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Authentic Fire is Dr. Michael Brown’s book-length response to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference. Because of the importance of this debate, TheCripplegate is using every Thursday to respond chapter-by-chapter to Authentic Fire. You can find an overview of this debate, as well as links to the reviews for each chapter by clicking here.

afThe Genetic Fallacy and the Error of Guilt by Association

In his fourth chapter of Authentic Fire, Dr. Michael Brown interacts with what he calls the “genetic fallacy” argument and errors of “guilt by association.”

First, the “genetic fallacy” is the bogus claim made by John MacArthur and the Strange Fire conference that the charismatic and Pentecostal movements have been corrupt from the beginning. One primary example is MacArthur’s overview of Charles Parham, the scandal-ridden evangelist from Kansas who introduced the tongues phenomenon to 20th century American evangelicals.

While it is true that Parham was beset with personal problems and promoted bad teaching, he was not the originator of tongues.  Brown notes how there was a revival in India at least forty years before Parham and his congregations sought to speak in tongues.  That revival, led by one John Christian Arulappan, was reported to have had people praising God and speaking in tongues with interpretation [AF, 84-85].

Additionally, if one takes the time to read the history behind the Azusa Street revival, even though William Seymour had been discipled by Parham, the focus of the revival was the pursuit of holiness and salvation in Christ. Thus the picture painted by MacArthur focusing on Parham is misleading and inaccurate since tongues preceded his ministry and the fruits of the revival at Azusa Street was godly evangelism and holy living [AF, 89].

Continue Reading…

Authentic Fire is Dr. Michael Brown’s book-length response to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference. Because of the importance of this debate, TheCripplegate is using every Thursday to respond chapter-by-chapter to Authentic Fire. You can find an overview of this debate, as well as links to the reviews for each chapter by clicking here.

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Lyndon and myself are offering a chapter-by-chapter review of Authentic Fire, Dr. Michael Brown’s rebuttal book against Strange Fire. So far Lyndon has reviewed the preface and the first chapter. Today, I come to the second chapter.

Rejecting the Strange Fire, Embracing the Authentic Fire

Chapter Summary

In the second chapter of his book, Authentic Fire, Dr. Michael Brown addresses the charge that charismatic and Pentecostal Christians never police their own ranks. He acknowledges that there are many, many terrible things done in the name of the Holy Spirit, especially by leaders on so-called “Christian” TV, [AF, 13]. He also acknowledges that virtually all of the abuses seen on TV take place in charismatic circles and that is inexcusable [AF, 38]. But such outlandish things do not represent the core of the charismatic movement and they certainly have not gone without severe criticism from charismatic leaders.

In order to prove his point, Brown lists a number of leading men from within Pentecostal and charismatic churches who have decried for years those terrible abuses propagated by TV preachers. For instance, David Wilkerson, Gordon Fee, Jim Cymbala, John Wimber, Lee Grady, Jack Hayford, and Derek Prince.  All of those men have been vocal critics against the prosperity Gospel, fund raising manipulation, and wild behavior that characterizes much of what is called “Christian TV.” Continue Reading…

Authentic Fire is Dr. Michael Brown’s book-length response to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference. Because of the importance of this debate, TheCripplegate is using every Thursday to respond chapter-by-chapter to Authentic Fire. You can find an overview of this debate, as well as links to the reviews for each chapter by clicking here.

Chapter 1 Summary Michael Brown 1.  The chapter opens with Dr. Brown paying respects to John MacArthur, commenting on his extensive contributions to the church, his gospel proclamation and his integrity in both public and private spheres.  He then shifts gears into and writes several sweeping statements:

1a.  “Pastor MacArthur’s criticisms of the charismatic movement are inaccurate, unhelpful, often harshly judgmental, sometimes without scriptural support, and frequently divisive in the negative sense of the word.” (Kindle Locations 193-195)

1b.  “Where he rightly points out some of the most glaring and serious faults in the charismatic movement, I add my ‘Amen,’ having addressed these same abuses for many years myself.” (Kindle Locations 195-196)

1c.  “But when he damns millions of godly believers, demeans the real work of the Spirit, accuses true worshipers of blaspheming the Spirit, and calls for an all-out war against the charismatic movement, a strong corrective is needed, along with a positive statement of the truth of the matter. That is the purpose of this book.” (Kindle Locations 196-198)

condemned Continue Reading…

Authentic Fire is Dr. Michael Brown’s book-length response to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference. Because of the importance of this debate, TheCripplegate is using every Thursday to respond chapter-by-chapter to Authentic Fire. You can find an overview of this debate, as well as links to the reviews for each chapter here.

For those who haven’t been following it all, in the last six months or so Dr. Michael Brown has emerged as one of the more outspoken voices critiquing the Strange Fire conference that occurred this past October.  He has written a number of articles and has gained a fair amount of recognition as one of the leading “level-headed” Charismatics.  You can find a little recap of what happened before the Strange Fire conference here as well as check out this and this and this, and this and this, just to get a small glimpse of Dr. Brown’s comments and activities.  A whole lot more has been occurring, but documenting it all would mean writing a rather encyclopedic post.  More than a few people have spoken up (including James White, Justin Peters, Tony Miano, and more) about  what’s going on with Michael Brown’s recent activities, and to sum it up in two pictures…

How Michael Brown sees his cards…

Aces

How Dr. Michael Brown’s critics see his cards…   Continue Reading…

Authentic Fire is Dr. Michael Brown’s book-length response to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference. Because of the importance of this debate, TheCripplegate is using every Thursday to respond chapter-by-chapter to Authentic Fire. You can find an overview of this debate, as well as links to the reviews for each chapter here.

afIf you haven’t been paying attention the last few months, you may have missed a conference Grace to You put on last October called Strange Fire. Maybe you heard about it?

Of course I’m messing with you. Nearly everyone who participates on social media and runs in my circles heard about it and are well aware of the big stink it stirred up with charismatics and Pentecostals.

Anyhow, I would imagine the most vocal, popular-level critic of the Strange Fire conference was Michael Brown. As early as June of last year, four months before Strange Fire was to take place, Dr. Brown was rebuking John MacArthur for even thinking about holding a conference to address charismatic issues. He wrote two articles that we responded to, and then offered a rejoinder. Folks went back and forth with each other leading up to the conference until the night before the conference began, when Dr. Brown wrote one final article pleading for us to stop everything, send everyone home, and cancel the sessions.

Of course, that never happened. But just a month and a half after the conference ended, Dr. Brown managed to write and publish a 418-page book entitled, Authentic Fire: A Response to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire.   Continue Reading…

afAuthentic Firis Dr. Michael Brown’s response to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference. Because the ongoing use of the sign gifts (languages, miraculous interpretation of langauges, apostleship, healing, prophecy, knowledge) is one of the most significant theological debates of our day, The Cripplegate wanted to take time to respond to Authentic Fire a chapter at a time.

An explanation of why we are doing these reviews.

Review of the Preface

Review of Chapter 1

Review of Chapter 2

Review of Chapter 3

Review of Chapter 4

Review of Chapter 5

Review of Chapter 6

Review of Chapter 7

Review of Chapter 8

More will be added they are published

Here is a list of all of our posts on the Strange Fire conference itself, and here is a link to the conference audio.