A best-selling devotional is causing controversy as watchdog groups and individuals make accusations of unbiblical and New Age influences, WND reports.
Jesus Calling, which released in 2004, currently ranks No. 1 on numerous lists. The book, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, was written by Sarah Young.
Young, who plants churches with her husband in Australia, reportedly has a philosophy degree from Wellesley College, a counseling degree from Georgia State University and a master’s degree from Tufts.
Warren B. Smith, a Christian author who left the New Age movement in 1984, has published a book called “Another Jesus” Calling, in which he explains his concerns and critiques Young’s book.
“We’re getting incredible response to my book,” he says, “because her book is indefensible!”
Thomas Nelson has published various editions of Jesus Calling. The company’s senior vice president of publishing, Laura Minchew, disputes the claims and says the book has impacted countless people.
“I will tell you that should anyone hint of New Age teachings in Jesus Calling, they would be sorely misinformed,” she told WND.
“We are releasing a new 10th anniversary edition of the book in September,” she notes. “We have added an expanded ‘Author Note’ that looks back at how the book was published and includes stories from the thousands of comments we have received about the impact of this book on people’s lives.”
She continues, “Jesus Calling has been such a comfort and source of peace for so many. It helps readers spend time with the Lord. People’s lives have been touched for good by this book. I would ask that you not try to make a controversy that has no merit, just for the sake of readership.”
But Smith isn’t the only one who has expressed concerns about the book. Chris Quintana, pastor of Calvary Chapel Cypress in Cypress, California, is alarmed by its success.
“Jesus Calling is just the latest fad to come through the church,” he explaines. “Like The Shack or The Prayer of Jabez before it, when truth is mixed with error, then it becomes heralded as the new wonderful thing. The church embraces and promotes it because those who should know better … don’t.
“The Jesus of Scripture would be appalled by the ‘Jesus’ of this book, and I am sure is grieved over the misrepresentation,” he adds. “There are some pages where nothing objectionable can be found, so people let their guard down. The book was given to them by a friend, or purchased through their church bookstore, etc. It then becomes trusted and they fail to see the error of the mystical ‘Jesus’ found therein.”
Jesus Calling currently ranks No. 1 in the inspirational/general interest category, according to the Association for Christian Retail, or CBA. The children’s version ranks No. 2 for the 2014 children’s category and No. 3 in the young adult category for the teen edition.