Dave Ingland is one of the people that I know who always has a new book on his night stand. One of his latest reads focuses on the “Word of Faith” movement and the “prosperity gospel” in our current times. His review of Hank Hanegraaff’s book below retains a healthy perspective which you’ll hopefully appreciate.
Let me first state that I have somewhat of a bias towards Hanegraaff’s theology and his personal stand on truth. He conveys his theology and truth very well in Christianity in Crisis, but he does so at the expense of extreme prejudice against pastors that have been categorized as being in the Word of Faith movement. In essence, he uses this book as a tool to discuss what he perceives as being untruths regarding the gospel in the context of teachers of the prosperity gospel. He even uses the acronym: F-L-A-W-S to discount the position of some Word of Faith pastors.
If Hanegraaff chose to take a stand against the propserity preachings (which I personally disagree with as well) and explained why he feels the Bible opposes such teaching it would be one thing. However, Hanegraaff chooses to name some pastors and devotes a chapter to explaining the specific context of each individual pastor and why some words that were quoted by them are unbiblical. It delves into becoming too much of a personal attack on others at times, which discounts the arguments he makes in some cases.
Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century appears to have been written as an expose against specific individuals and this is where I take most issue with the book. It creates strife and causes damage to the church in my opinion. It comes across almost like gossip.
If you are not familiar with some of the Word of Faith teachings and want to see how they contrast with the author’s view of Biblical truth this is a good book to read as it is comprehensive and well- researched.
However, if you are looking to find some dirt on why you should speak against a Word of Faith preacher’s ministry I would hesitate in recommending this book.
Learning about various interpretations of Scripture can be a very important part of how we view our faith and I am all for encouraging it. In that context this book has a purpose. It would be my hope for any that read this book, that they would do so with an open mind and just as a primer to further study on the Faith movement.
Dave Ingland is a church planter based in Sacramento, CA. He’s a husband, father, activist, agent for change, advocate for the arts, and lead revolutionary of Revolution Church Sacramento. When he’s not building out his ministry you can find him twittering under @daveingland.