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About a year ago, I began reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book The Best Yes. I wasn’t too familiar with Lysa so I did some research and was disappointed to learn that her church permits her to have authority teaching over men, a violation of 1 Timothy 2:12 (please note, however, that women are called to teach women who are younger in the faith as commanded in Titus 2:3). My discouragement grew as I realized that her church also used her book for teaching during regular church services rather than the Bible.
With the release of Lysa’s latest book, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely, I was curious to see how she would encourage readers to handle rejection Biblically.
Uninvited begins with Lysa telling the story of how she personally experienced rejection from her father as a child and how it impacted her as she became an adult. Uninvited is largely autobiographical with a bit of Bible sprinkled in.
Uninvited does contain some truths presented in its pages including, “He (Jesus) was betrayed, mocked, abandoned, beaten, crucified, and buried. . . His crucifixion on the cross became the defeat of death. His broken body became the resurrection hope for the world,” (pg. 175).
However, the bulk of this book leaves much to be desired when it comes to understanding how to handle rejection the way Jesus did and would. The tone of the book is saturated with feel good, self help advice that appears to be aimed at scratching the itching ears mentioned by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:3. Uninvited seems to encourage Christian women to pull themselves up by their boot straps rather than fix their eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-4) who Isaiah 53:3 tells us, “. . . was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces. . .”
With all this in mind, here are 3 of the red flags I found while reading Uninvited:
- Lysa claims to receive direct revelation from God – “And that’s when a very clear sentence popped into my head. You aren’t set aside, Lysa. You are set apart. It wasn’t audible. And it wasn’t my own thought. I knew it was a thought assigned by God that I needed to ponder (pg. 102).” Although it is Biblically true that God’s people are set apart, in the sense that He has redeemed them for Himself, Lysa’s thought isn’t from Scripture and therefore, it is inappropriate to assign it authority from God. Direct revelation is a problem that is all too common in Christian literature today, especially that which is aimed at women. This statement violates multiple passages of Scripture that warn against adding to what God has said in His Word (Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:6, Revelation 22:18). If Lysa’s thought truly was assigned by God, it would have made sense for her to mention where she found it in His Word, but she neglected to do so.
Peter was a disciple of Christ and His close friend, the one upon whom He would build His church. Although Peter physically heard God, he still urged believers to consider Scripture more trustworthy than his experience. This same thinking should be applied anytime someone claims to receive revelation from God apart from Scripture.
- Lysa uses multiple Bible translations – I’m not sure why this is other than certain translations seem to fit better with what she is saying. God’s Word must be handled with care. It is of utmost importance to know the context of what is being said as well as the author’s intended meaning. To truly understand what Scripture says, it makes the most sense to read translations that are based closely on the original text of God’s Word as written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. The Bible is called God’s Word because it’s about Him. Attempting to mold His Word to fit our own understanding is prideful and blasphemous causing us to lose sight of His holiness.
- One of the multiple translations Lysa uses is The Voice which is a paraphrase of the Bible using modern language. I had never heard of The Voice prior to reading Uninvited so I decided to research it. I found out that the translation team for The Voice included many pastors (male and female), professors and “Christian” artists, including musicians and writers. The Voice website states, “A new Bible translation that reads like a story with all of the truth and wisdom of God’s word,” however, I must greatly question the authenticity of this “translation” when Biblical commands were ignored in its making, including the addition of female pastors as part of the team. I am NOT saying that women can’t help translate the Bible, although that is something I, personally, have rarely seen. I am saying that as those who are commanded to test everything, we must question the authenticity of a “translation” whose team is composed of individuals who are showing a blatant disregard for God’s Word.
These are 3 of the many red flags I found in Uninvited and therefore I do not recommend it. Lysa is a self proclaimed Bible teacher (pg. 126,) so it is my sincere hope that she will grow in her knowledge and application of God’s Word and I know, based on my claims in this post as well as on this blog, that this must be what I hope for myself as well.
Blogger Michelle Lesley said, “It’s my prayer that Lysa will repent of the areas in which she is acting against Scripture, learn biblical hermeneutics so she can rightly handle God’s word, and have a tremendous – doctrinally sound – impact on the thousands of women who love her so much,” – I share the same heart.
With the popularity of Lysa’s books and ministry, I am sure that this review will not be well received but I take knowing and applying God’s Word seriously and I urge believers, especially women to do the same.
I received Uninvited compliments of BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.