Books: Counterfeit Critique
Hank Hanegraaff's long-awaited book relies on old data and leaves false impressions.
September 1, 1997
Counterfeit Revival,by Hank Hanegraaff (Word, 316 pp.; $19.99, hardcover). Reviewed by James A. Beverley, professor of theology and ethics at Ontario Theological Seminary in Toronto, Canada, and author of HOLY LAUGHTER & THE TORONTO BLESSING (Zondervan) and Revival Wars: A Critique of Counterfeit Revival (Toronto: Evangelical Research Ministries).
Hank Hanegraaff's long-awaited book against what he perceives as a counterfeit revival (rooted in Satan the "master counterfeiter" who "masquerades as an angel of enlightenment") represents a significant moment in Christian publishing. Its significance lies in three things. First, the spectacular selling run of Hanegraaff's work alone makes it a must-read for those who want to track trends in the Christian community.
Second, Counterfeit Revival exposes some real excesses and imbalances in the current charismatic renewal movements. Hanegraaff rightly criticizes the undue emphasis on strange manifestations in the world of modern revivalism. This misplaced focus is especially disturbing given the regular diet of anti-intellectual rhetoric, slim biblical exposition, and revelatory claims on which many who participate in these movements are nurtured. Hanegraaff also documents some very intemperate judgments made against him by South African evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne at a renewal meeting in Anaheim and warns against sectarian judgments and spiritual death threats from prophets and leaders connected with the Toronto renewal, ones that should be publicly and finally repudiated by Toronto Blessing leader John Arnott.
But Hanegraaff's work is also important for a third and tragic reason. In the end, it is a misleading, simplistic, and harmful book, marred by faulty logic, outdated and ...