Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship

by John MacArthur

Other authorsThomas Nelson (Publisher), Maurice England (Narrator)
Paperback, 2013


Checked out
Due 5 May 2024

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Thomas Nelson (2013)


What would God say about those who blatantly misrepresent His Holy Spirit; who exchange true worship for chaotic fits of mindless ecstasy; who replace the biblical gospel with vain illusions of health and wealth; who claim to prophesy in His name yet speak errors; and who sell false hope to desperate people for millions of dollars? The charismatic movement has always been a breeding-ground for scandal, greed, bad doctrine, and all kinds of spiritual chicanery. As a movement, it is clearly headed the wrong direction. And it is growing at an unprecedented rate. From the Word of Faith to the New Apostolic Reformation, the Charismatic movement is being consumed by the empty promises of the prosperity gospel. Too many charismatic celebrities promote a "Christianity" without Christ, a Holy Spirit without holiness. And their teaching is having a disastrous influence on a grand scale, as large television networks broadcast their heresies to every part of the world. In Strange Fire, bestselling author and pastor John MacArthur chronicles the unsavory history behind the modern Charismatic movement. He lays out a chilling case for rejecting its false prophets, speaking out against their errors, showing true reverence to the Holy Spirit, and above all clinging to the Bible as the inerrant, authoritative Word of God and the one true standard by which all truth claims must be tested.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member RobSumrall
John MacArthur doesn't pull any punches. He thinks the charismatic movement is dangerous. Strange Fire is his plea with the modern church to rethink the Charismatic Movement through the lens of Scripture.

MacArthur always writes with clarity. Strange Fire is no exception. MacArthur builds both a
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biblical and historical case against the Charismatic Movement. He goes all the way back to the start, tracing the the suspect origins of the movement. He follows the line through the heretical thought of E.W. Kenyon and those that followed him to develop the Word of Faith Movement. Hardly any television preacher is left unscathed by MacArthur. Like I said - he doesn't pull any punches.

This book is a must-read today. Any believer, whether conservative, liberal, or full blown Pentecostal, will benefit from this book. The explosion of the Charismatic church in the developing world as well as here in the U.S. makes this subject one of utmost importance. If you are a proponent of the charismatic movement, MacArthur will challenge your thinking. If you are a skeptic, MacArthur will help you understand what is at stake. If you are against the Charismatic Movement, MacArthur will arm you with biblical information that will help you warn others against the excesses of the movement.

Did I mention that MacArthur doesn't pull any punches? He even takes a swing at one of my favorite authors, Wayne Grudem. Grudem's Systematic Theology is a staple in my library. I give them away to young preachers like Tic Tacs. I think it is a phenomenal work that should be read and digested by every believer. But Grudem is open to the continuation of the charismata, and MacArthur firmly believes that is an untenable position. In fact, MacArthur ends the book with an open letter to his brethren that still view the gifts as operative.

Overall, I think this book is strong. If it has a flaw, it's that at times it is too strong. MacArthur can be guilty, in my opinion, of writing in a scathing fashion. I sometimes wonder if he wouldn't help his cause more my writing in a more pastoral tone.

Still, this book is excellent and I highly recommend it!
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LibraryThing member sparkleandchico
I should probably state upfront that I am a MacArthur fan, although I don't agree with all of his views. I read "Charismatic Chaos" a few years ago and found it really helpful in trying to find the correct path through the maze of charismatic confusion that seems to be everywhere. I remember being
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astonished by just how much error had crept in to mainstream evangelicalism and even into what I had thought were trusted sources. I shouldn't really have been surprised as of course the confusion is predicted in the Bible but the enemy is clever in his schemes.

"Strange Fire" is an updated and in my view more comprehensive read than "Charismatic Chaos." It addresses the issues of modern day tongues speaking, prophesy, health and wealth prosperity teaching and healing ministries. MacArthur uses scripture to definitively show how the "gifts" being exercised in charismatic circles and now even in mainstream churches bear little or no resemblance to the true gifts experienced during the New Testament era. He leaves no room for confusion or doubt clearly stating a Biblical position on each topic.

In perhaps his boldest move he concludes by writing an open letter to continuationist Pastors and Preachers in mainstream evangelicalism (including John Piper who is frequently quoted) encouraging them to effectively "get off the fence." He details the damaging effect that holding a continuationist position is having on the attempts to stem the tide of charismatic chaos.

I highly recommend this book to anyone involved in a charismatic church or one that is sympathetic to charismatic practice. Also to anyone who is or has become confused about any of these issues due to experiences they or others have had. This book will provide clarification and help from the only worthwhile source; the Bible.
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LibraryThing member HGButchWalker
This is a sharply criticized book but it primarily points to the rampantly unbiblical word of faith movement, which needs to be exposed as heretical. He does address charismatics who preach the true gospel but his biggest argument to them is that they are lending credibility to the Benny Hinns of
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the world.
You may not agree with every word but you should read this book.
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LibraryThing member PhillipThomas
A thorough coverage of the distinctive elements of much of today's charismatic church movement from a biblical and theological viewpoint.
At times Macarthur seems a little harsh in his criticism, although the book provides many verifiable examples of failings of modern-day charismata.
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undertaken a Bethel School Of Supernatural Ministry course this year, I found Macarthur's book a very useful resource in examining the biblical basis for much of the teaching and experience of the course with which I was uncomfortable as a mature Christian.
Anyone involved in any way with a charismatic-style church would be well advised to check out this book, or even moreso the ministry of Justin Peters.
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