To ‘cook’ a book is to either reduce it down to its core meaning, or change its contents to fit
some external criterion. One of the great ‘wow’ experiences in our spiritual journey is to have a
revelation, insight or awakening that a deeper (profound) way to regard or read a particular
scriptural passage, provided to us through the prompting of the Holy Spirit and in a manner we
had not previously contemplated. Some denominations and religious centers have ‘read into’
certain passages of scripture what they need to find in order to support or canonize a particular
teaching or dogma. Apostle Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia cautions against those who
‘cook’ the gospel,(1) i.e., present a ‘different’ gospel than that preached by the Apostle’s. "As
we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than
what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Am I now trying to win the approval of
men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not
be a servant of Christ."(2) There are religious movements which have ‘cooked the gospel’ down
to several essential elements, e.g., ‘healing’, ‘deliverance’, conversions and ‘prosperity’. Some
religious camps deny the operation of the spiritual gifts while other groups ‘legalized’ practices
that involve specific ordinances or insist on demonstration of various outward manifestations to
reflect one’s spiritual maturity.
The most abominable ‘kitchen’ attempting to ‘cook down’ the gospel to a remnant of the
original text is The Jesus Seminar(TJS). The intent of The Jesus Seminar(JSSV) is to
"desacralize" the ‘text of the gospels and make the scripture translation sound like a piece of
contemporary literature (p.xvi) by using the common street language of the time period’(p.xiv).
(3) Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, is reduced down to a "secular sage"(p.287)(3)
throughout TJS translation. The Word of God is either what it claims to be in toto or it isn’t!
The holy scriptures do not need to be ‘reduced down’ to essential elements coveted by man.
Rather, scripture needs to be continually read in its entirety so the Inspirer of the word ‘may
thoroughly equip the man of God for every good work’(4), enlarge his understanding, and
magnify his wisdom, truth and revelation of "Jesus Christ as the Son of the living God".(5)
The gospel is a progressive (present tense) revelation and the means to the beginning and the
end! The end being the full and complete revelation of Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living
God and His plan to restore man back to his rightful place in the Kingdom, during his life and
for eternity. To reduce scripture from its totality is an attempt to diminish the power and
holiness of the God’s word in order for man to have a sense of control over what he thinks is
worth believing. "All Scripture is God-breathed" … "All scripture is given by inspiration of
God."(4) ‘Cooking’ scripture leads to convoluted religious doctrine such as ‘Replacement
Theology’ (placing Israel’s prophecies and promises onto the church) and ‘Dominion
Theology’ (man can have full dominion over the earth and reign in peace before Christ
returns). "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he
also reap."(6) We know that one type of seed "is the word of God"(7) and this should cause us
to examine the seed we know and equally so, the seed we sow into the lives and hearts of
others. There will come a day when "men will have to give account on the day of judgment for
every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your
words you will be condemned."(8) Are you individually able to directly discern from scripture
the doctrinal beliefs you hold so dear or are some of them possibly ‘cooked’ religious teachings
or dogmas? Take the time, effort and concern to examine what you believe you believe; we
can not afford to have end-time deceptions operating in the ‘word’ we draw on for our faith, in
the ‘Word’ we would die for, or the ‘Word’ God says is His Truth.
Seek out instruction which clearly distinguishes and differentiates between isogesis and
exegesis. Counterfeit 'gospels' are proliferating, advancing throughout "Christendom", and are
openly evident in various sects of pinchbeck 'churchanity'.(9) Submitting to a 'cooked'
counterfeit gospel not only can (will) lead to great personal spiritual deception, but also to
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin