Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Review : Four Cups

Book Review of Four Cups by Chris Hodges

From the back cover:

"What if God has a plan for you from the very beginning?

The God of the universe has made you some big promises. He made them first in the Old Testament,  but they remain at the core of his heart and have never changed.  They're the key to your fulfillment and to his plans for you, both in this life and the life to come.

*God wants to rescue you from bondage
*He wants to deliver you from whatever holds you back
*He wants you to discover his original intention for your life
*And he wants you to be a part of a family that is making a difference.....

Steeped in Jewish history and tradition yet breathing the transforming hope of Jesus on every page, Four Cups will help you move forward through the four stages of faith.  Your thirst for more will finally be quenched-and you will experience a wellspring of joy, hope and purpose."

While the historical background of the book is interesting and the basis for the book seems biblical, there are some errors that keep me from being able to highly recommend it.

I appreciate that the author makes a point to explain that Jesus is our deliverer and that it is His death on the cross that secured our redemption and the other three cups-Sanctification, Deliverance and Praise are rightly defined.

I also applaud the fact that he pointed out that our freedom from the bondage of sin allows us to be free in order to "love Him, to be in a relationship with Him, and to live out the fulfilling purpose for which He created us."  Many authors/speakers today do not teach this 'freedom' in a biblical way.

Concerning the cup of Sanctification, the author points out that, "He sees every person on earth as His child, though some are still lost."  This is biblically incorrect.  The lost are never referred as God's children.  They are His creation, but they are called "objects of wrath" in Ephesians 2:3.  Romans 9:8 says, "this means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of promise are counted as offspring." Also in 1 John 3:10 it is clearly stated, "By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil; whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one that does not love his brother."

Another area of the book that gave me great pause is that the author used a known atheist/secular psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow and his 'heirarchy of needs' to prove a point of one of his four cups.  He even went as far as to state that he believed Maslow was right that we need our basic needs met before we can be functional in this society and be used by God.  We must be very careful here! First, there is no place to use humanistic and ungodward thought to prove the promises of God! His Word is enough!  Authors must beware of using a little secular thought and a little of the bible and mixing it to make a perfect and palatable morsel.  His Word is enough!  And God never ever says we need our basic needs met to be usable and fulfilled in His kingdom.

While I believe the authors intentions were to write a book to encourage and aid Christians, I would only recommend the book to a mature Christian who has learned to discern and one who will read it (as we should read EVERY book other than the bible) with their bible open to prove it against the Word of God.

 I have received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.