Saturday, June 25, 2011

1000 Gifts~A Warning

Dear Readers,

This post may not be popular to some, but I feel I must make it regardless, in part because I know a few of my readers want to read the book 1000 Gifts (or are in the process of reading it), plus I also have mentioned in the past that I received this book and was excited to read it.  There are good things about the book, as the articles I am going to direct you to point out:

"Ann Voskamp’s sincerity and her desire for a relationship with the Lord are unarguable. Her honesty in her own shortcomings and frailties is admirable. Her description of how she witnessed the death of her baby sister (run over by a farm truck) when she herself was very young is heart-wrenching. What’s more, few would disagree with the overall key theme of the book that we should give thanks to God in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Voskamp shares how practicing thanksgiving and gratitude has changed her life. Thinking about 1 Timothy 6:6 (“godliness with contentment is great gain”), it is true that being thankful and content does have great gain in the believers life."

But there are also things to be aware of.  It was not long after I began reading this book that I felt that something was wrong.  When reading Ann's visualization of how Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden and how she said that their sin was not being thankful, I just could not agree.  Does God want us to be thankful?  Yes, of course He does.  But was that the main issue when Adam and Eve fell from grace?  No, I don't think so.  Their sin was simply and purely their disobedience to God, as with every sin.

It may seem like a trivial thing, but it stood out to me and at that point, I put the book aside.

There are some other things that are very concerning to me as a follower of Christ:

"It is clear by reading One Thousand Gifts that Ann Voskamp reads and admires several mystics, panentheists, and universalists. Her book is peppered with quotes by Sarah Ban Breathnach (a New Age author launched into stardom by Oprah), Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Evelyn Underhill, Brennan Manning,  Annie Dillard, Thomas Acquinas, Buddhist sympathizer and Catholic convert Peter Kreeft, Walter Brueggemann, Francis de Sales, Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Henri Nouwen, and Jean-Pierre de Caussade. Many of the statements Voskamp says in her book  would resonate with these authors showing that Voskamp has absorbed some of the beliefs of these people. In addition, Voskamp’s popular blog lists a number of contemplative/emerging authors on her book list page: Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline),  Adele Ahlberg Calhoun (Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, a primer on Eastern style meditation), and emerging church author Phyllis Tickle are included."

There is more, but I will leave it to you to read, research, and draw your own conclusions.

Ann Voskamp’s Best Selling Book One Thousand Gifts – A Collision of Inspiration and the New Spirituality 
Romantic Panentheism, a Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp 

Matthew 10:16


Emily said...

I'm a new reader to your blog, it's precious!
This is the first time I have learned of concerns regarding the book. I just finished reading through 1000 gifts for the second time and did not pick up on or research where some of her quotes were taken from, interesting to know...I'll have to look into it more.

Blessed Homemaking said...

She also talks about "making love to God" in her book, something that is quite alarming. I encourage you to read the articles. Thank you for your sweet compliment.

Anonymous said...

I followed you over from Home Living and wanted to thank you for the warning. I had heard such glowing reports about the book and had it on my wishlist to buy, but now I think my money is better spent elsewhere. Those other reviews were quite alarming!


Blessed Homemaking said...

You are welcome, Jane. I'm glad I could help.

Emily said...

Mrs. Q,
I will read those other two reviews that you shared, as well.(thank you) You know, when thinking back, there were a couple of statements, I thought were "odd". I am usually so careful and guarded about the books I read, I am disappointed in myself for not looking further into this. A learning lesson.

Blessed Homemaking said...

Sometimes it is easy to "overlook" things when we hear so many good things about something (a book, movie, etc.) in our Christian circles. That is why I felt I had to make this post--to hopefully make those aware who were not already.

God bless,
Mrs. Q

Nabila Grace said...

Interesting! I will have to check out the links when I have more time. Thanks for this post. I don't have her book but enjoy her blog but haven't ever gotten swept away in it if that makes sense. :o) I'll let you know what I think. :o)

Nabila Grace said...

Well...I'm convicted on that now. Oh my :o) Thanks for the warning. I will enjoy her blog from a distance and not hold her words in my hands to transform my thoughts to things that aren't totally biblical. Thank you again! :o)

Blessed Homemaking said...

You are welcome, dear Nabila!

Don and Shelly said...

Q, we have not read her book but your information is truly eye-opening. We had NO idea that these things were there or about those that were quoted in the book. Well, that's one we can take off of the list...

Blessed Homemaking said...

Glad it was helpful.

~Mrs. Q

Arlene said...

Thank you for bringing these points up, Mrs. Q! I had only heard good things about her book and was hoping to read it soon. Scary how little thoughts can be planted into our minds so easily without our noticing sometimes... I appreciate your posting this reminder for us to always partake in things with caution.

Blessed Homemaking said...

You are very welcome, Arlene.

~Mrs. Q

Joy said...

Thank you so much for posting this very well-written article, Mrs. Q! When I saw the title of your post, I knew I had to read it.

I recently finished reading this book. There was so much that was good about the book, as you pointed out, especially the encouragement to have a thankful heart. But as I got further into the book, I confess I continually had a strange feeling that some of what I was reading just didn't match my own beliefs.

I had several conversations with my husband about the book while I was reading it. He is very familiar with New Age philosophy and also with the teachings of the emerging church. He regularly reads Lighthouse Trails, also. I had mentioned some of the authors that Ann quotes from in the book, and my husband was familiar with their teachings and writings. He cautioned me about using discernment in what I was reading.

I think your warning is very much needed. Pretty much everyone is speaking well of the book, which is one reason to think there might be something amiss.

"Woe to you when all men speak well of you..." Luke 6:26.

Thank you for including the links to the Lighthouse Trails articles; I intend to read them when I get a chance.

May the Lord bless you for being willing to stand up for truth no matter what it costs!

Blessed Homemaking said...

Thank you so much, Joy. How wonderful that you were able to get confirmation on your "strange feelings" through your husband and here as well.

God bless,
Mrs. Q

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Q,

I will be the first to admit that this book, "1,000 Gifts" is not one my favorites. I started reading it, but I think by the time I finished chapter 6 (or 7) I lost interest in the book.

From what I have read, I think that she makes some interesting points on certain subjects, but I don't always agree with what she has written. Also, some parts of the book I read just seemed to be a bit vague. I wasn't sure exactly what point she was trying to make.

Anyway, thank you for the additional research information regarding this book. It was truly eye-opening.

-An Ordinary Woman

Simply Shelley said...

I was thinking of the same scripture quoted above by Joy
"Woe to you when all men speak well of you..." Luke 6:26.
I,like others haven't read the book....but,anything I do read I feel it needs to be line upon line with God's Holy to not teach anything contrary....thank you for sharing your thoughts is a wise thing that you have shared them with others...blessings

Blessed Homemaking said...

You are welcome ladies. Thank you for your comments.

~Mrs. Q

Anonymous said...

excellent points Emily!! thank you!!

Blessed Homemaking said...

You're welcome, Tami.

Carol J. Alexander said...

Thank you for this warning, Mrs. Q. I have not read the book and, in fact, just discovered A Holy Experience (Ann's blog). She has had a couple posts recently that have spurred me on to greater works (on scripture reading and memorization) and for that I am thankful. But, like was said previously, we have to be discerning in all things; but especially the spiritual. I will keep my eyes peeled in the future and will check out the links you share.

Missy said...

This book has recently been put on my to read list. I will definitely check out the links and info you give before I purchase and read this book. Thank you for this post and info. I feel we must be so very careful about what we allow to come into our minds. In Christ, Missy

Blessed Homemaking said...

You're welcome, Missy. I hope you look into the articles and yes, be careful.

Mrs. Q

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. Q.

I have not read the book nor plan to read it, not because of the hoopla behind it but because I don't read her blog, so I was not interested.

But in regards to Richard Foster, I have read his book Celebration of Disciplines and found his book filled with biblical truth. He is a Quaker Pastor, so there is no 'new age' belief in any of his writings. As to the others, I have not read them, so I can not comment.

We do have to be careful in what we read, since through our minds is where our renewing must come from.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Mrs. Q.

Blessings to you and yours....

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. Q.,

After leaving a comment here, I began to search for some of the issues that you mentioned.

I went and read the articles that you linked to.

I did a search on contemplative prayer, which seems to be a form of chanting that is now used in the 'emerging church' and yes, I can definitely see the point.

As well, as I enjoyed reading Richard Foster, I can share here, that He did not move me to think like him or to do any kind of chanting.

I still felt that the book was useful and really continued to point me to Jesus Christ.

Like you shared here in your blog, we, as readers, must be careful and watch what we read.

We should never be persuaded to follow blindly, but instead to only read Scripture and stay there!

Thank you Mrs. Q. for standing up and sharing this with all of us.

(Now to get rid of the Foster's books. )


Blessed Homemaking said...

Maria~I am glad you looked into it. We must test things with the Word of God.

~Mrs. Q

Holly said...

I was just checking out your blog, which I love btw and has been such a blessing for me, and I came across this post.

I have heard so many people praise this book for so many reasons. I have never read it, and was actually going to check it out until I read all of the information in this post. Thanks for bringing this to light! I find it to be disturbing. I probably would not have been able to finish the book and would dare not pass it on.

God Bless you, Mrs. Q and your discernment. :)

Rightthinker said...

Thank you so much for this truth. So MUCH of the "Christian community" we must be aware of and search our own hearts, convictions and the Word of God to discern truth!

Truth is not feeling..truth is Jesus Christ, and the Gospel!

Thank you again, and I wish I would have found this over a year ago, as I struggled with "why am I the only woman who doesn't love this book? (it seemed that way) Why am I struggling so badly with the theology? The passion in a fleshy, making love with our husband sort of way...??"

God Bless you, and keep up the beautiful work of God on this blog!

Jessica Kramasz said...

I totally agree with you. I, too, was troubled by her statement that the original sin was ingratitude. And, there hardly seems to be a mystic that she doesn't quote either on her blog or in the book.
Thanks for linking to my blog - I appreciate it.

Kendra@Living In the Shoe said...

I found this and will totally agree with you! In fact, I put my own review up on my blog concerning this book and the dangers I felt were in it. I, too, had that feeling that something wasn't right, which got worse as the book went on.

Thank you for being willing to speak up!