Years ago, I did a review of the selling sensation, The Prayer of Jabez. At the end of the review, I included these six principles for reading any book, especially the trendy stuff:
- Does the book convey (explicitly or implicitly) that it is the “key” to living the victorious Christian life?
- Does the author present more of a formulaic approach to the Christian life rather than the need to grow in the “grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ?” (II Peter 3:18)
- Does the book present a simplistic approach (read “cookie cutter”) to the Christian growth or does it value the wide variety of ways that God sanctifies His people?
- Does the author tend to universalize or make normative his own experiences?
- Does the author ask the reader to trust his interpretation of his experiences rather than backing those up with the word of God?
- Most importantly, does the book focus on the person and work of Christ? In other words, is it a Christ-centered approach to the Christian life or is it a mechanical, moralistic, and behavioral approach?