This is a guest post from Brian King.
I was restoring a set of headlights at work the other day. I thought of the parallel between the hazy headlights and the supposedly solid books I was reading that were suggested or highly praised a few years back. These books were consistent in telling me about what God wanted to do for me if I was willing to do this or that for God. I learned that God expects bold prayers and frowns at small prayers, that I could achieve my God-destiny by following certain steps, and various other nonsense. I bought it all hook, line, and sinker. I was duped. I started to realize that all of these authors seemed to be inserting themselves and/or their readers into every Biblical story or narrative. I went from confused to concerned over a matter of months because I very rarely, if ever read about the Gospel from them and always thought that every story or narrative in Scripture was pointing to or from Jesus.
I stopped reading those authors and stopped listening to their narcissistic sermons. I started reading only my Bible and praying more. I removed myself from the stories and stopped trying to find current event parallels in the Biblical narratives. WOW! I started to see and understand what is formally known as the Doctrines of Grace jumping off of every page of every book of the Bible. In these doctrines all glory goes only to Christ and His finished work on the cross.
I started looking into authors and preachers who had written or taught on these amazing doctrines. As I read and listened I was amazed by God’s love and for the first time I understood the cross as a means of substitutionary atonement for my sin. Jesus took my place on purpose! WOW! His death wasn’t to make people savable, it saved. It wasn’t to make people ransomable, it ransomed. It wasn’t to make people redeemable, it redeemed. The salvation of every single person whom the Father gave Him to save was secured! He didn’t offer me salvation and wait until I accepted it to finalize it. IT WAS FINISHED!!
I finally understood that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone.
It was so clear to me! Just like the headlights after I finished sanding and polishing.
Authors and pastors that I suggest avoiding due to the fact that they narcissistically insert themselves into Scripture, twist Scripture, and rarely, if ever proclaim the Gospel or teach a false prosperity gospel are:
Steven Furtick, Craig Groeschel, Perry Noble, Mark Batterson, Brian Houston, Judah Smith, Mike Bickle, Bill Johnson, Rick Warren, Christine Caine, Cindy Jacobs, Patricia King, Kerry Shook, Joseph Prince, Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, and many more.
Authors and preachers that I suggest reading or listening to because they consistently teach the Word and proclaim the Gospel from every passage of Scripture are:
Charles Spurgeon, Steven Lawson, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, John Piper, Michael Horton, Kevin DeYoung, Mark Driscoll, Joe Thorn, Mark Dever, James White, John Calvin, Matt Chandler, D.A. Carson, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, David Platt, Andrew Murray, Paul Washer, Thomas Watson, Russell Moore, Francis Schaeffer, Jerry Bridges, A.W. Tozer, Jared Wilson, Martin Luther, Mike Abendroth, Phil Johnson, John Owen, Carl Trueman, Albert Mohler, Sinclair Ferguson, John Gerstner, and many others.
Take these suggestions with a grain of salt because these are my personal findings and may or may not look the same for you. I’m just a regular guy who has been completely blown away by the truths found in the doctrines of grace. I will stand firm on the Scripture in which these amazing doctrines are found and will call out anyone who is proclaiming any gospel that strays even an inch from the one true Gospel once for all delivered to the saints.
I, cc, inserted the links to the various pastors/teachers. Links are to sermons, ministries, or blogs; depending on what I could find from the particular teacher. They may not be the best links to find info or sermons from them. Some on the list are saints who have gone on to Glory, for most of them I have not linked to anything.