confronted by the type of inanity which so dominates the Modern
Evangelical New Testament American Christian (MENTAC) landscape
today, one is tempted to become cynical and angry-sins as grievous
as the inanity itself. In his book, The Prayer of Jabez &
Christian Spirituality-A Critical Evaluation of Bruce Wilkinson’s
Teachings, Matthew Power acknowledges this temptation from
the outset and states his intention to “avoid prejudicial
or unnecessarily harsh remarks….” He manages to achieve
his goal-the tone of his writing is firm but charitable, scholarly
his critique where Wilkinson would have been well advised to begin-with
a strong foundational review of some basic principles of Biblical
interpretation. Once he sets the Jabez’ prayer in context
(something that Wilkinson never does), we see the real glory of
this brief passage!
of the book is a very important discussion of the present state
of American Evangelical Christianity as illustrated by Wilkinson’s
work. Power addresses either directly or indirectly the tragic
results of Dispensationalism and Pelagianism which have so permeated
our contemporary Christian culture.
briefly (but thoroughly) the issues of Open Theism, individualism,
triumphalism and syncretism which have resulted from the mindset
permeating the church today. Do not get the impression that the
author sets the blame for all the ills of the MENTAC Church on
Wilkinson’s small book. He does, however, show very clearly
how such theological mindlessness originates within the breeding
ground of what sadly passes for Evangelicalism.
I highly recommend
this book to anyone who wishes to get a better understanding of
Wilkinson’s work specifically or to anyone who wishes to
better understand the culture of American Christianity. Power
has done a commendable job and one can only pray that we will
hear more of him and those of his ilk in the future.
RE Presbyterian Church in America