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Charismatic Chaos Mass Market Paperback – July 10, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The charismatic movement of the past quarter-century has made an impact on the church unparalleled in history. But one legacy of the movement is confusion and mushy thinking. In Charismatic Chaos, John F. MacArthur calls for biblical evaluation and analyzes the doctrinal differences between charismatics and non-charismatics in the light of Scripture. "My principal concern," writes John MacArthur, "is to call the church to a firm commitment to the purity and authority of the Scriptures, and thereby to strengthen the unity of the true church." To tough questions that seem to divide, Charismatic Chaos provides tougher answers that strive to unite. This book tackles such questions as - Is experience a valid test of truth? - Does God still give revelation? - Prophets, fanatics, or heretics? - Does God still heal? - What should we think of the Signs and Wonders movement? - Does the Bible promise health and wealth?

About the Author

John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, president of the Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry. In more than four decades of ministry, John has written dozens of bestselling books, including The MacArthur Study Bible, The Gospel According to Jesus, and Slave. He lives in Los Angeles.


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (July 22, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310575729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310575726
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Widely known for his thorough, candid approach to teaching God's Word, John MacArthur is a popular author and conference speaker and has served as pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California since 1969. John and his wife, Patricia, have four grown children and fourteen grandchildren.
John's pulpit ministry has been extended around the globe through his media ministry, Grace to You, and its satellite offices in seven countries. In addition to producing daily radio programs for nearly 2,000 English and Spanish radio outlets worldwide, Grace to You distributes books, software, audiotapes, and CDs by John MacArthur.
John is president of The Master's College and Seminary and has written hundreds of books and study guides, each one biblical and practical. Best-selling titles include The Gospel According to Jesus, Truth War, The Murder of Jesus, Twelve Ordinary Men, Twelve Extraordinary Women, and The MacArthur Study Bible, a 1998 ECPA Gold Medallion recipient.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

192 of 219 people found the following review helpful By RDtoo VINE VOICE on December 6, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was faced with a spiritual crisis in my life a decade ago. I was raised Lutheran, but had got involved with Pentecostals/Charismatics in my teens. For years I attended meetings and watched as people danced, shouted, laughed and other forms of activity all taken place by way of the Holy Spirit, or so they said. I despised them for it as I never saw this reality in my own life. In truth, I really did not want to start shouting and dancing around the room. I longed for the quietness and reverance of my old Lutheran Church where I had learned to love God, but I was now told that they were not led by the Holy Spirit. I discarded the notion and continued attending Pentecostal meetings never really enjoying them, but figuring this is the way we were supposed to worship. I walked in confusion as people seemed to get messages from God anywhere and everywhere, even sitting on the toliet. I never experienced this. All I ever came away with was guilt and misery. I came to the point of wondering if God was even there. I picked this book up and found that there were good reasons that I was not enjoying the Pentecostal experience. Reading Charismatic Chaos was liberating for me. I was fianally able to bid farewell to the whole Charismatic thing without guilt and go back to the Church I grew up in where I re-discovered my love for God. I would not condemn Charismatics and neither does MacArthur. I do view the Charismatic movement as being based on extreme emotional experiences, which may or may not be from God. If you are Charismatic and confused this book may help. God Bless.
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149 of 175 people found the following review helpful By David L Rattigan on February 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a charismatic, and so naturally I disagree with MacArthur's views about whether the miraculous gifts have ceased. I also agree with those reviewers who point out that what John (for whom I have a great deal of respect; in fact he is one of my favourite Bible teachers) does is to highlight only the abuses he finds.
Unfortunately, there is far too much of this abuse going on in charismatic circles, and if charismatics themselves do not publicly acknowledge the current state of the movement, then it is left to anti-charismatics like John MacArthur to do it for them, and that means an awful lot of unfairness and bias along with it. The sad state of affairs is, though, that even when charismatic leaders do speak out on these things, they almost invariably (in my experience) tone the whole thing down as if it really is just a minor problem, or paint a picture of a charismatic movement of which just the fringe has gone overboard, and try and disassociate themselves, and the circles in which they move, from the problem.
The reality is that it is not just something on the fringes of charismatic movement: I am inclined to agree with John that what we are witnessing is indeed 'Charismatic Chaos'. It is hard to be a charismatic/Pentecostal in a day when being such is increasingly defined by whether you jump on the latest bandwagon, be it the 'endtimes revival' bandwagon, the 'Toronto blessing' bandwagon, or the 'apostles and prophets' bandwagon.
MacArthur does indeed cite abuses, but much of the time he is highlighting preachers and practices that are at the very heart of modern charismaticism. If charismatics continue to dodge the issue, people like John MacArthur will make themselves heard.
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Seeking Disciple VINE VOICE on August 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a former Assemblies of God pastor (Pentecostal). While I am not a complete cessasionist, I believe Dr. MacArthur's book challenges disciples to wrestle with the Word of God when it comes to the person and work of the Holy Spirit. It is vital that we hold firmly to sound doctrine and not embrace subjective views regarding the Holy Spirit. I believe it is time for Pentecostals to return to the foundation of the inerrant and infallible Word of God.

I found this book to be an excellent read. Being a former Pentecostal pastor, I found that I did not fully agree with Dr. MacArthur's positions on some teachings but I found myself agreeing that the Pentecostal/Charasmatic movement must return to the clear teachings of Scripture (1 Timothy 4:16; Titus 2:1). As a Pentecostal, I attended a non-Pentecostal Bible college that gave me a deep love for the Bible, a longing for more of Jesus in my life, but a devotion to clear Biblical interpretation and teachings.

This book will force you, if you are a Pentecostal, to wrestle with the Word of God and will challange you to understand, defend, and clearly teach what you believe.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is not a complete loss. The chapter debunking the "Health and Wealth" gospel is excellent and a real eye opener. The chapter on true holiness is also very good.
And overall, there is nothing wrong with a vigorous cessationist critique of present-day claims that the gifts of the Spirit continue to operate as in the book of Acts. The problem is that there is a mean-spiritedness and contentiousness that pervades this book and that ultimately leads MacArthur himself into absurdities.
He gleefully quotes John W. Stott to the effect that charismatics seem "keen but clueless." That is unnecessary. How would MacArthur like it if someone called him "clever but constipated"?
MacArthur seems to imagine that the ideal church is a rather tame, buttoned-down affair--a church, in short, of the sort where MacArthur himself would feel at home. Good thing he wasn't around in Chronicles when the congregation of Israel shouted aloud their acclamation of their intent to follow God. I guess we would have had a book called "Israelite Ignominy."
MacArthur is known as a Bible scholar, but he pulls some real howlers here. The one that sticks in my mind is when he reasons that tongues of angels (I Cor. 13:1) must not exist, on the grounds that "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels" is in the subjunctive, a verb tense that denotes conditions contrary to fact. Never mind that angels use speech, which would mean they would have to have tongues, or that the subjunctive verb in that clause applies equally to "tongues of men," which must mean, by MacArthur's logic, that men don't have tongues either.
MacArthur should have just written two books.
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