Take note please - these are the views of an unregenerate Gentile.
Two of Michael's earliest say-it-like-it-is gadfly-books have here been put together.
A comment on "Whatever Happened to the Power of God?":
Although the power of God is the framework of the book, the call to authentic PURITY (in being one of Michael's major burdens, so to speak) is again a primary theme from start to finish. The book is awash with home truths. That said, in his muscular denounciation of the anaemic condition of Western churches (in regard to their lack of God's power), I would have liked him to have gone even further: to have homed right in on the BINITARIAN nature of Western evangelism and teaching (there ARE books that have done so; see below). If the Western continent of the Body is to truly honor and echo the TRINITARIAN evangelism of Messiah Jesus, Peter and Paul, there are a number of things that both 'Cessationists' and 'Pentecostals' need to LEARN and UNLEARN.
Yes indeed, 'Evangelicals' are TRINITARIAN in CREED; but because the 'Magisterial Reformers' threw out authentic spiritual phenomena with the superstitious bathwater of their day,many 'Evangelicals' are BINITARIAN in day-to-day reality. With due respect to any sincere disciple of Messiah Jesus who chooses to label themselves as a 'Catholic' or a 'Protestant,' it has been said that both 'Catholics' and 'Protestants' have the wrong trinity: Catholics having Father, Son and Virgin Mary; Protestants having Father, Son and Holy Bible! An oversimplification? Yes; but nevertheless a remark containing HOME TRUTHS that need to be humbly and objectively dealt with (not haughtily and subjectively denied).
In order to get a sense of just how gadflyish "Whatever Happened to the Power of God ?" is, just try these quotes on for size (as usual for Michael, the book is a cascade of wheaty, meaty, muscular sentences):
Chapter 20: 'According to a recent Gallop Poll released in the fall of 1990,74% of our American people believe they have made a personal commitment to Jesus ... Yet this statistic cannot possibly be true unless it is a different Jesus they are committed to ...'
Chapter 6: 'Would he [Paul the apostle] see how far our gospel preaching has departed from the cross and ask, "Who has bewitched you ? ... " '
Chapter 18: 'For several decades the American Church has been on a steady decline in morals... We have not been representing Jesus.'
Chapter 18: 'It has often been said "If the Spirit of God were to leave the earth today, 90% of all Christian ministry would continue unaffected." This certainly applies to the Church in North America!' (Many 'Calvinists' are 'Cessationists.' This all-too-true '90%' quote cited by Michael is not without a mountainous heap of tragic irony: Calvinists preach 'monergism' - the idea that God does it all; with men and women being a sort of depraved set of mule-puppets who have no real say in their eternal destiny. Due to being Pentecostally unfamilar with - and truth be told, even suspicious of - the nine gifts of the HOLY Spirit, much of what these Calvinistic Cessationists do is indeed monergistic, but in the OPPOSITE way to their distorted teaching: it is they themselves ALONE who have done - and are doing - certain things; not God! What part for instance, did God - who is AGAPE - play in the persistent violence of the 'Magisterial Reformers'?! Furthermore, the HOLY Spirit is the Spirit of TRUTH - indeed, the WHOLE truth, and NOTHING BUT the truth. The TULIP by contrast, is based on SOME of the truth, but NOT all; mixed with ideas that stem from Augustine's inexpertise in Greek, plus perhaps a dollop or two of wishful thinking; it is a catastrophic recipe. The TULIP in itself is therefore another ironic example of monergism, and again in the OPPOSITE way to that proclaimed by Calvinists; for if one assumes the five points/petals of the TULIP are not demonic in origin, they are ALL of man.)
Chapter 7: 'Where we don't have carnal fanfare we have cold formalism; where we don't have sensationalistic testimonies we have stifling traditions. Our tongues are bland, our prophecies are boring; our interpretations are hollow, our revelations are hokey ... Is Jesus exalted by all this?' (This wonkyness, and tragic 'polarization beneath the Evangelical umbrella' - my phrase - is addressed in 'Word and Spirit Together'; see below.)
A comment on "It's Time to Rock the Boat."
Here are three reasons why T2RTB has bigger biceps than most all books on the narrow Way:
1) In Chapter 3, we have MLB rightly denouncing the idea that 'repent' simply means to intellectually 'change your mind.' Actually, scriptural repentance is a VERB/ACTION/DEED thing (hence Paul looked for 'DEEDS appropriate to repentance' - Acts 26:20, NASB, emphasis added).
2) In Chapter 5, on wheat and chaff, we find ourselves reading some of the most important sentences Michael has ever penned. Here he discusses the CANDY-based junk food diet that many disciples have been fed from 'pulpits.' As a consequence, the palate and appetite of many disciples is seriously damaged; they are seriously MALNOURISHED; and worst of all, when an all-too-rare quality Bible teacher tries to feed them meat 'n' potatoes, they vomit it out and consider it 'legalistic' dung. Michael then crowns this stellar chapter (on page 50 of the paperback version) by including what is perhaps one of the most important quotes of John Wesley that you're ever likely to find: Wesley regarded Bible teachers who deliver one-sided (promises only) messages as men who spread DEATH not life. And to think Wesley said that over 200 years ago; one can only speculate how many tear bottles Wesley would fill, if he saw the amount of death-spreading material available to the Body today.
3) In Chapter 8, you have MLB's strongest written attack on the Body TOXIN known as 'Once Saved, Always Saved.'
At the moment though (noting his words on page 95, from 'It is one thing to argue' to 'It [i.e. 'Augustinianism'/'Calvinism'] does NOT [capitalized emphasis mine] give out false assurance to the hardened backslider'), Michael has yet to see the pernicious nature of the more subtle, intellectual form of OSAS known as 'Perseverance of the Saints' (POTS).
POTS actually DOES give false assurance; or rather, the Augustinian/Calvinistic TULIP is what gives the false assurance, of which 'POTS' is the fifth and now most famous part/petal. Indeed, as David Bercot says (in "What the Early Christians Believed About Eternal Security"), "the doctrine of eternal security GUTS all of Christ's teaching" (emphasis added). It sure does, you need look no further than the original makers of the distortion to see the repulsive fruit such notions license (Augustine; Luther; Zwingli; and Calvin). Untold numbers of Anabaptists lost their lives at the hands of those strengthened by that awful and subtle TOXIN.
The entire Reformed/Calvinist/camp superstructure is BUILT upon a DISTORTED understanding of ELECTION (and predestination): as SOWN by Augustine; as SYSTEMIZED in Calvin's "Institutes"; as SUMMARIZED in the Westminster/Baptist Confession (Chapter 17); as SERMONIZED by Spurgeon; and as ENSHRINED in (the U of the) TULIP (and also in Q 'n' A No. 19 of "Spurgeon's Catechism").
TULIP-advocates (TAs) think that 'Tom, Dick and Harriet Mule' are TOO depraved to repent by their own free will and voluntary choice. In contrast to Psalm 32, TAs (albeit unintentionally) have what might be called "Bit 'n' Bridle Theology"; where men and women ARE indeed seen as mules who simply cannot respond in repentance and faith without FIRST being fitted (by God) with a "bridle of regeneration" (my phrase).
By the way, in Chapter 1 (page 6), Michael briefly points to one of the biggest ELEPHANTS in Holy Scripture - Messiah's teaching on REMARRIAGE: '(How many of today's "marriages," blessed by the Church and santioned by the clergy, are also adulterous in His eyes?)' David Pawson (rare NINE-YARD echoer of Messiah that he is) has gone even further: out of sheer integrity he not only points out what Jesus has said, he has dared to mount the marriage-elephant and say 'Hey guys, look what Jesus actually said! See "Remarriage is Adultery Unless" below.
Michael L Brown; and Mike's KEY THREE:
Mike is a leading SECONDARY SOURCE of written truth (i.e., among fallible Scripture teachers outside of Holy Writ, Mike is one of the finest). The PRIMARY source of WRITTEN truth is of course the The Holy Scripture FACULTY (so to speak; i.e., the writers of FOUNDATION and FRUITION Scripture - FOUNDATION being Genesis to Malachi, FRUITION being Matthew to Revelation; from Moses and Joshua, right through to Jude and John; Messiah Jesus being THE Teacher).
Over and above soundness in the basics (like the Trinity) Mike's TWIN-STRENGTHS are as follows: 1) Tanakh-ROOTED, Jeremiah-FORETOLD, Messiah-FULFILLED, NEW-Covenant, Apostolic Judaism/Theology (vs. TALMUD-rooted, Rabbinic Judaism/Theology; AND EVEN vs. Tanakh-UPROOTED, EvanJELLYcal, Western "Christianity"); 2) NEW-Covenant, 24/7 HOLINESS.
Mike's KEY THREE BOOKS (no; Home Truth PIES!!!):
1) "How Saved Are We?" - on NINE-Yard evangelism.
2) "Go And Sin No More" - on NY disciplehood (on the PURITY front, his finest ever bake!).
3) "Our Hands Are Stained with Blood" - on Israel, God's covenant people.
He has now written over 20 books; if you are looking to get yourself a rustic (yet robust!) grasp of Mike Brown's theology, do yourself a favor and home in on those three first.
I've provided Amazon links to some GAME CHANGING works; concerning areas where just as Mike would hope others would give an objective ear his areas of expertise; Mike (along with most all Western disciples), likewise needs to give an objective ear to THEIR areas of expertise. I have also given links to key works that address one or two other toxins permeating (the Western contingent of) the Body.
GAME CHANGER 1: Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith Marvin Wilson's game changer. Christianity" (so-called); is it a NEW religion? Is Israel a God-forsaken CATERPILLAR that a Gentile Grace-Butterfly FLIES FROM?! Or, is Israel an OLIVE Tree that Gentiles are GRAFTED INTO? Get this key work on the arch-distortion that is "Replacement Theology."
GAME CHANGER 2: Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices Viola and Barna's game changer on the UNSCRIPTURAL foundations of the "Institutional Church." Quoting from the preface by Tyndale House Publishers: "Perhaps you wonder why a publisher of Christian books would release a book that questions so many common church practices ... they [Frank Viola and George Barna] are asking us to thoughtfully consider the source of our churches' traditions and then ask how these practices square with Scripture ... Many in the church hold to tradition, even if it is not grounded in Scripture, and these same people wonder why the church seems to be losing its relevance and impact in the contemporary world."
GAME CHANGER 3: The Normal Christian Birth: How to Give New Believers a Proper Start in Life David Pawson's game changer on ACTS-rooted (and truly TRNITARIAN) evangelism. Quoting from the prologue: "Many 'Christians,' including myself, were badly delivered ... The typical sinner's prayer is seriously inadequate ..."
Leadership is Male: What does the Bible say? On gender roles; foreworded by Elisabeth Elliot (no less).
Remarriage is Adultery Unless On the permanence of marriage.
When Jesus Returns On the End Times.
The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Dissent and Nonconformity) On the (Zechariah 4:6-defying) AKELDAMA foundations of the Trent and TULIP camps.
God's Strategy in Human History Volume 2 Reconsidering Key Biblical Ideas On apostolic (vs Augustinian) predestination. Get BOTH volumes.
Unlocking the Bible A formidable collection of pencil sketch talks (so to speak), that outline each book of Holy Scripture; helping Scripture students to see Scripture Forest despite the trees.
Sharpen your ACTS" (SYA) is an Amazon Listmania list I've put together. It is basically an attempt to select a few books of exceptional importance, so that any disciples who are not prolific book readers, can get themselves a small Narrow Way library, and yet one that gives first class information (including vaccine against some of the most pernicious toxins permeating the Western contingent of the Bride).
To find the SYA list, click on my name here on Amazon; then click on "Listmania Lists." Nearly all of the SYA books are available in ebook form, so free samples can be downloaded to your Kindle; or, onto any gadget on which you have installed a free Kindle App (such as your smartphone; your tablet; or your PC). Do go see the list; do get free samples; do don a napkin.