Baptist published book list from 1870
LifeWay is the Southern Baptist Convention's Bookstore arm. To compare Baptist publications from 1870 to Baptist publications in 2015, here is a list of LifeWay's 2015 best sellers. What a difference 145 years makes. Would a Baptist returning today from an extended Rip Van Winkle sleep even recognize his own denomination?
I listed the modern books in the order in which they appeared in the LifeWay list but also included a credible review of the book from a discerning person or organization next to it. Most of these books are complete nonsense. The one or two that aren't are marginal (well, Chan's is marginal, Platt's is good).
LifeWay's Best Selling NonFiction as of July 2015:
#1 Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (review of the book)
#2 Counter Culture by David Platt (review of the book)
#3 Jesus Calling Large Deluxe by Sarah Young (review of the devotional)
#4 The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst (review of TerKeurst and her overall ministry; review of the book)
#5 Before Amen by Max Lucado (review of Lucado's overall fruit)
#6 The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (review of the book)
#7 The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren, Daniel Amen, Mark Hyman (review of the book)
#8 Waiting on God by Charles Stanley (general review of Stanley himself)
#9 Portraits of Devotion by Beth Moore (review of Moore herself, her statements, and her other teachings)
#10 Agents of the Apocalypse by David Jeremiah (review of D. Jeremiah and his use of the novel Agents of the Apocalypse)
#11 The Mystery of the Shemitah by Jonathan Cahn (review of the book)
#12 You and Me Forever by Francis & Lisa Chan (I could not find a review of this book from an organization or person I am familiar with, but Challies gave Chan generally favorable reviews on Chan's other books, such as Multiply, Crazy Love, Forgotten God)
Godlessness in the Last Days
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
I think the 2015 publication list demonstrates a wide-spread love of self, and LifeWay's love of money.
Ever since the world was created, we have been going downhill. Even after the Flood when humanity was re-set in Genesis 9, by Genesis 11 there was the the first polygamist, first dictator, and the first ode to false religion. The LORD confused the languages at Babel and dispersed them. It has been downhill ever since.
However, in a Google Hangout yesterday with Dr John MacArthur, Dr Stephen Nichols and Nathan Bingham hosted by Ligonier, titled "Convictions and Cultural Change: A Google Hangout with John MacArthur" MacArthur said in his nearly 50 years of ministry that despite it all being downhill since the beginning, in his years he has not seen an acceleration of cultural decline this rapid. The general consensus among the three men was that we are near to mirroring the fist century church in terms of idolatry, lack of discernment, disarray, and paganism.
And yet the Lord always keeps a remnant. His people are true, righteous, and working for His name. As for the non-Christians doing these things like writing books filled with doctrines of demons and with all the blasphemies occurring in His name, how He must be storing up his anger.
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS... (Romans 2:5-6).
And that is our comfort. When I read of a new heretical book coming out, my heart drops and I mourn the gullible and the lost who will be sucked into its world. But I temper that with the knowledge that Jesus is King. He will render to each person according to his deeds, and even reading that, never mind living it, makes my stomach cringe. He is in charge, He is All-Knowing, He is taking care.
If you love the sovereignty of God this will comfort you.
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35)
Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! (Psalm 34:3)