In Charismatic Chaos, MacArthur examines the well-known traits of the Charismatic movement (like tongues, healing, prophecy, miracles, and a long chapter on the Word Faith movement), placing each under the microscope of Scripture. While not denying the sovereign right of God to bestow supernatural gifts on whomever He chooses at any time, MacArthur demonstrates how even during biblical times, miracles and healings were not the norm, but basically neon signs designed to get mans attention to new and important revelations which would become Scripture (as happened with Elijah and the prophets). The Bible, not the fantastic claims of a guy in a suit, are to be the guiding principles of the Christian life.Those who accuse MacArthur of taking TBN teachers out of context ignore the fact that he uses their own words, transcribed from their own TV shows. When Paul Crouch said, I am a little god! Critics begone!, I found it difficult to find another meaning in that statement. Unfortunately, most charismatic churches accept whatever these teachers say without question, and indeed, how can they not? Once Scripture can be explained away, it is like trying to design the Golden Gate Bridge without being sure that two plus two equals four. This is MacArthurs most damning indictment of the charismatic movement its total failure to honor the Scripture above the teachings of men.My usual complaint about MacArthur is his tendency not to use the best arguments to defend his critical points a la his Revelation 22 argument for the closed canon of Scripture but the substance of his message always stays on course. Love him or hate him, he always tells you exactly what he thinks and why.
As a pastor in NZ, we are seeing more and more people come from a charismatic background with all kinds of interesting experiences and ideas. When they want to join us, we now recommend this book as reading first for them to see our position on this phenomena. We must lovingly stand against this tide which is overtaking so many. This book does a great job of presenting the facts in a well thought-out manner. Thanks.
After spending three years with a Catholic Charismatic movement and another four years among Pentecostals, I can relate to many of the findings in this book. I am glad that God had revealed the truth to me and helped me get out of this unbiblical cult like movement more than a decade ago. Hope this book helps other Christians see the truth about Charismatic/Pentecostal groups and the dangers in associating with such movements.