Modern Heresies

Kingdom Through Culture: The New Apostolic Reformation and its Cultural Appeal, Part 4

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Seven Implications for Consideration (Continued)

6. Some Positive Aspects of the NAR—The theology of the NAR is in some cases significantly different from what is represented by the plain sense of Scripture, and that must be dealt with and addressed. At the same time, there is value in addressing the negatives while learning from the positives—three of which are identified by this writer: (1) The NAR expends great effort and resource to maintain consistency between theology, praxis, and liturgy. (2) The NAR is attempting to be comprehensive in efforts to positively impact the culture. (3) The NAR demonstrates commitment to excellence in the “product,” showing some cultural leadership rather than simply mimicking tools employed by secular influencers.

Perhaps we can challenge NAR advocates in core epistemological foundations, hermeneutic and exegetical method, and certain theological conclusions all while appreciating that they are demonstrating some methodology in reaching the present generation.

7. The Tenor of the Discussion—The differences and distinctions should not be ignored, particularly where there is divergence from the Scriptures. Also we should keep the end goal in mind. Michael Brown (considered by some to be part of the NAR, though denying it himself) suggests five ways to handle the discussion constructively. Though we might disagree on some aspects, the concerns and recommendations he raises are thoughtworthy:

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Kingdom Through Culture: The New Apostolic Reformation and its Cultural Appeal, Part 3

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Seven Implications for Consideration

1. The Bible Plus View of Revelation—employing the Catholic understanding of Revelation, the NAR has departed from the progress of the Protestant Reformation, favoring the RCC’s Bible Plus Tradition approach. Much of evangelicalism flirts with this (doctrine of illumination, Holy Spirit speaking today, etc.), along with liberties taken in Bible translation (formal equivalence versus dynamic equivalence).1

2. The Hermeneutics of Dominionism—The NAR employs several hermeneutic models: theological, Christocentric, redemptive, and allegorical, all supporting continuationism and dominionism. The Genesis model for hermeneutics and the NT use of the OT suggests the literal grammatical historical model.

3. The Theology of Dominionism—The NAR is impacting culture effectively both through and to this theology. Evangelical theology hasn’t effectively dealt with the cultural mandate undergirding dominionism.2 Passages for consideration include Genesis 1-3, and 9, Matthew 5-13, and Revelation 19. Understanding a Biblical perspective on interacting with Wallnau’s seven mountains (religion, family, education, government, media, arts, and business) is also important.

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Kingdom Through Culture: The New Apostolic Reformation and its Cultural Appeal, Part 2

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Six Theological Distinctives (Continued)

(5) Postmillennial dominionism is the NAR’s distinctive eschatological perspective and helps define its culture-changing emphasis. “When Jesus came, He brought the kingdom of God and He expects His kingdom-minded people to take whatever action is needed to push back the long-standing kingdom of Satan and bring the peace and prosperity of His kingdom here on earth. This is what we mean by dominionism.”26 Wagner rejects the escapist eschatology of pretribulationalist premillennialism in favor of what he calls “dominionist eschatology.”27 He describes the present activity of the church as “aggressively retaking dominion, and the rate at which this is happening will soon become exponential. The day will come when “‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’”28

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Kingdom Through Culture: The New Apostolic Reformation and its Cultural Appeal, Part 1

Introduction

Drawing popular scrutiny during the 2012 presidential election,1 the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) embraces the largest non-Catholic segment of world Christianity. It is also the fastest growing segment, the only segment of Christianity currently growing faster than the world population and faster than Islam.2 “The NAR represents the most radical change in the way of doing church since the Protestant Reformation. This is not a doctrinal change. We adhere to the major tenets of the Reformation: the authority of Scripture, justification by faith, and the priesthood of all believers. But the quality of church life, the governance of the church, the worship, the theology of prayer, the missional goals, the optimistic vision for the future, and other features, constitute quite a change from traditional Protestantism.”3 The NAR is remarkably noteworthy, globally influential, and should be understood in context.

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Wm. Paul Young's Problems with the Truth About God (Part 2)

Image of Lies We Believe About God
by Wm. Paul Young
Atria Books 2017
Hardcover 272

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Universal Salvation

When I speak of Young’s universalism I am not referring to the belief that Jesus Christ provided an atonement for every sinner; a position which I hold. I am instead talking about the liberal theological teaching that God will save everybody, whether or not they have placed their trust in His Son.

Because of the author’s encounters with hurt and pain, it is understandable that he has searched for a god who is safe and accepting. In his striving to push past the debilitating burden that bitterness carries with it, perhaps he has embraced a god that characterizes his wish to move on and forgive—everyone? One can’t be sure. But Young wants to remove what he sees as the hard edges off of the traditional concept of God:

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Wm. Paul Young's Problems with the Truth About God (Part 1)

Image of Lies We Believe About God
by Wm. Paul Young
Atria Books 2017
Hardcover 272

Wm. Paul Young is best known as the author of the astoundingly successful book The Shack. He has also written two other works. All his books deal with pain and suffering and seek to offer hope.

Unfortunately, Young’s brand of hope, although it presents itself as Christian, and indeed has been understood as such by many, is not anchored in the biblical portrait of God at all. This book, Lies We Believe About God, lays bare Young’s understanding of some of the central tenets of Christianity for all to see. Those of us who were unhappy with the portrayal of God in The Shack have had our suspicions vindicated. Young’s conception of God is very unbiblical.

Where He Is Right

Saying that this book contains a false view of God is not the same as saying that it is entirely false. He has some strong words for the word-faith people (86-87). He correctly states that for God to change this world into a monument of His grace “speaks volumes” about His character (39). He is also spot on when he says that we are all individuals and God will relate to us as such (158), and in his insistence that we have intrinsic worth (32). There are a few things in the book where the author makes a good point or two. He can get you to agree with him.

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