Marcia Montenegro Regarding One Thousand Gifts – by Ann Voskamp

I haven’t read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, but I am well aware of its popularity. In fact, I saw it in the hands of a sister-in-Christ very recently. If you have read it or are considering reading it I hope you will also take a look at what Marcia Montenegro of Christian Answers for the New Age (CANA) has written about the book in a recent a commentary in Midwest Christian Outreach

While Montenegro points out that the book might encourage people to “cultivate daily gratitude to the Lord in their lives, which is a good practice,” she details two major concerns about the book: the appearance of panentheism and “theological erotica.” Montenegro writes:

Voskamp has apparently concluded that because she does not view nature as God, it is okay to see God literally in creation. This is very different from seeing that nature points to God, or allowing the beauty of nature to initiate thoughts of God, or understanding that beauty on earth reflects the majesty of God. I never gaze at a beautiful sunset, or a scattering of stars, or a tranquil lake and think, “I am looking at God.” That would never enter my head, because I know I am not looking at God or seeing God when I look at these things. Frankly, it would seem idolatrous for me to say or even think this. It is alien to me as a Christian. God the Father is invisible, for one thing (John 4:24; Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:27); His glory is too much for us to bear (Ex. 33:20); and Jesus stated that seeing Him was seeing God the Father (John 14:9; also, John 12:45; Col. 1:15).

On the second point, Montenegro cautions, “The second troubling area is an eroticization of God’s love for us and our love for God. This seems to be, in fact, an extension or result of panentheism. If God is present in creation itself, if we can see or feel God in nature, He is reduced, philosophically speaking (not that God actually can be reduced), to the vulnerability of material and/or carnal concepts and interpretations. The last chapter in the book displays this in blatant erotic language (with some foreshadowing earlier, such as on 119).”

You can read her entire piece from Midwest Christian Outreach here.

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