Thoughts to Ponder

Responses to my review of the book Experiencing God

Below are messages I received about my review of the book Experiencing God. The messages I received are in blue and my responses are in green.

To whom it may concern:

The first point is about "Promotes a low view of the person of Jesus Christ."

The main point of your argument is Jesus did not need to seek out what God was doing because he was God. The problem with your argument is seen when Jesus prays to the Father. If we use your logic, there is no need for Jesus to pray to God because he would be talking to himself because he is God. Yet, Jesus does pray to the Father. This involves issues about the trinity. The trinity is something that cannot be explained logically, but must be accepted by faith. The Mt. of Transfiguration is something unique. What was the purpose of that situation?

The second point is about "Promotes a low view of Scripture." Blackaby says that you must validate the different ways God speaks through the various methods such as the Word, prayer, circumstances, and the church. He never says to rely on just one method. So if your "demon" comes to you and says that he speaks for God, then you test it out with the Word, prayer, circumstances, and the church. In addition, you did not like the language Blackaby uses when the church "felt" to do something. Read Ezra and how God moved in the hearts of the Israelites to move back to the promise land. Going along with that, Blackaby uses an example of how the people "felt" God's leading. A verse was brought to a pastor to share with his college students to start Bible studies.

In all, it sounds like you have a personal issue with Blackaby. Either you don't like him or you don't like the tone or how he phrases words. But, what he says is pretty accurate. Or what is worse, you don't like the way God is talking. You have to decide for yourself. Be careful.

You have totally missed what the first point was. It was not that Jesus did not know everything. I agree that Jesus while on earth as a human did not have knowledge of everything as He did before and after His incarnation. Like I said that was not my point. My point was that Blackaby gives a low view of Jesus because of how he claims Jesus figured out what the will of the Father was; through circumstances. I won't quote from the book here since I have quoted many examples in the review itself.

Let me restate my problem. I have a problem with the idea that Jesus needed to try to interpret circumstances to figure out what the Father was doing. Jesus came to earth as God's only Son, but (according to Blackaby) He needed to figure out what God the Father was up to through circumstances, yet if we look at the Bible we see these examples of God speaking to people:

(Genesis 3:9 NIV) But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" God spoke to Adam.

(Genesis 6:13 NIV) So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth." God spoke to Noah.

(Genesis 12:1 NIV) The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you." God spoke to Abram (later God even changed his name to Abraham).

(Exodus 13:1-2 NIV) {1} The LORD said to Moses, {2} "Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal." God spoke to Moses.

(Joshua 1:1 NIV) After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: .... God spoke to Joshua.

(1 Samuel 3:6 NIV) Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." God spoke to Samuel.

(Job 40:1-2 NIV) {1} The LORD said to Job: {2} "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!" God spoke to Job.

(Isaiah 7:3 NIV) Then the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman's Field." God spoke to Isaiah.

(Jeremiah 1:4-5 NIV) {4} The word of the LORD came to me, saying, {5} "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." God spoke to Jeremiah.

(Ezekiel 37:1-3 (NIV) {1} The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. {2} He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. {3} He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know." God spoke to Ezekiel.

(Hosea 1:2 NIV) When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD." God spoke to Hosea.

There are many more examples, but that should give you the idea. God spoke to each of these men, not through circumstances, but directly. Are any of these men more powerful, more righteous, more in tune with God then Jesus Christ? Of course not. So why would God speak to these men, yet NOT speak to His own Son? That is what this book claims. It does not say that God spoke to Jesus, it says that Jesus had to discern from the circumstances what the will of the Father was.

To say that God spoke to Jesus only through circumstances is to say that He was somehow less then Adam, Noah, Abram, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Job, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hosea to all of whom God spoke directly. I take offense to that kind of teaching.

I stated in my review that I do not and cannot know Mr. Blackaby's heart, but this is false teaching! You cannot read the New Testament and still believe that Jesus had to look at circumstances to figure out what the will of His Father was.

Now take this teaching to its logical end. If Jesus had to figure out what the will of the Father was by looking at the circumstances, how can we be sure He did not make a mistake on His interpretation? Yes that is the logical next question and you can't now fall back on God telling Him, or the fact that He was God incarnate, because the teaching itself discounts both of those facts.

Do you see why I think this is such dangerous teaching? Go to the Barna research site sometime and check out what many people who claim to be Christians think of Jesus today. Here is a quote from their studies: Although two-thirds of all teenagers say they know all the basic teachings and principles of the Christian faith, two-thirds of them reject the existence of Satan, three-fifths reject the existence of the Holy Spirit, and half believe that Jesus sinned during His lifetime. (Emphases added) Quoted from: Barna Research This is very disturbing, but I must admit I think it goes along the same lines as Blackaby's teaching. See if Jesus was stumbling around trying to figure out what God's will was and what His purpose was, then how do we know He did not make mistakes?

Let me one more time say that I don't believe this is what Mr. Blackaby is trying to promote, but I do think that this is what he teaching is promoting.

On the second point, you pretty much summed up my problem for me: Blackaby says that you must validate the different ways God speaks through the various methods such as the Word, prayer, circumstances, and the church. He never says to rely on just one method. I totally agree with your assertion that this is what Blackaby is saying. That is my problem, he takes God's word and makes it just one more thing in a list. So let me give you an example using your own interpretation of what Blackaby is saying. A new Christians reads something in the Bible, but they cannot just take it at face value, they must judge it against what other people say and against circumstances. If it lines up with these then it is okay to believe it. Don't you see that as a problem? God's Word does NOT need to be validated by anything else!! That is my point. You easily slipped into this error by what you wrote me.

Let me give you another example. A Christian has lost their job, they need money to pay the rent. The Bible says it is wrong to steal, period, but a Christian friend tells them that God understands our struggles and there is no clear black and white answer to whether stealing is okay if you are in need. Then they look at their circumstances and sure enough they are in need, and the opportunity to steal and not get caught is there. What should they do? Follow the Bible or the two "other" ways God was speaking to them?

You may think my examples are absurd, but trust me this is exactly the error people will be lead into if they go by what Mr. Blackaby is teaching. I have heard that a popular Christian singer who got divorced and remarried has stated that it was God's will for her. Hello!! Since when it is God's will for us to go opposite from what He has told us in His word? I am sure, she had other "Christian" friends who counseled her on this and that her unhappy circumstances confirmed what she thought, but it is still wrong!! This is what happens when we as a church have a low view of Scripture.

You closed your message by saying that I have to decide for myself and that I should be careful. You are wrong. God had already decided for us, all we have to do is read His word. If God's word is not the final authority then we have been left adrift in a world full of conflicting circumstances. If God's word is not the final authority, then what is right for you might not be right for me, we will only have our hearts to use as yardsticks of what is right. You do know what God has to say about our hearts? (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

I praise God that we have His word and can go by it without judging it against anything else. I praise God that I don't have to decide on my own what is right and what is wrong, but rather that I can trust His word to guide my steps. I praise God that I can know that Jesus Christ did not make any mistakes while on this earth.

Do I have a personal issue with Mr. Blackaby? Not really, but I sure do have an issue with his teaching. I don't know Mr. Blackaby, so how can I have a personal issue with him? I would have the same issue no matter who wrote this book or was teaching these things.

Ralph

Back to my review of Experiencing God

Ralph,

Do you think your reviews have resulted in a single person becoming a Christ follower? What do you think is God's assignment for your life? I always find suspicious those individuals who make it their mission to expose the mistakes of others. It's just too reminiscent of those Pharisees who were always trying to catch Jesus doing something wrong. I do know Mr. Blackaby, and I dare say that his work has had a much more "significant" impact on fulfilling the Great Commandment and the Great Commission than yours. What useful purpose has yours served? May God heal your hardened heart, open your eyes, and "bless you indeed."

Do I think that my reviews have resulted in a single person becoming a Christ follower? I had not thought of it, but I would have to answer no. Now if you change the question slightly and ask if I think my reviews have helped any one become a better follower of Christ, I would answer yes. Not out of arrogance that my work is so great, but out of the honest belief that I have made people pick up their Bibles and check things out for themselves instead of blindly swallowing everything they hear and read. That includes the things that I write.

You asked what I felt God's assignment is for my life. Well He gave me the gift of prophecy, so I think His purpose for me is to speak out boldly to the Christian community, to encourage, to exhort and yes to correct and rebuke.

Did you bother to explore my site, or did you read my review and take an instant dislike to me and my views? I ask that because you mention that you are always find suspicious those individuals who make it "their mission" to expose the mistakes of others. Maybe you did not notice that I have written over 70 book reviews and only 3 out of that number were negative. Maybe you did not see that I have over 400 pages on my site, yet 3 give negative reviews of other's work. If exposing others mistakes is my mission, then I am easily distracted because it is only a drop in the bucket of the material on my site.

I also noticed that you entitled your e-mail to me " Inadequate Review of Experiencing God" yet in the body of your message you did not tell me why it was inadequate. Nor did you refute even one of the statements I made about the book.

My review was not meant to be a personal attack on Mr. Blackaby. I even stated at the end of the review that I did not and could not know his heart, but that I felt the book has serious errors and therefore could not recommend it. I will tell you that I have not stopped looking into this matter just because I now have the review posted. I feel even more strongly now then I did when I wrote the review that this book is in error.

I quoted Scripture eleven times in my review of the book. Surely if I am so off base you should have been able to show at least one of those eleven where I was mistaken, or had taken it out of context, or something. You did not refute anything I said, only the fact that I would say it. The grounds you used to discredit me was that my ministry has not and will not reach as many people as Mr. Blackaby's. Okay, that might be true, but that does not make it any less true.

You mentioned the Great Commission and said that Mr. Blackaby's work goes much further then mine in furthering it. I guess it depends on how you look at it. If you only view my book review you are right, since I was reviewing a book, not witnessing to the lost. However, Mr. Blackaby's book is aimed at Christians just like my review is, so I think that is a moot point. I will also tell you that the Jesus Christ that Mr. Blackaby puts forth in his book, is not the Jesus Christ I know, nor the one I see written about in the Bible. That was my whole point in writing the review. I said I felt that the book gives a low view of Jesus Christ and I stand by that statement.

You know it is sad, but even the Muslims believe that Jesus was a great prophet, yet Mr. Blackaby portrays Him as at the very least the most befuddled of all the prophets. Every other prophet knew what God's will was because God spoke to them, in visions, dreams, verbally, or in the case of Moses, face to face, but Mr. Blackaby states that Jesus had to look around to see what the Father was doing so that He could tell what God's will was. You don't see anything wrong in that view? I do.

I don't for a moment deny Jesus' humanity, but I do deny that He did not have direct contact with and knowledge of God the Father and His will. I will continue to speak out about any book, or article or ministry which I feel gives a low view of my Lord and Savior. You said you know Mr. Blackaby, then please ask him to read my review. I would be more then pleased to post his response or comments.

Ralph

Back to my review of Experiencing God

I read with interest your reviews on the books "The Prayer of Jabez", and "Experiencing God". I read nearly the whole review on the first mentioned book and thought it was right on target. You articulated yourself very well and you supported your argument well with quotations from the book. My hat is off to you for exposing error and keeping readers on guard.

In the case of your critique of the second book, "Experiencing God", I take exception with you. First let me say that I did not read the entire review, so in saying that I take exception, I mean I take exception with the part of your critique that I actually read; the part where you state that "Experiencing God" "promotes a low view of the person of Jesus Christ". I do not think that the book promotes a low view of Jesus Christ. A part of my faith statement is that Jesus Christ was (mysteriously and inexplicably) both "fully God and fully man". If, in fact, he was fully man, it takes nothing away from his Divinity to aknowledge the struggles by which he found his way throughout his earthly pilgrimage. That there were struggles in Jesus earthly pilgrimage is evident throughout the gospel stories; the trip to the wilderness, the agony in the garden, the anguish on the cross are but a few examples. It is true that Jesus knew something of his identity when he was but 12. The evidence is clear from his response to Mary and Joseph after his disappearance at Jerusalem: "Don't you know that I must be about my Father's business". To acknowledge God as Father at age 12 is evidence that Jesus knew about the special relationship he had with God, but it does not assume a full knowledge of the particulars. Granted, if we come at the problem from Jesus Divinity, we might assert that he knew his identity fully from the very beginning; even as John states in his gospel. After all, if he is God; he knows all things. But if we come at the problem from Jesus humanity, we must assert that he did not know his identify fully. Otherwise, he could not be fully man; because as both you and I know, in our humanity, we cannot know everything.

What it boils down to is this: the great paradox of the incarnation (God in the flesh). No theologican over the 2000 year history of the church has been able to fully explain it. And that is precisely why I do not think "Experiencing God promotes a low view of the person Jesus Christ". The author courageously enters into exploration of the mystery of the incarnation. Let me say emphatically that there is a difference between a "dumb carpenter" who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground and a carpenter who struggles to know his identity and who wrestles with issues of the will of God. When I hear Jesus crying out in the garden, "Lord, if it is possible let this cup pass from me", I don't regard that as the cry of a "dumb carpenter". When I hear Jesus cry out from the cross, "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me", I don't see that as a "dumb carpenter". Instead, I see the human side of Jesus; and I think that is all that is intended in the book "Experiencing God". According to Hebrew 4:18, "Jesus was tempted in all points..". "ALL POINTS". Not some points, but all points; including the temptations that come in the effort to know what God's will is!

Now, let me say that I did read your faith statement and I saw that there was no acknowledgement of the humanity of Jesus. If you do not acknowledge the humanity of Jesus, your critique of the book is understandable. And I have nothing further to say other than this: "You are entitled to have your own belief system".

Based on the foundation of my faith, however, your argument does not hold, and the book stands as a powerful resource for all who would like to carry their faith into the realm of experience.

Thank you for writing me and voicing your views. I was with you up to a point. I still believe that the book lowers the view of Jesus Christ. I will say that I don't think the author meant to do that, but still I believe that is what he did. I can on the other hand understand how you might disagree with that statement. That is why I say I was with you up to a point, but then you lost me.

I want to address the last part of your message first since I admit I took it personally. Let me quote the Bible: (1 John 4:2-3 NIV) This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, {3} but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. That is the reason I took it personally, you admit that you did not read my whole review, yet you go so far as to say that maybe I deny that Jesus came as a human, which would be the same thing as saying that I have the spirit of the antichrist. You go on to say that my statement of faith does not say that I believe Jesus was human. Let me quote off my page: For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. Did I say that He was fully human and fully God? No not in those words, but I did say that He came to earth incarnate as a man. To me that is the same thing.

You referred to your statement of faith, but you did not tell me if you have it written out or just mean what you believe. If you have written out your statement of faith you should realize the same thing I did when I tried to put mine in writing. It is hard to cover everything fully.

As I said when I first started reading your message I was happy to get your feed back, even knowing that you did not read my entire review, but when it comes to questioning my faith, it would seem you would go back and make sure you understand all that I said first. I never have questioned Blackaby's faith for example and I will not. I just think he is mistaken and in error. If I had written my review and stated in it that I did not bother to read the entire book, would my review have any credence? Like I said I don't mind you giving me your opinion without reading all that I wrote but please give me the benefit of the doubt as to what I believe.

Now let me address your points. There is a major difference between believing that Jesus struggled while being fully human and being fully God, and saying that He did not have consciousness of who He was. I would totally agree with you that He had the same types of struggles we have. If I deny that then I am denying the scriptures. However, I don't find anywhere in scripture where it states that Jesus did not know the Father's will or have communication with Him, or that He did not know who He (Jesus) was.

Let me give you some examples; Blackaby makes this statement: When the Son saw the Father's activity, that was the invitation for the Son to join Him. God used circumstances to reveal to Jesus what He was doing. There are some things that only the Father can do. (Experiencing God page 188) He says that God used circumstances to reveal to Jesus was He was doing. The common reading of that statement would mean that Jesus did not know what the Father was doing until He saw from the circumstances around Him. There are many such statements in the book. Now maybe you agree with that statement, so let me show you why I disagree with it. We need to look at some other 'human' men, so lets start with Moses.

Did Moses have to look at circumstances to figure out God's will and what God wanted Him to do? (Exodus 33:11 NIV) The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent. As we see God spoke to Moses face to face.

Lets look at Samuel: (1 Samuel 3:10-11 NIV) The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." {11} And the LORD said to Samuel: "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle." We see that with Samuel God also spoke directly to him.

One more: (Ezekiel 2:1-2 NIV) He said to me, "Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you." {2} As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. Again we see the God spoke directly to Ezekiel.

These three men (and there are plenty more) were totally human. There can be no doubt that I am trying to say they were anything other then human, yet they did not need to look at circumstances to figure out what God wanted. So why would Jesus not have communication with the Father just like these men? Was it that these men were more in tune with God? Or maybe that they were more honorable or holy then Jesus? Of course not, that is my point. To say that the Son of God had to figure out the Father's will by looking at circumstances is to make Him lower then the Old Testament Prophets. And it in no way denies His fully human status, while remaining fully God.

I want to address one more statement of the author and further explain my concern with it. For example, when Jesus passed through a crowd, He always looked for where the Father was at work. .... In Jericho, Jesus saw Zacchaeus in a tree. Jesus may have said to Himself, "Nobody can seek after Me with that kind of earnestness unless My Father is at work in his heart." (Experiencing God page 70) Doesn't a plain reading of this statement make it at least appear the author is saying that Jesus did not know Zacchaeus' mind but rather through circumstances made an educated guess that the Father was working on his heart? Is that consistent with scripture? Lets look: (John 1:48-49 NIV) "How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." {49} Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." That passage leaves no doubt that Jesus had knowledge of things other then where His physical body was at. It was enough to convince Nathanael that He was the Christ.

(Luke 7:39-43 NIV) When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner." {40} Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said. {41} "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. {42} Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" {43} Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said. I did not quote the whole story, but I think this is enough to make the point. My point to this is that the Pharisee did not speak out loud, he "said to himself" yet Jesus knew what was in his mind. So why would He have to just make an educated guess with Zacchaeus?

At the mount of transfiguration God the Father said this: (Matthew 17:5 NIV) While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" God the Father told the disciples to listen to Jesus, that would make me think that God the Father knew that Jesus had the right information and was not guessing. I am not trying to be over simplistic, I am just trying to show that we can trust "everything" that Jesus said and taught. He never had to use His own human judgment to decide what was right and what was wrong or what God the Father's will was.

If you say that God spoke to Him through circumstances then you are also saying that Jesus had to interpret those circumstances. If His divinity is taken out of the process then His humanity is doing the interpretation. See my point? He was fully human, but He did not quit being fully God at the same time.

One of the things I used to buttress my argument in my review was that Jesus and the Father are one. This is the passage I got that from: (John 10:25-30 NIV) Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, {26} but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. {27} My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. {28} I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. {29} My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. {30} I and the Father are one." So while standing there in his incarnate human body, Jesus still stated that He and the Father are one. Since Jesus said it we know it is true, so why would He need to figure out anything subjectively from the circumstances around Him?

To me at least, to say that He did have to do that is to give a low view of Him. I will stress again that I am not saying that is what Blackaby meant to do, but I believe that is what his book does. If a baby Christian or a Christian with no or not much biblical knowledge reads these things can you seriously think that they would view God the Father and God the Son as equals? Jesus said they were, they are one!

Again I thank you for your views. We may still disagree but I hope now you have a better idea of what my views really are and why. One last item, I did ask this question in my review: Was Jesus some poor dumb carpenter who did not know what His purpose in life was or even have communication with God the Father? But please don't take it out of context the way you did. Maybe my wording could have been improved, but the question remains, did Jesus know who He was and what His purpose for being alive was and did He know how to communicate with the Father or not? Blackaby's book would tend to tell me that He did not fully understand His purpose nor how to communicate with the Father.

Also since you did not finish reading my review you did not mention the other problems I have with the book, so I won't address them either at this time.

Ralph

Back to my review of Experiencing God

I agree with your assesment of The Prayer of Jabez. I think it goes against the Lord's Prayer "Daily bread" , Seeking first the Kingdom, Blessed are the poor and persecuted, and much else of Jesus' message. I disagree with your review of Experiencing God. Blackby has a high view of scripture in that it is a) instructive b) inerrant and c) relavent today. Also, his view of Christ is fine. Jesus was fully human in that he did not know everything. He had to learn, go to temple etc, just like everyone else. Even His miracles did noe start until He was filled with the Holy Spirit. He was "emptied" of His power, while still being God. Obviously, for example, he was not everywhere at once. And He spent much time in prayer with the Father.

Thank you though for you Jabez review, it is a rare voice and you need to send it off to Christianity Today and the like. Thank you for seeking His Truth.

Thank you for your message. I am glad you agree with my review of Prayer of Jabez. I am sorry you think I am wrong with my review of Experiencing God. There is a difference between saying that Jesus had to learn some things as a human and saying that He had to learn everything. At the age of 12 He was amazing the teachers at the temple.

You did not address the areas that I mentioned. I won't go back over them, but I do have one question for you. Do you believe that Jesus was as great as Moses, Ezekiel, or any of the other Old Testament Prophets? I will assume your answer will be yes. If it is no then we have more of a disagreement in theology then I can address here.

Anyway, if your answer is yes, then why would God the Father have to show Jesus His will through circumstances when He never did that with the other Old Testament Prophets? You may think this is a minor point but I don't. God spoke to Moses face to face. God spoke to the other prophets in audible words and in visions. No one of them had to try to figure out what God was saying through circumstances, yet that is exactly what Blackaby says Jesus had to do.

When asked to show the Father to the disciples Jesus made the statement that they had seen Him (Jesus) and therefore they had seen the Father also because they were One. So why would God the Father speak to Moses face to face, and to the other prophets and not to His Son, who was (even as a human being) still one with Him?

I stand by my review. I believe with all my heart that people who do not know their Bible will come away from this book with a poor understanding of who Jesus is and was while on this earth. That is dangerous.

As for his view of scripture I have a problem with it too. He elevates other things to the level of scripture, such as what other Christians tell a person, such as circumstances. He makes those statements over and over again without warning people to judge everything against God's word. So what if your circumstances seem to be telling you something that is not supported by scripture? What if your Pastor tells you something that is not supported by scripture? I have no doubt that Mr. Blackaby would say then go by what scripture says, but my problem is that he does not stress that in the book. Again I think that is dangerous.

In Christ,

Ralph

Back to my review of Experiencing God

Like Gomer would say upon being appalled: "Shame, Shame, Shame." And that is my reply to your critique of "Experiencing God." It seems to me as though you are angry that you were not the author of this book. Regardless of your personal feelings, before you put something like this on the internet, you should have contacted Mr. Blackaby and asked him personally about some of the questions you have. Maybe your thougts are reasonable, but then maybe you have just read something into your thoughts that isn't really there.

I don't doubt Mr. Blackaby's relationship with the Lord as being genuine. It seems as though he has God's best interest at heart - discipling His sheep. If Christians don't stop beating up on Christians and start preaching the Word, the world will continue to have a reasonable argument to avoid us. Controversy is not our game and should not be our focus. Christ crucified is what we should teach and preach.

Until you have written or talked with Mr. Blackaby, I think you should withdraw your comments and offer him and others a Christian apology.

May God Richly Bless You Always.

Well I am sorry that you are appalled. I will not take down my review. Whether you agree or disagree is up to you, but I feel that I was led to place it there and until I feel led to remove it I will leave it there. I don't doubt Mr. Blackaby's relationship either. At the end of my review I stated as much. No I am not sorry I did not write the book.

You say regardless of my personal feelings I should have contacted Mr. Blackaby before putting anything on the Internet. I have not spoken to or written to Mr. Blackaby, but I have spoken to a couple of people who have and he was not responsive to their concerns. Also it is called discernment. I believe there are serious errors in the book, the book is public teaching and my review is public. I am not the only one who sees the error. Here are just two other reviews: http://www.ihcc.org/Booklets/experiencinggod.pdf and http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/BookReviews/exp_god/blackaby.htm

You did not address any of the things I said in my review. You said that if Christians don't stop beating up on Christians and start preaching the Word the world will continue to have a reasonable argument to avoid us. Well I will give you the benefit of the doubt that maybe you did not visit any other pages on my site, but if you had you would see that I am trying to preach the Word. However, I believe it is important to speak out about things which are in error. At what point do we speak out in your opinion? There are many false teachings today which go by the name Christian and no one is willing to speak out about them. I won't be one of those people. We are told in Scripture to discern good from bad and to defend the faith.

(Jude 1:3 NIV) Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

(2 Timothy 4:2 NIV) Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

(Titus 2:15 NIV) These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

I will continue to speak out where and when God asks me to do so. I was very careful to list page numbers so that my work could be checked and I also was very careful to use Scripture to show why I felt the way I did.

Ralph

Back to my review of Experiencing God

Youre an idiot who is ridiculously picking apart a book... write your own book and leave this one alone then

Wow, so instead of looking at the Bible and seeing if I am right that there are biblical problems with this book, you just call me an idiot. You prove something that I have said for a long time. Not only don't most Christians today have any discernment, but they resent anyone who does. I might be dead wrong in my view of this book, but you can't possibly know unless you judge the book against God's word. I spent a lot of time writing that review and I showed from God's word what my problems were, but if you just want to write me off as an idiot, fine that is your prerogative. I just think you should actually do a little looking and comparing to God's word, but again, it is up to you. I hope you feel better.

Ralph

Back to my review of Experiencing God

Wow, if Mr. Blackaby is doing what you say he is doing then you are exactly the same. I do not know your heart either but I will pray for it. What are the fruit of the living God in your life, as spending this much time to malign a brother is clearly not one of them.

Well welcome to the club, of course you didn't spend much time doing it, so I guess it was okay. Give me a break. Did you read the review? If so, show me where I am wrong! I used scripture, was I misquoting? Did I take it out of context? Did I misquote the book? Surely if I am so evil and I don't truly have the Holy Spirit in my heart then it should be easy to show me where I am so dead wrong. No instead you just malign me for daring to criticize another believer. You know that is why there are churches out there that have people making animal sounds and being thrown across the stage all in the name of the Holy Spirit and no one is willing to speak out. I won't be one of them. Go ahead and swallow anything and everything that claims to be Christian, but I won't and I won't stand still and allow people to be deceived and mislead if I can help it.

Ralph

Response from the same person:

Ralph,
I didn't say you where evil, or that you didn't have the Holy Spirit in your heart. I'm not sure how I maligned you and I'm not understanding your anger or your attack on me. I was simply doing what you are doing, questioning. Are you the only one who is right?

I apologize if I offended or upset you it was not my intention.

How did I feel attacked by you? Do you realize what you are saying when you tell someone that you don't see fruit in their life? Let me show you what Jesus said:

Matthew 7:15-20 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. [16] "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? [17] "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. [18] "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. [19] "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. [20] "So then, you will know them by their fruits."

So when you tell someone that you don't see anything but rotten fruit or as you said that you don't see the fruit of the Spirit in them, what you are actually saying is that you don't believe they even have the Holy Spirit in their hearts. Now, I will give you the benefit of the doubt that this isn't what you meant by what you said, but that is what it means. But even if that isn't what you meant I have a problem. Does not the Bible tell us to warn others about false doctrine? Doesn't it tell us to correct and rebuke for the good of all believers? Doesn't it tell us to contend for the faith? So explain to me how warning people that Blackaby has some wrong view of Christ, and scripture is wrong and not showing fruit of the Spirit, whom told us to rebuke, correct and warn?

So maybe you didn't mean to malign me, but you managed to by telling me you didn't see the fruit in what I did. You may disagree, but be careful how you state your disagreement. And I stand by my response to you, if I am so wrong in my review, then show me. If I am right in my review then you should be happy that someone is pointing it out, shouldn't you? So which is it? Do you agree with Blackaby or did I have valid points? You can't have it both ways? You can't just say it is wrong to ever speak out about something that you believe is wrong. I don't know whether you will believe me or not, and to be honest I don't really care, but I felt led by the Holy Spirit to speak out about this book after my teenage son was taught from it at our church. Trust me, I have been attacked by people such as you ever since. But they almost never bother to tell me where I am wrong, they just think I am wrong to have said anything. So if Blackaby were to say in his next book that Christ is the half-brother of Satan, should I just keep quiet about that too? I am not trying to say anything about Blackaby, I am trying to make you see my point. At what point is it okay to say something is wrong? Or just because someone claims to be a Christian should I keep quiet no matter what they say? I guess that answer to that is no, since didn't keep quiet about me not keeping quiet.

You have no need to apologize and I am not offended, but if you are going to make those kind of statements, please back them up.

Ralph

Response from the same person:

Hi Ralph,

Again Ralph you are seeing what you want to see and not what is actually in print. I "never" said that there wasn't any fruit in your life or that I didn't see any fruit in your life. I don't know you so there may be many areas of your life that demonstrate the moving of the Spirit in your life. You yourself seem to be under some sort of spirit of "confusion" when you can take what I said in one or two sentences and twist it around the way you have. I seriously doubt that there could be anything I could say or show you in the word that would allow you to entertain the thought of an alternate view other than your own being a valid viewpoint.

God bless you Ralph

You see I don't have to answer to you Ralph, I have to answer to the same person you do when the time comes and that is God.

Back to my review of Experiencing God

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