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Worldviews in Conflict: Christian Cosmology and the Recent Doctrine of Spiritual Mapping (Part 2)

 

51 Note Oscar Cullman’s, Christ and Time (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1964), Trans. Floyd Filson, pp. 191-210.

52 For a fair description of the movement, see Harold D. Hunter’s article, “The Shepherding Movement,” in Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, eds. Stanley M. Burgess and Gary B. McGee (Grand Rapids: Regency Reference Library, 1988), pp. 783-785.

53 See especially Rudolf Bultmann’s, Jesus Christ and Mythology (New York: Scribners, 1958), and “New Testament and Mythology” in Kerygma and Myth, ed. by Hans Werner Bartsch (New York: Harper and Row).

54 For example, see Kallas, Jesus and the Power of Satan, pp. 202-215.

55 Bloesch, The Struggle of Prayer, p. 89.

56 Anne Gimenez appears to support this viewpoint in her chapter, “Battle in the Heavenlies” in Engaging the Enemy, pp. 77-82.

57 Note that Jesus defeats the Enemy by “the finger of God” (v.20), a reference meant to contrast the great power of God to the devil’s overrated control. Rather, Jesus is “the stronger” (v. 22) man who defeats the works of Satan.

58 Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 421.

59 See also Jude 8-10, where reference is made to Michael disputing with devil over the body of Moses. It is interesting to note that Michael does not rebuke the devil openly, but defers to God (v.9). According to some of the early church fathers, Clement of Alexandria and Origen, Jude is quoting a story from the apocryphal Assumption of Moses. Scant remains of the book survive.

60 Karl Barth, Prayer, 2nd ed. by Don E. Saliers, trans. Sara F. Terrien (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1985), p. 33. My emphasis.

61 See, for example, Harold Bloom’s, The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992). Bloom is highly critical of the American Christian experience, which he believes thrives on innovation and enthusiasm as opposed to tradition and rigorous investigation. It is interesting to note that the most influential Christian cults have risen in the United States: Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, etc.

62 C. Peter Wagner is professor of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary, School of World Mission and a renowned speaker. He has authored numerous books on the subject of church growth and spiritual gifts.

63 For example, see Wagner’s, “Territorial Spirits” in his edited book, Engaging the Enemy (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1991), pp. 43-49.

64 George Otis, Jr., Informed Intercession (Ventura, CA: Renew, 1999), p. 82.

65 C. Peter Wagner, Breaking Strongholds in Your City (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1993), pp. 19-21.

66 Ibid., p. 20.

67 Ibid.

68 Ibid., p. 14.

69 George Otis, Jr., The Twilight Labyrinth (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 1997), p. 59.

70 Successful stories about large-scale evangelistic results and city-wide revivals form the basis of proof for the practice of spiritual mapping by the central cast of characters: C. Peter Wagner, George Otis, Jr., Cindy Jacobs, and John Dawson.

71 For the full story, see George Otis, Jr.’s, Informed Intercession, pp. 15-50.

72 One of the most powerful and inspiring accounts is that of Julio Ruibal, who was killed by a hit man of the Cali drug cartel outside his church on December 13, 1995. Julio was a remarkable Christian leader in the community and his clear martyrdom unleashed a tremendous revival in the city that thrives to this day. See Otis, Jr., Informed Intercession, pp. 37-47.

73 Ibid., esp. pp. 78-81.

74 Wagner, Breaking Strongholds in Your City, p. 20.

75 For example, Wagner is not shy to use ancient apocryphal and spurious accounts such as, The Acts of John, in his book, Warfare Prayer (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1992), pp. 97-99. The problem is that such accounts have no authority and generally reflect the mythical and legendary views of the surrounding cults. The church fathers gave little credence to books such as these.

76 Ibid., pp. 65-66. Nothing in the New Testament comes close to the view of animism, the notion of spirits dwelling in inanimate objects. Paul contradicts such a notion in I Cor. 8:4, which Wagner mentions but doesn’t interpret adequately.

77 See Cindy Jacobs, Possessing the Gates of the Enemy (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 1991), p. 49.

78 Wagner, Warfare Prayer, p. 83.

79 Ibid. p. 78.

80 This has been a central appeal of the spiritual mapping proponents, to maintain that modern believers are in a state of myopia. Unfortunately, this argument is tantamount to name calling, or in logic, an “ad hominem” argument. Calling people in the West narrow-minded clouds the fact that more people today are very spirit-oriented compared to the previous generation. The problem is few people lack critical judgment and relativism rules—even in our churches, as George Barna has pointed out.

81 Late apologist and philosopher, Francis Schaeffer, performed a great service for the church when he published his work, How Should We Then Live? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1976). More recently, voices such as Ravi Zacharias, Charles Colson, and William Bennet are heard speaking out on the history that has brought Western culture to this point in time.

 

 

Selected Bibliography

Green, Michael. I Believe in Satan’s Downfall. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1981.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994. pp. 412-436.

Mallone, George. Arming for Spiritual Warfare. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991.

Page, Sydney H.T. Powers of Evil: A Biblical Study of Satan and Demons. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995.

 

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Category: Living the Faith, Winter 2002

About the Author: Larry L. Taylor, M.A., D.Min., is Affiliate Faculty at Regis University in the Denver area and formerly professor of humanities at Portland Bible College. Larry Taylor founded a church in Colorado and has 17 years of pastoral experience.

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