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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 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.”

Published: Thomas Nelson on Mar 3, 2009
ISBN: 9781418576073
List price: $16.99
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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.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If you are a follower of a Word of Faith teacher or prosperity preacher, read this book with caution. Christianity In Crisis: The 21st Century will make you very unhappy with your current situation. This book counters many of the false teachers in the Word of Faith movement. This book looks at the false teachings of a huge cast of characters including: Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn and many of the familiar faces on TBN television network. It looks at some hilarious claims such as the teaching that Adam was the first Superman, who could do such things as fly to the moon. This book also looks at more dangerous heresies including the one that Christ's work on the cross was not enough for salvation. Hank Hanegraaf has produced a wonderful resource with this book. If you are intrigued by Christian apologetics, this is an excellent book for you. It is also a great book for any Christian whose discernment skills are not yet the greatest. Hank does an excellent job of showing readers how to discern these false teachers. He also gives straight forward ways to approach reading the Bible and doing basic apologetics work. I would recommend this book to anyone at any level of Christian maturity.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wow.Hank Hanegraaff has brought his book up to date. 20 years have gone by since he first wrote Christianity in Crisis, and the crisis has only intensified!“The tragedy is that too often we look for God in all the wrong places. The real experience is found not in counterfeit formulas but in Christian fundamentals.”Although I have come to disagree with Hank on many theological issues, this book doesn’t go into what I might consider questionable areas of his theology. As such, I feel comfortable recommending it to others.If you are familiar with the original book, you are probably wondering what is new, and if it is worth purchasing. Let me assure you it is worth it! There are many new faces on the scene, and those who distort the gospel by preaching a false “health and wealth” gospel are only gaining momentum.One of the key additions to the book is the “Cast of Characters” section. Hanegraff takes an in-depth look at each of the major players in the Word of Faith movement, and analyzes where they distort the message of the Bible for their own gain, and to the detriment of others.One of the great strengths of this book is the endnotes. You aren’t reading Hanegraff’s opinion about these men and women - he has detailed notes with references of what book, magazine or television program they said these things. This is a solid, well researched critique of this false teaching. In addition to the “name it and claim it” heresies, we see the atonement under attack by people like Benny Hinn, the sovereignty of God under attack by Joel Osteen and the Trinity under attack by Bishop T.D. Jakes.The one weakness of the book is in his synthesis of all the different beliefs of these individuals into a kind of fairy-tale. He includes this as an introduction to Part One. By including this, he creates a view that none of these men and women would ascribe to, and I feel weakens his overall argument. That said, after he delivers this fairy-tale, he then goes into detailed specifics of what each individual believes, and redeems the book as credible.Through Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraff does a thorough job of exposing the truth behind the lies, and pointing us back to what God’s Word has to say.In the first several parts of the book, the author lays out what this movement teaches, and then goes into deep detail into the errors behind their teaching. Ranging from the idea that we are all gods to the horrible twisting of the doctrine of the atonement, Hanegraff explores them all in depth.He closes the book by bringing us back to the basics. What does the Bible say? What do we know is true? How do their arguments stand up to the tested, timeless truths of God’s Word?I strongly recommend this book. Excellent research, and delivered at a time when Christianity is truly in Crisis.There are wolves among us. It is time we see them for who they are.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If you are a follower of a Word of Faith teacher or prosperity preacher, read this book with caution. Christianity In Crisis: The 21st Century will make you very unhappy with your current situation. This book counters many of the false teachers in the Word of Faith movement. This book looks at the false teachings of a huge cast of characters including: Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn and many of the familiar faces on TBN television network. It looks at some hilarious claims such as the teaching that Adam was the first Superman, who could do such things as fly to the moon. This book also looks at more dangerous heresies including the one that Christ's work on the cross was not enough for salvation. Hank Hanegraaf has produced a wonderful resource with this book. If you are intrigued by Christian apologetics, this is an excellent book for you. It is also a great book for any Christian whose discernment skills are not yet the greatest. Hank does an excellent job of showing readers how to discern these false teachers. He also gives straight forward ways to approach reading the Bible and doing basic apologetics work. I would recommend this book to anyone at any level of Christian maturity.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wow.Hank Hanegraaff has brought his book up to date. 20 years have gone by since he first wrote Christianity in Crisis, and the crisis has only intensified!“The tragedy is that too often we look for God in all the wrong places. The real experience is found not in counterfeit formulas but in Christian fundamentals.”Although I have come to disagree with Hank on many theological issues, this book doesn’t go into what I might consider questionable areas of his theology. As such, I feel comfortable recommending it to others.If you are familiar with the original book, you are probably wondering what is new, and if it is worth purchasing. Let me assure you it is worth it! There are many new faces on the scene, and those who distort the gospel by preaching a false “health and wealth” gospel are only gaining momentum.One of the key additions to the book is the “Cast of Characters” section. Hanegraff takes an in-depth look at each of the major players in the Word of Faith movement, and analyzes where they distort the message of the Bible for their own gain, and to the detriment of others.One of the great strengths of this book is the endnotes. You aren’t reading Hanegraff’s opinion about these men and women - he has detailed notes with references of what book, magazine or television program they said these things. This is a solid, well researched critique of this false teaching. In addition to the “name it and claim it” heresies, we see the atonement under attack by people like Benny Hinn, the sovereignty of God under attack by Joel Osteen and the Trinity under attack by Bishop T.D. Jakes.The one weakness of the book is in his synthesis of all the different beliefs of these individuals into a kind of fairy-tale. He includes this as an introduction to Part One. By including this, he creates a view that none of these men and women would ascribe to, and I feel weakens his overall argument. That said, after he delivers this fairy-tale, he then goes into detailed specifics of what each individual believes, and redeems the book as credible.Through Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraff does a thorough job of exposing the truth behind the lies, and pointing us back to what God’s Word has to say.In the first several parts of the book, the author lays out what this movement teaches, and then goes into deep detail into the errors behind their teaching. Ranging from the idea that we are all gods to the horrible twisting of the doctrine of the atonement, Hanegraff explores them all in depth.He closes the book by bringing us back to the basics. What does the Bible say? What do we know is true? How do their arguments stand up to the tested, timeless truths of God’s Word?I strongly recommend this book. Excellent research, and delivered at a time when Christianity is truly in Crisis.There are wolves among us. It is time we see them for who they are.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
There were two specific things I disliked about the execution of this book, which I believe makes it less useful than it otherwise could be. (Perhaps this can serve as constructive criticism if the book is ever revised again.) The first is the attitude with which specific examples are addressed and the second is the limited explanation for why particular Word-Faith teachings are said to be unbiblical.While I completely agree with the author that sound doctrine is essential and must be defended, and I agree that heretical teachings are to be examined and firmly denied, it is also true that many of the Word-Faith teachings contain a kernel of truth. (This is the case with most cultic teachings; it is rare that large numbers of people will jump on the bandwagon of something entirely fabricated.) Rather than acknowledge these kernels and demonstrate how they are twisted or taken out of balance, the author simply writes them off as ridiculous and moves on.At the same time, he does not do nearly as much as he could to demonstrate why a particular teaching is anti-biblical - how it falls short of lining up with Scripture.While the first issue is likely to turn off any readers who currently follow these teachings, before the warnings in the book have an opportunity to make an impact, the second is likely to leave already-deceived readers still wondering about what to believe and why.One other minor annoyance I personally found was that acronyms were far overused for my taste. This is purely a style issue, however, and I'm sure many readers will find the acronyms useful.Despite my objections to these specifics, I appreciated the book as a whole. It is a fairly lengthy read, incorporating a lot of information. Even the appendices and indeces are pretty hefty. Examples given are word-for-word quotes from the Word-Faith speakers themselves, which leave little or no room for wondering what their true intentions and teachings are. There were one or two examples (of supposed error) that I did not find any Scriptural issue with but, as a rule, Hanegraaff's examples are clear and his arguments strong. Most importantly, he grasps the importance of standing on the foundation of Scripture and upholding doctrinal orthodoxy.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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