Opinions on "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young

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Hello,

I'm attending a CRC in Oregon and was wondering if there are any opinions on the book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young? Does the CRC have any position on this book?

Thanks for thoughts! 

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Tim Challies provides a thought-provoking critique here: https://www.challies.com/articles/10-serious-problems-with-jesus-calling/

I am unaware of any CRC position, and find it unlikely that the CRC would have formulated an institutional position on this book.

Community Builder

Hi Jenifer,

Eric is right--the CRC doesn't typically take official positions on books like this, but the Challies article is worth a read.

Community Builder

Thank you, Eric, for sharing that link. It articulates the concerns I have with Jesus Calling. I see challies.com does not allow for comments. For sake of fairness, I'd be interested to hear any substantive rebuttals to Tim Challies's 10 problems. Anyone?

Hi Stanley & Monica. 

Tim's original review of the book is here: https://www.challies.com/book-reviews/jesus-calling/.  It contains much of the same concerns.  If you search "Jesus Calling" on his site, you will see some of the letters to the editor that Tim has received and printed.  They are not particularly substantive.  I have found Tim to be honest, so I don't doubt that if he had received any direct pushback that was more substantive, he would have made it available. 

A quick web search revealed that one lady has responded point-by-point response to Tim's 10 points of concern.  Her post is here: http://christybower.com/you-can-hear-from-god-daily-dont-let-tim-challies-or-anyone-else-tell-you-otherwise/.  Personally, I do not find her arguments compelling.  Her response leads me to several questions:

1) Does Scripture give us any reason to believe that how God spoke to the prophets such as Moses is normative for Christians? If God spoke to all the Israelites like he did to Moses or Samuel, then why was the office of Prophet or Priest necessary?  Was not Moses an intermediary between God and his people? 

2) Does Scripture give us any example of prayer that is anything other than talking to God?  How did Jesus teach us to pray?  Didn't Jesus speak to God when he prayed and when he taught the disciples to pray?

3) How can God speak to us in any way that is not authoritative?  Would God leave us to wonder if we should really follow what he says?  Does Scripture give us reason to believe that God will whisper vagaries in our ears?

4) Does Scripture give us any example of God not being heard when he speaks directly to people?  The only example that I am aware of that comes close is Samuel when he was a young boy, but he still heard God's voice, he was just confused and first thought Eli was calling him.  Was Paul "listening" for God on the road to Damascus, or did God make himself heard, as he always has?  In contrast, the author speaks as if we can turn God's actual literal voice on and off based on our desire to listen.  The author says: "In my Christian experience, I started listening and hearing from God on a regular basis. Then some Christians told me it was somehow wrong so I stopped."  As far as I am aware, in every instance where God desires to speak audibly with any person in the Bible, they hear him, whether they desire to or not.

Of course, much more could be said, but those questions immediately spring to my mind when I read her response.

Community Builder

Thanks Eric. Good food for thought. I don't have time now but I might come back to this at some point (probably when the next person gushes on about how much they love Jesus Calling!).
~Stanley