“Johnson rejects the sufficiency of Scripture, insists on new revelations, and chastises pastors and teachers who insist on sound doctrine (85, 91, 103). Most evidently, he speaks of the Spirit as something like a drug to experience and Jesus as a powerful model to imitate, not an incarnate Lord to worship. This is the first reason why I believe his teaching is heterodox.”
It’s no light matter to call someone a heretic.
Trinity-eroding - Christ-denying - Error - Teacher - Teaching
And yet, when Trinity-eroding, Christ-denying, gospel-subverting error is published, we ought not shy away from declaring a teacher or teaching as heretical.
For that reason, I must use the word heresy to speak of Bill Johnson’s book When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles. As I will argue, Johnson’s teaching about living a life of miraculous power is heretical precisely because it misrepresents what the Bible says about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While this review could focus on the sign-gifts Johnson attests to, I’ll instead focus on his intended (or unintended) teaching about God to show how he deviates from Christian orthodoxy and, as such, poses grave danger to Christians and non-Christians alike.
Bill - Johnson - Pastor - Bethel - Church
Bill Johnson is the pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California. As his bio indicates, he’s “a fifth-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit.” His family line includes a grandfather who sang for Aimee Semple McPherson and others who were deeply impacted by early Pentecostal minister Smith Wigglesworth. In short, Johnson is a committed Charismatic, whose ministry has garnered an international reputation through his revival preaching, his church, and their School for Supernatural Ministry. To be clear, what follows is not a critique of Charismatics as a whole, but the specific strain of Bill Johnson’s “gospel of power.”
It should also be noted that Bethel’s music ministry has reached the...
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