Book Review: Christianity in Crisis – The 21st Century

I recently read Christianity in Crisis: The 21st Century by Hank Hanegraaf as part of a blogger reviewers program with Thomas Nelson Publishing.

The majority of the book included an item-by-item rebuttal of many “Christian” preachers that promote a Gospel message that is not congruent with the actual New Testament, including Texan Joel Osteen. I thought that this breakdown was a bit longer than it needed to be; however, if you’re a subscriber to one of religions quasi-based on the Gospel or are trying to engage someone in debate who is a subscriber, Mr. Hanegraaf’s detail will be very much appreciated.

The final section of the book attempted to answer the question “So, if all of these ways are wrong, what’s the right way?” While a fine attempt, I believe the author was too limited in his scope of what is a proper way to practice Christianity. The author’s assessment resulted in what seems to be the typical response by fundamentalists (i.e. “a Bible-believing church”, which is a veiled attempt to basically say any church that acknowledges the role of Tradition is excluded).

The Catholic Church, the faith I subscribe to, is a Bible-believing church, by our own understanding of the role of Scripture and Tradition; however, from my upbringing in the Bible Belt, I know far too many would exclude me from grace for this assessment. I believe the author’s work would be more inclusive, accurate and provide greater assistance to the Christian world trying to faithfully following the message of Jesus Christ in a world where prosperity and faith preachers derail authentic Christian thought far too often.

With that limitation noted, I still believe the majority of the text is quite fine and worth a read. Additionally, I think a shorter, summarized version would also make for a great tool for the armchair theologians in the United States who are trying to get a quicker answer to why these preachers “don’t seem right” to them.







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