Bible Christian or NYT Bestseller Christian?

This is a question I had to ask myself, not too long ago, after reading the Bible in 2018. I came to the faith from an interesting position ~ I had been in the new age for over a decade.

In the new age, there are endless books you can read. It’s quite the expensive belief system 🤔 There’s always a new trend, a new speaker, a new author, and a new book to buy. And I was swept in the current of new age consumerism– I had quite the extensive library. So, after I read the Bible and traded all my new age books for NYT bestseller Christian books, it all felt… familiar.

I finished reading the Bible and set it aside, and I started picking up books from the pile– bestsellers such as Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen, Get Your Hopes Up! by Joyce Meyer, Uninvited by Lysa Terkerust, Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, and many more.

And I just got this feeling like, “Really? Am I doing this again?” It felt like I was going back into the rabbit hole of general vague spirituality, only this time I had the Word of God in my heart, so falling for that again really didn’t sit well with me.

Not to mention, a lot of the books I picked up, I set aside after one chapter. Just reading a few pages of Your Best Life Now, I said out loud “This is the law of attraction.” It even had the whole “praying for a parking spot and getting it,” the same way the new age has!

(Why is it always a parking spot…? 🤔 Joel Osteen has two legs, right? Can’t he walk?)

Anyway.

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young made me cringe, as it is a channeled book ~ and people can pull rank on me in the comments all they want, but Jesus will never speak through a channeled book! ✋ Fervent was a tad weird, too. It ended up confusing me more than clearing up prayer, especially for someone like me, who had never prayed before.

That’s when I realized: I could be a Bible Christian or a NYT Bestseller Christian, but probably not both.

Especially since some of these books directly contradict the Bible.

I could sorta kinda get the general gist of God’s Word via so-and-so (while at the same time spending copious amounts of money on these books) or I could just read, re-read, and study my Bible.


Today, I only own a few Christian books and I can count them in one hand. Matter of fact, I can name them off the top of my head: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, Strange Fire by John Macarthur, and Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace (true-crime and Jesus… my two favorite things!).

I don’t spend a lot of money on books these days, and I stay connected to the Word, directly from the source. It’s working out quite nicely.

안녕! Bye! Ciao!

jarilissima

Thank you for being here!

49 comments

  1. Amen, Yari. The key to discernment is your example: You read your Bible all the way through. Therefore you had a standard against which to compare all other “Christian” literature. Knowing the truth of God equipped you to judge how trivial and even counter-biblical those other works are.

    Keep posting, Yari. The Lord has definitely given you the gift of discernment!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks so much, Mr. David! Looking back, I’m super thankful to God because I read the Bible first. I had zero experience with the Bible, and I would have fallen into the trap of random books once again had I done it backwards.

      But like you mentioned, having a standard to compare against was key. And I threw all those “extra” books in the recycling. I didn’t find them fit to return to the bookstore.

      Thanks again! I’m glad to receive your encouragement, it means a lot 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful June!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re right, Yari. A good Bible commentary is one thing, but all these other books can take away from what the scripture actually says. I’ve never been much into that either. When you start reading every “Christian” book out there, you risk picking up the author’s personal bias instead of what the actual scripture. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, absolutely! Bias and I also saw too much personal interpretation. Things like, “this is what this verse means TO ME.” I’m not interested in what the author thinks the verses mean… I’m interested in what they actually mean! 😄

      Thanks so much for dropping by 🙂 And June is here! Woo! I hope you have a good summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Yari. I feel the same way about ‘Jesus Calling ‘, after I read your earlier comments.

    I have only one book now . The Bible.
    And, I learn so much from bloggers online.

    Thanks. ⚘

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Very interesting that you say some “Christian” books are channeling books. I wonder if sometime you would explain this further (maybe another post) for those of us who don’t have experience with this subject. Like for instance, what makes Sarah Young’s book Jesus Calling a channeling book? What does “channeling” mean. I am not disagreeing with you. I want to understand. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure, that’s a great question! I used to be in the new age, so things like that seem obvious to me, and sometimes I don’t realize they’re not common lingo.

      Channeling is shutting off your thoughts and opening your mind to “whatever is out there” with the purpose of receiving messages, and then communicating whatever you “get,” be it in spoken words or in writing.

      In explaining how she wrote Jesus Calling, Sarah Young says she shut her mind and opened up to (who she thought) was Jesus, and claims to have received the writing from Jesus Himself.

      This would, in her claim, make Jesus Calling a book on-par with the Holy Bible.

      The book is also written in the first person, essentially putting words in Jesus’ mouth. All those reasons combined make it blasphemous and disrespectful as well.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Glad you read the Source and got rid of those books rather than donating them for someone else! I do read A LOT of Bible commentary and theological books, but it never replaces the Bible itself. Glad for your wisdom and discernment! Love, hugs and blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. To be honest, I’m not nearly as spiritual as you and I feel like many of those NYT Best Sellers from an outsiders view hurt the overall perception of faith. Like it can be easy to dismiss as a bit of a money move or scam. I’m not saying it is, I’ve never read a book from Joel Osteen. I can almost guarantee I never will 😂

    But I think it does more damage to than good. I could be wrong though 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely think they can do more harm than good, for sure. Especially when the authors are held as the Christian standard and then controversies come out. It’s not a good look, and it furthers ugly stereotypes, unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for your honesty. I completely agree, the Bible is God’s Word and those of us who follow Christ should be reading, studying, memorizing His Word. It’s our daily bread for the soul. Nothing will ever compare to it. I’m so glad you learned the value of scripture! I’m always saddened when people head off to read something other than scripture to understand what God is saying. It really doesn’t make sense. God bless you! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think some books are a good addition to understanding the Bible (a lot of my friends read commentaries) but you’re right– they are not a substitute, because nothing compares 🙂

      Speaking of books, I just finished reading Silas Marner just last night. What a beautiful book! 😭 You mentioned it before, and so I read it. It was wonderful ❤️

      Like

      • Yes, commentaries can be super helpful and personally I enjoy reading biographies of missionaries or other people God has used to reach others through. I’m sure there are some great books which encourage our faith, I have a few which have blessed me (A Case for Christ is one of them!) I’m very thankful to God for these authors. But as you say, nothing is as valuable as scripture.💖

        I’m so glad you liked Silas Marner! I’ve read that since I was a teen and I’m never disappointed by the story. God bless and keep you!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I really like what I’ve read of Lysa Terkeurst and Priscilla Shirer, bit I agree with the premise of your blogpost
    We definitely need to test the spirits to see if they are of God, as Scripture admonishes us to do. The Bible needs to be the lens through which we look at other works, not the other way around. And of course, youn can never go wrong with just reading the Bible! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re totally allowed to disagree 😁 I’m sure there’s some good stuff out there, of course. I was just heading the wrong way and had to rethink my reading.

      I do love that you mentioned: The Bible needs to be the lens through which we look at other works, not the other way around.

      Well said! 🙌

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Colleen!
      Lysa TerKeurst while she sounds good not sound. Lysa is also associated with Elevation Church and the lead pastor Steven Furtick is not sound at all. “No Little Women” by Aimee Byrd is a fascinating read. I do not want you to be swayed by what is being promoted from LifeWay. Most of what is being produced is shallow and surface level speaking to our head and heart divide or talking about hospitality. LifeWay is big business and doesn’t care what they push on women so long as it sells. Thanks In advance for letting me jump in!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. So much bad theology out there, Yari, including that of the authors you initially mentioned. We need to be discerning. There are godly Christian authors and excellent Bible study aids, but God’s Word should be our final authority. Be careful of Strobel also as he fully embraces the Roman Catholic church with its false gospel as a Christian entity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that’s disappointing to hear 😕 Honestly what I like most about his book is that he asks questions to experts and gives us their answers. But thanks for letting me know that, of course! Take care 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      • In Strobel’s next book, The Case for Faith, he devotes an entire adulatory chapter to Catholic philosopher, Peter Kreeft. Kreeft is also a Catholic apologist who has written many books praising Catholicism’s works salvation system and maligning evangelicalism’s alleged easy believism. Why would Stroble include Kreeft as one of his “experts”? That is the incongruity of evangelical ecumenism. Thanks and take care, too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting info! And I’ll add that Lee Strobel’s other books honestly sound like he reused a lot of parts from “The Case for Christ.” Although I did like “The Case,” I’m not paying to read the same book over and over again!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. That is so fascinating that you noticed a correlation between the new age bestsellers and the Christian bestsellers!! You’re right that it’s good to take things straight from the source – the Word itself, for better understanding. 💗 I’ve been reading parts of the Bible lately! Very impressed that you read the whole thing! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m very happy to hear that you’re reading the Bible! That’s great 😊 It took me about six months, but with steady reading it can be done, just like any other book. I hope you read all of it someday! Thanks for dropping by ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I couldn’t agree more with you on this. I used to read those books but as I spent more time in the word, I found my interest in them decline. I also realised that I do not give enough time to sit and allow the spirit to speak to me when I always have one of those books in my hand. Not all of them are bad but we should not be reading them more than scripture itself. I am a Bible Christian through and through and wouldn’t want it any other way. The Holy spirit is the best teacher.
    Blessings to you Yari 🌺

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well done Yari. So many “Christian” books do not align with scripture. Many are from prosperity preachers which is so whacked.

    Max Lucado is good. But as far as Olsteen, Meyers, Dollar, Jakes, Prince and the list goes on…a lot of them to me are NOT pastors but simply motivational speakers. And I’m could hear flack from your readers for that, but that is my opinion.

    You must validate what they write against scripture. If it doesn’t line up…toss them out of your life.

    Now for an interesting read…try Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much. Maybe not everyone that reads this would agree, but I do. I definitely also think they are motivational speakers at best, unintentional new agers at worst. And as you mentioned– if it doesn’t line up with scripture, then it isn’t worth keeping. And I’ll stand by that as well 🙂

      So far that is the only C.S. Lewis book I have read, and it was very interesting! Super creative and a bit creepy, that’s for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I am always weary of Christian evangelists who are also raking in the millions with their books, tv shows and personal brand. Something about it just seems very antithetical to what it’s all about. You’re wise to keep a distinction between the two!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way, too. Although I think everyone has the right to earn money and enjoy it, when pastors reach the level of rockstar it gets… weird. It does feel (and often is) opposite to the message of humility and giving. And thank you! I hope you and your family are ready for summer! 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m a big fan of comic books and graphic novels. So the first time I read the Bible was actually in a faithful comic version called The Action Bible. Otherwise, I tend to stay away from books that aren’t directly from the source.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I found this post very interesting Jari. What you shared about new age and parking spots has answered a question for a friend of mine, I have just shared your post with her.
    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This post has touched on a very sensitive yet needed topic. I read through each of the comments and your responses and both seemed apt and had a sense of depth and meaning that was really useful. I realised how difficult it is deciding what to read and what not to and then I thought about my experience of turning to the Bible from being someone who simply had a Bible kept around the house as a form of our family traditions. Since the first time I started reading the Bible and understanding the Word of God, I realised that it is powerful; it is active; it is alive; it is sharp; it pierces and judges the heart. The AUTHOR of the WORD OF GOD is the SPIRIT OF GOD. HE IS PRESENT IN HIS WORD. The written Bible is like no other book. The Word of God transforms people’s lives by the Spirit of God. God is in it and it comes from God. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and being such a strong, well meaning voice.

    Liked by 1 person

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