The Agony of Deceit

By Michael Horton
Chicago : Moody (1990). 284 Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Richard Mayhue
1.2 (Fall 1990) : 0-0

This courageous volume confronts the errant theology that dominates Christian television. Well-known conservatives such as R. C. Sproul, Walter Martin, and C. Everett Koop are among the contributors. The book will undoubtedly be the most significant analysis of teaching on Christian television to date.

The teaching ministries of Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Fredrick K. C. Price, Paul and Jan Crouch, Jimmy Swaggart, Robert Schuller, Robert Tilton, and Earl Paulk receive the most space. Though they teach widely and have access to anyone watching TV, popular teachers are rarely (if ever) accountable to anyone except themselves for the scriptural accuracy of their teaching. This book attempts to make them answerable for what they teach.

Using documentation from the books of these people and tapes of their programs, the contributors are systematic in exposing their major Scriptural errors. This book is not just a mild invitation for these to reconsider their positions. Rather, it severely labels their fallacies as "heresy." For example, C. Everett Koop writes, "When a faith healer commands God to perform a miracle, in the absence of a prayer that says, 'Thy will be done,' it is, as far as I am concerned, the most rank form of arrogance" (p. 176).

Reputable evangelical leaders have now publicly informed the "positive confession" movement, the "ye are little gods" advocates, the self-esteem teachers, the faith healers, and the "health and wealth" hucksters that their teachings have decisively wandered from the historic Christian faith.

The book should assume a role alongside Walter Martin's classic The Kingdom of the Cults in educating the Christian public and protecting them from doctrinal error trying to enter their homes via television.