Author: John MacArthur
Publisher: Nelson Books
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0517-2

The charismatic quest for extrabiblical revelation, ecstatic experiences, subjective guidance, unrestrained emotionalism, and material prosperity represents a massive danger. In the same way a child should avoid matches, believers ought to stay away from the strange fire of unacceptable charismatic worship and practice,” John MacArthur states in his book, Strange Fire.

At three hundred and thirty-four pages, this hardback book is targeted toward readers who want to understand the cessationist verses continualist’s beliefs of specific spiritual gifts, speaking in tongues, and prosperity theology in the Charismatic Movement today. Written by a well-known pastor-teacher of Biblical doctrine, mainly the New King James version of the Bible is used along with references from the NASB, NIV, and ESV.

After an introduction referring to the Old Testament story of Nadab and Abihu offering as strange fire to the Lord and being consumed in flames, MacArthur divides the book into three parts: Confronting a Counterfeit Revival, Exposing the Counterfeit Gifts, and Rediscovering the Spirit’s True Work, followed by acknowledgements, an appendix, fifty pages of notes, both topical and Scriptural indexes, and the author’s biography.

First giving a history of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements, MacArthur states there are a half billion charismatics in the world today who create their own golden-calf version of exalting the Holy Spirit over Christ. 

He names and holds accountable spiritual counterfeiters who promote false doctrines, perform phony miracles, or push a prosperity gospel including Copeland, Crouch, Olsteen, Price, Roberts, Swaggart, and Swindoll with more in-depth information on Hinn. He also explains majority groups that include the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Oneness Pentecostalism, and the Word of Faith Movement along with Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard.

The book lists ways to determine false prophets that teach false doctrine, have unrestrained lust and unrepentant sin, and supposedly receive “revelations from God” which are untrue or inaccurate. The author reiterates that charismatics claim their acceptable prophets today are fallible and non-authoritative. 

Since charismatics are expected to lose control of their mind and actions to encourage the work of the Holy Spirit, the writer uses a plethora of Bible verses confirming some spiritual gifts and speaking in tongues were stopped in the New Testament and that there is no Biblical stance for “being slain in the spirit.”

True to MacArthur’s tedious expositional teaching, he reminds us the Holy Spirit convicts unbelievers of sin, regenerates the sinful heart, brings us to repentance, improves our fellowship with God, indwells within us, and seals our salvation forever. 

With the final chapter being a must-read of compassion for believers caught up in the Charismatic Movement, MacArthur begs to have doctrinal discernment and theological accountability by verifying the Bible against these strange beliefs.

This book was furnished by Booksneeze in lieu of a review based on my own opinion.

Follow Here To Purchase Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship