Posers, Fakers, & Wannabes is the youth-focused adaptation of Brennan Manning’s best-selling book, Abbas’s Child. This youth edition focuses on the identity-confusion many teens face as they approach a life filled with different individuals and philosophies that beg for their following. Having worked for many years with Christian youth, I have seen this identity confusion for too long and know it is a great need that must be addressed. For this reason, I initially approached Posers with great anticipation for the power it might have to change the outlooks of at least some of our youth.
As I delved into Posers, however, I quickly recognized that Manning has not offered our youth any solid leads towards freedom—he has only muddied the waters. Rather than encouraging these children to seek guidance from their parents, from their pastors, or from their Bibles, he instead directs them to modern-age, “spiritual” philosophers and thinkers like Thomas Morton, Henri Nouwen, Karl Barth, Simon Tugwell, Theresa of Avila, Woody Allen and many, many more. In this one reader’s opinion, Manning has failed to shed his own “poser, faker, wannabe” self. Rather than taking the unique opportunity to direct his youthful readers back to the real source of Truth, he instead uses the opportunity to try to prove to everyone that he reads a lot. He also shows that he does not understand basic Biblical truths (please contrast p.77 “all of us forgiven” to I John 1:9 or Romans 10:8-9 or any number of other passages that contradict his apparent belief of universal forgiveness), and in doing these two things, he teaches our children that the Bible (God’s holy, spoken Word) is just a source like any other, to be taken or left, or used as anyone sees fit.
I do not recommend this book to anyone, really. I am grieved to say this not only because I fear many youth will be distracted from the authority of God’s Word as they read it, but also because I greatly respect NavPress and greatly admire Jerry Bridges, a trustworthy man of God and the Word.
[Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”]