Strange Firony…

***Update at the bottom***

I honestly, sincerely wish I could move on from the topic of the Charismatic Movement, but it just keeps on coming up.  It’s been almost two years since the Strange Fire conference, and it seemed like all the parties involved got their shots in.

The Cessationists made their reasonable appeals, made a lot of unreasonable rants, published their stuff, wrote their responses, etc.

The Continuationists basically cried about division and broad brushes.

The Pentecostals basically cried about division and broad brushes.

The Charismatics basically cried about division and broad brushes.

Charisma Magazine kept on doing everything possibly in their power to provide an endless tsunami of amazing examples as to why the Strange Fire Conference was necessary (and possibly understated things: every single word in that statement links to a separate mind-numbing article, just for a few dozen examples)

There has been biblical proportions of ink spilled on the topic and I’ve been involved in a small percentage of said spillage.  In fact, I got started blogging more seriously when Dr. Michael Brown started laying salvos against the conference, before the conference.  We interacted quite a bit and then yesterday, I saw this:
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Torben Søndergaard and Gospel Plus

I recently learned about Torben Søndergaard.

Torben

He’s an evangelist and faith healer from Denmark who is quite the public prophet, faith healer, and “global evangelist”.  He runs an organization called The Last Reformation, and he’s not exactly subtle: he claims to be part of the next Protestant Reformation (otherwise known as the New Apostolic Reformation).  His about page tells the story of how he came to be a Christian, didn’t see “fruit” in his Christian life (“fruit” meaning “miraculous healings”),  and then became a full-blown faith healer and prophet who writes books by divine revelation (which would be delivering written revelation, otherwise known as “writing scripture”).

You may not have heard of him yet, but he’s definitely getting around and building steam.  He’s popping up in Singapore, PolandEngland, Australia, Holland, Turkey, South Africa, Los Angeles, etc.  All those listed countries were places where he has been in the past year alone.   Just a few weeks ago he was leading a faith healing seminary right in my own backyard.

Some people may want to dismiss him as being “the fringe”, but he’s becoming a B-list charismatic celebrity, at least according to some.   He’s clearly busy and doing this full time.  He’s writing books and traveling the world.  Even though his videos are videos of healing “on the street”, he travels because he’s invited to teach on faith healing and assorted charismatic theology in churches on every continent.  In other words, Torben Søndergaard is not that fringe.  Torben is also a fantastic example of a dangerously wide-spread type of false teacher: the guys who offer “gospel plus”.

What is “gospel plus?”  Continue reading

Words, Faith and Prosperity – Part 2

Today I’m going to be posting up the the second part of my notes from the fourth and final talk I gave at the Last Days Bible Conference.  That talk was about the Prosperity Gospel.  Last post, I gave an overview of Word of Faith theology and attempted to show how it set the stage for Prosperity Gospel theology.  In this post, I’m going to be posting the notes that engage many of the standard proof texts of the Prosperity Gospel Movement.

Now in the talk I gave, I had hard time limits so I was only able to deal with some of the main Scriptures that are used in defending Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel theology.  Still, if you have any exposure to informed Biblical exegesis, I’m hoping that my explanations will make sense to you.  If you have any actual education in Biblical exegesis, I’d only encourage you to look up the passages used by Word of Faith or Prosperity Gospel teachers and read them in context, since the popular “Biblical” arguments put forth by the Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel folks don’t exactly hold much water.

broken bucket

Here are the notes:

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Words, Faith and Prosperity – Part 1

Today I’m going to be posting up the the first part of my notes from the fourth and final talk I gave at the Last Days Bible Conference.  That talk was about the Prosperity Gospel.  Today, I’m going to be posting the notes about the Word of Faith movement and how it sets the theological stage for the Prosperity Gospel.

I hope to make things clear and I want to help people understand the theology (as best I can) of the Prosperity Gospel.  Just to be clear, not all people in Word of Faith circles believe or teach the Prosperity Gospel.  Jim Bakker is a prime example of someone who holds to Word of Faith theology but doesn’t take it to the extent of embracing the Prosperity Gospel (and in the 1980’s he was the prince of Prosperity Gospel preachers; it’s amazing what a decade alone with a Bible in prison will do for a person…).  Sadly, Jim Bakker doesn’t speak for all people who are part of the Word of Faith Movement.

Prosperity

That being said, the Prosperity Gospel doesn’t really make much sense outside of a Word of Faith framework, though I’m well aware that there are people peddling the Prosperity Gospel in many churches that aren’t part of Word of Faith denominations or organizations. Still, I’d actually suggest that the Word of Faith Movement isn’t much better than the Prosperity Gospel.  My research will help you understand why I’ve come to that conclusion.

Here are the notes:

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Tongues, Healing and Prophecy Notes – Part 3

Today I’m going to be posting up the the third part of my notes from the third talk I gave at the Last Days Bible Conference.  That talk was about a biblical understanding of tongues, healing and prophecy.  The previous post I put up contained my notes about healing, and the one before that contained my notes about tongues..  Today, I’m going to be posting the notes about prophecy.

If I had a dime for every "prophet" I've known who got this fortune cookie from the Holy Spirit...

I’m talking about Biblical prophets, not the fortune cookie rip-offs that are running around these days…

As in the previous two posts, my main objective in addressing the subject was to try to give, from the Bible, a definition of tongues, healing and prophecy as practice by Christ, the prophets and apostles.  Though there are plenty of questions regarding prophecy that come up in contemporary evangelicalism (though people don’t always realized that the question they’re asking is about prophecy), I hope once again to tackle a majority of the questions at a foundational level since a majority of people assume a wrong definition (that conveniently fits their expectations or experience) and then twist the biblical data to conform to their assumed definition, leading to many questions.

Here we go again! Continue reading