Kingdom Through Culture: The New Apostolic Reformation And Its Cultural Appeal -- By: Christopher B. Cone

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 024:68 (Spring 2020)
Article: Kingdom Through Culture: The New Apostolic Reformation And Its Cultural Appeal
Author: Christopher B. Cone


Kingdom Through Culture:
The New Apostolic Reformation
And Its Cultural Appeal

Christopher Cone

* Christopher Cone, M.B.S., M.Ed., Th.D., Ph.D., Ph.D., president, research professor of Bible & theology, Calvary University, Kansas City, Missouri

Drawing popular scrutiny during the 2012 presidential election,1 the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) embraces the largest non-Catholic segment of world Christianity; it is also the fastest growing segment, the only segment of Christianity currently growing faster than the world population and faster than Islam.2 “The NAR represents the most radical change in the way of doing church since the Protestant Reformation. This is not a doctrinal change. We adhere to the major tenets of the Reformation: the authority of Scripture, justification by faith, and the priesthood of all believers. But the quality of church life, the governance of the church, the worship, the theology of prayer, the missional goals, the optimistic vision for the future, and other features, constitute quite a change from traditional Protestantism.”3 The New Apostolic Reformation is remarkably noteworthy, globally influential, and should be understood in context.

The modern continuationist movement emerged in three distinct waves. The first wave arrived in the form of Pentecostalism in the early 1900s with the teaching of Charles Parham and William Seymour’s Asuza Street Revival (1906–15). The Charismatic movement of the 1960s constituted the second wave, during which Word of Faith and prosperity theology found their way into churches previously untouched by Pentecostalism. In the early 1980s, the third wave added an emphasis on

signs and wonders resulting from the work of the Holy Spirit, along with renewed prophetic and apostolic ministry in the church. Especially influential were John Wimber and the Vineyard Movement and C. Peter Wagner and his teachings and writings.4 The third wave evolved, especially through Wagner, into a movement some have considered a fourth wave, identified by Wagner as the New Apostolic Reformation.

As opposed to being a denomination or membership group, the New Apostolic Reformation is a movement with distinctive theological beliefs and practical applications, alleging a second apostolic age. Wagner acknowledged that he “might be seen as an ‘intellectual godfather’ . . . might have been the first to observe the movement, give a name to it, and describe its characterist...

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