Alarmed By The Voice Of Jack Deere -- By: Richard L. Mayhue
MSJ 8:2 (Fall 97) p. 151
Alarmed By The Voice Of Jack Deere
Senior Vice President and Dean
Professor of Theology and Pastoral Ministries
Dr. Jack Deere, the well-known noncessationist author of the previously published Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, has proposed in his sequel, Surprised by the Voice of God, that humble, obedient Christians who seek to have an intimate walk with God should regularly hear God speak outside of Scripture through various means such as an audible voice, impressions, dreams, and/or visions. The author even suggests that a Christian’s experience today could exceed the most spectacular moments in the first-century church at Jerusalem as recorded in Acts. Deere’s attitudes toward those who disagree with his theological posture on these issues (cessationists) and his proposals are examined in regard to their logical validity, hermeneutical propriety, anecdotal proportions, exegetical precision, and theological persuasion. This reviewer has concluded that Deere unfortunately attempts to make too much out of too little and thus fails to present a convincing case for his own Third Wave convictions when Scripture, not experience, is the arbiter.
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When living in an age of neognosticism and extreme mysticism1 such as the present, how can one tell the difference between predictions made by Jean Dixon, hotline psychics, and those who practice the Third Wave theology espoused by Jack Deere? They all share in common the claim to receive messages about the future and general counsel concerning issues of life. Everyone seems to have just enough success, as recounted anecdotally, to sound plausible. So, who is and who is not believable? And, how does one tell? In our age of rampant spiritual deceit, one cannot be too careful (Acts 17:11).
Jack Deere has followed up his previous work Surprised by the Power of the
MSJ 8:2 (Fall 97) p. 152
Spirit (Zondervan, 1993)2 with Surprised by the Voice of God (Zondervan, 1996) in order to explain why he believes that God is speaking today on a frequent basis to Christians who will listen (307–20). This divine communication reportedly includes the realms of specific information about other people (13–17), events that are both past and future (343–58), and particular direction regarding one’s life (286–88). He claims this should represent normal Christianity (60–63) which is a continuation of the same phenomena one reads of in Scripture (53–56) and which did not cease with the close of the apostolic era an...
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