A Dangerous Book? A review of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (via Challies.com)

I had no knowledge of either the book or the author when I began reading Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling (having been asked by some of the readers of this site to do so). I had seen the book as a fixture on the Christian bestselling lists, but had never taken a look at it. The first thing I learned is that it has over 450 reviews on Amazon where it is holding down a 5-star average, something that is no small accomplishment. I downloaded it to my Kindle and began to read.

Sarah Young is the wife of a third-generation missionary to Japan who has earned post-graduate degrees from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, a Presbyterian seminary. Her book is a devotional, a year’s worth of short reflections on the Christian faith. But it has one major, all-important twist.

I will review the book under 2 headings: What She Says About What She Says and then What She Says. In other words, the first part will discuss the foundation of what she says and the second part will look at the actual content of the devotionals.

What She Says About What She Says

This is a book about experiencing the Presence of God (Presence is always capitalized in the book). It is about growing closer in relationship to the Lord, something every Christian craves. Young uses Presence to describe a very tangible feeling of God’s presence. Here is some background, the first time she encountered this Presence:

One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains. I went into a deeply wooded area, feeling vulnerable and awed by cold, moonlit beauty. The air was crisp and dry, piercing to inhale. Suddenly I felt as if a warm mist enveloped me. I became aware of a lovely Presence, and my involuntary response was to whisper, ‘Sweet Jesus.’ This utterance was totally uncharacteristic of me, and I was shocked to hear myself speaking so tenderly to Jesus. As I pondered this brief communication, I realized it was the response of a converted heart; at that moment I knew I belonged to Him. This was far more than the intellectual answers for which I’d been searching. This was a relationship with the Creator of the universe.

Influenced by authors such as Catherine Marshall and Andrew Murray, Young continued to pursue this Presence of God, seeking to learn how to continually feel or sense God’s presence. She grew in her love for God and grew in her desire to spend time with him, speaking to him in prayer and hearing from him through the Word. It was in 1992 that she received a copy of God Calling, “a devotional book written by two anonymous ‘listeners.’ These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him. The messages are written in the first person, with ‘I’ designating God.” This book became a treasure and a textbook.

Young continues, …to read in full, please go to http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/jesus-calling

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4 thoughts on “A Dangerous Book? A review of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (via Challies.com)

  1. This is how cults were started in the 19th century. People like Ellen G.White (Seventh Day Adventism), and Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science), went into deep trances (White) and heard voices (Eddy) purporting to have received personal “revelation” from God. It starts out with some rejection of orthodox Christian doctrine and a yearning on the part of the one rejecting Sola Scriptura, to hear more from, or to be closer to God. The musings coming from such people may start out innocently enough, but eventually their scribblings fall into the hands of the Itching Ears Society and they turn away from the Scriptures to these fables, taking thousands with them.

    It needs to be said that the Lord Jesus Christ’s work here on this earth is FINISHED! Today, He sits at the right hand of the Father as proclaimed by scripture: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, HATH IN THESE LAST DAYS SPOKEN TO US BY HIS SON, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, WHEN HE HAD BY HIMSELF PURGED OUR SINS, SAT DOWN ON THE RIGHT HAND OF THE MAJESTY ON HIGH…” – (Hebrews 1:1-3)

    When Christ left this earth, he promised to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. But He emphasisd that He had to go away first, or the Comforter would not come.

    “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, AND BRING ALL THINGS TO YOUR REMEMBRANCE, WHATSOEVER I HAVE SAID UNTO YOU.” – (John 14:26)

    and

    “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, HE SHALL TESTIFY OF ME: AND YE SHALL ALSO BEAR WITNESS, BECAUSE YE HAVE BEEN WITH ME FROM THE BEGINNING.” – (John 15:26)

    and

    “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, HE WILL REPROVE THE WORLD OF SIN, AND OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND OF JUDGMENT: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, BECAUSE I GO TO MY FATHER AND YE SEE ME NO MORE; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” – (John 16:7-11)

    “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. HE SHALL GLORIFY ME me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” – (John 16:13-14)

    It is the Holy Spirit who is at work in the world today. Jesus Christ is in heaven, preparing a place for us, as testified by the scriptures:

    “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” – (John 14:2-3)

    Nonetheless, if Mrs Sarah Young is trying to foist her “Presence” onto a Godless and fable seeking world as being the true Lord Jesus Christ, she might have some success. It is sad that she comes from the camp of the Covenant Theological Seminary, one of the great Presbyterian seminaries of America. One wonders where is her husband, and what has he to say about this fiasco? I would wager that those who fought in the great Presbyterian Rebellion, as England’s King George III called the American Revolution, would turn in their graves at such foibles.

    The Apostle Paul speaks of the TRUE Jesus Christ in these words: “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead..” – (Romans 1:3-4)

    The Apostle Paul warns of “another jesus” with these words: ” But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, YE MIGHT BEAR WELL WITH HIM.” – (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)

    The scriptures testify to the fact that the TRUE Lord Jesus Christ is up in heaven right now seated at the right hand of the Father and preparing a place for us. He is not appearing to people on earth whispering unbiblical jargon in their ears. Those would rather be faeries and hobgoblins who come to visit those who are not satisfied with learning of the TRUE Jesus Christ through the scriptures ALONE. Martin Luther would have smacked such a spirit on the snout!

    Oprah anyone?!? She didn’t like the fact that God was jealous over His Elect. So her yearnings took her and MILLIONS OF OTHERS to the dubious writings of Eckhart Tolle, who said: “To end the misery that has afflicted the human condition for thousands of years, you have to start with yourself and take responsibility for you inner state at any given moment. That means now.”

    or

    “What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.” – Eckhart Tolle.

  2. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button!
    I’d without a doubt donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
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    • I appreciate your kindness and enthusiasm. My sole goal in blogging is that God might be glorified. If He is pleased, that is all I ask. Any good here or in me is entirely due to His grace. Thank you for coming by and for your lovely comment. God bless you. :)

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