HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Self-Centeredness: The Source of All Grief
Author: Andrew Wommack
Publisher: Harrison House Inc,, 2012
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: for adults
Rating: *** three stars (FAIR)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Wommack, Andrew. Self-Centeredness: The Source of All Grief (copyrighted in 2012 by Andrew Wommack Ministries Inc., 850 Elkton Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80907; and published by Harrison House Publishers, Tulsa, OK 74145). A copy of this small booklet was given to me by a relative. I think that there is some equivocation here. When I first saw the title, I assumed that the word “grief” was being used in the general sense of pain or discomfort, as in 1 Peter 2:19, knowing that many of our problems in life are the result of our own self-centeredness. However, the first chapter begins, “Grief is rooted in self-centeredness. When a loved one dies, we tearfully ask ourselves, ‘How can I go on without them?’…We then convince ourselves that our mourning is for the dead, when in reality, it’s for ourselves…Truly your grief comes because of selfishness.” Grief or sorrow is a natural human emotion, like anger or passion, and is not in and of itself sinful. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Paul wrote, “Lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.” He did not say that it was wrong to sorrow or grieve but that we should not sorrow as those without hope. Like all other emotions, grief must be kept in control and not allowed to get out of hand.
It is certainly true that the Bible strongly warns us against self-centeredness. “Then Jesus said to His disciple, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me’” (Matthew 16:24). Andrew Wommack is an American conservative Evangelical Christian television evangelist, a Charismatic Word of Faith teacher, and faith healer, as well as the founder of Andrew Wommack Ministries. He offers many truthful observations about selfishness and useful suggestions on how to deal with it. However, the book is not without its problems. Rat killer is 98% good, old cornmeal as we use for cornbread, with just 2% poison. Many books may contain a lot of truth, but just a little error can make them dangerous. Many believers will strongly disagree with Wommack when he talks about how God spoke to him directly, he came out with a very specific prophecy, people should be baptized in the Holy Spirit today, miracles still exist including raising the dead, and such like.
Also, his discussion of religion and church leaves something to be desired. He says, “Most churches manipulate you,” and “Religion promotes self.” This may be true in many cases, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water by rejecting “the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28) or “pure and undefiled religion” (James 1:27). And for an author writing against self-centeredness, Wommack seems to spend an awful lot of time talking about himself, how bad he was, all the problems he faced, how others mistreated him, and how he overcame all that. In the last two sections, “How to Receive Jesus” teaches typical Evangelical, denominational doctrine regarding salvation, and “How to Receive the Holy Spirit” says that if a person will pray to be filled with the Spirit, something the Scriptures never tell anyone to do, God will confirm it supernaturally in that “Some syllables from a language you don’t recognize will rise up from your heart into your mouth.” I really cannot recommend this booklet very highly but would simply say glean whatever good you might find in it and weed out all the junk.