Tuesday, January 29, 2008

News of Interest

Regular readers of Herescope will want to know about the following items of interest:


WARREN SMITH at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa last week

Listen to Warren Smith's talk on The New Age and The Emerging Church at the the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa last week online here. Simply click on the link to his speech.

We've been astonished to find that Warren's previous Herescope posts about Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson and the Course in Miracles have taken on a life of their own in cyberspace. Many people around the country have been sending these posts to family and friends and their loops. Praise the Lord for this important warning getting out.

For people desiring more information about the false gospel in A Course in Miracles, Warren Smith's first book The Light That Was Dark contains his fascinating testimony about his personal experiences with this Course.


"The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation"


Pastor Bob DeWaay has done an excellent job of describing the history, personnel and doctrines of what is now called the New Apostolic Reformation in his latest Critical Issues Commentary. The article begins:

This article explores the idea of apostles in the church throughout church history. In it I will show that the restoration/Latter Rain idea that fuels the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is unbiblical and dangerous to the well-being of Christians who become part of it. First we will review how the early church understood apostles in church history.

Then we will examine the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching about apostolic authority. From there we will examine the ideas of a 17th-century mystic given new life in the Latter Rain movement, and now the NAR. At a 1996 Fuller Seminary conference hosted by C. Peter Wagner, a movement that Wagner previously labeled “post-denominational” became the New Apostolic Reformation.1 Besides Wagner himself is another person prominent in the movement—Bill Hamon—who is strongly endorsed by Wagner. Hamon is important, as we will see, because his ministry goes all the way back to the early 1950’s and began on the heels of the Latter Rain Movement.


Read the rest of his article here. For those of you who want a good summary paper that would explain this growing evangelical movement, Pastor DeWaay's paper is a great printable handout that summarizes the important details. You should feel comfortable giving this to your pastor and friends. It is exceptionally well done.

A good companion piece for this article would be Jewel Grewe's Joel's Army booklet, which is available online at the Discernment Ministries website, and also in booklet form. Joel's Army describes that pivotal period of time when the leaders of the "Kansas City Prophets" connected with C. Peter Wagner and John Wimber to form what became the New Apostolic Reformation.


"WHY I AM NOT A PURPOSE-DRIVEN PASTOR"

This is the subtitle to a new book just released by Pastor Larry DeBruyn titled Church on the Rise. The book's stunning cover graphic depicts a dark, creepy, gurgling, leavened church rising up.

This book fills a void in the critical books that have been written about Rick Warren and his purpose-driven structure and agenda. It is kindly written from the heart of a long-time pastor, who simply desires other pastors to humbly love their flocks and remain true to the Gospel in these perilous times. It is well-documented and an easy read.

One of the themes of the book is "P & P" -- the "positivity and possibility formula that has become central to preaching" (p. 42) in the evangelical church. A good history of "New Thought" connects it to the teachings of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Joel Osteen.

The book isn't just about purpose-driven. It encompasses the emerging/emergent church as well. Chapter five is about "Contemporary Music and Evangelicalism: Suffocating the Word." Others will appreciate Chapter 6, "Contemplative Mysticism and Evangelicalism: Subverting the Word." Both chapters contain useful information from a fresh perspective.

The book is worth getting for the rich appendices and essays included in the back. These vignettes utilize Scripture to refute the errors of contemplative mysticism and Emergent church heresies. These are handy little tools. The titles for the fifteen essays are listed below:

  • Be Still
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • Should We Wait in Silence?
  • Let All the Earth Keep Silence
  • A Still Small Voice
  • Who Goes There?
  • When You Pray, Say . . .
  • No Pass for Campolo's Impasse
  • Breath Prayers
  • Sensory Religion
  • Posture to Apostasy
  • Essence Within: Divinity or Depravity?
  • Did Jesus Teach the Deity of Humanity?
  • David's New Song
  • Sway Hallelujah!--Dance and Grace

For a sample of Pastor DeBruyn's writing, see "B.B. Warfield and Contemplative-Mystical Spirituality," which is Appendix 4 in this book. Note: A few might find his use of newer Bible translations and quotations from non-Christian sources to be disturbing. Others may find tidbits here and there to quibble about. But there are great nuggets in the book, such as the quote below:

"The Purpose-Driven philosophy seems to feed off the fear of a dying church. But failing to cultivate spiritual health by returning to the Word, churches are only embracing methods of temporary life support. However, being separated from the life of the Word and the Spirit, churches will inevitably be forced to pull the plug, and die. Purpose-Driven would have us believe that life can be sustained by adopting new methods. Jesus and the apostles would tell us that life can only be sustained by returning to the old message. For churches cut off from their Gospel roots, no new method is going to bring them real spiritual life. Pragmatism possesses no power to resurrect the dead. Only the Word and the Spirit can do that (Romans 1:16; Revelation 3:3a)." (p. 163)

Like so many other books that dare to criticize the modern evangelical movements, this book had to be self-published. The book costs $14.95 and is available from www.frbaptist.org.


The Truth:

"Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 1:13)