PCA Denomination Votes To Investigate Sarah Young’s Terrible Book ‘Jesus Calling’

Unlike the milquetoast SBC, which spent the last week kicking its members in the spiritual gonads by repeatedly shutting down every good amendment and resolution at their annual convention, members at the Presbyterian Church in America’s annual convention did the Lord’s work by approving a resolution that would investigate the impact and influence of Sarah Young’s egregiously awful book “Jesus Calling,” setting the stage for it to be potentially banned.

This is welcome news! Published in 2004 by the now-deceased Sarah Young, a member of the PCA, Jesus Calling has 45 million copies in print. It is one of the most recognizable devotional books in recent history. It has spawned a multitude of spin-offs, all the while being one of the most dangerous books released in the last twenty years for its espousal of mysticism, speaking for God, extra-biblical assertions, automatic writing, and rejecting the sufficiency of the scriptures.

Passed by a vote of 947 in favor to 834 opposed, the resolution would have the Committee on Discipleship Ministries, which is “charged by the Presbyterian Church in America with the task of equipping and discipling the churches of the denomination” to investigate further and report back on the book’s “appropriateness for Christians in general,” to “outline its reasons for withdrawing the book from its inventory previously and not offering it for sale since.

Further, they have tasked and Mission to the World, a PCA missions ministry that both Sarah and her husband were heavily involved with, to investigate the book’s influence on the group and determine what sorts of actions/steps the General Assembly should take “in light of this study of the book and of the agency’s relationship to it.”

Notably, Sarah’s husband Stephen spoke against the overture, describing the amendments as “potentially divisive” while falsely insisting:”

“The Jesus Calling brand has ministered to millions of people around the world…Sarah was a humble servant of Jesus who did not seek self-glory…Her writings do not add to Scripture but explain it. She would stand with Martin Luther and declare that her conscience was captive to the Word of God. The majority of the PCA famiy and friends have been positively impacted by Sarah’s books”

Not true at all

In a widely shared book review by Tim Challies, he explains most of the major problems with this book, with these two being the most prominent:

1. She speaks for GodFar and away the most troubling aspect of the book is its very premise—that Sarah Young hears from Jesus and then dutifully brings his messages to her readersJesus Calling makes the boldest, gutsiest, and, to my mind, most arrogant claim of any book ever to be considered Christian. The publisher describes the book in this way:

“After many years of writing her own words in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to be more attentive to the Savior’s voice and begin listening for what He was saying. So with pen in hand, she embarked on a journey that forever changed her—and many others around the world. In these powerful pages are the words and Scriptures Jesus lovingly laid on her heart. Words of reassurance, comfort, and hope. Words that have made her increasingly aware of His presence and allowed her to enjoy His peace (bold mine).”

There is no way to avoid her claim that she is communicating divine revelation, a claim that raises a host of questions and concerns, not the least of which is the doctrine of Scripture alone which assures us that the Bible and the Bible alone is sufficient to guide us in all matters of faith and practice.

2. She proclaims the insufficiency of the BibleJesus Calling only exists because Sarah Young had a deep desire to hear from God outside of the Bible. In the introduction she describes the book’s genesis:

“I began to wonder if I … could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day.

In those few sentences she sets up unnecessary competition between her revelation and what we are told of the Bible in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Biblically, there is no category for what she provides as the heart and soul of her book. Biblically, there is no need for it and no reason we should expect or heed it.”

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7 thoughts on “PCA Denomination Votes To Investigate Sarah Young’s Terrible Book ‘Jesus Calling’

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  3. ‘Jesus Calling’ is the equivalent of unrepentant false prophets such as Julie Green speaking in the first person as God, to the delight of thousands of undiscerning and naive Christians. That book was actually recommended by a pastor to us(!)

  4. Jesus Calling is actually modeled after God Calling, which is universally understood to be a New Age book. [See Warren B Smith’s book: Another Jesus Calling] She openly admitted that, and even praised God Calling in the beginning of her book, at least in the earlier editions. However, she and/or the publisher took quietly took that part out. Both books involve the exact same mystical practice and automatic writing and adding to God’s Word.

    1. She admittedly received her new messages in the spiritual realm, and/or from a spirit (she says this was not from herself, or her own words). However, these new messages conflict with God’s Word (proved by more than one edit in which she took out or altered in later editions what she said Jesus said in earlier editions).

      So, either way, in one edition or the other, Jesus was wrong!?! This, of course, presents all kinds of problems. Or she received these messages from one or more demons. We all know Jesus cannot be wrong, so……

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