Don’t judge the book by the first few pages! One thousand Gifts will surely leave you with one thousand ways of acquiring BAD, UNSOUND Theology and an erroneous and dangerous view of God, our Creator!
I messed that one up. Lack of discernment in doing my homework to say the least. I am talking about Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. I read and follow numerous bloggers (homemakers, christian mama’s) who endorse and rave about Ann’s book. So what do I think? These women are christian…this must be a sound book to read. Looking back at SOME of these blogs there is no sound theology anywhere to be found, other than a few verses thrown in each post. Sound doctrine? WHERE? Nowhere!
So I got a preview of Ann’s book…read the first few pages and I thought this was about her life story…maybe her testimony. AND THEN, I get a friend who suggests I look into the reviews because the book is full of positive confession thoughts. Hmmm. That raises a huge flag on the theological dept. of my brain! Positive confession is linked to mysticism. Mysticism is pagan and demonic in nature. So i ventured so check out a few reviews (after i had bought the book on my iPhone), yeah good time to read reviews, good one Laire! What do I found overwhelmed me, surprised me and baffled me all at the same time. Questions raced through my mind… WOW, the panentheism is clearly evident in the pages of this book, I just had read the first few pages of the book and it starts with her life story so I hadn’t gotten to the mystic parts yet (thank God, I would have had to burn my iPhone! LOL). How does a christian get mixed in or caught up in this nonsense? How do they not see what the heck is severely wrong with this view and warn others? How do they endorse this book? Do these ladies not understand the kind of accountability they are under when they endorse things that are contrary to sound doctrine. If I would have continue to read this book, I would have come to the parts where an alarm would have sounded in my head and heart going “there’s something wrong with this! What the heck???!!!” I would have warned others… This book has not a lick of sound doctrine in it. The beginning story will capture you, lure you in and you feel like you can’t put the book down. It is FAR from biblically sound. The depiction of God in this book is nowhere to be found in the Bible. I do not recommend this book to anyone, moreover I recommend everyone STAY AWAY from it…as far as they can!
“Panentheism teaches that God’s essence or being is in everything. This is not the doctrine of omnipresence (though it would affirm it). If God in His essence and essential being is found in everything, then there is nothing unique about Christ (which is precisely the New Age claim). Biblically, nature does not reveal God and His glory in the same way Christ does. Nature reveals God obliquely and only in a condemning, not saving, way. Christ reveals God in His divine nature and speaks God’s inerrant words. Jesus spoke inerrant, binding words that will be our judge on the last day (John 12:48). The moon does no such thing.
As an example of her panentheism, Voskamp describes an experience where she finds salvation by gazing at a full moon in a harvested wheat field:
Has His love lured me out here to really save me? I sit up in the wheat stubble, drawn. That He would care to save. Moon face glows. We are head to head. I am bare; He is bare. All Eye sees me (Voskamp: 115).
Her experience is described in salvific terms: “It’s dawning, my full moon rising. I was lost but know I am found again” (Voskamp: 118). She claims an “inner eye” that sees God in a panentheistic way: “If my inner eye has God seeping up through all things, then can’t I give thanks for anything? . . . The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible” (Voskamp: 118). In Romans 1, “seeing” God through general revelation in a way that makes all humans culpable is true for all, not just special enlightened ones like Voskamp.
There are other troubling things about the claim that salvation can be found in seeing God in the harvest moon. One is that Voskamp implies that for her, “salvation” is being saved from an unhappy life filled with ingratitude. She never mentions God’s wrath against sin (she does mention sin but not in the context of substitutionary atonement). Another is that she completely confuses and merges general and special revelation. General revelation does not offer saving knowledge, whatever the meaning of her experience “chasing the moon” (her terminology). Yet another is that panentheism is implied here and throughout the book.”
I wrote a blog post (A Warning to fellow Homemaker/Homeschooler Blogging Moms.) on this issue of homemakers/homeschooler bloggers having no sound theology on their sites and it goes to show how when you lack sound doctrine you are able to read a bloom cover to cover and NEVER pick pagan mysticism up. Sad!
Note to mom bloggers: My suggestion…put your computer down, stop blogging about things that do not matter so you can be featured in other blogs and admired by other bloggers and PICK UP YOUR BIBLE. Once you have done that and have set your doctrinal views solely on the Word then start blogging again. With purpose…with substance and with sound doctrine. Having 10 million posts on how many dishes you do, how much you sacrifice and how you homeschool when you lack sound doctrine matters not. It doesn’t impress God and you aren’t making a real difference for the kingdom.
Behind every single BLOG, sound doctrine must be found….it is the backbone of life changing writing. Just because you have something to say doesn’t mean it’s worth saying. I am learning that the hard way. 🙂 Don’t trust anyone you do not know (in character and doctrine) to do book reviews for you because they endorse it. Most christians today have no idea what the term “propitiation” means…or “limited atonement” much less spot unsound, pagan doctrine when they read it. They can’t spot unsound doctrine when they read it because they don’t spend enough time reading SOUND doctrine (the Word). How are people trained to spot false dollar bills? By studying the counterfeits? NO. By mastering the REAL bills so when a counterfeit one comes along they spot it easily. We run to too many books instead of THE BOOK which all other books MUST be filtered through. 🙂