Book Review: Defining Deception by Costi Hinn and Anthony Wood

foups7mWhat does a fading infamous faith healer do to be back in the limelight, be relevant today and to the coming decade? And what does a popular NAR leader do to go to the next level of his already established ministries? Well collaboration with others is what they need. And collaboration is what they did…with each other! Bill Johnson and Benny Hinn join together to further strengthen their ministries. This and other issues are discussed in Defining Deception  by Costi Hinn and Anthony Wood as they dig deep on the dangerous movement of Third Wave/NAR .

Defining Deception is not no holds barred bashing or tell all book by two guys who are formerly connected with the movement (especially Costi Hinn).   It’s a careful, sensitive and loving evaluation of Third Wave/NAR blended with personal insights and excellent apologetics. The book is mostly about Bill Johnson, Bethel Church and Jesus Culture but according to the authors, its for the Christians who embraces Sola Scriptura and considers the Bible as the deciding rule of faith and practice ( pg. x). As you read this engaging book, you see the lies and deception of the personalities in this movement that undermines the authority of the Scripture. Ample biblical response are sandwiched in every points they are addressing.

But before they address the present day movement, the authors leads the readers a few decades back to see how this movement was born and the personalities of the past behind it. There can never be a Third Wave/NAR without looking at the roots. The rest of the book discusses how up and coming prosperity preachers and the icons of this movement intersect as it furthers strengthen itself for the dawning of a new decade.

The authors are generous to provide an excellent appendix. Aside from the testimonies (Appendix 1), they gave us a primer on the Charismatic Movement with Appendix 2 to 5. So if you’re done with the book and still lost of all of these, the appendixes will be your map to lead you in the right direction. You don’t need a supplimental book to make sense of this book.

 Defining Deception is a trailblazer for other books that will address this issue as it sets the right tone on exposing this dangerous movement. It’s also a beacon of light for the coming decade as it warns Christians on what steps this movement will take. If you picked up this book because of the “Hinn” in Costi Hinn, you wont be disappointed with its balance of expośe and apologetics. But more than that, it is a must read book fot every Christians concerning the New Apostolic Reformation.

My verdict:

5 out of 5

16 Crucial Questions Every Catholic Should Ask

1. What if I die today will I be in heaven?

2. Why is it that my church is the “the one true church” yet I cannot assure of heaven?

3. If the pope cannot assure spending eternity in heaven, how about me, an ordinary Catholic?

4. Why is it hard for me to ask questions regarding my faith? Do I consider it evil to ask? Am I too embarrassed? Or too confident to my church I haven’t bothered to check it out?

5. Have I read the official catechisms of my church? Have I read Bible references? Are the verses used to justify the teachings biblically sound or out of context?

6. What is the difference between veneration and worship? Can I give examples of both to give clear distinction from the two words? Does lighting candles’, kissing images, and praying to saints, kneeling to go to the altar while reciting the rosary a form of worship or veneration? Can all devotion mention be given to God and call it worship then the same devotions will be given to saints and the Virgin Mary be called veneration?
7. When I read the Bible specially the New Testament why cant I read about the popery, priest, monks, nuns, indulgences, purgatory, scapular, relics, rosary, prayers for the dead, good works, infant baptism, confession, confirmation, last rites, holy water, etc?
8. Does having been able to trace the roots of the church to the New Testament church make my religion true even if it doesn’t really resembles it? Are their any more ways to know if my church is true?

9. Are early church fathers (Augustine, Justin Martyr, Jerome, Origen, etc) reliable? The church to confirm the doctrines has used them but some of them contradict each other and contradicts some teachings.

10. Have I kept the 10 Commandments if following them will assure me of heaven? How about the other more than 500 Mosaic laws that I need to fulfill? And how about the Church’s approximately 700 dogma and teachings? Have I followed them flawlessly if I do not want to go to hell?

11. If committing sin to me is a mistake and makes me imperfect how about those things that I should have done but didn’t (sin of omission)?

12. Is Jesus my Savior or is He just my Helper to go to heaven?

13. Why is the doctrine of papal infallibility only came to be a teaching today? Does that mean from the past centuries of not having this doctrine the Catholic Church is in error and not guided by the Holy Spirit or is it just a man made teaching?

14. What does the Bible meant of adding things to the Bible and receiving a curse from it? (Rev. 22:18).

15. If I have to take all of this Catholic teaching by faith yet its contrary to the Bible what does my faith be?

16. Could I pick and choose what I want to believe in the teaching of the Catholic Church? What about those laws of the Church that condemns me if I neglect some of their teachings?

For more information check:

Answers To My Catholic Friends

Understanding Roman Catholicism

What Every Catholic Should Know

1994 Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church

Council of Trent