Religion in Society

Book Says People Shun Religion, Turn to Oprah Winfrey Instead

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DANA POINT, Calif. -- Best-selling author and apologist Josh McDowell ("More Than a Carpenter") and fellow apologist Dave Sterrett of Probe Ministries believe that as many people leave churches and give up on organized religion, they're turning to Oprah as their spiritual leader. Their new novel "O" God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah's Spirituality" (Worldnet Daily Books) will release nationally on Oct. 6, 2009.

Whether voiced aloud, only thought about, or hidden down deep as a nagging suspicion, the truth about Oprah's splintered belief and the advice of the colorful teachers she promotes is among today's most relevant issues.

"The danger is that while appearing to use Christian and inclusive language that at first seems similar to that of Christianity, Oprah teaches a message that is radically different and absolutely contrary to the true teaching of Scripture and historic Christianity," McDowell and Sterrett warn. They cite examples of the media's portrayal of Oprah as a modern-day Billy Graham and her selection as master of ceremonies during the national memorial service held at Yankee Stadium in the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks to demonstrate her powerful influence.

The Bible foretells of such a time as this "when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." (2 Timothy 4:3, NIV).

USA Today reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman noted this theological shift in a recent article, "Religion today in the USA is a salad bar where people heap on upbeat beliefs they like and often leave the veggies--like strict doctrine--behind."

McDowell and Sterrett share in the book's introduction why they teamed to author "O" God. "As Christian apologists who believe that salvation is by God's grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone, we wanted to create a fictional, almost Socratic dialogue that would cover many of the themes of Oprah Winfrey's spiritual teaching in recent years."

"O" God follows conversations of two girl friends representing the multitudes of Oprah fans, who unwittingly place their faith in the hodgepodge of spirituality embedded in her popular TV talk show, magazine and webinars. In the end, a life-altering crisis helps crystallize the truth from counterfeit teachings. Like classic Christian author C.S. Lewis, McDowell and Sterrett decided to employ fictional narrative to disarm and entertain readers, while refusing to shy away from biblical truths and expose Oprah's errant teachings.

Josh McDowell has spoken to more than ten million young people in 84 countries and on more than 700 university and college campuses. He has authored or co-authored 118 books and workbooks with more than thirty-five million in print worldwide. Josh's most popular books are The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Why True Love Waits, and Right From Wrong.

Dave Sterrett is an educator, speaker and writer for Probe Ministries International in Plano, TX. Dave teaches on Christ-centered living, Christian apologetics and true spirituality at conferences, schools and churches. He contributed to the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, and will release the book Why Trust Jesus? with Moody Publishers in March 2010.

By mid September, WND Books will launch a special website at, where the public can receive updated information about "O" God: A Dialogue on Truth of Oprah's Spirituality, can view author interviews, and can download free curriculum for personal and group study.