And the Angels Were Silent. Max Lucado. Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1992. 261 pp. Cloth, $16.99.
The prolific and immensely popular Max Lucado is a masterful author, gifted communicator, accomplished speaker, and sadly–a propagator of a false gospel. In his book, And the Angels Were Silent, Lucado beautifully presents the events of the final week of Jesus as related in Matthew’s Gospel. As is typical of his style, the author’s applications are powerful and his anecdotes poignant.
His exposition of the two blind men who were healed (Matt 20:34) is particularly insightful. Concerning living the Christian life, he rightly concludes “The right heart with the wrong ritual is better than the wrong heart with the right ritual”(p. 36). His cleverly titled chapter dealing with the Sabbath (“Don’t just do something, stand there!”) was a bit of a stretch, since he seems to indicate that the Sabbath laws of the Old Testament are still in force today.
Notwithstanding his hazy teaching on the Sabbath, it is not until the final chapter that the keen reader finds anything blatantly objectionable in the book. But it is the final chapter that is the most important. For there, after 26 chapters of compelling and heart-wrenching narrative, Lucado presents his captive readers with “the gospel.” And the gospel he presents is at best confusing and at worst heretical. Lucado writes, “When the Father comes to deliver you from bondage, you don’t ask questions, you obey instructions” (p. 191, emphasis added). Elsewhere he speaks of the salvation experience as “following Jesus” and “giving your life to God.”
At one point in the book, the author says of the disciples’ reaction to the blind men who approached Jesus, “Despite their sincerity, the disciples were wrong” (p. 34). The same can be said of Lucado when it comes to his view of the Gospel: Despite his sincerity, he is wrong. Dead wrong. What a tragedy that such a talented author fails to present the Gospel accurately in a manner as clear and creative as the rest of his teachings. For in so doing, his giftedness becomes a powerful weapon of confusion and doubt rather than a convincing means of advancing the good news of salvation by grace through faith alone!
Tremont Baptist Church