It’s been two months since James White had Dr. Michael Brown on his podcast for a discussion on the orthodoxy of Michael Brown and his questionable associations with many hyper charismatics. In that podcast Michael Brown endorsed several notable false prophets and heretics, one of which was Bill Johnson of Bethel church Redding. In the Podcast Dr. White stated that he was ignorant of who Bill Johnson is and what he teaches. Since that time many notable theologians and ministries have warned Dr. White about Michael Brown’s spurious association and endorsement of Bill Johnson as a “solid Christian Brother.”
Yesterday what started as an innocent tweet by Chris Arnzen of Iron sharpens Iron radio turned into an interesting conversation between James White, Michael Brown, and a random Twitter follower. You can see the screenshots below, Arnzen tweeted at Dr. White thanking him for coming on his podcast to discuss his friendship with Michael Brown and other things.
The first reply to the tweet was from a Twitter follower named Jay Kreutner. “I appreciate a lot of those points about Dr. Brown but I do think he is not only accountable for what he teaches, but for his public spiritual associations. ( I think conferences would definitely qualify as that). 1 Cor 5:11”
Notice the warning that this random Twitter follower has given matches very closely with warnings given by the likes of JD Hall, Chris Rosebrough, Phil Johnson, Justin Peters and Todd Friel. Not to mention us here at BTWN.
There is a notable difference between this Twitter follower and those mentioned above. The main difference is that this Twitter follower himself has a mere 27 followers. He has a small blog with an unknown amount of traffic, a website with a reasonably solid gospel tract on that’s designed to reach the lost.
I have mixed emotions about the Twitter exchange. It does seem that this random Twitter follower has reached Dr. White to the degree that he had agreed to actually listen to a sermon by Bill Johnson of Bethel Church Redding, and found several notable problems, primarily being a lack of gospel and imbalance in his preaching.
On one hand I’m thankful. This random Twitter follower achieved something that several large, well known, and a trusted ministries have thus far been unable to. He got James White to sit down like a Berean and listen to a sermon by Bill Johnson, who is heartily promoted and endorsed by Michael Brown and did so on James White’s podcast the Dividing Line.
If you look at the Twitter comment feed you seen James White is clearly troubled by what he has heard come from Johnson’s mouth. We should all be encouraged by his response to it. For it seems that James White is finally seeing the errors having now listened for himself rather than just taking Michael Brown’s word that Bill Johnson is not a heretic or false prophet.
Yet on the other hand I can’t help but ask myself why it takes a random Twitter follower to get James White attention on this matter. When Phil Johnson, Todd Friel, and Justin Peters are warning you not just about Michael Brown, but about his associations with a known heretics, and yet you not just ignored them, but openly defied them, it makes one wonder what is inside of a man that causes him to behave in that manner towards those men.
I can understand given the broken relationship, why James White would disregard warnings from JD Hall. To some degree I can even understand him not heeding warnings from Chris Rosebrough because as far as I know they had no relationship or contact before this point.
I also understand James White’s friendship with Michael Brown. I wish all of my friends were as steadfast in their defense of me as James White is toward Michael Brown. Their friendship is deep, and we should all respect and appreciate that character trait in James White. But friendship should never be placed above the Gospel, and to many of us who have learned so much from AoMin standing on the outside looking in, that I see the impression we get.
But what about his friendship with Phil Johnson? Or Todd Friel? Is he that much closer with Michael Brown? Probably. But these men aren’t random Twitter guys or theological nobodies, these are godly men whose theology runs parallel to James White theology and who specialize in critiquing the heresies coming out of hyper charismaticism. Are those friendships so shallow that when they sound the alarm that the alarm can go unheeded?
Regardless of how Dr. White has come to the truth about Johnson, our reaction should be to rejoice and pray. God is a God of means, and he can use the greatest or smallest of things for His ultimate glory!
The Twitter conversation was left incomplete, so we don’t yet know what the conclusion is that Dr. White will arrive at regarding Bill Johnson, but knowing where he stands theologically I’m fairly confident that he will agree with those of us who have been warning against Bill Johnson and his ilk for some time.
And Dr. White’s final Tweet in the thread (responding to Michael Brown and 4 others) he says “someone else link this, and I am already hearing ( 10 minute mark after lots of jokes) problematic Christological statements. I will take this, and your interview, on a tough climb tomorrow. ”
Michael Brown responded “enjoy the climb, and then let me know your thoughts.”
Indeed Dr. White, let us all know your thoughts.
Tweets screen shots below:
See More BTWN Content by Len Pettis – HERE
Listen to Len Pettis on the “Grappling with Theology” Podcast – HERE
Here Len Pettis on the BTWN Podcast – HERE