Why I Can't Recommend This One



Note: I don't recommend this book.

1/5 stars.

I have been wanting to add more poetry to my reading repertoire, and I recently got a review request for this poetry collection, The Journey Begins: A Walk Of Faith, so I jumped on it! The poetry is written by Lynn M. Strong, most of them written when he went through a difficult time when he was forced into early retirement   However, I was happy to see that the poems seemed to be applicable to any life stage and not specific to this particular trial.  Strong writes a short devotional/explanation of each poem.  I liked the style of his poetry and the way these poems would be easy to call to mind while going through a difficult circumstance. I
 enjoyed the poems in this book for the most part, and I did appreciate the Scripture the author included and some of the things he says about searching the Scriptures for what's true.  However...I can't recommend this book for the following reasons.

I was concerned because in several places there seemed to be echoes of the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) as he talked about "the vision" that he wants to share (I never really figured out what he was talking about), a "true remnant" that he wants to be part of, and taking back "dominions" that have been lost. These are all things that are common themes in NAR "doctrine" , a movement that is not in line with Scripture at all.  It was subtle enough in this book that I wasn't really sure whether I was imagining it or not, but the fact that I can't figure out what he is referring to sometimes bothers me. I felt many of his verses were taken out of context and used in a way that made his true meaning vague. 

It's hard to say whether his meaning in some of these poems was really in line with Scripture or not because a lot of his references seemed too vague - like he personally would know what he meant (and maybe those in his movement?), but not the rest of us. As the book went on, he seemed to talk less about hearing God's Word through Scripture and instead referenced hearing "God's word" through other "vessels". He mentions an "Apostle" he met in ministry, and after that I really started to skim because this made me suspect that he is indeed involved with the NAR, which I believe is errant and dangerous. 

I'd encourage you to read more about NAR yourself (you can watch an overview video here, this was a good summary too, and this series on John MacArthur's blog might be a place to get some information too), because it is not in line with the Bible and is sneaking into more and more churches and ministries. 

I can't recommend this book because all this made me feel pretty suspicious about where the author is coming from. It's a pity, because some of the poems might have been good, but I can't endorse it with NAR beliefs mixed in.

Note: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for a review.  This is my honest opinion. 
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