular devotional book. After I read a few pages I thought, "Yuck." I set the book down and never picked it up again. While I knew something was wrong with Jesus Calling, I didn't bother giving it much more thought. In light of how well this book and others in the series are selling, maybe I should have. The reason is that Young's books are having a significant impact upon the church in at least the USA.

Tim Challies has penned a helpful piece entitled Ten Serious Problems With Jesus Calling that discusses why this book is such a disaster. Tim's post helped me think more clearly through the issues at stake. It is worth the read.


Aussie John said...


"Yuck". That's being very polite!!

Tim A said...

I read Challies piece and think many of his points are a "God-only-speaks-through-the-Bible" approach to our relationship with God. Every member of the trinity are talkers and listeners to their people, all of them. They deliver wisdom, guidance, understanding, for life decisions and challenges not found in the Bible. There is no question they will never speak that which is inconsistent with scripture. The Bible is a plumb line for life today.

There are places where it is not translated properly, but not many. Mostly when it speaks to "elders who rule" and "obey your leaders who have the rule over you", and a few other spots where the church has a very long authority corruption for leadership in the church.

When hired pastors say "God called me to this church", they mean God spoke to them in various ways and they interpreted circumstances as his call. Mr. Challies has probably claimed this many times himself in the course of normal institutionalized life without even questioning that he is claiming God spoke to him.

Hebrews 10:19-26 tells us about "the new and living way" Jesus paid for on the cross. The first step is "let us draw near". That is for two-way fellowship with God. The second step is "let us hold fast". That is also a two-way communication with God. The third step is "let us consider how we can spur one another on to love and good works". That is believers passing on to their fellow believers what God has taught them, both from the Word and meditation on obeying the word to increase "love and good works" for the body of Christ. This is the "habit of meeting" believers are "not to forsake". "My sheep hear my voice and they follow me". Most Americans have never heard God's voice. They only hear the "undershepherd's voice" from behind a pulpit each week. Hired leaders want to protect the perpetual dependency of God's people upon them. Hearing God's voice is fundamental to organic church life.

Am I justifying everything in "Jesus Calling"? No, but it's far more true to our relationship with God than a weekly Bible lecture by only a hired man.

Tim A said...

Did you notice that in all of his 10 points he only gives one scripture? The one he gives only points to the veracity of scripture. He gave no scripture that presents what she is doing contradicts scripture. Is he speaking from only his own ideas? Has Challies heard from God on this? If the scripture backs up his claim, he did not give any. If you read the 10 points and ask "what is his basis for his objection?" you find it is not founded on any specific scripture. Am I missing something?