PCA Will Investigate ‘Jesus Calling’ Book

The author of the bestseller died last year. The investigation will determine if the book is appropriate for Christians.

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) at its annual meeting on Thursday voted to investigate the Christian appropriateness of the best-selling book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, who was part of the PCA and died in August last year at age 77. Young was one of the most-read evangelicals of the last 20 years.

Pastors in the denomination are concerned that Young’s use of the voice of Jesus in the book undermines the concept of sola Scriptura and might amount to heresy. The book was published in 2004, and criticisms of its theology from leaders in the denomination have already been widely circulated.

In addition to having a degree from the denomination’s Covenant Theological Seminary, Young was the wife of a PCA elder and missionary to Japan, Steve Young.

At the debate on the measure, the recent widower rose and spoke to the room of several thousand church leaders, asking the assembly to vote against the investigation.

“Her writings did not add to Scripture but explain it,” Steve Young said. “She would stand with Martin Luther and declare that her conscience was captive to the Word of God.”

He went on: “Sarah is a sister in Christ and wife who delighted in the law of the Lord, and on his law she meditated day and night. She was led to share her meditations with the world.”

Young herself said her devotions were meant to be read “with your Bible open.”

The measure passed by a relatively close vote, 947–834, with 20 abstentions. It directs two denominational committees to answer a set of questions on the book and to each issue a report.

The committees must look at the denominational agencies’ history with the book and must “assess the book’s appropriateness …

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