Thursday, June 23, 2011

John Crowder Review

Let's start with "Mystical Union." First off, I know one should not judge books by their covers, but a red flag came up for me when I saw a picture of "Jesus" on the cover. From Deuteronomy 4, I know God does not like us to make images of Him. Anyway, I started going through the book to see how it was. From the get-go, Crowder proclaims to the reader that their theology will be flipped upside-down with his revolutionary new teaching--who's never read that before from preachers? Anyway, Crowder promotes the notion that Christians are sinless and that they mystically died with Christ on the Cross. Several verses are quoted, I'll give Him that, but when he tries to address notions of Matt 26:41 or Romans 7:15, he says those arguments are demonic and heretical. What better way to get Christians to stop thinking for themselves than to say their arguments belong in hell? Also, something he did, which I personally can not stand, is that he said some verses are only in specific contexts and that they were written to specific Jews and not the reader. With this nonsensical logic, people could say they don't have to obey the Ten Commandments because they weren't there at Mt. Sinai being addressed by Moses. On page 183, he also says "you are not saved by your love for God. you are saved by His love for you." What about Matt 23:37 and connecting Matt 7:21-23 with 1 Cor 8:3? Also, at points, this book feels like it preaches the "health and wealth" gospel. At one point, Crowder says his wife encountered an angel called Sovereignty. Who is sovereign besides God?! My goodness!

Given all of this, when I picked up "Seven Spirits Burning," I was a bit skeptical. After all, if Crowder was off on some things in his first book, will he be off in the second one? I tread very carefully when I read this one. In general, this book was more Scripturally sound than the first one. There were some insights into how the seven Spirits of God can relate to the seven wicks on the menorah and how Yahweh has seven marks in the Hebrew way of writing it out. Those were interesting facts. However, considering deep prophesy and Revelation, I didn't take Crowder as seriously. He spoke of angels frequently and even mentioned some apocrypha. He tries to make various connections to churches and people as Temples, which aren't horrendously blasphemous at all. However, given his first book, I was careful not to take any of his "prophetic" knowledge and insight too seriously. At points in the book, he writes of miraculous healing and being called a prophet and being willing to suffer for Christ, which I suppose is good to some degree. Overall, from Crowder's writing, I gather the main message is that the work on the Cross was fantastic and that God has big plans for us. That's great, but I think a simpler lesson is that our God wants our love like in Phil 1:14. These two books are semi-thick, and, if one has time to read, they should pick up their Bible and think things through for themselves.

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