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

The Quotable Round-Up #107

falwffcSomeone ask me if I can have a copy of a book that I own. I know this sister in Christ is a single mom and making ends meet with here kids. Rather give her a e-book copy or tell her it’s available at a Christian bookstore, I’m happy to give it away to her. So I plan to give a book this coming Sunday. This got me thinking. Am I willing to give up books for someone who really wants one? Am I ready to empty my bookshelf for a fellow Christian. I know some of you bought books that are rare and expensive but books are still books. You can still but it and own it again. Also it’s much better to keep in mind that someone may be in need of a book. So I must consider buying an extra book when I go to the bookstore in that way if someone ask me one I have something to bless that person.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from the book by Costi Hinn and Anthony Wood  Defining Deception. Order the book on Amazon by clicking this link.

“If personal experience becomes our final guide to truth, no one is left who can discern what is a gift of God from what is a Trojan horse attack from the devil, or from what is a lie from within our own heart.”

“False teachers are good communicators who understand how to manipulate feelings without directly addressing the need for individuals to pursue holiness. To do this they use highly stylized preaching and engaging music content that promises people immediate pleasure and prosperity-be it emotional or physical.”

“It isn’t uncommon for someone questioning the unbiblical practice inside these mystical-miracle churches to be threatened with the three C’s: cancer, curses and catastrophic events. Any of these tragedies” may happen to you” if you dare to speak out against an anointed leader. When you are living under a leader who uses these tactics, it feels a lot more like you are a member of a mafia than a biblical ministry.”

“In prosperity gospel circles, the love of money is prevalent and such love is unapologetic. It can actually be a form of competition to see who God is blessing the most!”

“The past century of Pentecostal/ Charismatic history is absolutely heart-breaking. Millions have lived and died under the guile of false teachers and millions more continue on the path of destruction. Christians need accurate information so they can make informed decisions with regards to the misleading miracles and exercise discernment with any teacher who claims to have a heritage from these teachers. Furthermore, true believers need to be prayerful, faithful, and resilient in reaching out to those caught in this net of deceit.”

“True New Testament miracles always pointed to the person of Christ. Therefore, if the glory of God and the Good News of Christ aren’t clarified or enhanced by a supposedly extraordinary act, it isn’t a miracle of God. Yet, if it’s not of God, then who is it from?”

“The Bible doesn’t say anywhere that Gospel power is evidenced in monetary gain, a life without sickness, Twitter followers, or responses to an altar call. In fact, the Bible depicts the life of those faithful to the Gospel as likely to lead to poverty, abuse by authorities and persecution.”