The PCA’s Investigation of 'Jesus Calling' is a Measured and Appropriate Step

 By Warren Cole Smith - Posted at MinistryWatch:

Published June 28, 2024

Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling is one of the best-selling books of all time. Published in 2004, it has sold more than 45 million copies. Its cultural impact has also been significant. It may be one of the most “gifted” books of all time. An organization called The Next Door makes the book available for free in women’s prisons. Former presidential spokesperson (and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders) said she read it before each of her daily White House press briefings.

The book has also attracted critics. It is written in the first person, as if Jesus himself is talking. Is the book supposed to be taken as a new revelation? Is it a prophetic utterance of some kind? Both the author and the publishers have denied that. They say the use of the first-person is a literary device, empty of theological meaning. Is C.S. Lewis channeling demons in The Screwtape Letters? No, of course not.

Nonetheless, the book has stirred controversy since the year it was published. And I don’t mean the fringe “discernment bloggers” and “conflict entrepreneurs” who profit from controversy, who find every slope slippery and find heretics in every pew.

I’m talking about serious people. Writer Tim Challies called it a “deeply troubling book” and itemized ten issues he has with it. He concluded, “Jesus Calling is a book built upon a faulty premise and in that way a book that is dangerous and unworthy of our attention or affirmation. The great tragedy is that it is leading people away from God’s means of grace that are so sweet and so satisfying, if only we will accept and embrace them.”