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Are there any doctrinal problems with Jesus Calling?

Jesus Calling
Question: "Is Jesus Calling a good book? Are there any doctrinal problems with Jesus Calling?"

Jesus Calling, written by Sarah Young, has become an exceedingly popular book since its first release in 2004. Readers have been encouraged to live in God’s presence and listen for His voice. The devotionals are based on messages the author claims to have received from Jesus and are passed along to the reader as if God is talking.

GotQuestions.org cautions readers of Jesus Calling. Young’s writings should not be seen as new revelation from God. The Bible is complete and contains everything we need “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). While Young admits that her work is different from God’s Word, some readers equate her devotions as Jesus’ words to them personally. This conclusion is understandable, since Young tells the reader that the words are from God Himself. In the mind of the reader, how can words from God be any less authoritative than the Bible? If the words are from God, how are they not inspired?

In earlier editions of the book, Young describes her inspiration for Jesus Calling. She discovered a little booklet called God Calling, written by two anonymous “listeners.” Young may not have known that the authors of God Calling used the occult practice of automatic writing to receive their messages. Even so, Young said, “These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from [God]. This little paperback became a treasure to me. It dove-tailed remarkably well with my longing to live in Jesus’ Presence.” The references to the controversial book God Calling have been removed from recent editions of Jesus Calling.

Young may be sincere in her desire to encourage believers, but putting words in Jesus’ mouth is always dangerous. Claiming to speak for God is the same as taking the mantle of prophetess. God has already spoken. He designed that we hear Him in His Word, the Bible, which is the only authoritative book. Young yearned for something more than God’s inspired Word, and that yearning is the faulty premise for the book Jesus Calling.

A more detailed review of Jesus Calling can be found here.

Recommended Resource: Jesus Calling review by Tim Challies

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