Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Mayhue

Five Favorite Living Arminians and Calvinists (2013)

Had an e-mail this week ask me to name my five favorite Arminians and Calvinists and why.  So here is a brief top five along with short reasons why.

Top Five Arminians

1.  Dr. Vic Reasoner.  I enjoy his commentaries on Romans and Revelation as well as his other works.  He is an expository preacher, President of the Southern Methodist College, and a very skilled writer.

2.  Dr. Robert Picirilli.  His book, Grace, Faith, Free Willis simply a good book.  I have read it nearly three times.  He also advocates expository preaching.  I do differ with him over the KJV as he believes that the KJV is the best English translation though he is not KJV only.

3.  Dr. Roger Olson.  While I don’t agree with Dr. Olson on all issues (see inerrancy), I do enjoy his books especially his book, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities.  

4.  Dr. Jack Cottrell.  While Dr. Cottrell is part of the Restoration Movement, he does consider himself an Arminian.  His books, especially his commentary on Romans and his trilogy on the doctrine of God, are classics.  Dr. Cottrell will make you think and he always takes theological issues and wrestles with the Scriptures for the final say.

5.  Dr. Michael Brown.  One of the best Christian apologists and a good debater.  He and his friend Dr. James White often aim at each other yet Dr. Brown remains a godly man through it all.  I met Dr. Brown back in the 1990’s and he was a man with a fire for Jesus.  His preaching is a call to holiness.  His book, Go and Sin No More! is a great read.

Top Five Calvinists

1.  Dr. John MacArthur.  I truly enjoy Johnny Mac.  I had the honor of meeting him and found him to be a godly, warm man.  His writings are full of Scripture and I love his passion for expository preaching.  His book, The Gospel According to Jesus, is a must read for all disciples.

2.  Matt Chandler.  I enjoy Matt’s preaching style.  He is not a deep expositor like MacArthur above but he does teach the Word faithfully and calls people to radically follow Jesus.  His book, The Explicit Gospelis a must read.

3.  Paul Washer.  This brother burns with a passion for Jesus.  Paul describes himself as a “Spurgeonite” when asked what he believes.  I love his zeal for the lost, his hunger for holiness, and his preaching of repentance.

4.  Dr. Gary DeMar.  DeMar use to have a 2 hour podcast that I would download and listen to in my truck.  I first downloaded it to disagree with him but more and more he opened my eyes to many things.  While I don’t always agree with Gary, he is an excellent thinker and writer.  His book, Last Days Madness, is a good read.

5.  Dr. Richard Mayhue.  Some may not know who this is.  Dr. Mayhue is one of John MacArthur’s right hand men.  He is a good Bible teacher, a deep thinker, and signed a book for me once.  His book, The Healing Promise, is a good read.

Review of Healing: Unplugged by Bill Johnson and Randy Clark

I will admit from the outset that I am not the biggest Bill Johnson or Randy Clark fan.  For those of you who don’t know much about these two men, both are huge in the charismatic movement with large followings.  Bill Johnson pastors Bethel Church in Redding, California and is a well sought after speaker.  His main emphasis is on divine healing and charismatic personal prophecy.  He claims to have raised the dead and other miracles though he offers no evidence as you can see at this site from a secular newspaper that ran an article on him and his ministry.  You would think that when a secular paper comes to investigate the claims of healings that Johnson would want to present evidence that would show the power of God but he does not and says that faith doesn’t need evidence.

Clark is best known for his days with the Toronto Blessing.  Again, for those unfamiliar with these terms, the Toronto Blessing was a “revival” that broke out in the mid 1990’s at the Toronto Airport Vineyard with Randy Clark.  The “revival” turned bizarre with people barking like dogs, flying around the room like eagles, or roaring like lions.  Along with uncontrollable laughter, the “revival” became known as the Toronto Blessing or the Laughter Revival.  The Toronto Blessing was responsible for many other off-shoot revivals including a laughter revival at Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London, England (an Anglican Church) and the Brownsville Revival at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida.  I visited the Brownsville Revival on three separate occasions and saw some good and saw much flesh.  Needless to say, Randy Clark has been traveling the world since preaching his “revival” gospel with a focus on healing, signs and wonders, and personal prophecy.

This book, Healing: Unplugged is a book that seeks to get into the minds of Bill Johnson and Randy Clark.  Both men claim to be used by God to do miracles.  Both men claim to have seen incredible miracles.  In this book, Clark first interviews Johnson and asks him questions about his ministry such as how do he get into a healing ministry, what lessons has he learned from his mistakes, what are a few stories of the most incredible healings he has ever seen.  Johnson then turns around and interviews Clark and asks him essentially the same questions.

The book is not that long.  168 pages of actual reading.  I read the book in one day.  The stories are truly incredible.  It is also interesting to read how both Johnson and Clark got started in a healing ministry.  Johnson was raised in the Pentecostal movement so he was always familiar with the teaching of divine healing and praying for the sick according to James 5:13-15.  Johnson does take a swipe at Pentecostals in a way by pointing out that while they believed in divine healing and did pray for the sick, no one ever got healed as far as he can remember.  It was just a tradition that they seemed to follow but never saw actual healings from.

Clark’s adventure into a healing ministry is a bit more unusual.  Clark was pastoring a traditional Baptist church that slowly turned toward the charismatic movement after Clark begin to listen to Vineyard teacher, the late John Wimber.  Clark begin to push his Baptist church toward praying for the sick and actually believing God would do miracles if they had faith according to Mark 11:22-24.  Clark said that soon their Baptist church was jumping and he even begin to invite men such as John Wimber to come and preach to their church about healing and signs and wonders.  I enjoyed Clark’s story because he came out of a non-Pentecostal background and begin to pray for healings.

The problems I have with the book are many.  First, there are only 3 passages of Scripture that are even referenced in 168 pages. Did you read that and catch that?  Here is a book that seeks to build faith in the people reading the book to begin to pursue God for divine healings and miracles yet only three passages from the Bible are even referenced and those only in passing.  None of the three passages are even exegeted.  How can Bible teachers or prophets or healers claim to be speaking for God and seeking to build people’s faith in God yet not deal with the Scriptures?  Romans 10:17 says that the Word of God builds our faith but we don’t find much focus on the Word of God in this book at all.

Secondly, the stories, while incredible, are simply told and we are to just believe them.  In some cases they will even say that a doctor checked out the healed person and verified the healing but nothing is given as proof.  The Bible, on the other hand, is a book that can be tested (2 Peter 1:16-21).  The Bible doesn’t tell us to trust God blindly.  It gives us proofs in the Bible that show us that God is truthful in what He has said (John 17:17).  I don’t doubt that I too have told stories and not given any proof for my story and simply expect people to believe me but in this case, Johnson and Clark are sending this book out to millions of people with only their view of the healings as proof.

Lastly, I found that the book really didn’t do a good job of focusing on Jesus.  The Apostles in the book of Acts always focused on Jesus as the Savior, Lord, and Healer (Acts 3:26).  In fact, Peter (Acts 4:8-9) and Paul (Acts 14:14-18) both clearly told people to look to Jesus and not to them.  The focus of healings, signs and wonders is always to point to the Savior (Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:4).  In Acts 14:3 we read, “So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” But the focus was entirely upon Jesus Christ and His gospel.  Mankind’s greatest need is not healing of our bodies but our sins forgiven through Christ (Luke 24:47).  This should be our aim: to exalt Jesus Christ so that all may be saved through faith in Him (John 6:37; 2 Peter 3:9).

Overall I do not recommend this book for those interested in divine healing.  A couple of books to look at about healing would be Jack Deere’s Surprised by the Power of the Spirit

Here is the book

and Richard Mayhue’s The Healing Promise.  I strongly recommend Mayhue’s book.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/10/2012 at 2:20 PM

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