The Other Side of Emergent:
The New Apostolic Reformation
Sweet and Viola’s book, Jesus Manifesto, is subtitled “Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ,” and it pushes the envelope on redefining Jesus, including “You can be a Jesus Manifest.” A quick glance at the lineup of key endorsers for this book includes a list of who’s who in Emergent, the Latter Rain cult, neoevangelicalism and the New Apostolic Reformation.
In recent posts on this blog we have noticed that emerging church leader Leonard Sweet has links to the NAR. The co-author of his book, Frank Viola, also has roots in the NAR. He has been connected with the House2House group, a movement that is ostensibly about “house” churches, but in reality is concerned with building the networking apostolic cellular model of church for the purpose of building the kingdom of God on earth. This is the same Dominionist goal that is characteristic of the NAR: “This amazing network of churches is rapidly transitioning as a network to embrace the simple church models that the Lord is blessing all around the world,” leading to the “transforming work of God in bringing people to Christ. . . leading to dramatic advances of the Kingdom of God.” John Arnott of the Toronto “Laughing Revival” has been a notable contributor to the House2House magazine.
A key name associated with Frank Viola is Heidi Baker, whose frequently appears with her husband Rolland. They flourish in the New Apostolic Reformation and can often be found on the Elijah List (chief organ for the NAR) and OpenHeaven.com (a radical Dominionist group). The Bakers spoke at the Global Awakening “Voice of the Apostles” conference, October 28-31, 2009 along with other NAR apostles Randy Clark, Che Ann, Bill Johnson and John Arnott. Heidi was featured along with Latter Rain cult leader Rick Joyner at his MorningStar Ministries “Harvest Fest” held September 24-30, 2009. The list of interconnections and associations with the NAR could go on and on…
Neil Cole is another well-known name associated with Frank Viola and the House2House movement. He is also connected with Leadership Network. Furthermore, Frank Viola’s book Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens is endorsed by such notables as Bob Buford (head of Leadership Network) and John Maxwell.
Leonard Sweet endorsed one of Frank Viola’s earlier books, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity, by connecting it to the idea of “God’s Dream,” an increasingly common metaphor. Viola has also authored From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God, (This was one of the worst books I’ve ever read and almost threw it in the garbage!) described as “a whole new way of looking at the Scriptures, at Jesus, at the church, and at me,” and endorsed by such Emergent leaders as Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Shane Claiborne and many others.
Apprising Ministries has done quite a bit of writing on this topic found here.
Here’s my input –
I’ve been reading some of the articles on this but I wasn’t all that familiar with Leonard Sweet or Frank Viola. But this morning when Truthspeaker sent me an e-mail regarding the article on her blog, I took a little closer look and realized there was a small but notable connection in own life.
Todd Hunter was part of a Vineyard Pastor’s Conference at the Vineyard Church I attended a couple of years ago. I only caught a little bit of his “missiology” speech, but remember his house church movement. Much of what I heard sounded good in the beginning. But when we take a closer look the apostasy is amazing. Consider Todd’s past and influence from the interview – Greg Laurie, who was one of the original 10 Calvary Chapel pastors organized by Chuck Smith and whose church I also attended quite a few years ago. This Jesus movement was influential in the lives years before of the youth at the Baptist Church I attended and grew up in during the 60’s and 70’s. So Todd goes – Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, Alpha Course, “Missio”, THEN claims a call to Anglican Bishop. Not to mention the influence in his life from Richard Foster and Dallas Willard! Do they ever stop and take a look at this change in the path objectively? There is a definitive falling away going on here.
Again, I am amazed at the pats on the back they give each other, endorsement of their beliefs based on their own thoughts and ideas, just like crazy charismania, and those of their own books, yet NOTHING – NOTHING is said of the bible unless it is to twist the scriptures to say what they believe it should say in a tag line “there is more to Jesus than Savior”. Yes, for them because He has become something else out of their own creation! How far they have drifted from the truth.
Yes, we do see more and more a coming together of these “rivers” as they flow away farther and farther from the throne of our God.