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FacingtheMusic_JKIf I were to create a soundtrack for my teenage years, the contemporary Christian music of the late 1990’s would dominate the playlist, including Jennifer Knapp’s first album, Kansaswhich rocked my world in more ways than one.

Here was a singer, songwriter and musician whose memorable lyrics combined biblical truth with authentic experience. One minute you were singing the declaration of Romans – “I don’t have to be condemned! Jesus saved me from the law of sin!” and the next you were in the throes of confession, asking for God’s refining fire to root out hidden sins.

Like many, I was captivated. The yearning for redemption, the beauty of a sinner’s quest for holiness, the resting in God’s gracious embrace… it was all there on Kansasan album I still consider one of the best in Christian music.

Fast forward fifteen years and Jennifer Knapp is releasing a memoir of her life. Facing the Music tells the story of her painful childhood, her passion for music, her career in CCM, and her journey “coming out” as gay.

How to review a book like this? Do I come at it from the artistic elements of the writing? Or do I assess its theology? How does a reviewer critique someone else’s story? Is it best to cite Scriptures that contradict some of her conclusions? Or should we set Jennifer’s memoir within the larger context of evangelicalism in order to see this movement’s beauty and flaws?

All of these approaches may have merit, but I’m not convinced it’s possible to do justice to any one of these avenues. So, I’ve decided to simply offer several thoughts about the book and what we can learn from it.

Divorce is a Big Deal

Facing the Music will get press for being about homosexuality, but that aspect of Jennifer’s life doesn’t come into view until the last third of the book. This memoir is first and foremost about divorce and the unspeakable pain it creates in the hearts of little children.

The early tension of the narrative is due to the damage Jennifer’s parents’ divorce does to her sense of security. Everywhere she turns, she is haunted by the divorce and its aftermath. Being shuttled from one family to another wrecks her relationships and eventually drives a wedge into her relationship with her twin sister (who curiously is never named).

In high school, Jennifer turns to sex and alcohol in an attempt to overcome the dysfunctional family dynamic and emotional scars from being straddled between two worlds. But even as she opens up about her struggles, Jennifer doesn’t blame her problems on her family members. She doesn’t shy away from her own hurt and pain, but neither does she paper over her own selfish decisions that have caused others to suffer.

It’s no secret evangelicals are worried about gay marriage and the false message it reinforces about the true nature of marriage. But in all the attention given to the detrimental effects of redefining marriage, we must not ignore the damage caused by divorce. The children of divorce are understandably jaded by the breaking of the bonds of marriage, and Jennifer Knapp’s story is just one shard of broken glass in the aftermath of divorce’s path of destruction.

The Wacky World of Evangelical Churchlessness

Jennifer converts to Christianity while she is in college. She describes the oddity of some of her Christian friends and is both offended and charmed by their insistence on praying for her, keeping her strong, and encouraging her in her newfound faith. Even though there is a sense of warmth in how she describes her initiation into the world of Christianity, she maintains a respectable distance from some of her friends’ more fervent displays of religiosity.

What’s most intriguing about Jennifer’s rise in music and her subsequent immersion into the world of evangelicalism is that she never truly belongs to a local church. Her conversion happens in college when she is participating in a campus group, and before college is over, she’s already on the music scene, leading worship at camps and playing concerts. Like many who would say they are “spiritual, but not religious,” her experience of Christian community is largely something of her own making.

“For years, I’d adopted the ‘where two or more are gathered’ idea of church, where a strong beer and long buzzy night of hashing out my faith experience with friends in a bar was much more rewarding the feeling like a Sunday morning disappointment.”

The evangelical stage of Knapp’s journey is about seeing lots of church culture without ever belonging to one particular congregation. And not surprisingly, during this phase the wackiness of evangelicalism is on full display. She recoils from the scare tactics used to manipulate conversion decisions. She resists the expectations foisted upon her by well-meaning evangelicals who see musicians as church leaders and de facto theologians. And she is drained by the churches and Christians she serves with her music.

When Experience Trumps Everything Else

What becomes clearer and clearer as the narrative progresses is that Jennifer Knapp was never comfortable with the teachings of Scripture that counter contemporary sensibilities. For example, she never believed Jesus is the only way to salvation. Although she expresses gratitude for the compassion she has experienced through Christ, she never ceases to see Him as merely way to the divine. Her personal faith journey is not a story of repentance and adherence to Christian truth but of quelling her own inner turmoil, learning to be at peace with God and with herself, no longer humiliated by imperfections and hounded by pressure to conform.

The longer she stayed in evangelical circles, the more she felt the tension of inconsistency. ”Everyone around me seemed to travel in only one direction, toward a conservative school of religious thought, hyperfocused on Jesus,” she writes. There are worse things than can be said of evangelicals than that we’re “hyperfocused on Jesus,” but it’s clear from the narrative that for Jennifer, evangelical beliefs about Jesus were too extreme and threatened her own self-expression. Knapp’s Jesus is a means to personal peace, not an end in Himself.

Likewise, Jennifer sees faith as deeply personal with something of an untouchable quality. For this reason, one’s faith is beyond the ability to be criticized or questioned. She writes:

“One might argue that I had lost my religion, but no one could take away my faith. I struggled (and still do) with the language of how to express the inner, holy, transformative experience I had when I decided to follow Jesus. This kind of following is an act of faith that is different from belief. Beliefs are the certainties you’re encouraged to hold about Jesus so that you can stay a voting member in your church, but faith is the thing that changes the human heart.”

In this paragraph, we see both the beauty and flaw of pop evangelicalism. The beautiful emphasis on personal experience with God runs into the rocks of orthodox beliefs about who this God is. Many evangelicals would like to hold onto both, but when experiential faith and doctrinal belief come into conflict, experience often wins. Within this framework, reading Scripture is simply another means to a personal goal, and experience becomes the arbiter of truth. The Bible is no longer the authoritative interpreter of our experiences; our experiences are the authoritative interpreter of Scripture.

Eventually, the grinding tours and recording schedule leave Knapp fatigued and weary – emotionally and physically. So, she walks away from it all. For seven years, she disappears from the music scene. During her time away, she falls in love with her manager, travels across Europe, and moves to Australia.

The end of the book is about her return to the music scene. She no longer sings about Jesus, but about her journey of self-discovery and her willingness to reject society’s constraints and embrace the person she was meant to be. Jennifer never tries to make a biblical case for same-sex relationships; she doesn’t need to. What the Bible says is not the most important thing. Instead, compassion is about listening to others’ stories and recounting our experiences, affirming one another in our journey. Affirmation and companionship is the way of love, of life, of grace.

Conclusion

Most of my CDs from the late 1990s and early 2000s are in a box in our laundry room collecting dust. Jennifer Knapp’s music is an exception. Today, whenever I listen to “Whole Again” or “Undo Me” or the spine-tingling “Martyrs and Thieves,” I’m sad.

Sad because of the painful choices Jennifer’s parents made in the name of “self-discovery” and “self-expression” that led to harmful repercussions in the lives of their children.

Sad because evangelicalism’s lack of ecclesiology and reliance on experience has led to so many strange and harmful expressions of faith.

Sad because even though Jennifer had the integrity to be honest about her life rather than continue to make money under false pretenses, she received ridicule and insults from Christians she once wrote for.

Sad because of the way faith gets privatized to the point that the exclusive Savior’s inclusive call to repentance seems too narrow a road to freedom.

Sad because evangelicals are so quick to catapult converts into the limelight before they’ve had time to grow in wisdom and truth.

Sad because of the pain many of our gay and lesbian neighbors have endured within a church culture that calls sinners to repentance but not the self-righteous.

Sad because, apart from affirming her sexuality, I can’t see any way that Jennifer would think someone could love her.

Sad because many Christians find it easier to love positions rather than people, while others believe it is impossible to love people without adopting their position.

One song on Kansas stands out to me. It’s one of the few that Jennifer didn’t write, but the words echo in my heart and become a prayer – not only for my own sinful heart, but maybe again for hers as well:

Lord, come with Your fire,
burn my desires,
refine me.

Lord, my will has deceived me,
please come and free me,
come rescue this child.
For I long to be reconciled to You.


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39 thoughts on “Facing the Music with Jennifer Knapp”

  1. Mark Dance says:

    I too was captivated, then saddened by Jennifer’s music and life. Thank you for writing this blog. I was sorting through this exact issue yesterday with a worship leader in this same predicament. Hopefully, I gave him a better dose of grace and truth than Knapp got at home or from her audience.

  2. Jeanie Schwagerman says:

    I have loved her music as well. And I am too sad. Her music had been such a heart cry for me to God.

  3. Rich says:

    So the fruit of her faith was: Jesus is not a divine or the only way to heaven; and, she need not repentance or adherence to Christian truth on her part? She felt tension as others were on a narrow path hyperfocused on Jesus. Correctly, she discerns: Taking up your cross does seem threatning to self expression and personal peace.

    Sad because evangelicalism’s lack of ecclesiology and reliance on experience has led to so many to a false expression of faith based solely on the emotive. Sad because evangelicals are so quick to catapult . . . rather than correctly discern who is and who is not a Christian. Sad because of the pain many of our gay and lesbian neighbors have endured a church culture of those who think themselves to be self-righteous and remember not they are sinners saved by grace.

    My hope, also, is the Lord wil rescue and reconcile her: that His kindness, forebearance and patience will lead to repentance unto eternal life in Christ Jesus.

  4. Liam says:

    Great review for someone who didn’t know how to review it. Knapp is one of the icons of my early journey into Christian music (right there with Mullins). Fact is though, her witness is one of secular humanism in a cloak of Christianity. She means what she says, and does what she does in order to please the real lord of her life, herself. Something she was unfortunately taught at a very early age by her own parents evidently. “Sad” is the right word to sum it all up.

  5. Michael Snow says:

    A beautiful, heart-rending piece that needs to be widely read by our evangelical community. We need to repent. The long spiral downward to today’s affirmatinon of homosexual relationships began with many churches departure from Scirpture on the issues of divorce and adultery and it was all done in the name of ‘love.’

  6. Cathy says:

    Wonderful analysis of not only Knapp’s journey, but the greater dangers inherent in modern evangelical culture (putting one in a position of leadership while she is new to the faith, etc.). I, too, consider Kansas as some formative music in my early walk, and it have also felt sadness from her rejection of orthodox Christianity. Thanks for the analysis and reinforcement of the importance of real discipleship in the Church.

  7. Jim says:

    Same kind of sadness and disappointment that I felt when Ray Boltz announced his homosexuality…

  8. Linda says:

    Just remember, this is not the end of her journey.

  9. Tom says:

    So, if I read your review, the reason she does not believe in Jesus is due to the hyper focus of Christians on Jesus, and the divorce of her parents. You did not review the book at all, you only used the opportunity to level blame at Christians for the lack of belief of a musician. She is responsible for her own decisions, else every murderer, thief, adulterer, and whatever other kind of sin you want to mention would have an excuse for their conduct. “The real issue with why I killed the man, is because my parents divorced.” But it gets better, you accept her accusation that Christians were going nowhere, which is what led her to reject Jesus. Or I guess she did not reject him at all, which is a point in her favor? She is criticizing Christians for being too focused on Jesus, and you agree. Shame on those nasty ole Christians for believing their Bibles and going to Church. That pop evangelicalism you mention, sounds a lot like what you are spouting here. Jennifer is to be prayed for, Christians should be cautioned about personality worship, but she is not a victim of the bad ole fundamentalists. She used faith to sell records, and is now using her story to sell more. I think it was David Platt, should be very popular on this site, who ironically said in a video sermon series that there is a lot of money to be made peddling faith.

    1. Paul Addington says:

      I can see how it may come across as though this review was blaming evangelicals for the lack of Jennifer’s faith, however the purpose of this blog post was to review her book, and in doing so Trevin restated many of the thoughts and views held by Jennifer throughout the book. Also, I do not see Trevin agreeing with Jennifer’s criticism towards Christians being too focused on Jesus, but rather agreeing that Christians really are hyper-focused on Jesus. We should be, and Trevin affirms that rather than supports criticism of it.

      There was no assertion here that anyone other than Jennifer is responsible for her choices and views, but that does not mean that there are not causes for concern in Jennifer’s story outside of Jennifer herself (ex. her parents’ divorce, some of the flaws of evangelicalism, etc.). These are not cited as reasons for Jennifer’s views, but rather as sad elements of her personal experience. I think it’s important to pay attention to those because it’s always good to examine how to correct existing problems and assess how we can do better.

      Great review, Trevin. This is very well-written.

    2. Basher says:

      Tom, Trevin does not make the case that Christians are too hyperfocused on Jesus – he’s simply relaying the apparent stance of Ms. Knapp. Trevin makes the point that instead of focusing on Jesus herself, she’s only focused on the god of self…quite the opposite of your accusation. Re-read the article and see if your complaints stand…

    3. James says:

      I had the same reaction coming away from this review. My heart is truly broken over the road Jennifer has chosen to take. I also was touched by her music very strongly. But It seems that the reviewer is sad for everyone in the Christian community for their short comings, and not for Jennifer rejecting Christ as the only way to the Father. The list of his “sadness” went on and on and on…toward the Church. For the record, I was involved in the gay community for many years. I still struggle with same-sex attraction and insecurities, but my decisions were my decisions in spite of my parent’s divorce and my rocky childhood. All of us were born in sin, and most of us have suffered brokenness. When we stand before Christ we will not be able to point fingers at other Christians and say, “God, it was their fault.” I really found it interesting that the reviewer said that he’s sad that we don’t allow new Christians to grow before throwing them into the spotlight. Did Jennifer get dragged into the music industry screaming all the way? If someone had told her “no” to a singing career until she was a stronger Christian, many would say they were judging her. The culture of today, and yes, even the pop Christian culture, is so quick to blame everyone but themselves for their shortcomings. Maybe if Jennifer had spent more time in the Word and being involved in a local congregation she would have experienced more of the support and love that she apparently was not receiving. But in order to do that, she would have to mingle with those who believe Christ is the only way. She couldn’t dare let that happen. And that’s what “saddens” me.

      1. Michelle Eaton says:

        Very well-stated. If Jennifer Knapp had truly decided to become a follower of Jesus Christ, this decision would have guided her choices. Instead of truth in the life of Knapp or this article, I see selfish apologetics in play. Knapp “fell in love” with her manager? This fact alone is worth exploring separately. When a celebrity or anyone in public life responds to the predatory conduct of a handler (manager, coach, mentor, etc.) the result is victimization. And, victims cannot consent to the actions of a victimizer or criminal because they are emotionally immature, damaged, or unhealthy — which is the plight of children of divorce. Confusion about sexuality is common, too… when there is a lack of understanding about authentic love. Victims due to being neglected in some way in childhood crave attention and validation not received by parents who divorce, seek new romantic relationships, go back to work, or are otherwise unavailable due you the consequences of single parenthood. This article is nonsense.

    4. Ron Boto says:

      I agree with Paul Addington.

  10. Stephanie says:

    You put into words what my heart has felt since Jennifer’s return and coming out. I remember seeing her in concert with Third Day. The impact her music and lyrics had on me back then was phenomenal. And still, I find myself singing them often with tears flowing praying for her heart to be healed. I have struggled with SSA and continually take it to the Lord with His word as my foundation.

    1. Brent Hobbs says:

      I remember the same tour. I went with a friend from college and was on the front row in Dallas, TX. After the concert, they went to a nearby Family Christian Stores and did a Q&A with fans – Knapp & the guys from Third Day.

      And praise God for your testimony, may the Holy Spirit continue to give you strength to trust his word and treasure Christ above all else.

  11. Craig Daliessio says:

    Hey, Gospel Coalition…little hint for you: It’s not MY fault that Jennifer Knapp was never actually a Christian and yet achieved stardom in Christian Music. It’s YOURS! It’s the pushers and pullers of the buttons and levers who create stars out of people they barely know. CCM is the most evil, vile, pathetic industry in the world. 17 years of living in Nashville taught me that. And NO…I am not a frustrated musician. I was never a songwriter or performer. I just lived there. But I had very dear friends…whose names you would all know…who told me how absolutely vapid the executives of the christian labels are and I saw first hand how the local pastors – especially the megachurch pastors- were essentially whores for a buck and would craft their sermons so as to not offend the famous artists in their churches. Knapp blamed Christians for being narrow? Really? Jesus Himself said the way was narrow so blame Him!
    The starmaker mentality that gave us crap like Carman and this nightmare they call “Praise and Worship” is a scourge. Rich Mullins would never get a deal if he were a new artists today. Jennifer Knapp’s life story is sad and tragic but she blames everyone but herself for not validating her sin. And there are people whose journey is a million times harder but they are entirely ignored by the same people who are wringing their hands over poor Jennifer Knapp right now. The difference is her fame. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even care.

  12. Mary Smith says:

    Despite what us humans think or decide, God’s Truth always holds true; it always has and it still does. Since we are made in His image and have His qualities, His moral code never changes either. God made a man, then He made a woman to complement and help him. They were to have children and populate the earth; His moral code allowed that. Nature has its laws also. and somehow we seen to be able to those out with no trouble, but when it comes to God’s spiritual laws, we rebel – go figure. Good’s moral laws work perfectly when we abide by them; nothing but rebellion and chaos come of out-of-place sex. Over and over in God’s Word, He had to deal with outrageous and sinful sex; He destroyed the world by flood and rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah because of sexual sin. Here, God is preparing a breath-taking place for everyone who will behave and live righteously, but its like we don’t believe it because we don’t see it and we are determined to do our own thing. Satan will do anything to keep a person mixed up, hurt, rebellious, ignorant, obnoxious, anything except love, compassion and goodness. I might mention that, under the Old Law, people that had the wrong kind of sex were stoned to death as punishment; denoting how badly God abhorred deviation from His laws. Yes, the church is the only organization that kills their wounded, but not every Christian is like that. There are many who have learned to love the person and hate the sin – that is exactly how God can love US. We must do that. God loves every gay person in the world; He just hates their sins. In the book od Revelation, it shows heaven wide open to anyone who is willing to repent, right up to the bitter end for the earth. We can have plenty of compassion for gay people while encouraging them to allow Jesus and His cross to help them do the right thing.

  13. Jimmy Smith says:

    Thanks for your words. I will pray for Jennifer. I pray that one day she finds the true Jesus who is God.

  14. SJ says:

    Come on people. The same would/could happen of her being a 5 pointer, Lutheran, Baptist etc…vs. Evangelical. It’s is just plain old sin and the rationalization towards reaching the end point of her current state.

  15. erna says:

    Thank you for these honest and loving words on such a sensitive subject. Let our sadness bring us to our knees and from our knees to acts of truth, justice, grace and mercy which together are the very definition of Divine Love.

  16. Rose Anne Thornburg says:

    Well written! Thank you! I’m a 71 year old grandma who has lived in Spain for the past 40 years and had never heard of Jennifer Knapp. We’ve always received anyone into our home with the love of Christ but without compromising our belief in the Bible and what it teaches about sin, repentance, faith, grace. We’ve had homosexuals in our home – not as couples – and our hearts ached for them. Except for one the others had been raised in Christian homes and were disillusioned by how little their families lived the Christian life. It’s sad to read that Jennifer’s emphasis is on “faith” when what is important is the object of our faith- Christ. I especially appreciated that Tom pointed out how her lack of having ever been part of a congregation and all that entails had an effect on her belief system. I read the following article regarding the interview with Larry King and found that extremely helpful. Again, thank you!

  17. Kerry says:

    I completely disagree with the author’s statement that evangelicalism’s reliance on experience is largely to blame for Jennifer’s story and others like her. In fact, I think the opposite is true. Evangelicalism is largely to blame for people’s embracing of experience as the sole interpreter of their experiences because evangelicalism espouses such a narrow focus on one’s cognitive understanding of the Bible and Jesus that it tends to negate one’s heart and the one’s faith in action through service and acts of love. Jesus and the Bible are absolutely critical, but so is our heart’s experience of Jesus, Father, and Holy Spirit and so is how we exhibit our faith through lives of compassion and service, I’m not sure Jennifer has all of theological ducks in a row, but I also am not sure all of the Evangelical world does either.

  18. Peter Anderson says:

    If the church had responded to the “gay debate” the way you did Trevin, we may be have been in a better place. Thank you for this wonderful post.

  19. Dale Paul says:

    Ignoring the truth of the scripture (forget about the “church”) will never justify the sins of the individual.

  20. Paul Taylor says:

    An excellent blog on a sensitive subject, written in love, with no compromise on truth. This is the best example I have seen on how this subject should be handled.

  21. Brian says:

    Trevin, do you believe that if she would have plugged into a local body and understood ecclesiology this would not have happened?

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      I am not saying that. It seems foolish to speculate with “what if’s.” I do wonder however how one’s experience of evangelicalism is different when you’re outside of the church and only immersed in the subculture.

  22. Jennifer Martin says:

    Trevin, what a wonderful review about such a sensitive subject. Written with so much love, integrity and passion. I wish that we as Christians had this kind of debate in our churches instead of condemning the LGBT community for their sins. We are all sinners. I like how you closed. I was a young Christian in the 90s and also remember that her music really had an impact on my well being. So sad to see that she never really got taken into a local church and got discipled to be able to develop a real passion for Jesus. I will pray that she will meet the “real Jesus” one day soon! After reading this article I feel that we have to set our priorities straight and need to be hyper focused on Jesus and Scripture afresh.

  23. Bart Barber says:

    In what sense was Knapp ever an evangelical? I can’t tell from your review that she ever met the tests of the Bebbington Quadrilateral. Only if you consider evangelicalism as a MARKET rather than any discrete set of theological convictions.

    And, in fact, I think that’s precisely what evangelicalism is.

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      That’s part of my point, Bart. She belonged to the evangelical market without ever truly belonging to an evangelical church. The church is there to determine the legitimacy of a conversion experience, not the Christian music world.

      1. Bart Barber says:

        Bingo.

  24. Mark McNeil says:

    It’s tough to sugarcoat rebellion, addressing it softly makes us feel better but also blurs its malignancy.

  25. Danny Mac says:

    Well written, Trevin.
    A close friend sang Knapp’s ‘Say Won’t You Say’ at our wedding, and like you reflected, her music has endured a presence on my playlist because of it’s honesty about us and reflection on how we need Him. After she ‘came out’, there felt a forced choice to comment on why or why not we support her, her music, and what we think. I am still thinking on this, and my knee jerk reaction to figure out ‘where I stand’ on her isn’t for me to work out.

    The bigger question of ‘can I enjoy, consume, spend time with art that is created by a someone who’s purposely living outside of the Way?’ still puzzles me. Whatever the answer is, I do every day, knowingly or not.

  26. Jason says:

    ” What the Bible says is not the most important thing.” Quote from this interview.
    “A biblically grounded and united mission is the only enduring future for the church.” Quote from the about section for TGC.
    Something is out of place with those two quotes.

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      I am summarizing how the Bible is not the most important thing from Jennifer’s perspective. I would, of course, differ strongly at this point. The Bible is if utmost importance for this issue.

  27. Jack says:

    Thanks for your insightful commentary on Knapp’s biography. I picked up a copy for myself, just out of curiosity. I found myself filled with sadness to learn the outcome of her journey. Although most would immediately rail against her openly living in a homosexual relationship, I think that that relationship is symptomatic of deeper problems in her faith. What surprised me is that she never attempted to justify her homosexual lifestyle from a Biblical standpoint. On the contrary, she as much as admits that the Bible contains statements that oppose homosexual behavior, but she resolves the dissonance not by rejecting the traditional interpretation of the scriptures, but by rejecting the authority of the Bible. While it is one thing to question (as she does in one section) the worldwide Noahic flood, it is quite another to admit that the Bible prohibits a certain sort of behavior but that said behavior is still okay to do. It is one thing to say that the Bible is not inerrant in all its historical statements, but once one undermines the Bible’s authority over moral behavior, the Bible simply becomes a curious historical document with little significance.

    Her perspective seems to set up a spiritual/material dichotomy that is evident: “It was all well and good to say that Jesus had saved me, but so too had a good therapist and some serious cognitive therapy,” she writes on pages 104. The scriptures proclaim about Christ: “In [Him] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”-Colossians 2:3 (ESV). Knapp’s mental world seems to be one in which we keep our Christianity in one pocket and our secular life in the other, with the two never seeing the light of day together.

    Though she never says so explicitly, I get the impression from reading her book that Knapp’s faith in Jesus seems to have evolved into the same sort of milquetoast Christianity proferred by some of the members of the Jesus Seminar, viz. that one can be a Christian simply by believing in Christ as the personal embodiment of virtues such as love, goodness, and forgiveness but that a Christian need not believe that he was the incarnate Son of God who entered into history, died and was bodily resurrected, and who demands that we love Him more than any other person. Having faith in Christ in this sense is no more significant than an adult “believing” in Santa Claus as a symbol of generosity and jollity.

  28. Meg Ishikwa says:

    This weekend, via a message at our church here in Okinawa, I was forced to consider if I had lived my Christian life to the tune of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism and had I presented the Gospel in this way to anyone in the past 12 months – sort of like the marketing of a “feel good faith.” I know I often live as a Deist (sadly – this is because of my lack of faith, obedience and intimate relationship with The Lord), but now, through reading about Knapp’s sort of journey in and out of evangelicalism, I am reminded how we have presented the Gospel so poorly over the past 50 or 60 years. I have been guilty of presenting a “Come to Jesus and have your needs on every level met” gospel, versus presenting the doctrinal truths of the Word including a strong emphasis on John 14:6 and other tough verses. This article for me personally presented me with some of the sad unBiblical truths of my own life and witness.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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