CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS: The 21st Century
Once upon a time, long long ago, on a far away planet, there lived a good God --- a Being who stands about 6’2” to 6’3”, weighs a couple of hundred pounds, and has a handspan of 9 inches…and God named his carbon copy “Adam,” and he gave him authority over the entire creation. As a matter of fact, this creature had so much power that his Creator could do nothing in the earth realm without first obtaining his permission…then God, in a flash, became the greatest failure of all time….
This fairytale is based on the teachings of many popular stars in the faith movement, whose proponents appeal to massive radio and TV audiences. Key figures teach, among other things, that Jesus wore designer clothes, that health and prosperity are available to anyone who claims them, and, therefore, that those who are sick have nobody to blame but themselves. Twenty years ago, with the publication of CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS, author Hank Hanegraaff unmasked the fatal flaws of this movement, driven mainly by Kenneth Hagin and his imitators, that he believed threatened to undermine the Christian faith. The book became a runaway bestseller and winner of the Gold Medallion Book Award. After monitoring the growth of this movement and the introduction of new leaders over the past two decades, Hanegraaff felt compelled to revisit the topic in CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS: The 21st Century.
“Since the original CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS was released, a new breed of prosperity preachers has taken Hagin’s preaching and practices to unimaginable heights --- or rather, unimaginable depths,” Hanegraaff states. “Men such as Joel Osteen and women like Joyce Meyer have taken the crisis in Christianity spawned by Hagin and popularized by disciples such as Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn to levels that I could scarcely have imagined when I was writing in the twentieth century.”
While CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS: The 21st Century contains many similarities to its groundbreaking predecessor, the book presents some remarkable differences as well. Hanegraaff has retained the core of the original while adding a new introduction that documents the eerie similarities between pop sensations such as Rhonda Byrne’s THE SECRET and Joel Osteen’s YOUR BEST LIFE NOW. CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS: The 21st Century has also been augmented with a CAST OF CHARACTERS section which provides comprehensive information as well as biblical evaluation of the newest and most prolific stars in the faith galaxy --- virtual rock stars who command the attention of presidential candidates and media moguls. The new book also includes a revamped version of the tongue-in-cheek fairytale from the original, communicated with trademark Hanegraaff irony and updated to reflect some of the eyebrow-raising statements of a new generation of faith teachers.
In the end, the book is not so much about the faith teachers themselves as it is about faith followers who inevitably become distracted, disillusioned, and discouraged. “My heart aches for the parent who put his dead baby on ice and, in the midst of tears and desperation, drove fifty miles to a counterfeit revival center because he trusted the testimonies of faith preachers who were touting resurrections from the dead,” Hanegraaff laments. “I equally grieve the millions who have left faith churches in the midst of failed faith formulas. Some conclude that God must not love them; others question the integrity of the whole Christian enterprise.”
CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS: The 21st Century © Copyright 2017 by Hank Hanegraaff. Reprinted with permission by Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.
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