Sunday, February 16, 2014

book review--Life Outside the Matrix by Venetia Carpenter

freeloader theology

In his book Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church, Michael Horton wrote "So much of what I am calling "Christless Christianity" is not profound enough to constitute heresy...the message of American Christianity has simply become trivial, sentimental, affirming, and irrelevant." This book, "Like Outside the Matrix", perfectly fits that category. Although a few statements do indicate some aberrant beliefs, overall the book is so shallow and silly, it's difficult to imagine people taking it seriously. But, given the state of the church nowadays, the profane is often called profound.

The basic premise of the book is this, "Jesus was actually asking me to quit my full-time job, sit in prayer before Him for extended hours, journal what He was showing me, and trust Him for all my provision." (Kindle Locations 152-153). And what was one way she was taken care of? "As I began to do this I was led to food and household provision through friends who actually provided me with these things free of charge!" (Kindle Locations 187-188).

What reasons would I have to doubt that she got those instructions from Jesus? Take a look at II Thessalonians 3:6-12, and see if that passages in any way recommends this kind of freeloader non-activity. If anything, it is very much against it. "6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us." Paul in this context even gives the command, "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat".

This author's statement that Jesus told her to quit her job and do nothing to earn her living is directly against Paul's statements and example, and I'll take Paul over this author any day. This woman received no such command from Jesus.

This author tries to convince the reader that they need to see into something she called "the supernatural realm". This is something the Bible says nothing about , she must simply attempt to insert it into a few verses. "The more I pondered this verse (Hebrews 11:6), I came to realize that the supernatural realm is really our birthright as believers." (Kindle Location 170). A look at the verse, and it's context, has nothing to do with any supernatural realm.

And the trite and shallow nature of this book is also evident in how Jesus is written about. Jesus becomes a car lot owner who wants to put you in a sweet ride, a metaphor for provision. Jesus is the partner who's waiting to give you those provisions if you look into the realm of the spirit. "Our partnership with Him calls things into being on this earth even though our physical eyes can't see them right away." (Kindle Locations 360-361), even though the Bible never says that we are able to call things into being. This is simply Word of Faith nonsense.

I got an e-book copy of this book when Destiny Image offered it for a free, and that may well be the only good thing about this book. I'd hate to think that the money I worked long and hard for would end up going to someone promoting this kind of freeloading theology.

No comments: