Sunday, April 07, 2013

Anatomy of a Miracle or Deception


The Anatomy of a Miracle: Cutting-Edge Science Has Finally Advanced to a State That Puts the Miraculous Within the Grasp of Modern Man by Dr. James B. Richards.

Dr Richards is a popular Teacher in Some Charismatic Circles.

I do not write this review as a non charismatic for I am charismatic and in love with the supernatural outworking of God in people's lives. 
I write this as a former new age cult member and later in life as a Pastor of several Spirit Filled Churches and a Charismatic Bible College Dean and Professor with degrees in Bible and Theology, as well as a warning to all who might be deceived by this book.

Throughout Church history there have been those who sought to combine the philosophies of the men and women with the revelation of God in the Bible to show us a better way. Some would call this syncretism (the combining of Biblical teaching with the Philosophies of the world) others will call it deception. 

Throughout church history there have been great outpourings of the Holy Spirit and Revivals that changed the course of history and brought a revitalization of the Good News proclaimed by Jesus Christ and a supernatural outpouring works among God's people.

Other people in Church history have experienced the supernatural power and truth of God through Jesus Christ and then lost their way through their own unmet needs which left them open to deception or through the combining of the teachings of Jesus the messiah who is the fulfillment of the prophecies in the Old Testament the revelation of the one true God given to the Hebrew people with other philosophies or religions.

The Anatomy of a Miracle offers extra biblical teaching about faith and the author admits that this concept is not found in the Bible. He says "You have to see the ending that you want." "You really won't find this word in the Bible, but as you study faith, you start finding this principle and it's the principle of intention."

It is Gnostic in its Character: The term "Gnostic" derives from "gnosis," which means "knowledge" in Greek. The Gnostics believed that they were privy to a secret knowledge about the divine, hence the name. It is this lie about special knowledge that tricked Eve in the Garden of Eden. This special knowledge is the foundation of the Masons, the Rosicrucian and many other false religions.

The author said, "You know what? When I'm preaching...so many times I hear what people are thinking. For real! I'm hearing all these voices....."
As one who was saved out of the new age movement and witchcraft I know that hearing the thoughts of others is a new age and occultic concept not a Biblical concept.

Deepak Chopra, Ester Hicks, Rhonda Byrne, Marianne Williamson, Edgar Casey and Eckhart Tolle would love this book. Unfortunately it does not place a high value on Jesus the Messiah, the Holy Spirit or the full teaching of the Bible.

It is the most deceptive combination of Scripture and New Age Laws to date.

Speaking about these laws, they are not Biblical nor do they comply with Biblical teaching. Perhaps one of the greatest faults of this book is it's placement of the so called law's on a par with the truth of God's Word, the Bible.

BELOW IS A DETAILED ANALYSIS

The Anatomy of a Miracle by Dr. James Richards This analysis covers both the book and the seminar that was streamed in Denver.

Jim teaches extra biblically about faith and admits that his concept is not found in the Bible. He says “You have to see the ending that you want.” “You really won’t find this word in the Bible, but as you study faith, you start finding this principle and it’s the principle of intention.”

Law of Intention-Jim advances this concept which is clearly taught in New Age philosophy, e.g. Deepak Chopra’s book, Seven Principles of Success. Chopra calls it the ‘law of intention and desire.’
o Chopra is especially fond of the Gnostic gospels in his presentation of Christ as the ‘Third Jesus’.
o Many new age authors endorse this ‘law’ and its centrality to new age spirituality.


Redefining key concepts Redefines sin, removing God from the equation as being offended by sin... “Don’t ever think about sin as ‘these are the bad things, these are the wrong things;’ think about things as ‘these are the self-destructive things.’”
o Redefines ‘logos’ as not being the written Word of God, but rather “concepts…logic…the way God works…creative ideas based on Scriptural principles” (This inserts much elasticity in the Word that affords much room for “new” interpretation.)
o Redefines righteousness… “Righteousness…is when things are as they should be…Righteousness is a state of being where things are as they should be…Being happy is righteous because that’s how it should be.” (Many unsaved people are quite happy in their sin-based lives, but their happiness certainly does not reflect any righteousness before God!)
o The overall effect of all the redefining moves man to the center and God to the background.

Serendipity principle 
o Direct quote: Jim says “In reality, if we live in joy and peace, 90% of what we are wasting our lives praying for, we will never have to pray for again. It’ll just happen. See, I believe in walking in the pathway of life.” “If I am walking in this path, the serendipity principle works. You know, serendipity is where you find something…the thing that you want on your way to something else.”
o New age authors espouse this spontaneous or accidental discovery of your ‘pathway’.
o According to The American Heritage College Dictionary, serendipity is defined: The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident. [From the characters in the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip, who made such discoveries.]

Jim claims to hear your thoughts-He said, “You know what? When I’m preaching…so many times I hear what people are thinking. For real! I’m hearing all these voices…..”
o This is dangerous territory in the spirit realm; multiple voices bringing people’s thoughts to Jim Richards
o Hearing of others’ thoughts is also a new age teaching that revolves around ‘thought vibrations’ that not only create your personal universe but can be heard by other finely tuned spiritual people.

Jesus Christ is not central to miracles, to your life, to blessing.
o Anyone can operate in the supernatural based upon quantum physics.
o There is much that can happen in the realm of the supernatural which does not emanate from the power of God, but this teaching does not stipulate that there can be a difference.

The Anatomy of a Miracle gives credence and credibility to universal theology of ‘same god, different approaches’ to get your miracle.
o Does not include Holy Spirit.
o Does not draw people to Jesus.
o Parallels ideas and concepts in many of the books aligned with ‘new age’ or ‘new thought’ philosophy; uses same language and content.
o Gives credibility to muli-theistic, multiple-pathways to a miracle; gives credibility to the Gnostic gospels which are very popular among some new age authors.
o This book has been presented as “evangelistic.” Virtually any book can be evangelistic, i.e. a believer uses it as a platform to bring Jesus into the conversation.
o Jim’s book is consistent with the writings of Deepak Chopra, Ester Hicks, Rhonda Byrne, and Marianne Williamson. Are they evangelistic? If so, unto whom or what?

Law of Attraction-comes from prolific writings emanating back to the late 1800’s and currently popularized by Ester and Jerry Hicks, Michael Losiere, Louise Hay, Ophra Winfrey and by Rhonda Byrne’s book The Secret.
o This ‘law’ states that we create our own reality. (Under this concept then, is it fair to say that the disciples all created their own persecution and martyrdom?)
o It’s all about what we think that creates everything.
o Our thoughts create the miracle; create all circumstances of life.

Law of Harmony- Also known as the ‘law of rhythm’ in metaphysical circles and is closely related to the ‘law of vibration’. Jim discusses this law in the context of the ‘yin and the yang’ Chinese philosophical thought and attempts to tie it to Old Testament principles. This ‘law’ is something Jim advocates as valid and is also advanced as legitimate among new age authors and bloggers.

It is difficult to see how a born-again believer who did not know Jim Richards, had never read any previous books, and simply read The Anatomy of a Miracle objectively could conclude its content to be evangelistic for Jesus, aligned with the Biblical gospel, or consistent with the work of the Cross, and the contemporary activity of the Holy Spirit.
o Filtering his teachings through the grid of positive previous knowledge, i.e. Jim has other good books; he is a minister; he teaches grace and faith righteousness; he’s highly educated and he frames his teaching within the context of Christianity enables one to “assume” his teachings are based in Christianity.

Egocentric theology - It’s all about what YOU want.
o Think it and get it.
o You are the creator of your world…..not a kingdom perspective.
o It’s all about you (me)
o This self-centered theology is central to all new age thinking and practice.

0verall teaching tone Heavy use of condescension, humor and sarcasm to belittle, demean and
diminish those who do not agree with him.
o Demeans and criticizes ‘the church,’ setting up an “us against them” kind of elitism. Continually refers to the church as “they” or “them” instead of including himself.
o Jim’s approach is not the approach laid forth in the New Testament scriptures, but it is rather condescending, manipulative, and diminishing as a means of controlling people’s response…how could anyone disagree without being viewed as stupid, religious, legalistic, rigid, and ‘one of them’?
o Creates an elitist attitude, i.e. we’ve got the only true message and others either agree or be cast in the light of the above.

ConclusionEmbracing Jim Richard’s latest book and teaching
I believe this to be a major departure from Biblical Truth that is being heralded as ‘good news.’

It is a departure from core beliefs of Spirit filled, Charismatic and Pentecostal believers.

New Age References as examples consistent with Richard’s teaching:
Ask and it is Given, Esther and Jerry Hicks. Hay House, Inc. 2004.
Quantum Healing; Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, Deepak Chopra. Bantum Books. 1989.
The Law of Attraction, Ester and Jerry Hicks. Hay House, Inc. 2006
The Secret, Rhonda Byrne. Atria Books. 2006.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra. Amber-Allen Publishing. 1994.
The Five Rules of Thought, Mary T. Browne. Atria Books. 2007
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire; Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence, Deepak Chopra. 2003.
The Spontaneous Healing of Belief; Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits, Greg Braden. Hay House. 2008.
Thanks to PHW for his valuable research on this book. You also see another review of it at
Equipper

New Age References as examples consistent with Richard's teaching:

Ask and ; It Is Given, Esther and Jerry Hicks. Hay House, Inc. 2004.
The Law of Attraction, Ester and Jerry Hicks. Hay House, Inc. 2006
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence; Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence, Deepak Chopra. 2003.
The Spontaneous Healing of Belief: Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits; Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits, Greg Braden. Hay House. 2008.
Living Gnosis: A Practical Guide to Gnostic Christianity The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

I will post the interactions between Dr Richards and myself about his book over the next few days.

1 comment:

Jessica TenBrink said...

Good stuff!! Thanks for sharing!