Question: I’m concerned about a book a friend gave me written by Jackie Green and Lauren Green McAfee titled Only One Life. I was reluctant to read it because it was endorsed by Priscilla Shirer, who is into contemplative spirituality, but then I saw that Joni Eareckson Tada and Kay Arthur were also endorsers, so I was more confident about reading it. I’d like to get your impression if you have time to review it.
Response: There are a number of things about the book that trouble me for the sake of the women reading it. I’ll give you just two, and you decide how critical they are in regard to understanding what God’s Word says and what man or woman has added to it—the latter, which I’m hopeful you know, is condemned (Proverbs:30:5-6; Revelation:22:18-19). Chapter one includes “information about Esther” from the Book of Esther, which is found nowhere in the text. It tells us that she sang Psalm 23 to calm her “racing heart” in fear of the king. “Esther doesn’t belong,” we are told. “She is not of royal descent. She is no princess, let alone a Queen—at least that’s what the voices inside her head are telling her. Worse still, she’s Jewish.” And, “Every day her heart cries out in wonder, What am I doing here?... We suspect that the voices inside Esther’s head are the voices you’ve heard as well.”; “Outside the king’s chambers, her feet scuffle on the palace floor, and her heart catches in her throat. And twenty seconds of insane courage seize the outcast girl as she enters the forbidden room for permission to speak.” Those are not God’s words. They are an example of what man thinks, not what God has said. That’s called eisegesis.
The women selected throughout the book as models to be followed are a mixture of believers, false teachers, and unbelievers. For example, Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia was thoroughly Roman Catholic. Her generosity may have had temporal value, but her Catholic beliefs could save no one.
Sarah Young’s and Beth Moore’s two-way “conversations” with God are favorably approved. Marilyn Hickey and Christine Caine, both a part of the heretical word/faith-prosperity gospel movement are advocated as models for women to follow. Caine’s mentor is Joyce Meyer, who preaches a false Christ.
The most serious error of the book is that it contains no clear gospel, nor a well-defined salvation statement from those who gave a testimony. Without the biblical gospel presented, the book points toward “works salvation,” especially to its unsaved readers and implies “another gospel” for those who may be saved. Our prayer in exposing these is that even a few eyes will be opened and hearts will be pricked by recognizing the distortion of truth that is taking place right before our eyes in our churches and among “Christian” women’s conferences. The If:Gathering is just one example among many conferences that are leading Christian women away from God’s Word.