James Renihan, dean of The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, warned church leaders of the necessity of guarding their members against false doctrine found in much Christian fiction. Asking “Do You Know What Your People are Reading?” Dr. Renihan introduces his readers to Crawford Gribben’s scholarly Writing the Rapture: Prophecy Fiction in Evangelical America, concluding with these words:
For many reasons, this book deserves wide circulation. It was not intended as an exposé, but it serves that purpose well. From Joseph Burroughs’ Titan, Son of Saturn (1905) through Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins’ Left Behind series, wise pastors will realize that readers must be cautioned against false doctrine. Because books like these are widely accessible and written popularly for mass consumption, their people may be influenced by what they read, and adopt teachings in stark contrast to both the Scriptures and their Confessions of Faith. These books are not benign; in most cases they do not edify believers. They sow seeds of error and heresy. Do you know what your people are reading?
Dr. Renihan’s post, though a quick read, is a needed one for our all-too-undiscerning evangelical culture that unwittingly accepts as true whatever it finds in a Christian bookstore.