You are scanning the tv stations and suddenly a large church service flashes across your screen. You’ve seen this scene before. Masses gather, phrases like “if you belief it will happen, then it will” or “with a $5 donation, your loved one will be healed” are shouted, people appear to be healed, and just like that the service ends. Sitting there baffled, you’re not sure what you witnessed.
That my friends is what “Strange Fire” by John MacArthur is addressing. What is this charismatic theology that we have come to be witnesses of and does it line up with the bible?
MacArthur dedicates chapters in this book to address the modern views of this ‘Strange fire’ in hopes of teaching people on how to discern these behaviors when one is confronted with them. He spends a good deal of time addressing leaders like Benny Hinn and Joel Olsten and the following that they have created for themselves. Through these two leaders, MacArthur brings to light a deeper understanding of the prosperity gospel as well healing. With a great deal of research applied, MacArthur also shows how many of these “healings” were in fact staged events that never truly resulted in a healing.
The final part of the text shines light on the true movement of the Holy Spirit and guides readers in an understanding of what the Holy Spirit’s role is in the trinity as well as what phrases like “walk in the spirit” mean.
Strange Fire exposes the Charismatic Movement and brings to light some of the heresies that lie within the movement. In order to aid believers in truly following Christ, MacArthur speaks against the errors of these celebrities, shows the true nature of the Holy Spirit, and situates all claims on the Bible- which is where we should turn in order to test all things of this world.