The old axiom is that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Poppycock! Such a phrase is a damning comment on the collective ability of those people who create book covers, if you ask me.
While it may be occasionally so that a cover doesn’t accurately portray the contents of a book, as a general rule one need look no farther than the cover to judge the merit of its contents. For instance, I propose the following hypothesis with regard to books written by putative preachers: the more prominent the face of the preacher on the book, the less theologically sound.
I offer Exhibit A:
I can assure you (without oathing!) that only the softest most maleable clay is used in the Potter's House.
Osteen may be having his best life now with the dollars of sheep, but he leads them all astray.
Speaking of Joyce Meyer. My grandfather used to quip about women preachers, "They sound like a hen trying to crow." And if he ever heard Joyce Meyer get up to preach, he would have fled "faster than a minnow can swim a dipper."
Compare that to Dr. Sproul:
And to John Piper:
Yes, books can be judged by their covers, usually. Are there any caveats to the aforementioned rule? Yes, of course. First, all bets are off if the preacher is dead. Someone may put Calvin's picture on the cover if "The Institutes," but I assure you Calvin wouldn't have. Same for Luther, and Jonathan Edwards. Also, biographies can be an exception. You get the idea. If a book purports to be about theology or "Christian living," let it lie, pun intended, and leave it alone if the cover is dominated by a preacher's face.
And speaking of instant judging, let me give you all another tip. If you ever walk into a church and the pulpit is made of plexiglass, leave. Just walk out. Nothing good ever came from behind a plexiglass pulpit. If you can see through the pulpit, you should see through the preaching.