Spotting a Fake

by Lee Buford on March 16, 2011

You’ve probably seen, read, or heard some of the controversy stirred up in the past week by one certain pastor’s new book on God, love, and hell. If not, you can catch up pretty quickly on the timeline of events or read the detailed review Kevin DeYoung wrote on the book.

Some are asking why so much time and effort has been spent on the rebuttal and critique of this book, its author, and the message it proclaims. Why? Because it’s an heretical attempt to convey the gospel in such a way as to make it more appealing to modern society. In short, it’s a fake.

And while it’s not my intention to spend a significant amount of time on the book itself, there is an important question to be asked, a reminder and an application for all of us when such issues arise. Namely, how do we know it’s a fake? That’s the pertinent question here.

The only way to know something is false is to know the truth. The only way to spot a fake is to know what real looks like.

Those who’ve mastered any given field are experts at this. Those who can spot counterfeit money are so well-schooled on real money that spotting a fake is easy. Those who analyze handwriting samples can easily spot fake signatures. And those who’ve spent significant time in the study of God’s Word can spot a fake account or doctrine in a heartbeat.

But, would you be able to spot it?

Do you spend enough time in the Bible to know what God says is true, or does the extent of what you know come from what others say is true? It’s a sobering question for each of us. And thankfully, in the case of this book, there has been an outpouring of sound criticism based on biblical truths for the identification, understanding, and teaching of the real truth of God’s Word.

Knowing the truth matters. In this case it’s all that matters. And the only way to know the truth is to spend time with God, in His Word and in prayer. Christians, we must do that.

It’s the only way we’ll ever spot a fake.



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