George Barna and the New Apostolic Reformation
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 04:33:05 PM EST
[Update: after writing this piece, I subsequently discovered that George Barna was listed, in 2002 in the official WLI catalog, as being on the Wagner Leadership Institute's Board of Regents. This places Barna in one of the more significant leadership groups in C. Peter Wagner's evolving New Apostolic Reformation]

Given the secretive nature of the movement, documenting the involvement of public figures in C. Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation can be a time-consuming project. Over the last two years I've been piecing together evangelical pollster and author George Barna's considerable involvement in the NAR. Now, as with many such projects long in the gestation, it's become suddenly politically relevant - because Barna is one of three New Apostolic Reformation figures in Newt Gingrich's recently created Faith Leaders Coalition.

Last week, Talk To Action contributor Rachel Tabachnick confirmed with the Gingrich campaign on Thursday, January 26th, that apostle and top NAR leader Dutch Sheets has endorsed Gingrich and joined the Faith Leaders Coalition, also co-directed by pastor Jim Garlow.

The involvement of these three makes the New Apostolic Reformation by far the dominant sectarian faction in the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition - an astounding fact in light of the ideologically and theologically controversial nature of the NAR, within evangelicalism both in America but also worldwide.

George Barna and the New Apostolic Reformation

In a March 19, 2010 post on his personal website, George Barna complained about the propagation on the Internet of inaccurate information. One example Barna provided was a comment I had made, on a Religion Dispatches story published in February 2010:

"George Barna taught for years at C. Peter Wagner's Wagner Leadership Institute, and his writing appears in "Evangelism and Church Growth: Reference Library" published by Regal books, with contributions from the following notable authors: Elmer L. Towns, George Barna, C. Peter Wagner, Ted Haggard, Ed Silvoso, Jack W. Hayford, and Larry Stockstill. "
In his post, Barna claimed to have only taught a single course for the Wagner Leadership Institute, many years ago. He wrote, "I taught a course there once, about 15 years ago, and I think it last two or three days; it may only have seemed like years to those who had to take my class. (Note: I was never invited back.)"

However, George Barna was on the original faculty list of WLI and is still listed as a WLI faculty member, up into the present. If Barna's account is correct then WLI, it would seem, has inexplicably kept him on its faculty list, in error, for over a decade. Mere laziness? It would seem not - over the course of WLI's existence, the names of numerous teachers previously listed as WLI faculty have been removed and the names of new faculty members have been added.

[image, below: screen shot from home page of the Wagner Leadership Institute, 2000, which lists George Barna as a WLI faculty member. Also note John Arnott, John Maxwell, and Ted Haggard]

But this is only a part of a wider pattern, in George Barna's involvement with the New Apostolic Reformation movement.

It is worth noting that George Barna's involvement with Peter Wagner's movement traces back to the mid-1990s, at which time the apostolic and prophetic movement, soon to be launched as the NAR after the turn of the new millennium, was far more controversial (among evangelicals, at least) than it even is now.

One of prolific author Barna's many projects was the co-authorship, with Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr., a member of the elite Wagner-founded Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, of the 2004 Regal / Gospel Light book High Impact African American Churches. Wagner contributed an enthusiastic plug for the book, writing,

"For years, most Christian leaders have admired the amazing and  profound religious and social impact of black churches in our cities. Now my friends, George Barna and Harry Jackson, have focused a brilliant floodlight on African-American churches, allowing us to see clearly how they have gone about doing it. High-Impact African-American Churches is important reading!"

Barna has also co-authored two books with evangelical leader Bill Dallas who, following his felony conviction and imprisonment for real estate embezzlement, has embarked on a second career as a church networking specialist - plugged into a major New Apostolic Reformation funding channel.  

Dallas' Church Communications Network project received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Ken Eldred, who has also bankrolled Dallas' new nonprofit venture, United in Purpose, with at least $1,000,000 in funding.

In his 2008 book Dominion: How Kingdom Action Can Change The World, C. Peter Wagner describes Ken Eldred, who has used his substantial business fortune to launch several nonprofit foundations capitalized with at least $50,000,000 (and possibly even $100,000,000), as a "marketplace apostle" who has provided "what might prove to be our most viable guidelines for a new strategy of social transformation."

990 tax forms filed with the IRS by Eldred's foundations show they have been a major funding source for videographer George Otis Jr.'s video series "Transformations", which has played a major role in disseminating the New Apostolic Reformation's distinctive Spiritual Warfare / Spiritual Mapping ideas worldwide.

George Barna makes an appearance in Otis, Jr.'s third Transformations production, the 2003 video The Quickening: Entering into the Firestorm of God's Grace.

Otis, Jr.'s Transformations videos depict the creation of mini-utopias, in cities, towns, and whole geographic areas, which is accomplished when charismatic Christians band together to drive out demon spirits, and people accused of witchcraft and sorcery, from their local areas.

Barna also has been a speaker at events sponsored by Bill Dallas' United In Purpose / Champion The Vote (the later is voter registration project of UIP), which have featured Newt Gingrich and leading Christian nationalist  history revisionist David Barton - who in his own right has an extensive track record of working with apostles and prophets in Wagner's NAR.

Along with Barton, George Barna shows up on the original Board of Reference of what is perhaps the signature public event of the New Apostolic Reformation, Lou Engle's The Call [Barna was listed on the Reference Board of The Call International - along with Purpose Drive Life author Rick Warren].

Given The Call leader Lou Engle's virulent rhetoric against legal abortion and same-sex marriage, Barna's endorsement is notable, especially in light of C. Peter Wagner's statement in his book Radical Holiness For Radical Living:

"Today's best known church researcher is George Barna. He is a committed Christian, but his task is that of a sociologist, not of a moralizer.

As an ancillary note, many of Barna's (numerous) books have been printed under the Regal / Gospel Light imprint, which is one of the preferred publishing houses for books by New Apostolic Reformation leadership. For example, Barna's 1997 book Leaders on Leadership, which contains profiles of NAR leaders C. Peter Wagner and Jack Hayford, featured ads for books by Wagner, Dutch Sheets, Cindy Jacobs, and Ed Silvoso.

Barna's 1999 Regal / Gospel Light published by Habits of Highly Effective Churches earned Peter Wagner's effusive endorsement. Wrote Wagner,

"Few individuals have gained more insight about the true nature of today's churches than George Barna. This book is not another survey of what all churches do, but rather it is focused on the most essential differences between the great churches and the good ones. Habits of Highly Effective Churches is a blockbuster! You will not want to miss it!"



Display:
Good info. But what do we do with this? I just wish you would focus like a laser.

by Jaypride on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 02:40:38 PM EST
Here's what it illuminates:

George Barna, head of the Barna Group, does research that's taken very seriously by the secular world. His partisan ties to the NAR have been, prior to my drawing out these connections, unknown.

But the NAR is a movement not always known for its honesty, and Barna's ties to the movement raise troubling questions, given that Wagner's NAR seeks to dominate all significant sectors of society. What role does Barna's polling research play in that project, if any? I'm quite curious.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 12:59:54 PM EST
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


How The Election of Trump Made My Life Easier
I might be one of a select few who didn't vote for Donald but would have to say Trump's election made my life easier...I......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
The Bakke Plot To "Infiltrate" Secular Institutions
Back in 2012-2014 I did a lot of writing and research on The Gathering, the yearly meeting of elite evangelical right philanthropists who collectively......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
The Term "Alt-Right" is All Right
There is a misguided effort underway to not use the term "alt-right."  The effort, currently led by the Center for American Progress, claims that......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Getting the Low Down on Dominionism
A refresher on dominionism will probably come in handy over the next little while. -- FC I am pleased to report that the task......
By Frederick Clarkson (10 comments)
The New Kochs: Anthology of DeVos Support, Funding of School Privatization and Religious Right
This post from 2-14 will be a helpful resource in the days ahead. -- FC Mother Jones' January/February issue includes an article titled "Meet......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Strategy for Privatizing Public Schools Spelled out by Dick DeVos in 2002 Heritage Foundation Speech
This post about the long term strategy for privatizing the public schools takes on fresh importance in light of the nomination of Betsy DeVos......
By Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (18 comments)
Did God Engineer Trump's Win?
Political analysts have postulated a number of theories to explain the victory of Donald J. Trump in the presidential election: Hillary Clinton failed to......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
Some thoughts for a Sunday post-election reflection:
Emancipation, Reconstruction, Redemption, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow The struggles of the Civil Rights Movement took us two steps forward Now the "Second......
By Chip Berlet (0 comments)
On The Ridiculous Charge Of Clinton Anti-Catholicism
Julian Assange has been busy lately trying to sabotage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's run for the Presidency. As part of his vendetta, he has......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
From Russia Without Love
It was less than two years ago but it now seems like a lifetime ago that I wrote about how Russia appeared to be......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Northwest Arkansas, A Hotbed for Anti-Semitism
Three organizations in Northwest Arkansas are deeply interwoven into the most rabid Anti-Semitic teachings in the nation.  Gerald Smith, buried at the base of......
By wilkyjr (5 comments)
Joseph Cella is Back - Taking the Opposite Tack from Pope Francis
Joseph J. Cella has had a change of heart since he joined with those conservative Catholic activists who signed a declaration during the Republican......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Radcliffe Sucker Punched by Right-Wing Propagandists
The prestigious Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard College will host a panel on Monday, Oct 17, titled "Righting the Record: Conservatism and......
By Chip Berlet (2 comments)
Celebrating Banned Books Week
Banned Books Week is the venerable annual celebration of the right to read and the highlighting of efforts by cultural vigilantes of various sorts......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)

"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (4 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (0 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (4 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (0 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (4 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (1 comment)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (11 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.