A New Apostolic Reformation (book review)
In A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement authors R. Douglass Geivett and Holly Pevic bring a very much needed and honest critique of one of the fastest growing movements within the worldwide Church today. Their purpose is not to write with contempt of this movement. Their goals are two-fold:
- to demonstrate the scope of the NAR network; and
- to “systematize” NAR key teachings and practices in order to evaluate these on the basis of Scripture and sound reasoning.
I love that at the beginning they emphatically state that they are not questioning the lives of the men and women of NAR. They affirm that they believe the leaders of NAR love Jesus and are good people. They simply want to look into the teachings of NAR and see if they line up with scripture.
I had a personal interest in this book because I was part of a NAR church and network for many years. I participated in conferences and meetings with some NAR leaders. I am very familiar with the teachings of NAR and the ideology that is being presented.
However, in 2010 I began to question what was being taught because it wasn’t settling right with me. I agree with the authors that the leaders of NAR love God and are good people. They sincerely desire to do great things for God. They truly have a desire to see Jesus exalted and people get saved.
But I believe their approach is wrong. I want to say at the outset that I do believe in modern-day apostles and prophets. I know several people that I would consider to be apostles and prophets. But the way that these men and women function is far different than the way the NAR networks function. By no means do I have the intention of attacking the men and women of NAR (neither do the authors). These men and women are my brothers and sisters. In my own journey I needed to discover the truth of what was truly happening within my organization and how it was not helpful to me. To be honest, it damaged me in a lot of ways.
I write this review with much consideration considering that I hold many within the NAR movement with high regard.
With that as an introduction, here is my review of the book.
The authors did an excellent job in presenting the teachings of NAR in a very systematic and scholarly way. They provide numerous footnotes that document their studies. This book isn’t simply hearsay of teachings. Rather it is a well-documented, well-studied out synopsis of the key teachings of NAR. The authors do not merely give their opinion of these teachings. Rather they weigh them against scripture to see if what NAR is teaching is truly grounded in the whole counsel of God.
Topics included in this book are:
- What is the New Apostolic Reformation?
- Who are the leaders of this movement?
- NAR’s teachings of modern day apostles.
- NAR’s teachings of modern day prophets.
- NAR’s ideologies on spiritual warfare.
- NAR’s ideologies on modern day miracles.
- NAR’s teachings on the Seven Mountain Mandate.
Each topic is broken down into exploring NAR’s teachings, what the Bible says about each topic and a final summary at the end of each chapter.
This is not a book that bashes those involved in the NAR. This is a book that looks into this large, influential movement to discover its teachings and how they line up with scripture.
While I can’t say that I would agree with every single assessment of the authors, I can say that I would not align myself with NAR any longer. I believe that God does have apostles and prophets in the world today. I do believe that God does miracles, still speaks to people individually and corporately. I do believe that the church needs a major awakening and reformation.
I struggle with how that some of the NAR leaders are trying to bring this about. Being in numerous meetings and conferences where NAR leaders spoke, I can say with full certainty that the authors have done a very thorough job of outlining the teachings. They have not missed the overall theme of NAR.
The authors end up disagreeing with the teachings of NAR. Again, they do it in a very scholarly way with much love. One who reads this book will get a good idea of who and what the NAR is about. I would recommend not just reading the book to base your opinions and thoughts upon the authors summaries. Follow the research. Do your own thinking. One thing they do emphasize is that there is much latitude within the teachings of the NAR. Not all members of the NAR hold to what each leader teaches. The authors here just cover the basic foundational though processes of NAR.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I already was very familiar with the teachings so I can attest that the authors cover the material properly and accurately. For anyone looking to research and learn more about NAR this book would be a good starting point.