In a book primarily about the New Apostolic Reformation, Kent Philpott writes a book called False Prophets Among Us: A Critical Analysis of the New Apostolic Reformation. This book, spanning three sections, gives book critiques on some of the more well-known people of the New Apostolic Reformation (such as Heidi Baker, Mike Bickle, Judy Franklin, Ellen Davis, James Goll, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Johnson, Rick Joyner, Chuck Pierce, Tim Sheets, Kris Vallotton and Brian Simmons), features essays written by Philpott pertaining to the New Apostolic Reformation (henceforth referred to as NAR), and highlights other issues within the NAR. This book review determines whether or not this book would be a good resource for a Christian.
SECTION ONE: BOOK CRITIQUES
Philpott dedicates separate critiques to twelve books and the heretical Passion translation of the Bible (pp. 9-166). Alarm bells immediately begin to sound when he calls the aforementioned Baker, in his first critique (someone who, per the critique, clearly engages in really strange, demonic stuff) a “sincere Christian who has given so very much to accomplish what she feels God has called her to do” (p. 15). This is essentially no different than “Doctor” Michael Brown’s defending of wolves such as Jennifer LeClaire (the one who believes in a “Sneaky Squid Spirit”), Bill Johnson and Benny Hinn, among others. Anyone who can call Baker a “sincere Christian” after seeing such demonic stuff such as this, this and this clearly has not done enough homework.
In his next critique (this one on Mike Bickle; pp. 18-41), Philpott seemingly approves of women pastors as he reviews the chapter on “Women Operating in Prophetic Ministry” (p. 25-26). God’s Word forbids women pastors (1 Timothy 2:9-15 and 1 Corinthians 14; Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio also offers insight from his review on Jory Micah, someone who doesn’t believe women are to be kept silent in the church). While Philpott gives good information in this critique, his seemingly unashamed approval of women pastors’s (which, again, is forbidden by God’s Word) cannot be ignored.
In his next critique (on Franklin & Davis’ The Physics of Heaven, pp. 42-67), Philpott makes a statement that unfortunately becomes a habit in spots in the rest of the book. In making notes on chapter two of the aforementioned book in this paragraph, Philpott states, “Probably the translation Jeremiah 15:19 from which Davis quotes is The Passion Translation, which makes sense, because the passage is a far cry from being accurate” (p. 46). While I have no problem with his calling the Passion Translation inaccurate (my summation of his statement in that regard), his use of the word “probably” is confusing. In writing this book, did he not take the time to verify the translation used by a certain author? The translation cited by the authors either is or is not a certain translation. There’s no excuse to use the word “probably” there. That gives the impression of laziness. He does the same thing on page 57 (same critique). Specifically, he cloaks his laziness by using the phrase “no way to check on this” when trying to explain what translation one of the book chapter’s authors was using when quoting Psalm 91:11. There is a way to check a translation someone may be using; it’s called research. While Philpott certainly succeeds in researching book quotes and the like, his failure to adequately and relentlessly research translation citations cannot be ignored.
After a solid critique on a work by James Goll, Philpott turns his attention to books by Cindy Jacobs and Bill Johnson (pp. 68-112). He calls both of these people Christians (pp. 83, 98, 104). I am not sure a Christian can also be a false prophet (Jacobs) at the same time. Furthermore, Johnson teaches quite a few heresies. Philpott, with his unashamed endorsement of false teachers (even labeling them Christians), seems to be painting a broad road here (Matthew 7:13-23).
Philpott rinses and repeats his labeling false teachers Christians with his critique on a work by Rick Joyner (pp. 113-122). This article here has a plethora of links showing Joyner to be a false teacher. At this point, what baffles me is that Philpott clearly explains his anti-NAR position while, at the same time, labeling some of its biggest false teachers Christians. Thankfully, he does not repeat this sad behavior in his critique on one of Tim Sheets’ books (p. 153). However, this only shows Philpott’s discernment inconsistencies and (perhaps) his playing both sides of the NAR coin (endorsing and refuting it). This could not be more clear when, in his critique on one of Kris Vallotton’s books, he says, “Those who fit into the NAR movement are by-in-large brothers and sisters in Christ” (p. 158). How can this be the case if the NAR is a cult?
SECTION TWO: ESSAYS
This section consists of essays by Philpott on “NAR-related topics over the years” (p. 173). Once again, his two-faced persona manifests itself when he calls the NAR “the largest and most dangerous cultic movement by whatever measurement in the history of the Christian church including that of the Arian controversy” (p. 173). Recall that fifteen pages earlier, he said those who fit into the movement are “by-in-large brothers and sisters in Christ.” Why can’t Philpott just settle on one of the positions instead of both?
Thankfully, this section of the book is much better than section one. His refutation of the heretical Jesus Calling by Sarah Young explains how Scripture is enough (pp. 253-256). He also gives an insightful essay about the NAR connection with Islam (pp. 255-257). Finally, he writes an essay on why he must oppose the NAR (pp. 258-265). While I am confident he does not fully oppose it given his labeling some of the NAR’s false teachers Christians, he does give some good information.
SECTION THREE: RECOVERY AND OTHER ISSUES
This is essentially a “miscellaneous” section of more essays by Philpott. The first one is about recovering from the ending of a relationship with NAR churches and groups (pp. 268-279). He then writes essays about demonic elements and characteristics of a toxic faith (pp. 280-287). Finally, he concludes with an appendix featuring a rather lengthy (perhaps even exhaustive) list of major players, organizations and networks of the NAR (pp. 288-290). This is arguably the best part of his book; it allows the reader to put a face on those aligned with that dangerous organization. The list is below. I have separated these into two sections. The first section consists of individuals. The second section consists of organizations/networks.
Gary R. Allen (former Executive Editor of Enrichment Journal)
Elizabeth Alves (president of Increase International)
John & Carol Arnott
Heidi Baker (see this post’s beginning for the hyperlinks on her)
John S. Baylor, Jr. (M. Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary)
Tony & Cynthia Brazelton (founders and pastors of Victory Christian Ministries International; the fact Philpott lists Cynthia as a pastor should tell you something given what God’s Word says about women pastors)
“Doctor” Michael Brown (quotes by me)
Stacey & Wesley Campbell (co-founders of New Life Church)
Paul Carden (executive director for The Center for Apologetics Research)
Mark Casto (begin at the 46:30 mark of the hyperlink for Casto)
Mahesh Chavda (Chavda Ministries International)
Mike Clarensau (Senior Director of Healthy Church Network)
Dr. Randy Clark
Harold R. Eberle (founder of Worldcast Ministries)
Dr. Don Finto
Woodie Fultz (Pastor of Valley Worship Center in Dayton, Ohio)
James W. Goll
Jay Grimstead (founder of Coalition of Revival)
Tim Hale (Pastor of Harbor Christian Fellowship in Lebanon, Ohio)
Bishop Bill Hamon
“Apostle” Jane Hamon (quotes by me; author left word unquoted)
Jim Hodges (founder & president of the Federation of Ministers and Churches International; author had “Minters” instead of “Ministers”)
Jane Hennesy (“Pastor” of Trinity Church in Cedar Hill, Texas; the word “pastor” [she is a female] should tell you all you need to know)
Brian & Bobbie Houston (Hillsong “Church”; quotes were by me)
Jane Hansen Hoyt
Ray Hughes (founder of Selah Ministries)
Harry R. Jackson Jr. (Bishop of International Communion of Evangelical Churches)
Beni & Bill Johnson
Joni Lamb (co-founder of Daystar Television Network)
David Lane (American Renewal Project)
Dr. Art Mathias (president of Wellspring Ministries)
Doctors Bob & Audrey Meisner (of New Day Ministries)
Dick Mills (International Conference Speaker)
Sudhaker Mondithoka (Director of Hyderbad Institute of Theology & Apologetics, India)
Dr. Patrick Murray (Senior Pastor of The Living Word Church in Vandalia, Ohio)
Gary Oates (International Conference Speaker)
Karl I. Payne (chaplain for the Seattle Seahawks)
Mark W. Pfeifer (Senior Pastor of Open Door Church in Chillicothe, Ohio)
Cal Pierce (Director of Healing Rooms Ministries in Spokane, Washington)
Dr. Chuck D. Pierce
Mario Ramos-Reyes (Director of the Institute for the Study of Culture, Ethics & Development)
Larry Randolph (International Conference Speaker)
Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez (hyperlink goes to my article on him)
Dmitry Rozer (Senior Editor of The Center For Apologetics Research)
Cheryl Sacks (CEO of Bridgebuilders International Leadership Network)
John Loren Sanford (founder of Elijah House)
Brian Stebick (Regional Director of CSB Ministries)
Vinson Synan (Dean Emeritus, Regent University School of Divinity)
Dr. Hope Taylor
Jack R. Taylor
Varghese Thomas (Hindustan Bible Institute and College, India)
“Rev.” Jen Tringale (quotes added by me)
Dr. Mary Frances Varallo (President of Mary Frances Varallo Ministries)
Barbara J. Yoder
Bethel Church in Redding, California
Campus Crusade for Christ (Philpott notes how this organization is “found listed with groups that are somehow connected with the NAR)
Christian International Ministries Network
Daystar TV Network
COR (Coalition on Revival)
The Elijah List
Focus on the Family (Philpott notes how this ministry “will be found listed with groups that are somehow connected to the NAR).
Fresh Fire Ministries
Global Awakening Ministries
Healing Rooms Ministry, Spokane, Washington
IHOP (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City, Missouri
International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders
International Coalition of Prophets
Manifest Sons of God
Ministry to the Nations
New Life Church (headed by Stacey & Wesley Campbell)
Partners in Harvest
Praying the Bible International
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN)
Women’s Aglow International
Youth With a Mission (YWAM; see also here and here)
There is no doubt that Philpott put much work into this book (despite the baffling occasions of laziness). His exhaustive list at the end of this book plus his critique of so many different people affiliated with the NAR is outstanding proof of that. What fails to make this book a home-run out of the park is his labeling some of these false teachers as Christians. That alone almost makes this book one I would not recommend. Nevertheless, his naming so many names and organizations combined with his extensive knowledge of the NAR make this a decent read for information’s sake. Philpott would be wise to rethink his position on those false teachers he has labeled as Christians, though. I pray he does just that.