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A Different Gospel: Updated Edition Paperback – March 1, 1994
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From the Back Cover
Every Christian should read this book in order to be aware of the dangerous implications of the widespread and cultic Word of Faith movement preaching what is popularly known as "Name It and Claim It" theology. A Different Gospel is a bold and revealing examination of the biblical and historical basis of this movement. This new and revised edition is complete with a foreword by Hank Hanegraaff, author of Christianity in Crisis, and a new afterword by D. R. McConnell. The author knows the movement first hand and has a heart for those snared by it. He is also an academically trained observer who has based this work on careful historical and biblical analysis. McConnell warns of the movement's cultic nature in its doctrine of healing and its understanding of the atonement and demonstrates how far the movement's doctrine of prosperity is from Scripture's true teaching.
About the Author
D. R. McConnell did graduate work at Oral Roberts University in theological and historical studies. He currently serves as Senior Pastor for the Crossroads International Church in Amsterdam.
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D.R. McConnell will share with you word for word quotes from false preachers like Kenneth Copeland where he claims, "We are god's and anything we say we can have. God has to GIVE us our hearts desires, he has no choice because your word is a FORCE." It gets a LOT WORSE I must tell you and so few seem to even realize these things until they themselves believe them but they are NOT God's Word in fact that is New Age lies. It's also the first lie told to Eve, "You will be like God."
It is time for the church to recognize the dangerous impact the Word of Faith movement is having on well meaning believers throughout the world. This resource will equip pastors to identify and correct the abuses perpetrated by this movement. It is a must read for all those called to
equip the saints to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The main thesis of "A Different Gospel" is that the origins of the Faith movement cannot be traced to the Holiness or Pentecostal traditions within American Christianity, nor to the charismatic revivals after World War II, as claimed by other scholars. Rather, Kenneth Hagin, widely recognized as the founder of the Faith movement, got his ideas from E.W. Kenyon, an independent preacher and writer who was neither a Wesleyan nor a Pentecostal. Kenyon was heavily influenced by New Thought and Christian Science, two non-traditional groups often regarded as cults. McConnell thoroughly documents both Kenyon's similarities to the "metaphysical" groups, and proves that Kenyon attended a college whose faculty and students supported New Thought. He also proves that Hagin extensively plagiarized Kenyon's writings, often word for word! Of course, Hagin claims to have gotten his ideas straight from Jesus himself.
Despite being critical of Kenyon's theology, McConnell is surprisingly charitable to him, claiming that Kenyon was misguided rather than malicious, and that he simply wanted to restore the supernatural healing ministry of the Church, something downplayed by the liberal theologians, and also combat New Thought and Christian Science using their own weapons. The author's assesment of Hagin and the Faith movement is less charitable, however, and here he obviously has a point. Many groups within the Faith movement indeed seem to be cultic or cults. (To me, what defines a cult is the use of manipulation and exploitation. McConnell uses a more theological definition.)
Those interested in the Faith movement and the conflicts surrounding it, should also read Hank Hanegraaf's "Christianity in Crisis", another polemical book, but one that goes even deeper into exposing the weird ideas and aberrant practices of the Faith movement.
While I never liked the Faith movement, I always assumed that Faith theology was at bottom evangelical or Pentecostal, with the "prosperity gospel" tacked on as an additional bonus. Indeed, the main Faith congregation here in Sweden, Livets Ord, seems to have moved in such a direction: from an aberrant cult to a group blending main-stream Christianity with the prosperity gospel. However, the books by McConnell and Hanegraaf shows that Faith theology in its pure form has very little to do with main-stream Christianity, or even "regular" Bible belt fundamentalism. Rather, it's a truly bizarre melange of notions reminescent of Gnosticism, Mormonism and Christian Science. Actually, McConnell is somewhat moderate in his criticism of the Faith movement, compared to Hanegraaf who at length documents all their quirky notions (God looks like a man, Heaven is a planet, Adam could fly to the Moon, etc).
Both books are recommended.
McConnell hasn't written the perfect book. There are some loose ends that could have been addressed more thoroughly. For example - if the faith preachers have it wrong, then how does faith work? What about the clear scriptures that tell us we can move mountains (Mt 21:21), rebuke storms (Lu 8:23ff), and have what we say (Mk 11:23)? Some very clear scriptures need to be addressed, IMO.
However, McConnell nails many of the loose ends in the word faith / positive confession movement. Like the fact that occult groups have long taught that the forces of nature, or God, have to do what you tell them to, if you get the words right. That's the essence of magic. And it's the essence of the faith people's teaching -- You get what you say, you live your words (good or bad)...
McConnell's careful footnoting connects the founders of the faith movement clearly to the occult, New Thought, and Christian Science movements. And he raises the very relevant point - do heresy and error create orthodoxy?
McConnell updated his book in the mid 90's and answered his critics. The claim that this book is dated or debunked is silly. The issues are still on the table.
Get this book. It's the best, most balanced, most researched book done to date on this important rift in the church.
Most recent customer reviews
Fantastic book! Set me free from confusion, condemnation, guilt, shame, pride, and much...Read more