Friday, January 22, 2010

Josh McDowell comes to MBC to discuss Oprah's Spirituality & Its Cultural Effect

I attended this function at my church tonight.  It was very good, though it seemed short--discussion could go on ad nauseum about all of these topics (Biblical reliability, current-day "spirituality").  They conducted a book signing after the presentation.  Here is an article that covered the event:

Church hosts early meeting of Oprah rebellion
Packed house listens to authors untwist teachings of a media empress

Posted: January 24, 2010
7:04 pm Eastern
By Alyssa Farah

McLEAN, Va. – Just outside of Washington, D.C., this week, two daring authors took on a media empress.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the most powerful women in the world, with a multi-billion dollar empire set to expand even further as she starts her own Oprah Winfrey television network. She is viewed by many as a de facto expert on matters ranging from politics to psychology to spirituality.

But two authors have dared to go against the tide and call into question Oprah's influence and spirituality in a book titled, "'O' God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah's Spirituality."

Friday evening, the co-authors of the book – renowned theologian Josh McDowell and up-and-coming author and theologian Dave Sterrett – spoke to a packed audience of more than 2,000 at McLean Bible Church in Northern Virginia. WND Books sponsored the event.

Josh McDowell kicked off the evening with his teaching titled, "The Bible: Fact, Fiction or Fable," which explored the historical evidence for the veracity of the Bible. The speech pulled from his best-selling book, "New Evidence that Demands a Verdict."

The second part of the evening was a dialogue between McDowell and Sterrett on Oprah Winfrey's spirituality. They discussed Oprah's power and influence in pop culture, politics and the media: According to one statistic, Oprah's endorsement of Barack Obama in the Democratic primary alone garnered him over 1 million votes.

Their book "'O' God" recounts Oprah's early life in the Christian church and how she fell away from the faith after hearing a sermon on Exodus 34:14, which states that God is a jealous god. Since then she has immersed herself in all different waves of philosophy and spiritual beliefs and has promoted pantheistic views that "all is God and god is all."

The authors of the book supported their assertions by showing just three of the best-selling books Oprah has urged fans to read, all of which teach anti-biblical messages.

"The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne was one of the books highlighted. It teaches people to employ the power of positive thinking to alter circumstances. According to McDowell and Sterrett, the book is full of theologically incorrect beliefs.

Dave Sterrett referenced 2 Timothy 3:5, which states that sinners have a "form of godliness but deny its power," then showed how Oprah's spiritual beliefs state that if a person looks within themselves they will see Christ. Christian doctrine, however, clearly states in 2 Corinthians 13:5 that people must look within themselves to see if Christ is within them or if they are, in fact, reprobate.

In the first lecture of the night, Josh McDowell explained that over 17 years and after asking more than 4,000 people, only 6 responded to the question, "why do you believe the Bible?" with a well-constructed, logically-sound, satisfactory answer.

He gave facts from his book "New Evidence that Demands a Verdict" comparing the Bible to other classic works and showing that the Bible we have today is far more accurate from a historian's standpoint. He noted that the Bible was compiled based on 24,633 manuscripts while Homer's Iliad was based on around 600 manuscripts.

"'O' God" follows the conversations of two girl friends representing the multitudes of Oprah fans who unwittingly place their faith in the hodgepodge of spirituality embedded in her popular TV talk show, magazine and webinars. In the end, a life-altering crisis helps crystallize the truth from counterfeit teachings.

"As Christian apologists who believe that salvation is by God's grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone, we wanted to create a fictional, almost Socratic dialogue that would cover many of the themes of Oprah Winfrey's spiritual teaching in recent years," the authors say in the book.

McDowell has spoken to more than 10 million young people in 84 nations and on more than 700 university and college campuses. He's authored or co-authored more than 110 books and workbooks, including the mega-hits "More Than a Carpenter," "The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict," and "Right From Wrong."

Sterrett is an educator, speaker and writer for Probe Ministries International in Plano, Texas. He teaches on Christ-centered living, Christian apologetics and true spirituality at conferences, schools and churches. He contributed to the "Apologetics Study Bible for Students."


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