It is not a stretch for most people today to look at the world and think it has gone mad. Choose any subject or topic and it appears chaos is ruling and reigning. It is easy to see the seemingly dark times we live in and feel discouraged, frustrated, concerned, and more. Some wonder if we are living in the last days.
In The Coming Apostasy by Mark Hitchcock and Jeff Kinley, we read about the turmoil of our times from a different perspective as the authors look at the shift in the body of Christ that can be in many churches and believers. It appears that many are nearly indistinguishable from the culture they reside in pointing to the growing evidence of apostasy in the body of Christ. Too often it can be easier to preach or teach a socially popular message or one that only focuses on one aspect of the truth of scripture.
According to the authors, “Today, we are witnessing the relentless sabotage of Christianity and the church from within. Subtle saboteurs are tossing one theological shoe after another into the machine, causing spiritual bewilderment and breakdowns.”
Hitchcock and Kinley not only share the symptoms of the problem, but write about the causes as well. Chief among the causes is the lack of clear biblical knowledge and understanding to provide an anchor in turbulent times. Without it we are trying to navigate our faith without a scriptural GPS system.
Apostasy is defined in the book as “the defection or departure from the tenets of some religious community.” When we have not been taught the full council of scripture, we do not think biblically and we can start to drift. When that happens we can also fall prey to adjusting scripture to fit our own way of thinking instead of adjusting our thinking to scripture.
I love this quote from the authors in addressing that issue:
“Christianity is not a biblical-truth buffet, where we hold our noses and pass over the items that fail our personal taste test. We do not set the menu of truth; God does.”
Hitchcock and Kinley clarify how apostates will act. They also give clear principles for how to stand on a sure foundation (biblical truth) in the midst of the current confusion. They also share their sense of how far we have already drifted and what that suggests for how much closer we are in approaching the end, noting that apostasy is one thing that makes the current day different from the days of our grandparents and great-grandparents who experienced world wars and trials as well.
The Coming Apostasy was released from Tyndale House on March 7, 2017, and is an important book for our time. Mark Hitchcock serves as senior pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma and is associate professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary. Jeff Kinley is an author and speaker who graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary.
To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.
**Monday, March 13, the series on Nehemiah resumes.