Weekly Links – Strange Fire Conference

“One other thing. Continuationists may believe that the Strange Fire guys are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But they should begin their response by acknowledging that in the contemporary charismatic world, there is an awful lot of bathwater, and — even on their accounting — not very much baby. This is something that needed to be done, and because there has not been (to my knowledge) a large continuationist conference rebuking the manifest excesses of the wahoo brethren, this conference was inevitable.” (Douglas Wilson, Excesses of the Wahoo Brethren)

by Stephen Rodgers

Since the Strange Fire conference was such a significant topic recently, I wanted to do a post collecting a number of resources and perspectives related to it. After trying to organize the material a few different ways (topically? chronologically?), I finally threw up my hands and decided to do a mix of both: some of this will be organized by source, and some by chronology.  So without further ado, here we go.

I also may add to this article as more resources become available, but I wanted to get this up since a number of folks at the church have asked about it.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated numerous times since it’s original publication.  The most recent update was on 3/10/2015.


Lyndon Unger wrote a series of posts that laid out the origins and issues relevant to the (then) upcoming Strange Fire Conference.  They’re still probably the most interesting and readable introduction to the subject.


Primary sources are important. Before you spend too much time studying what other people thought about the messages, you should probably listen to the messages yourself. I’m also including Pastor Patrick’s reflections on the conference since this is the LBC Beacon after all.


Grace to You is the ministry of John MacArthur and Grace Community Church. These are the folks who who organized the conference in the first place.

Here are their articles recounting the specific days of the conference:

And here are several articles responding to particular issues after the conference:

The Cripplegate

The Cripplegate is a teamblog from a number of pastors and seminary students who either are directly associated with Grace Community Church and TMS, or used to be and have moved on to ministry in other areas.

Here are their articles summarizing the specific sessions of the conference:

And here are several articles responding to particular issues after the conference:

The Cripplegate is also re-posting the Butler / Unger review of Authentic Fire (original links below in the “Reviews, Responses, and Books” section):


Pyromaniacs was originally the blog of Phil Johnson (a speaker at the conference and the Director of GTY). He retired a while back, but Dan Phillips and Frank Turk have been keeping the doors open in his absence.

Since the conference, Dan Phillips has been doing a series of articles (and a sermon or two) recounting his thoughts on the conference:

Tim Challies

Tim Challies runs one of the more prominent sites in terms of conservative Christian blogs. He also has a reputation for being a fairly level-headed guy. He watched the conference on livestream and blogged his thoughts on the sessions:

Reviews, Responses, and Books

There have been a couple of books published in response to both the Strange Fire conference and the Strange Fire book. This section collects responses and evaluations of those books.

The first book to respond was Frank Viola’s Pouring Holy Water on Strange Fire. Lyndon Unger reviewed it (unfavorably, to put it mildly), and eventually an updated and corrected version was released.

The second book to respond was Michael Brown’s Authentic FireLyndon Unger and Fred Butler teamed up to do a response to that book. As I write this, that review is still in progress. Since they cross-post a lot, I’m going to list the relevant links according to the corresponding chapters in the book.

Lyndon Unger (again)

Since this all began, Mr. Unger has written enough that I really can’t fit him into the “misc” section anymore.

Post-Event Roundup / Miscellaneous Articles

Here’s a collection of articles from various folk who I consider interesting and/or noteworthy.

Editor’s Note: Craig S. Keener is a noteworthy charismatic scholar.  I don’t mind including his review here for the sake of completeness, but the website that is hosting it (pneumareview.com) seems to be splitting the review across a riduculously-large number of pages, most likely in an effort to exploit pageviews. Shame on them. Just be aware.

The Driscoll Incident

So one odd thing happened at the conference: Mark Driscoll showed up on the last day and made an impromptu and unscheduled appearance. Here are a few articles related to that event (including his own explanation of what happened).

Editor’s Note: this is included for the sake of completeness; if you somehow are under the impression that this is central to the content of the conference itself, then please stop…do not pass GO…do not collect $200. Remember Tim Challies? He wrote a book a few years ago that might help you with your much more immediate problem.

For Further Study

If there’s sufficient interest, it might be worthwhile to build a full-blown hub post on charasmaticism in general and the sign gifts in particular.  In the meantime, here are a few resources you can avail yourself to: