The Berean Library

Identifying False Teaching in Christian Bookstores

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp (Bad Fruit)

Biblical Resources:

Dr. Gary Gilley’s Review

Bob DeWaay’s Review

John Samson’s Reviews here and here

Cindy’s Review, from No Ordinary Faith Blog

Warning: This book contains blasphemous, explicit sexual language for the purpose of describing a believer’s relationship, “Holy Fulfilling” to the Almighty, Eternal, Holy and Righteous Triune God, which is one reason it is in this library.  It is a twisted mockery and misinterpretation of The Holy Word of God and of great, past reformers and theologians, like Edwards and Spurgeon, who wrote with contemporary language of their day, not ours.  Thus, the reviews do contain quotes from the book for biblical examination only.  Fasten your seat belts and say a prayer to be able to ‘stomach it.’

Seriously, the pages I read at Amazon and the excerpts in reviews, was enough to discern its sensuality and paganism.    It’s as if this is a romance novel for bored Christian women… with the subject eventually being the L**d.  I can’t… No.  I won’t even type it here.  The first sentences of Chapter 1, right off, made me feel like, “Eeeks, should I be reading this!?  This is supposed to be Christian, biblical, and yet this can’t be leading to anything of spiritual value.  Quite the opposite is true.  It is appealing to the flesh!  This isn’t biblical!”  Is describing one’s birth in such a manner really appropriate for a Christian book?  It is unnecessarily descriptive for shock value to immediately draw the reader in… in a barbaric, primeval, seductive, sensual way.   In Mk 7:21-23, Rom 13:13 and Eph 4:19, sensuality is to be put off along with the “old man.”  Further, the tool of sensuality is something that Peter describes false teachers using, in 2 Pt 2:2. We see this specifically with the profuse practice of new spirituality infesting the church with mystical techniques such as contemplative prayer, repeated prayers, lectio divina, yoga, labyrinths, prayer candles and the like. She seems to have an infatuation for the word “blood,” as well.  Her sensual descriptions of stroking her dad’s hair and that of her brother-in-law’s visit at the back door are just the beginning of sensuality unraveling out of control in this book.  As I mentioned, at the end of the spool of thread, it poisonously affects one’s image of a redeemed relationship with the L**d.  Offering such words to a reader that conjure up revolting, sexual imagery with our Holy God is a far cry from “a holy experience,” the name of Ann’s blog.  Rather, it is a sinfully disturbing one.

In addition, I noted:  1)  a statement “after baptism…” her journey began.  Something to that affect.  As if that is the moment of salvation as the Church of Christ denomination wrongly believes; But in this case, it was an infant “christening.”  So, nothing mattered before the christening?  The value of life itself as given by the Creator?  And salvation does not occur at infant baptism which is, according to the Scriptures, for believers only;  2)  a tribute to a Catholic writer, Chesterton; 3) a claim that the author hears/heard God audibly, like Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer, which always undermines the sufficiency and supremacy of Scripture, while pointing to Gnosticism.  What’s with the female gnosticism in Christianity?  Allow me to inform you.  It’s another false movement in and of itself, which is contributed to and published by Lifeway Christian Stores!

Overall, with such sexual writings of these ‘encounters’ of “Holy Fillings,” finding herself with God, “in Paris,” the romance capital of the world for lovers, I am lead to believe this author has one seriously tainted imagination, is experimenting with contemplative prayer (demonic influence falsely interpreted as divine during mystic, transcendental meditation) or both.  Needless to say, beware, my sisters (and brothers) in the Lord.

To confirm that, her blog, a holy experience, does reveal the evidence of involvement with and promotion of transcendental meditation!  Several pictures of prayer candles, in the form of a labyrinth, are present as well as the false teachings of pagan mystics like Phyllis Tickle, Brennan Manning, Richard Foster, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Henry Nouwen, etc., in authors/books being recommended.

-Karla Tadler

 

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Posted in ANN VOSKAMP and Catholicism and Emergent/Post-Modern/Neo-Liberal Church and New Spirituality/Contemplative Spirituality/New Age/Mysticism/New Revelation and Romantic Panentheism and Seeker-Sensitive/Church Growth/Purpose-Driven and Universalism and/or Ecumenism.

20 comments

20 comments on “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp (Bad Fruit)

  1. Christina on said:

    Thanks for posting this Karla.

    I’m not sure what bothers me more — the fact that so many women are buying into this or, the fact that most of them do not want to hear that the god they have crafted and are worshiping is not the God of scripture.

    I appreciate you spreading the word.

  2. Karla Tadler on said:

    Thanks, Christina! I was blessed and counted it a privilege in Christ to be asked to address it. This was a new author for me. The book was just shared with me today by a dear sister in the Lord who explained there has been quite a buzz about it on-line, in a devastating way. That there has been much deception fueled by the author’s false teachings, especially toward women. May this post, and others’ who are addressing it as well, be used in some small way to get sheep out of the fog of this false gospel of mysticism and gnosticism, etc. and into the Light of the True Gospel of Christ!

  3. Christina on said:

    Yes, and like most — maybe ALL falsehoods, the problem is that so much of her “stuff” is mixed with truth. For example, her expressions of gratitude. Of course, we as Christians (especially women) know that that a heart of gratitude is a good quality and one that is a mark of godliness. Contentment and humility are good things however they are not the path to God. The only way is through repentance and faith.

    I recently came across this as well, which obviously disappointed me. While I agree with the article, I was extremely disappointed to see the reference to Voskamp’s book in such a positive way.

    http://www.ligonier.org/blog/lady-gaga-psalmists-perspective/

    I’ll probably reach out to them at some point this week.

    At any rate, Happy Resurrection Day!

  4. Elizabeth on said:

    Hi Karla & Christina:)

    The recent publication of Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are” is certainly an issue, given the excessive error of language and connotation and mishandling of Scripture, and is one that warrants our sounding the alarm. Thank you both for your efforts in this way.

    I read the Ligonier Ministries blog post you linked to above, Christina, and to find a “twice-removed” endorsement of Voskamp’s book is disheartening, to say the least. It is representative of the kind of error that slips in through the cracks unawares. I pray it will be a lesson to the watchmen at Ligonier Ministries website that it’s never a good time to be sleeping on the job.
    -E

  5. Karla Tadler on said:

    Hello Sisters!! The Lord is Risen!!

    Very “disheartening,” indeed. Just saw the Ligonier blog. Thanks for sharing that Christina! While ‘sleepiness’ can and does occur with any good soldier of the Lord, and would be the best case scenario as an oversight, if you will, but my ‘fear’ is that it is actually a deceived willingness to publish such fondness for counterfeit work. I have seen this happen on other blogs of otherwise notably sound and trusted ministries.

    ‘Blind spots’ are making there way into the discernment lenses of ministries who have been characteristically very discerning in the past. My prayers are included for Ligonier to readjust their Berean bi-focals for examining writings/teachings, by the grace of God and His Word. And may He continue to give biblical discernment to all of His flock so we may serve Him as His faithful slaves, all to His glory alone.

  6. Robert Johnson on said:

    You state, “Thanks, Christina! I was blessed and counted it a privilege in Christ to be asked to address it. This was a new author for me. The book was just shared with me today by a dear sister in the Lord who explained there has been quite a buzz about it on-line, in a devastating way.”

    What? You just heard of it today and now you post a scathing review of a book you have not read. Not only does Ligoneer endorse the book through it’s review “World Magazine” and other leading and respected Christian leaders do as well. You could be in real peril of slander with the terms you use in your article.

    Having read the book twice I can tell you there is NO use of sexual language in the book. That you write the book contains, “explicit sexual language” is absolutely wrong and then you attribute a motive to it. That is slanderous and puts you in legal jeopardy.

  7. Karla Tadler on said:

    ex·plic·it (k-splst)
    adj.
    1.
    a. Fully and clearly expressed; leaving nothing implied.
    b. Fully and clearly defined or formulated: “generalizations that are powerful, precise, and explicit” (Frederick Turner).
    2. Forthright and unreserved in expression: They were explicit in their criticism.
    3.
    a. Readily observable: an explicit sign of trouble.
    b. Describing or portraying nudity or sexual activity in graphic detail. (c/p from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/explicit )

    Robert, with all due respect, if you do not agree that this book contains explicit sexual language/imagery, then your vocabulary is seriously flawed with redefined terms and lucid meanings.

    I read enough of the book to be highly offended at its *blasphemy* and *slander* of the Lord and His Name and Word. Not to mention the false teaching of the paganism contained within. I did not offer a “review” as you have stated, but have merely addressed what I read, as I indicated, along with the teachings on her blog. There are other full, discerning reviews offered in my post, however.

    Like Pastor Samson said in his first review, I also did not want to continue with buying the book as it was “sickening!” As well, Pastor Samson asks with intelligence, “How is something like kind of sexual imagery to be taught to children, if indeed the Lord wanted us to view our relationship with Him like this?” Can you think about that for a moment? Do you have children?

    At any rate, Ann’s blog also speaks for itself. Even if she never wrote the book, what she teaches and promotes there is slanderously false. She and any other, including myself, is subject to Berean examination. In doing so, I found that she is a proponent of the contemplative prayer movement (CPM) and the emergent church movement (ECM). etc, as I noted above. There is no greater crime than to misrepresent God’s truth. Beware!

    Also, you just endorsed not only Ann, but what Ligonier has done, and others, by promoting Ann’s book, which in no way helps them toward godly sorrow which leads to true repentance and salvation. That kind of flattery is a very unloving thing to do. Telling the truth, which we are here, on the hand is not ear-tickling flattery, but loving!

    Secondly, you sit in judgment of the Lord when He imparts discernment to His people, by His Spirit and Word. You are putting yourself in a seat I do not recommend. >>> How long it should take or not take to examine work like a good Berean, is not up to you. This is also blasphemous and idolatrous to be in such judgment of the Lord and His work in His people. This book has been correctly discerned here as well as by others, like John Samson and Christina and Elizabeth. All by God’s grace, truth and Spirit, to His glory alone.

    I am praying for 2 Tim 2:25-26 for the author who is feeding the appetite of the flesh of those who wish to have such indulgences apart from God’s Word.

    In light of seeing that you are deceived, I believe, by this kind of teaching, I would encourage you with 2 Cor 13:5. Not only you, but All of us, daily! A red flag would be if one does not have a LOVE for the TRUTH (2 Thess 2:10-12), but rather for what is FALSE.

  8. Jessica on said:

    Robert,
    All of these quotes are from the last chapter:

    “I fly to Paris and discover how to make love to God.”

    “God lays down all of His fullness into all the emptiness. I am in Him. He is in me. I embrace God in the moment. I give Him thanks and I bless God and we meet and couldn’t I make love to God, making every moment love for Him? To know Him the way Adam knew Eve.”

    (My note – Genesis 4:1 “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” Clearly the way Adam knew Eve was sexual)

  9. Jessica on said:

    Here’s another one from the last chapter:
    “I want to be in God and God to be in me, to exchange love and blessings and caresses and, like the apostle-pilgrims, my eyes open and I know it because of this burning of the heart: this moment is a divine interchange. I raise my hand slightly, finger imperceptibly the air before the canvas and this is intercourse disrobed of its connotations, pure and unadulterated: a passing between. A connection, a communicating, an exchange, between tender Bridegroom and His bride.”

    Not only is that highly sensual, its also panentheistic. We cannot commune with God through paintings.

  10. Belinda on said:

    Thank you for posting this article. I hope more people have their eyes opened to the truth. It is truly saddening to me how many people are following her blog and reading her book without doing research on the things she practices.

  11. Karla Tadler on said:

    Thank you Jessica and Belinda!

    Yes, thank you Jessica for posting those reprehensible quotes from the book in the comments. They are also in Samson’s reviews, which clearly gives the reader insight as to why we would use the terms “sickening” and “blasphemous” to describe this work.

  12. Karla Tadler on said:

    There is a Correction: *Two* sisters told me about this book… the first time, I was too busy to take it on. I am so thankful it was brought to my attention the first time and the second time!!!

  13. Cindy on said:

    I wrote a review of this book with similar concerns at my book blog and also posted one of the negative reviews at Amazon. Thank you for your review. Totally agree!

  14. Karla Tadler on said:

    Thanks Cindy for sharing your review with us!! God Bless you! It has been added to this post in The Berean Library! Glad to hear you weighed in with the truth at Amazon for the sake of the sheep! :)

  15. Sharon G. on said:

    I just finished the book. I only read it because it was picked for my book club. I have had major problems with the entire book. Every single page. I don’t even know where to start to explain the creepy parts because she twists scripture, treats her opinions as facts, pushes endless if/then statements in order to convince readers that her counterfeit beliefs are reasonable…it reminded me of the morals and ethics philosophy class I took in college. The professor tried to lull the students into believing what he believed, through constant twisting…

  16. hippie4ever on said:

    Wow.

    Thank you for posting excerpts from the book. I was a subscriber to Holy Experience *just now unsubscribed*. Linked there from another blog and read a post of interest, so I subscribed. I often don’t have time to read posts and just delete them to clear my account, but the few times I have there has been an unsettling in my spirit. There is nothing like hearing from the horse’s mouth, those excerpts are disgusting. I hadn’t read the book and obviously won’t

  17. Karla Tadler on said:

    hippie4ever,

    Praise the Lord!! \0/ Thanks for your feedback. Hopefully, it was *helpful* finding this blog. That is why we do what we do, all to the glory of God! Lord bless you!

  18. Masha on said:

    Thank you for posting this Karla!!!

    As i read these.. I was really shocked.. Its a big help to every one like me to know the truth.. Thank you for spreading this.. I hope that everyone will be aware also.. not just only reading but do some searching..
    Thank you for informing me..I learned from this..

    May the sovereign God bless you always Karla!!!

    Soli deo gloria!!!!

  19. Carissa on said:

    Thank you for posting this. More believers need to speak out against this book. I’m sick of all the fanfare and overall notion of earning our way to the Father or receiving miracles because of our thankfulness. In the first chapter she speaks of our thankfulness saving us. That was the first major red flag… Only Christ saves. Period. Nothing on my own doing. Not to mention the sensuality in the last chapter… Christian woman want Jesus to be their High Prince rather than High Priest and seek to romanticize their relationship with Him. It’s sickening. My church is bringing her in to speak in the spring… It makes me sad to no end.

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