Friday, October 14, 2011

Gotten Stranger with Age

If you are old like me you can recall when C. Peter Wagner was THE go to man for church growth and spiritual gifts and the like.  He was the giant who appeared on the scene about the time I entered college.  He taught at Fuller Seminary in California for 30 some years (retiring in 2001), wrote some 70 books and countless articles, and led more workshops and seminars in church growth theology and methodology and spiritual gifts than anyone.  He and Donald McGavran (founding Dean of the School of World Mission at Fuller) were the twin giants of what was new and with it when I was new and not so with it.  Of course, he has long since moved off of center stage and it is now occupied with very different leaders and the whole direction has evolved or morphed into new areas and identities.

Ran across this interview with C. Peter Wagner (McGavran is no longer living) and Terri Gross picked up on where he has been and what he has been up to.... well, let's just say it was interesting...  Here is a slant on it from the Internet Monk:

C. Peter Wagner was interviewed this week by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air. Gross is a seasoned interviewer who through kindness draws out what many other interviewers would never even get to in a subject.

Perhaps we found out more from Wagner than we ever wanted to hear. Wagner is the leader of the ever-morphing New Apostolic Reformation, a loose-knit group of “apostles” and “prophets” who seek to take dominion over seven “mountains”: business; government; media; arts and entertainment; education; religion; and family. The way to establish dominion in these areas is through prayer and the casting out of demons.
And Wagner sees a lot of demons in action these days. For instance, he says that Japan’s natural disaster woes as well the twenty-year decline in their stock market is due to the emperor of Japan having sex with the sun goddess. I kid you not. And we think Bill Clinton was stepping wide. He settled for a common intern when he could have had a sun goddess.


Carl Vehse said...

In addition to sun-goddesses (or, paraphrasing a YS Prayer Service officiant, is there just one true sun-goddess?) and a questionnaire on demon possession (is this like an anti-questionnaire on possession of spiritual gifts?), C. Peter Wagner also had these comments:

WAGNER: The Bible teaches that apostles - related to prophets and also teachers - should form the basis of the government of the church. Now, up till now, recently, most churches in America functioned on a democratic system, so that the authority in the churches and the authority in the denominations resided in groups of people.

And, of course, that's what we're used to politically in America, so that fits in very well with our culture. But in terms of the role of the apostle, one of the biggest changes from traditional churches to the New Apostolic Reformation is the amount of spiritual authority delegated by the Holy Spirit to individuals. And the two key words are authority and individuals, and individuals as contrasted to groups. So now, apostles have been raised up by God who have a tremendous authority in the churches of the New Apostolic Reformation. And I think this is the most radical difference between the old and the new.

GROSS: So as an apostle, do you have special insight, special powers?

WAGNER: God has chosen certain people from the church to have the gift of prophecy. And it says in the Old Testament, in the book of Amos, that God does nothing unless he first reveals his secrets to his servants, the prophets.

I can see it now -- someone applying Wagner's questionnaire on demonic possession to C.F.W. Walther's Kirche und Amt.

Paul said...

I happened to hear most of the interview. Fascinating. My take was that Dr. Wagner was soft-pedaling his views to make them more palatable to the audience on NPR.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that after a while so many of these "hot" preachers with so many "great" ideas turn out to just be weird?