This book details the recent history, teachings, and impacts of a seemingly heretical and potentially destructive movement, the so-called New Apostolic Reformation, a movement involving a supposed latter day, “end-times”, divine raising up of authoritative apostles and prophets. These teachers / teachings mainly affect certain Pentecostal or charismatic circles but also have the potential to affect / infect evangelical churches unaware of this movement, its teachings, and influence. Using factual analysis derived from history, scripture, and generally sound, though perhaps somewhat dispensationalist / Arminian, theology this book was written in a mild, dispassionate tone (more so perhaps than is called for) as the authors effectively and helpfully point out the key players and teachings of these fringe theological players and of their impacts on the church.
Strength(s): The main value of this book is to make church leaders aware of individuals who would have Christians or others believe that they have some type of divine mandate, authority, and insight similar to the Old Testament prophets and the foundational 1st century apostles (a good hint: they don’t).
Weakness(es): The authors may have been a bit more dispassionate toward these deleterious teachers than was called for (see Paul’s anathemas on such).
CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATION:
As pervasive as the authors claim this movement to be, it mainly appears to be a theologically and ecclesiastically pernicious, unhelpful fringe movement well outside mainstream of historic, orthodox Christianity. The leaders seem to be some combination of naive, hubristic, and / or power-hungry persons intent on gaining control of over individuals, churches, denominations, and secular society by asserting sensationalistic, hyper-spiritual claims of divine offices (apostle and prophet) with the associated authority, insight, and direction for the church. The spirit of this movement is somewhat reminiscent of the 19th century origin and establishment of the Latter Day Saints vs. anything that could authentically be called Christian (or perhaps of the super-apostles and other gospel pretenders that were the bane of the Apostle Paul’s ministry). Neither hubris, delusion, naivete, nor desire for personal glory and power, however potentially well-intentioned are a fruit of the (Holy) Spirit, but rather are instigated by the most unholy one acting in concert with our dying sinful natures and the lure of the world’s values and thinking.
This book (which I recommend) was eye-opening for me as it exposes a movement that is likely under the radar of most Christian leaders or others who should be made aware of these deviant, heretical, spiritually and theologically unsound teachers and teachings. It was provided gratis by the publisher and Cross-Focused Reviews in exchange for a fair review.