The previous edition of this newsletter included Don's review of the best-selling book in America, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The remarkable phenomenon of this book continues as The Secret remains not only the best-selling book in the country, but the fastest-selling book of its kind in history.
If you're not familiar with Byrne's heretical book or the DVD from which the book was derived, be aware that it has taken the country by storm, at times selling four times as many copies as the second best-selling book. Oprah's endorsement made it overnight the nation's number one seller. Ubiquitous exposurenot always positive, thankfullyin Time, Newsweek, USA Today, Nightline, Larry King Live, and countless other media outlets has further spread the frenzy. The entire Barnes & Noble chain was sold out of the book for awhile.
The success of the book is even more shocking when you realize that Byrne makes such audacious claims as, "You are God in a physical body. . . . You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligence. You are perfection. You are magnificence. You are the creator (p. 164). And, "The earth turns on its orbit for You. . . . The sun rises and it sets for You. The stars come out for You. Every beautiful thing you see, every wondrous thing you experience, is all there for You. Take a look around. None of it can exist, without You (p. 183).
Worse, however, is that since the writing of the review, Don has heard of church groups using The Secret in a group study. "It's just about positive thinking," some say, "you merely have to filter out some parts." Wrong. Byrne argues that the reason the positive thinking of "the law of attraction" (which is "the secret") works for those who use it is because they are god. This is the original blasphemy, the one Satan used when he said to Eve, "You will be like God" (Genesis 3:5).
Like any false teaching, in The Secret there's a mixture of some good things and some half-truths along with outright blasphemies and implicit denials of major biblical doctrines. But no Christian should be misled into thinking The Secret is harmless. Instead, let's use it for an opportunity to talk with our friends about Jesus Christ, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3).
If the number of hits on the website page containing the review are any indication, Don's review of The Secret has been one of the most popular pieces ever placed on the website. A free download of the reviewformatted in Microsoft Word as a two-sided bulletin insertis available through the link on the homepage of www.BiblicalSpirituality.org. Feel welcome to make copies of the review for bulletin inserts, handouts, or just to give away to friends.
Or if you'd like to hear or download The Albert Mohler Radio Program where Don was interviewed about The Secret, follow the same link on the homepage mentioned above.
Family News & Notes
Caffy spoke last month to a group of women on retreat while I was speaking to the men of the same church. She also sat on a panel of faculty wives at Southern Seminary where I teach, answering questions from student's spouses about life as a minister's wife. But most of her time has been devoted to the home (see the Farm & Garden Report below) and to ministry in our local church.
Laurelen is currently squeezing every possible drop of "break" from her spring break from school. Last month she enjoyed getting to visit friends back in Kansas City where we lived for ten years. She organized a group of women and girls from church called Knitters for Christ and Community. So far they've knitted items to send to needy folks in Afghanistan and for newborns in our church.
Farm & Garden Report
Caffy is scheduled to get her bees this Saturday, and she's pumped! Last year was her first as a beekeeper, and early this spring she opened the hive to find that the colony had died. If you've not heard, there's a mysterious disease killing bees nationwide. Some, who have hundreds or even thousands of hives, have reported losing up to 40% of them. In many cases the bees just disappear, leaving speculation that the cause of the problem is something that damages their navigation system so that they can't find their way back to the hive. At any rate, Caffy has been building news hives (from kits) and preparing a new area where she will place them.
She's also been getting the garden ready. She plans to add some corn this year, so she enlarged the plot a bit. She turned under her cover crop, then a friend in our church who wanted to play a little more with the new tiller he bought for his compact John Deere came over and tilled it as smooth as you can imagine. Her soil sample results came back, and yesterday she worked in some bone meal in hopes of improving production. Her seeds all here, and indoors she's even grown a few flats of seedlings on her own.
Now all we need is for the weather to turn warm again. Like most of you, we have endured an unusual and long cold spell. We had a high in the mid-eighties one Tuesday, and two days later it was half that. The pear trees bloomed and the redbuds opened up, then as the pears' white blossoms faded the dogwoods took their place. But then we had lows three nights in a row in the lower to mid-twenties. We're still not certain of the damage. Eight of the nine trees I planted last fall looked healthy a week agonow I'm not so sure. As I know most of you are, we're ready for spring to return.
Not much flower news right now. But the bird news is good. In addition to the robins, chickadees, and house finches we see most of the time, we've enjoyed the return of a few species when the weather first turned warm and who have not abandoned us during the cold wave. The song sparrows and mockingbirds serenade us daily. The phoebes insistently call for each other ("Phoebe! Phoebe!") And our famous rufous-sided towhees are on all sides. Can't wait now for the whippoorwill to return to its nest across the road.
The release of the Family Worship CD has been a long-awaited event. Please join us in praying that the Lord will greatly use itespecially during the upcoming Father's Day seasonto help men become more faithful and fruitful spiritual leaders in their home.
The other matter of chief prayer concern has to do with the writing project I've requested prayer for in the past few years. I had hoped to devote much of the past six months to it, but things have gone disastrously for that hope. I must have it finished in the next few months, and the pressure is becoming oppressive. This project will shape the direction of my ministry for the rest of my life, so the completion of it is crucial. Please pray for the Lord's help in finishing this labor during 2007.
"The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you" (2 Timothy 4:22).