Review: Strange Fire

John MacArthur, Thomas Nelson, 2013, 352 pages, 4 of 5 stars

As one author put it: the Prosperity Gospel is Christianity’s version of professional wrestling–you know it’s fake but it nonetheless has entertainment value.

As a missionary in Africa, I value this book because the errors it addresses are deeply embedded among our people. The slogan “What I confess, I possess” was first coined in the early 20th century by a white American Baptist but is repeated thousands of times over in innumerable 21st century African churches.

Think of Strange Fire (2013) as the sequel to Charismatic Chaos (1992). Same topics but tighter arguments and updated names. A conference with the same name launched the book. Heavy praise and criticism followed. In typical fashion, MacArthur goes right for the jugular. He rebukes dozens of authors and preachers (e.g. Hinn, Copeland, Osteen) in nearly 600 footnotes. He tackles nearly every key passage from the opposing side, and—contra media allegations—does not address just the extreme cases. He pinpoints the errors of orthodox men he would call friends, like John Piper, Don Carson, and Wayne Grudem. Continue reading