Strange Fire: A Refutation – Part II

Click here to order my new eBook – Pouring Water on Strange Fire – A Response to John MacArthur

Here is an excerpt:

Having read both Charismatic Chaos and Strange Fire, I want to cut to the chase in this Introduction and tell you where I think MacArthur is dead-on and where I think his conclusions are flawed and even outrageous.

The rest of this critique will provide evidence and examples supporting each point:[Continue Reading...]

Strange Fire: A Refutation – Part I

In October 1994, I wrote a lengthy critique of John MacArthur’s controversial book Charismatic Chaos.

I was in my 20s at the time.

MacArthur’s Chaos contains his core arguments against the theology and practice of the charismatic community. That would include a polemic on why he believes the supernatural gifts of the Spirit have ceased from operating today.

(Note that I criticize much that passes off as “spiritual” within charismatic circles today in my book, Revise Us Again. So if you’re interested in those critiques, you can look at that volume.)

Over the next week, I’m going to post excerpts from my critique of Charismatic Chaos because MacArthur’s arguments in that volume are simply rehashed in his new book, Strange Fire, which is causing no small frenzy among Christians right now.

I will then make my entire critique available.

In this post, I’ve published the Preface to my critique of MacArthur’s book as it explains why I wrote the critique and why I think MacArthur’s main arguments are flawed.

[Continue Reading...]

Strange Fire

Click here to order my new eBook – Pouring Water on Strange Fire – A Response to John MacArthur

Here is an excerpt:

Back in 1994, I wrote a lengthy critique of John MacArthur’s book, Charismatic Chaos.

I wrote it for one person.

Update: When I wrote this post this morning, I couldn’t find the critique. But a friend of mine had it and just sent it to me. So in the coming days, I’ll be publishing excerpts from it. And at the end, I’ll make the entire critique available. 

In 1988, I found myself involved in a spontaneous burst of organic church life. That experience lasted 8 years. And the lessons I learned from it were invaluable and left a lasting imprint on my life and ministry.

During that body life experience, a man in the church read MacArthur’s book and left the group. Since we practiced spiritual gifts and believed that God still heals today, the man felt he couldn’t continue with us given what he had read in Chaos.

I then bought the book, read it, and wrote a lengthy response.[Continue Reading...]

Monday Blog Break & 2 Days Left for My Discipleship Course Discount

Hi Fun Seekers,

I’m taking the day off from blogging. I just returned from spending a weekend in Georgia with one of my good friends to put together an exciting project for 2014.

That said, I want to remind you that the discount for my new online discipleship course ends the evening of Tuesday, October 1st.

If you want to check out samples and read what people are saying about the course so far, click here.

Rethinking Your Reputation

“Hush, Dorothy,” whispered the Tiger, “you’ll ruin my reputation if you are not more discreet. It isn’t what we are, but what folks think we are, that counts in this world.”

~ Frank Baum in The Road to Oz

Early in my Christian life, I sometimes thought about how many of us Christians would follow Jesus if we lived during His time?

I was mainly thinking about the possibility of being killed for our faith, just like most of the apostles were.

However, after I began reading church history and got to know some people whom God was using mightily in my own lifetime, my question shifted from the threat of death to something else.

Imagine . . . a man who claims to be the Messiah, living during your time. This man is impressive, but He’s been accused of the following:

*He’s an illegitimate child (John 8:41).

*He’s a deceiver (John 7:12).

*He’s mentally ill (John 10:20).

*He’s demon possessed (Matt. 9:34; John 7:20).

*He’s Beelzebub [Satan] enfleshed (Matt. 10:25).

*He’s a blasphemer (Matt. 9:3; 26:65; Mark 2:7)

*He’s an open enemy to the Law of Moses. (To put this in modern terms, His teachings and practices went against the Bible).

In addition, His words are regularly misunderstood by His followers (John 21:22-23) and deliberately twisted by His detractors (Matthew 26:60-61).

I’m of course talking about Jesus of Nazareth. He was accused of all of the above.

Because these rumors were so widespread during His day, Scripture says that Jesus was a man of “no reputation” (Philippians 2:7).[Continue Reading...]

The One Word Monologue

The word today is guns . . . that’s right, guns.

Share your thoughts . . .

New! Online Discipleship Course. Click the banner below for more information. The course is discounted until October 1st.

If you find this post helpful, you are free to ADD A LINK to it on your blog or website. But don’t copy and paste the post as this violates Google’s guidelines.

Join over 30,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my eBook Rethinking the Will of God (Revised) and my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you want to start your own blog from scratch in less than 10 minutes, click here. And if you’re looking for a hosting or domain-name service, I highly recommend BlueHost.

7 Things You May Not Know About Jesus

In our book, Jesus: A Theography, Leonard Sweet and I take 424 pages to show that both the Old and New Testaments tell the story of Jesus in great detail. The Old Testament points forward to Him. The New Testament points back to Him. But “all Scripture” points to Him, as Jesus said in John 5:39. Throughout the book, we draw on the best scholarship available to throw light on who Jesus is and was and put it together in almost novel form.

In this post, I’d like to sketch out seven things that many Christians may not know about their Lord. (The book contains many more.) Note that we expand each point in the book and provide source materials:[Continue Reading...]

Frankly Speaking – “I Don’t Like Christians”

Hi Fun Seekers,

I have 4 important announcements to share with you:

1. We just uploaded the 82nd podcast episode. It’s called Frankly Speaking – “I Don’t Like Christians” – click here to listen or download. Oh, listen at your own risk!

Frank Viola

2. We made another adjustment to the Books Page . . . all the sample and discount icons now match one another. Click here to view it and be sure to refresh the screen.

newbookspage

3. My online discipleship course has exploded. Based on early feedback, it’s meeting a BIG need . . .  so I’m thankful to all of you who registered early. Remember, the price goes up October 1st, so order soon. Click here.

0IDL

4. If you haven’t marked your turf on the Web yet, you should do so soon. Click here to learn how to start a blog in 5 minutes. Even if you’re not a writer, you should have a space on the Web with your name on it.

bluehost1

If you find this post helpful, you are free to ADD A LINK to it on your blog or website. But don’t copy and paste the post as this violates Google’s guidelines.

Join over 30,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my eBook Rethinking the Will of God (Revised) and my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you want to start your own blog from scratch in less than 10 minutes, click here. And if you’re looking for a hosting or domain-name service, I highly recommend BlueHost.

How One Spoken Talk Delivered to a Small Audience Can Impact Thousands

Many of you who read this blog are preachers and teachers.

I want to encourage you with a discovery I made awhile ago. It’s simple, but impressively effective.

In 2011, I delivered a message that I entitled Epic Jesus: The Christ You Never Knew at a small conference that had approximately 250 people in the room. Those 250 souls heard the message live.

However, I recorded it — as I do all my conference talks. It was then uploaded to my podcast.

To date, that message has been listened to over 22,000 times by people all over the world.[Continue Reading...]

10 Mistakes Christians Should Avoid at All Cost

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes.

However, here are 10 mistakes that Christians, especially those who are active in ministry, should avoid at all costs.

These aren’t the obvious ones that are typically talked about in Christian circles.

They are more subtle and less frequently discussed:

  1. Refuse to Receive Correction from Genuine Christians Who Have Credibility.
  2. Believe Accusations Against Your Brethren Without Going to Them Directly.
  3. Make a Cause More Important Than Christ and Do Not Understand the Difference.
  4. Believe the Myth That You Should Only Read the Bible and No Other Christian Books.
  5. Assume that Everyone Who Professes to Have a Ministry is a True Follower of Jesus.
  6. Break a Friendship Over an Interpretation of the Bible.
  7. Refuse to Have Peers Who Know You Well and Can Speak Into Your Life.
  8. Befriend “Christians” Who Falsely Accuse Others on Social Media and Blogs.
  9. Be Quick to Defend Yourself Against Attack and Return Evil for Evil.
  10. Buy the Lie That Reading Scripture is Unnecessary for Your Spiritual Development and Well-Being.

If you find this post helpful, you are free to ADD A LINK to it on your blog or website. But don’t copy and paste the post as this violates Google’s guidelines.

Join over 30,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my eBook Rethinking the Will of God (Revised) and my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you want to start your own blog from scratch in less than 10 minutes, click here. And if you’re looking for a hosting or domain-name service, I highly recommend BlueHost.