I have read many of Pastor MacArthur's books, have done many of his bible study guides on my own, at home...he IS biblically based..as I have found reading his books before, you read with 1 finger where you are, in the book, and 1 finger on the extensive notes for that book chapter in the back of the book. You'll miss a lot, if you dont read his books this way. But, he always comes across, sounding almost angry and scolding in the language he uses, to get his points across to the reader. He presents God as a holy, just, righteous God, but to me, it sounds like God is just waiting for a weak, fallable human like me, to make a mistake and be judged for it! I dont feel the Father's love and mercy, when I have read Pastor MacArthur's books...I ask myself, 'why did I buy this book'? I did (and do) want to learn about the charismatic movement; but this comes across as harsh, angry and 'in your face'....
I have had friends involved in the word faith deception, Its new age with a christian label. When a high profile pastor from this movement can go on Opra and she agrees with everything he says, well that's a big problem! Look at the type of men God used in the reformation and what they stood for when it was life and death, but they must not have had enough faith because they sure didn't have The Best Life Now!
This is a very well written book that examines the charismatic movement, its doctrines, and many associated with it. Dr. MacArthur painstakingly examines every aspect that he can think of through the lens of scripture and warns of the dangers. The running theme of this book is this; What determines the work of the Holy Spirit; the rightly divided word of God or the experiences of individuals (sometimes devoid of scripture)? He documents some pretty strange activities and teachings from those in this movement and rightly uses scriptures to show that it is not only unbiblical, but dangerous. There are many that are presenting false doctrines and a false view of Jesus Christ to many in the church that will either lead them astray or make them comfortable in their apostasy. I know there are many negative reviews of this book, but many of them are based on emotions, a twisted understanding of scripture, and a misguided view that this book is just out to attack without a purpose. None of this is true. There are many people I know that have been hurt by these teachings and this book is a timely needed one as this type of teaching is now being sent to unsuspecting people in foreign countries. The book examines the work of the Spirit, false apostles and prophets, the misuse of tongues, as well as fake healing. He also encourages us later in the book to rediscover the true work of the Spirit shown in the scriptures. He documents many of these events and anyone with a computer can find much of this on Youtube in case they think Dr. MacArthur is misrepresenting the movement. I know since charismatics are named as such in the book, those in that movement or adhering to those doctrines will feel insulted or belittled because they'll think he's personally attacking them. This is not so since he cares about believers, the truth of God's word, and the representation of God. I highly recommend this book; it is not the perfect word of scripture, but it will certainly make you seek the scriptures (verse by verse and in context) to see if the things mentioned are true.
Just finished the book. After which I read all the reviews. I am in a couple of Bible studies in which the "continuation" issue has just started to raise it's ugly head, this being by fellow brothers whom I respect and admire. I began a deep research into the issue a few months ago (scripturally) and read a few articles, pamphlets, etc. to try to settle my unease. This book has helped me to do that. I am a sola guy, so everything must be measured against scripture. The totality of scripture. Not individual verses ripped out of context. I have never read MacArthur before. Not one single book. I was completely taken in by the authors ability to follow scripture to it's logical ends. As noted by some reviews, the tone can be a little harsh at times and I hope the author will take that into account in his next endeavor. But, the points made were Biblically correct if semantically abrasive. The biggest point out of the book that makes the most sense out of the state of evangelical Christianity today is that faith is now experiencial------ and that lead to all kinds of dangers. I can do acid and feel really close to God. Walk in His garden. Talk to Him, for real. But does that make it from the Spirit. NO!!!!!!!!!!! Experience has no relationship to TRUTH. If nothing else, MacArthurs beginning of the book, to encourage everyone to read it and generate their opinions base on Scripture, and Scripture alone, was worth the read. SOLA SCRIPTURA. That and nothing else.
J.Mac, has done a wonderful Job of Pointing out the errors of the Charismatic Movement, this book should be required reading for anyone going into ministry, it answers question that are bound to come up in most Churches sooner or later.