What Books Are The Celebrity Christians Reading?

By | January 24, 2014

Did you ever wonder what books were in Al Mohler’s incredibly huge stack of books?  

Did you ever wonder what books “crazy busy” Kevin DeYoung finds time to read?

Wayne Grudem is too busy to respond personally to emails.  His assistant does that for him.  He is also too busy to prepare new sermons for his occasional guest speaking commitments. One would expect such a busy man to manage his time wisely, this would include the books he chooses to read.  Ever wonder what books the busy Mr. Grudem finds time to read?

How about Webb Simpson, a professional golfer on the PGA tour?  Surely his schedule is quite full.  I wonder what a professional golfer with very limited free time would make the time to read.

How about Thabiti Anyabwile? He is busy jetting around the globe, writing books, preaching at conferences, making guest appearances at John Folmar’s church in Dubai and C.J. Mahaney’s church in Lousisville and is also senior pastor of a 9Marks Baptist church in Grand Cayman.  Do you wonder what this busy man finds time to read?

Well, I can’t tell you all the books these super-busy celebrities read, but I can tell you one book they have all recently read.  Here it is:

Screenshot 2014-01-24 13.54.56

This sure to be “earth-shaking” book on a subject I don’t believe has ever before been  addressed is not yet even available to you and I. Unless you are a celebrity Christian or a professional golfer you will not be able to get your hands on it until March 31, 2014.  Undoubtedly this book will rank right up there with Kevin DeYoung’s “Crazy Busy” as volumes destined to be timeless Christian treasures on par with John Bunyan’s “Pilgrims Progress.”  Therefore I would urge you to immediately go to Carolyn Mahaney’s blog and pre-order your very own copy right now!

Seriously though, what is up with the combined husband/wife endorsements? (The complete page of reviews can be viewed here.)

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I have trouble believing the men listed above have actually read this book.  Once again this is a display of the Christian celebrity culture being utilized to sell books.  If these guys have not read the book then I have a serious problem with their integrity.  If their wives are the individuals who actually read the book, which I suspect is the case, then why not just list the names of the women?  Is it because Mary K. Mohler doesn’t make much of an impact on consumers if listed solo?  I believe you know the answer to that question.  Can we expect to start seeing the names of both Al and Mary Mohler on future endorsements of weighty theological tomes? I think not.

The whole scene is repulsive to me.  Carolyn Mahaney is attempting to make bank on the (tarnished) reputation of her celebrity husband.  The “good-ol boy” network of celebrity preachers once again demonstrate that even though C.J. Mahaney is a blackmailer and covered up sexual abuse in churches he ruled over, it will not keep them from lending their names to endorse the book that the wife of their good buddy authored, a book that in all likelihood they have not even read.  And lastly, one must wonder if a Christian publisher like Crossway has any concern whatsoever with integrity?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4gOIt-M02A&w=853&h=480]

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Headless Unicorn Guy

Did you ever wonder what books were in Al Mohler’s incredibly huge stack of books?
No. Just like I never wondered what books were in Justin Beiber’s incredibly small stack of books.


I have another theory about this book. The Mahaney’s cannot affort to fade from the scene and they know it. Putting forth Carolyn on a subject ALL in that particular movement are trying to prop up seems one way to accomplish that. And it could also be they need the money. I am not saying it will be a bestseller but there is a market niche in that movement where they can move some books as many of us know. What if half the guys at the next T4G bought one for their wife while there?. And my guess is Crossway is there to help. After all, they have published CJ’s in past. You think they are going to admit he is a wolf or a fraud?

The question is why are all these folks in the Reformed movement going to such lengths to prop Mahaney up? Is it because they agree with him or to save face?

I think this book is a marketing tactic. It has us talking about it. So it is already working!

I think your theory is valid Lydia. I am sure both Crossway and C.J. Mahaney would like to get another book on the market by C.J. but they realize doing so at this point would still have loud negative repercussions across the evangelical spectrum. This is why C.J.’s buddies are speaking at his church. They are desperately attempting to get Christians to believe the Ceej is perfectly fine. It appears to be all about the money and the loyalty to those within the club.

[…] What Books Are The Celebrity Christians Reading? (link) […]


You forget that this book is probably ultra-short. If it gets too long people might realize the lack of substance. Also if it is too long, all the subtle cultivations of self doubt will cause the reader to not trust themselves to appropriately comprehend the rest of the book.

I might consider buying it if the paper is soft and if it is printed onto a roll.

Love your humor Scott!

I believe Ray Ortlund was on the committee that declared C.J. Mahaney “fit” and not disqualified for ministry (despite C.J. Mahaney blackmailing Larry Tomczak). Here is one blog post that includes a blog “discussion” I had with Ray Ortlund:


The person posting this on Wartburg Watch concluded the discussion I had with Ray Ortlund indicated Ray already had his mind made up about Mahaney.

Interesting discussion Steve. I am sure I have read that post in days gone by, but I have read so much it’s hard to recall everything. As someone commented on TWW, Ray Ortlund’s comment about “not seeing Jesus” was lame. Typical of how men of his ilk respond. I have encountered similar responses numerous times. I really liked your response -“do you see Jesus in the actions of the SGM leaders that led to these blogs?” Great stuff!

If nothing else it sure appeared that Ray Ortlund was more concerned with protecting C.J. Mahaney and giving him the benefit of the doubt than Ray was concerned with all the reports of abuse and how hurt regular sheep were from this abuse. It shouldn’t be that way. It was almost as if there wasn’t any concern for the sheep.

I don’t believe there is any “almost” in it Steve. My problems with all of the celebrities and even with the pastor of the church I resigned from back in March of 2013 is their total lack of concern or even consideration for the wounded sheep. As I have mentioned they are fiercely loyal to each other. It reminds me of brotherhood that exists among police officers. If you are a pastor with the correct doctrine belonging to this club or aspiring to belong to this club it seems your fellow pastors are all that really matter. They talk a good game of caring for the sheep, but their actions show that talk is all it is.

It is sad the “brotherhood” you see with pastors wanting to protect each other even at the cost of abused sheep. I imagine this is also similar to how medical doctors are known for protecting and covering for each other. I am sure there are some pastors concerned with the sheep but sad to see those in these circles putting abusive pastors above abused sheep.

Thanks for commenting Steve. I was not aware of Dane Ortlund being Ray Ortlund’s son. Wasn’t Ray on the committee of 3 that proclaimed Mahaney fit for ministry? Crossway seems to have no problem with Mahaney. When they were pumping their “Gospel Transformation Bible” I wrote them an email and also commented on their FB page that I would not be purchasing the bible because they had included C.J. Mahaney as one of individuals endorsing it. They sent me a meaningless canned response and of course never dropped Mahaney.

And yes, nepotism is alive and well with these folks.

As you know this book was published by Crossway Books. One of their editors is Dane Ortlund. Sadly he is such a fan of C.J. Mahaney even after all the revelation of sin hypocrisy with C.J. Mahaney and within Sovereign Grace Ministries. Thus it doesn’t really surprise me that this publisher would publish a book by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughter.

BTW Dane Orlund I understand is Ray Ortlund’s son. Dane being in his position is probably at least partially due to his father’s influence. SGM isn’t the only place where nepotism occurs in this group of people.

“If their wives are the individuals who actually read the book, which I suspect is the case, then why not just list the names of the women?”

I’m sure it has nothing to do with their complementarian context, either. Good post!

Thanks William!