John MacArthur and Charismatic Chaos

John MacArthur and Charismatic Chaos

John MacArthur is no stranger to controversy. In 1978, he wrote The Charismatics in which he offered a biblical critique of the charismatic movement. In 1993, he issued a revised and updated version of the book entitled Charismatic Chaos. Then, in 2013, he wrote Strange Fire, in which he chronicles the unsavory history behind the modern charismatic movement.

While being gracious to many within the movement who are brothers and sisters in Christ, MacArthur is clear about the dangers and excesses of the movement, and he lays out a chilling case for rejecting its false prophets, their errors, and ungodly lifestyles. He shows true reverence for the Holy Spirit and, above all, clings to the Bible as the inerrant, authoritative Word of God and the one true standard by which all truth claims must be tested.

For decades, evangelicals have downplayed doctrinal differences with the charismatic movement. Today, charismatic teaching is so widespread that it is often the default doctrinal position and is rarely challenged. What’s at stake is nothing less than our understanding of salvation and sanctification as well as our view of Scripture’s authority. In Strange Fire, John MacArthur critiques the charismatic movement, exposing the faulty teaching and practices that are misleading hundreds of millions of people. He also offers solid, biblical critique of the word of faith movement and prosperity theology.

His biblical defense of the Person and work of the Spirit will equip you to discern the errors of many aspects of charismatic teaching, help you to minister to those caught up in the more egregious aspects of the movement, and deepen your understanding of and love for the Spirit.

I would highly recommend the book, even though I am not a Cessationist as MacArthur is. I still believe the sign gifts are alive and available. Having said that, I believe that MacArthur is spot on in his biblical critique of many aspects of the modern charismatic movement.

by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor
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