The Toronto Phenomenon (Part 1 of 2) -- By: Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 02:1 (Spring 1996)
Article: The Toronto Phenomenon (Part 1 of 2)
Author: Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

The Toronto Phenomenon
(Part 1 of 2)

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum*

Chafer Theological Seminary

[*Editor's note: Arnold Fruchtenbaum received a B.A. degree from Cedarville College, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from New York University. He is the founder and co-director of Ariel Ministries, Tustin, CA, a ministry to Jewish people around the world. Arnold is also an adjunct professor at Chafer Theological Seminary. He holds Bible conferences in most English speaking countries around the globe. Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s bi-annual five week study of Israel is highly recommended and accepted for credit at CTS.]


This article is the first of a two-part series on the so-called Toronto Phenomenon. We offer this article because it is an excellent example of applying the “Sufficiency of Scripture”—a distinctive of CTS to a modern religious movement.


I have been asked, both verbally in public as well as in many letters, if I believe that the Toronto Phenomenon is truly a work of God. Frankly, that so many believers even need to ask this question shows how far the evangelical world has moved from the Word of God. How easily this departure has led to being “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.” It has been my observation that over the last 10-15 years, more and more believers are becoming biblically illiterate; such illiteracy leads to seeking new spiritual experiences, no matter where they may come from, and to a lack of knowledge of Scripture to evaluate these experiences biblically. The church has, indeed, entered a sad state and one author’s book, Christianity in Crisis, is very aptly named.

Is This a Charismatic
Vs. Non-Charismatic Issue?

I know that there are those who will read this editorial and, as a result, will cut off any and all support they have been giving to Ariel Ministries or Chafer Theological Seminary. In this sense, then, it is neither to my, Ariel’s, nor CTS’s, advantage for me to write this article, and it would be more profitable either to stay neutral or to stay silent. But I would disobey my calling as a teacher of the Word, and would betray my gift of teaching, if I kept silent in the face of such a terrible deception and delusion being pro-

pounded upon the Christian world today.

Before dealing with the issue, I think another point must be clarified. When I receive criticism to my criticisms of the Toronto Phenomenon by its supporters, one common notion is that the only reason I must be opposed to it is because I am not “Spirit-filled,” or “P...

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