Item description for Changing Church: How God Is Leading His Church Into the Future by C. Peter Wagner...
Overview How God Is Leading His Church into the Future Peter Wagner tells readers exactly how they can contribute to the Church's worldwide fulfillment of God's kingdom on earth! Changing Church sheds light on the exciting things that are happening by the power of the Holy Spirit! The Church is being aligned with God's plan for the Great Harvest. While we might feel small in the scheme of things, we can make a huge impact when we unite with what God is doing worldwide. This new vision overlooks denominational barriers, asking one and all to join together for the ultimate fulfillment of God's purposes!
Publishers Description Peter Wagner tells readers exactly how they can contribute to the Church's worldwide fulfillment of God's kingdom on earth "The Changing Church" sheds light on the exciting things that are happening by the power of the Holy Spirit The Church is being aligned with God's plan for the Great Harvest. While we might feel small in the scheme of things, we can make a huge impact when we unite with what God is doing worldwide. This new vision overlooks denominational barriers, asking one and all to join together for the ultimate fulfillment of God's purposes
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Charles Peter Wagner (born 1930) is a Christian theologian, missiologist, missionary, writer, teacher, and church growth specialist best known for his controversial writings on spiritual warfare.
Wagner served as a missionary in Bolivia under the South American Mission and Andes Evangelical Mission (now SIM International) from 1956 to 1971. He then served for 30 years (1971 to 2001) as Professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary's School of World Missions until his retirement in 2001. He is the author of more than 70 books. He was the president of Global Harvest Ministries from 1993 to 2011 and is currently the chancellor emeritus of Wagner Leadership Institute, which serves to train leaders to join in a movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation, an organization Wagner also helped to found. He is currently the vice president of Global Spheres, Inc.
C. Peter Wagner currently resides in Colorado Springs, in the state of Colorado.
C. Peter Wagner has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Changing Church-Sc?
Critical Thoughts From a True Reader Apr 9, 2005
I for one did read the book. While I am not a fan of C. Peter Wagner or his books, I do want to write a review that is based on the book and not my personal feelings toward Wagner. I do take exception with the reviewer who feels that Wagner will be ranked with the likes of John Wesley or Martin Luther in 100 years but that is beside the point. Only Jesus should be honored at all (1 Timothy 6:16).
The book deals with the charismatic emphasis on the third wave and more specifically the apostle/prophet movement begun by Wagner, John Wimber, Bob Jones, and Bill Hamon. The book essentially outlines Wagner's desire and his personal eye-witness to the changes he sees coming (and have come) from the third wave movement and these above mentioned teachers. In many ways, Wagner writes with a positive view toward the future and he believes that God is preparing His church for a mighty world-wide revival.
The problems with this book are many. For one, Wagner, while a theologically trained man, seems to take exception with theology (see chapter 8). He sees theology as more of a hinderance to a move of God than a plus. He believes the walls of doctrine need to fall down and bring together Catholics, Evangelicals, Liturgical Protestants, and of course Pentecostals and Charismatics. The problem with this view is that it ignores the call to hold to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 4:15; Titus 2:1) and ignores defending the historic Christian faith (1 Peter 3:15-16; Jude 3-4). Theology is vital to the Church (John 8:31-32; 1 Corinthians 15:1-2; Galatians 3:1-5).
Secondly, the book has the feel of the whole emerging church idea. Wagner is willing (and seems delighted) to let go of sound teaching for whatever causes the church to grow. Whether it be the Open God views of Clark Pinnock or Oneness Pentecostals or Catholics. The point for Wagner (and sadly many other charismatics) is experience is the key. Experience in Christ and the Spirit is the ultimate unity binder. Of course, this is not biblical (1 Cor. 1:10-17; 3:10-17; James 2:14-26; 1 John 2:3-6).
Finally, the book follows suit with many other church growth gurus and fails to offer a biblical pattern for church growth. Wagner highlights text that benefit his chapters but fails to exegete the passages. In the end the reader is left chasing experience and embracing whatever it takes to get my church to grow with little thought of "is this biblical?". Charles Spurgeon rightly noted, "The church that is most loved by the world is surely that which is most abhored by God."
Luther, Wesley, Wagner Nov 21, 2004
This was a strange experience -- as a student at Fuller Theological Seminary I picked up a book at the Fuller Bookstore written by a former Fuller professor, which contains a chapter explaining exactly why seminaries are irrelevant and useless -- and I loved every word of it!
Make no mistake, there is something in this book for almost everyone to hate. Over the last decade or so, virtually every Pharisee and self-appointed heresy hunter on the Internet has taken shots at Peter Wagner, so my guess is that Wagner decided that he's lost that part of his potential audience anyway. So, Wagner embraces Open Theism, Latter Rain Restorationism, and the prophetic/apostolic movements; he holds out an olive branch to "Oneness" Pentecostals; and he exposes "TULIP" Calvinism as the false doctrine that it is.
Is this a divisive book? Oddly enough, no. Of course there will be some that reject Wagner just as they have rejected him before, but this is a call to the Body of Christ to put aside the things that have divided us -- denominationalism, ridiculously heavy doctrinal statements, and everything else that is the teaching of man -- and actually become what Jesus asked us to become: not intimidated Christians cowering in a holy bunker waiting for the Rapture, but Christians who will seek forcefully to advance the Kingdom of God, make disciples of all nations, and storm hell's strongholds with the promise that the gates of hell will not stand against us.
I applaud Prof. Wagner for his courage in writing this book. I have studied Latter Rain theology for most of the last ten years. It is Biblical theology that is miscalled a "heresy" because one denomination, the Assemblies of God, rejected it 50 years ago. Jesus warned us about the problem of new wine and wineskins. When the Latter Rain wine hit the Church 50 years ago it just about burst the A/G wineskin, but that certainly doesn't mean that there is something wrong with the wine. After all, Wesley was all but thrown out of the Church of England, and "heretic" was one of the nicer things Martin Luther was called when he started pouring the new wine of the Reformation. If the Lord tarries, I confidently predict that 100 years from now Peter Wagner (and his mentor, John Wimber) will be mentioned in the same breath as Luther and Wesley.
Suspend Judgment, Give it a Read first! Nov 1, 2004
If you've found yourself wondering why church has lost its luster, C. Peter Wagner's Changing Church, will shed some light on this dilemma. Examining the Church and noting "the postmodern aversion to brand loyalty" or the "old wineskin" of traditional denominational structures, Wagner challenges readers to examine the "new wineskin" known as the Second Apostolic Age. A Church Growth Professor at Fuller Seminary for over 33 years, holding three earned doctorates, two from Fuller and one from Princeton, Wagner speaks with simplicity and clarity detailing the dilemma the Church finds herself in-in layman friendly terms. Citing pastors, churches and apostles from around the globe, Wagner's case is solid. When encountering terms like "spirit of religion," "oneness theology," "TULIP," "apostles," "spiritual warfare," and "trinity," suspend judgment in order to fully examine the breadth of Wagner's argument. By embracing a "lighter doctrinal load," "equipping the saints for ministry," embracing "Wesleyan holiness" and holding others "mutually accountable," the church can move into the postmodern era and fulfill her God-given role. Crossing denominational lines and ordaining anointed leaders, not necessarily seminary-trained leaders (scholars) are essential to the Second Apostolic Age. The Church functioning as a body of believers at long last is Wagner's hopeful message ripe with promise. Wagner shares his personal paradigm shifts, offering biblical references to move readers gently through his argument point by point. Wagner is a true scholar, able to convey a vast amount of information in a concise (180 pages) and unintimidating way. If you can get beyond the buzzwords mentioned above, this book will challenge you to examine your view of the Church, personal holiness, and the coming apostolic revolution. An excellent book for intercessors, laymen, pastors, and students. Thoroughly indexed, it can be a valuable addition to any library. I highly recommend this book. Written by Suzanne Rae Deshchidn for www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
I would have given it ZERO stars if that were an option! Sep 17, 2004
This book proves beyond any shadow of doubt that C. Peter Wagner and his miriad of followers, "prophets" and "apostles", are indeed teaching and promoting the heresy of the New Order of the Latter Rain. If you are a true bibilical Christian please be aware that this stuff is the Apostasy that Jesus Christ and the Apostles (not these "apostles") predicted would take place long ago. We are commanded by Jesus Christ to reject those who teach things that corrupt the core doctrines of the Faith. Christ and the Apostles warned us many times to stay away from false teachers and false prophets. You need to decide whether to obey the Lord Jesus Christ, or obey these people. Remember that those who say they love the Lord prove that love by obeying His commands. Rom. 16:17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE WHICH YE HAVVE LEARNED; and avoid them."