Review: The God Makers

The God Makers by Ed Decker and Dave Hunt

The God Makers by Ed Decker & Dave Hunt
Buy from Amazon.com

[November 1997; reviewed 12-27-1999]

(Note: I was 17 when I wrote this review for Tekton, under just my initials “J.J.” for Jack Jeffries. I’m surprisingly still pretty satisfied with this review today. The final line originally read, “… kindling for the fire in case the lights go out this Y2K,” but that was edited as the Y2K joke quickly became dated.)

The God Makers, both the book and the movie, has been very popular among evangelicals since its publication fifteen years ago. Several members of my church have been recommending it to me for some time. Even the cashier at the store where I bought my copy (yes, I paid money for this) told me it was a great book and I should see the movie, too. Unfortunately, the people who say this really don’t know what they’re talking about. The God Makers is probably the most horrible dissertation on Mormonism that I have ever read in my life. To say the least, this book is overrated.

Read the rest of the review at Tekton

(Originally posted at ClobberBlog)

Miracles: The Struggle of a Skeptical Believer — Part 2

This is what living with me is like.
This is what living with me is like.

My first post on the matter attempted to cover several things: namely, when it comes to miraculous workings of the Spirit, I have the heart of a believer and the mind of a skeptic. I believe in the possibility of speaking in tongues in the modern day, but so far I have not seen firsthand an example that I could not debunk. I believe in the possibility of miraculous healing, but so far I have not seen someone healed to the extent that science can not explain it. I’ve heard about limbs growing and cancer vanishing and people with deformed body parts being restored, but I have never personally seen it. (more…)

Miracles: The Struggle of a Skeptical Believer — Part 1

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. Maybe believers who need proof aren't all that bad?
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. Maybe believers who need proof aren’t all that bad?

The charismatic movement. Speaking in tongues, laying on of hands, miraculous healing. Weird stuff with people claiming to be knocked down by the Holy Spirit or pinned down, held in a trance for hours. You know what I’m talking about. Folks who know little of the charismatic movement and are cynical towards it would add snake-handling to that list, but I try not to give nutpickers the time of day. I’ve been attending church with people who practice modern-day manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit for seven or eight years now, in part because my own study of the Bible has always lead me to conclude that there is no reason why gifts of the Spirit should not be practiced today. Yet for some reason, I feel ashamed to write that I’ve never practiced them myself. Worse, when my evangelical friends tell me so brightly that they can speak in tongues now or God healed them in some way, I don’t always believe them. (more…)