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


Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Thus It Was Prophesied in 2012: Ted Cruz Will Be VP, Or a Supreme Court Justice
This is a transcript, of pastor Larry Huch and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, from an appearance Rafael Cruz made at......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Crusin with Cruz
Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, announcing his bid for President in the worship center at Jerry Falwell's University last night.  Mother......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Ted Cruz: Born From The Heart of the Dominionist Christian Right
[welcome, Thom Hartmann Show fans, here is a short introduction to my past coverage on Ted Cruz and the dominionist Christian right] Did you......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Coming Soon to Utah: An International Festival of Bigotry
An international network of some of the world's most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine
Here's what the country doesn't need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.Yet that's what......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Team Jeb Bush's Liaison to Religious Right Is Hardcore Culture Warrior
In 2008, Senator John McCain's campaign recognized that he needed to shore up his credentials with the Religious Right, which was skeptical about his......
By Bill Berkowitz (2 comments)
American ISIS: Christian Reconstructionists And `Biblical Law' In America
Every now and then, while scanning the day's news, I come across a headline that's hard to believe.Like this one: "California lawyer proposes ballot......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Will our Prisons Overflow with Christians this Summer?
Many leaders of the Christian Right, from megachurch pastors like Rick Warren to the top prelates in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Say You Want A Christian Nation?: Let's Try This One
Last week an article began circulating on social media claiming that 57 percent of Republicans in a recent poll said they believe Christianity should......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Are The Fundamentalists Winning?
We missed Evolution Weekend, which was held February 13-15 this year.   This worthwhile effort, which began the same year as Talk to Action,......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Mario Cuomo's Memorable Lesson on Challenging the Political Authority of the Church
It is never too late to remember. Here is a reposting of a column I did following the death of former New York Gov.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Legacy of Francis Bellamy
"We assemble here that we, too, may exalt the free school that embodies the American principles of universal enlightenment and equality; the most characteristic......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
The Inquisitional Urge Gets the Better of Bill Donohue (Again)
Bill Donohue is at it again. The Catholic League president went apoplectic over President Obama’s seemingly innocuous comments at the February 5th National Prayer......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
John Dorhauer Recommended to Lead United Church of Christ
I am very pleased to report that John Dorhauer, who joined us early on at Talk to Action has been recommended by a national......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 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 (9 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)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (1 comment)

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.