Here' s a great post by Brian Auten for my friends that continue to fail to see the sweeping generalizations by John MacArthur intended to mislead the masses:
From a draft transcript of John MacArthur’s final Strange Fire talk, yesterday, 18 October 2013 (transcript by Mike Riccardi, here)
…But you have to understand, this other stream of evangelicalism goes back to about 1966, when the hippies came out of San Francisco, joined Calvary Chapel, and we had the launch of an informal, barefoot, beach, drug-induced kind of young people that told the church how we should act. Hymns went out. Suits went out. For the first time in the history of the church, the conduct of the church was conformed in a subculture that was formed on LSD in San Francisco and migrated to Southern California. That launches the self-focused church that winds up in the seeker-friendly church, [which then] splinters in the Vineyard movement, which develops into the charismatic stream. I don’t go back to Lonnie Frisbee, who led the Jesus movement and died of AIDS as a homosexual. That’s not my stream. But that’s the stream that has produced the culturally-bound, seeker-driven church movement. And while there are good and bad and better and worse elements of it, that’s where it comes from. We [i.e the first stream MacArthur discusses] are very different.
So, basically, MacArthur is throwing Calvary Chapel and Vineyard under the bus when it comes to “seeker-driven” churches and the prosperity gospel. Granted, he wasn’t giving lengthy, graduate lecture on the topic, but he’s really over-simplifying here. REALLY over-simplifying. No discussion of the “transformation” and/or influence of traditional Pentecostal denominations (just one ex — Osteen wasn’t CC or Vineyard; father went Pentecostal from a Southern Baptist background); no mention of Oral Roberts and ORU; no Kathryn Kuhlman, no Charles Parham; no Azusa Street — nothing. It’s as if the whole thing is simply the fault of Chuck Smith and John Wimber. Oh, and Lonnie Frisbee’s.
If I can recommend, as I did over at Tim Challies’ blog this AM, the following books on late 20th century American evangelicalism — particularly on the history that MacArthur is relating here. To be clear, the first three were published with university press outlets in last six years. The last one — and I made an error in the comments over at Challies’ blog this AM, suggesting that all four were from scholarly outlets — was from Vineyard’s in-house press and is older (but with a new reprint).
Preston Shires (Baylor University Press)
Larry Eskridge (Oxford University Press)
David Swartz (University of Pennsylvania Press)