Friday, February 10, 2006

Beth Moore discusses the 5 points?

Update/Disclaimer: My intent with this post is to discuss and gather opinions, not condemn, Beth Moore's teaching material and whether Ms. Moore's material are consistent with a reformed/conservative understanding of scripture. I do not deny at all that The Lord has used Ms. Moore's materials to bless many people, or that her heart is to sincerely serve the Lord. If you read this and have an opinion, please let me know. Thanks! ya didn't I. No, Ms. Moore is not discussing Calvinism, but instead in the latest edition of Modern Reformation Magazine, Susan Disston from the PCA reviews Moore's book Believing God and also her teaching system. About Moore's 5 points, Ms. Disston writes,
"Moore offers her readers the ticket to the Promised Land that will turn passive faith into “action verb” faith. It is five-point pledge of faith that is memorized and spoken out loud daily: God is who he says he is; God can do what he says he can do; I am who God says I am; I can do all things through Christ; God’s Word is alive and active in me. The pledge is designed to overcome doubts about God’s power and goodness, to bolster faith in miracles, to claim one’s adoption into God’s family through Christ, and to open the Christian to receiving personalized messages from God both through the Bible and through daily interventions."

Ms. Disston also makes these observations about Beth Moore's teaching characteristics,

"Moore is a pragmatist. When she reads the Bible she expects it to speak to her about her life in practical ways. She uses the people and stories in the Bible as allegories of the Christian life to explain how Christians can be defeated or victorious. Their destiny depends on how they respond to God. The equation is simple, according to Moore; the more faith they exercise, the better their reward in this life. Her books, Bible studies, videos, and speaking ministry follow a similar pattern of self-disclosure, plucky faith that is determined to overcome, and confirmation from the Bible that Christians can and do experience victory over sin, deliverance from bondage, and successful Christianity."

Is anyone else somewhat uneasy about this description. On first read it doesn't sound so bad, but then I became more uncomfortable with the phrase "the more faith they exercise".

More from the article,

Although she wants to be theological and Christ-centered, too much of Moore’s material is about her take on her experience with God. Her writing tends to be undisciplined and shallow. She is far too willing to gloss over uncomfortable theological implications in favor of feel-good stories and quick explanations. Knowing God comes through experience; most sin is the result of failing to believe and be delivered; repentance is rarely mentioned. Her bent toward mysticism permits her to circumvent traditional theological interpretations and indulge in explanations of her own design that are more reasonable and satisfying to her sensibilities... Basically she says, don’t let theology and doctrine confuse you when you can figure it out with God for yourself in a way that works for you. Unfortunately, people who use her materials can’t help but absorb some of that reasoning. Even more troubling is that they think they’re doing Bible study when they are really getting a heavy dose of mysticism, storytelling, psychology, and prosperity gospel. In the introduction to Believing God, Moore shows her true, but mistaken, agenda when she says, “I know I’m going to make it to heaven because I’ve trusted Christ as my Savior, but I want to make it to my Canaan on the way. I want to finish my race in the Promised Land, not in the wilderness. You too? Then we have to cash in our fear and complacency and spend all we have on the only ticket out: BELIEF.”

In conclusion Ms. Disston comes to the following opinion,

There are many worthy goals of Bible study, but securing heaven on earth is not one of them, at least for Reformed Christians. And the surest way to get off track is to add human effort to what God has already done in the cross of Christ, even when it’s called believing God or faith. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation. Everything else is of grace in the Christian experience, too, thanks be to God.

Well, I can unreservedly give that a hearty AMEN. My question is, what do you think of this review? Should Beth Moore be avoided by Reformed Christians, or can we pick and choose with a discerning eye from her studies? Enquiring minds want to know.



Dax said...

Excellent post. Would you be willing to submit this in our monthly newsletter at Ephesus? I think it would be most beneficial to everyone.

Randy said...

This is an excellent review. For quite some time I have been concerned that so many of our womens' studies have been based on those done by Beth Moore. We can be discerning, but one's theology colors everything one says or does. Another reason to do actual BIBLE studies using tried and true the BIBLE.

Dax said...

Congrats to the new papa. Where's my cigar?

Russ said...

Dax & Randy,

Thanks for your comments. This is an issue that I feel needs to be discussed and prayed about.


4given said...

There are actually quite a few women genuinely concerned with the teaching from Beth Moore (I am one of them). However, there are numerous Beth Moore fans that have e-mailed me calling me all sorts of names because I wrote a post encouraging women to be very careful. I believe Susan Disston's review is a dead-on analysis...

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