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Why I Took Time to Respond to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire

strangefiresmallby Frank Viola

Someone has asked me, “Why waste your time on responding to MacArthur’s writings against the charismatics?”

When I was in my 20s, I wrote a critique of John MacArthur’s Charismatic Chaos because a brother in the Lord broke fellowship with me and my friends after reading MacArthur’s book. Jesus said to His disciples, “If they reject you, they’ve rejected me.” So to my mind, restoring a brother to fellowship was enough of a reason for me to try to persuade him that MacArthur’s views needed to be challenged.

For similar reasons, I am re-releasing my critique and revising it to include my response to Strange Fire. I want to clear up the confusion created when cessationists like MacArthur bring forward legitimate criticisms. I argue that theological errors and bad practices must be dealt with, but not by condemning the entire charismatic movement or implying they are not Christians.

My hope is that my critique will change the minds of some cessationists who have bought into MacArthur’s argument and confirm the views and experiences of those who have experienced the power of God today.

Frank Viola’s Pouring Holy Water on Strange Fire: A Critique of John MacArthur’s Strange Fire & Charismatic Chaos is available at for $5.99. Endorsements by Craig Keener, Sam Storms, Dr. Michael Brown, and Adrian Warnock.

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Category: Spirit

About the Author: Frank Viola has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church. He has written many books on these themes, including God’s Favorite Place on Earth, From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity, and The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels. He blogs regularly at Twitter

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