“Charismatic Revival Fury: The New Apostolic Reformation” is a podcast series on the history of the New Apostolic Reformation with ICJS Protestant scholar Matthew D. Taylor. The series, which is part of the Straight White American Jesus podcast, explores the history of the NAR through its key figures—starting with C. Peter Wagner, then moving to Ché Ahn, Lance Wallnau, Cindy Jacobs, and Dutch Sheets. Along the way, we see how people like Sean Feucht, Gen. Michael Flynn, Doug Mastriano, and others fit into the NAR matrix.
The NAR is the most influential Christian phenomenon that you either haven’t heard of, or don’t understand. It is much discussed, but rarely explored in depth with a scholar’s insight and patience. This series will break down myths and clearly present the origins of the fastest growing component of Christianity in the USA—and maybe the world.
Charismatic Revival Fury was written by Matthew D. Taylor. It was produced by Bradley Onishi and engineered by Scott Okamoto.
What is the New Apostolic Reformation and where did it come from. Matt Taylor lays the groundwork for the series episodes to come.
In this episode, Matt traces the beginning of the NAR to C. Peter Wagner, a former missionary and seminary professor who spent the last part of his life cultivating what he believed to be a new apostolic age in the life of the church. Wagner wanted to go beyond denominations to a new Reformation—one in which modern-day apostles and prophets used their spiritual gifts to guide their congregations. Wagner developed a network of charismatic young leaders who he believed would lead the church into its next era. And 20 years later, these apostles and prophets did just that—by forming the background of Christian Trumpism and leading the charge on Jan. 6.
Pastor Ché Ahn spoke to the crowds who would perpetrate the Capitol Riot on the day before (January 5th). He also may be C. Peter Wagner’s most dedicated student—and his most successful heir. He leads a network of 25,000 churches and is an international Charismatic superstar, known to many simply as Papa Ché. A Korean immigrant raised in Maryland, he has operated from Pasadena, CA for the last three decades. But he’s much more than a pastor. He is an apostle. Or so he says.
The story of Ché Ahn is, in many ways, emblematic of the whole Independent Charismatic sphere and what has emerged from it in the past 40 years. If we can come to understand who Ché Ahn is—his long and deep relationship to C. Peter Wagner, his theology, how he got to that stage on January 5th, and how he was thinking about himself in that moment—we’ll be a lot closer to understanding what the “New Apostolic Reformation” is all about.
There are two phenomena that we hear a lot about these days in connection to the NAR: The Seven Mountain Mandate and Sean Feucht. The former is an ideology or political theology that proposes that Christians have a call to dominate every sphere, or mountain, of society—from education to entertainment to politics. It was first popularized by Lance Wallnau, a well-known figure in NAR circles and one of C. Peter Wagner’s most ardent followers.
But before diving into the Seven Mountains and Wallnau, we need to figure out where another ubiquitous NAR phenomenon came from: the Charismatic troubadour Sean Feucht.
In Part I of this episode, Matt explores Feucht’s origin story, his NAR deep connections, his Seven Mountains ideology, and where these ideas came from.
In Part II, Matt connects the dots between Lance Wallnau, C. Peter Wagner, the Trump Administration, and January 6th to show how these ideas bolstered Christian Trumpism and contributed directly to the Insurrection.
Michael Flynn was raised Catholic, so ostensibly he’s a far cry from the Independent Charismatics of this series. But in recent years he’s adopted a very Charismatic vocabulary of spiritual warfare and the need for an army of God’s warriors to do battle in American politics. It is one thing to hear pastors or even worship leaders talk about spiritual warfare and “expanding spiritual territory,” but this language of warfare and prayer weapons systems and spiritual adversaries sure has a different resonance coming out of the mouth of a literal general.
How did this language and this logic of spiritual warfare enter into and become ingrained in American politics? What role did spiritual warfare paradigms play in the Capitol Riot? And what does it have to do with the New Apostolic Reformation?
Cindy Jacobs is one of the most influential independent charismatic prophets on the planet, and almost no one outside of Pentecostal-Charismatic circles has any idea who she is or what she does. It was through Cindy Jacobs that C. Peter Wagner came to believe that Christian prayer could be mobilized on a grand scale to affect and open up entire nations to the gospel.
Wagner and Jacobs and a whole bunch of other Charismatics came to believe that, not only are Christians called to do battle against the demonic “principalities” and “powers” (Ephesians 6), but that these “territorial spirits” could take control over specific geographical areas and regions. Wagner imagined elaborate hierarchies of demons—demon commanders, demon generals—who ruled over actual, physical earthly territory. In this episode, we see how these seemingly peculiar spiritual warfare paradigms played directly into the Capitol Riot, including through Jacobs’ own presence there.
Eight days before the Capitol Insurrection, on December 29, 2020, a group of 15 apostles and prophets, including Dutch Sheets and Becca Greenwood, two of the members of Peter Wagner’s Eagles Vision Apostolic Team, had a more than 2-hour meeting with high-level Trump Administration officials in a conference room in the White House. This meeting has never been reported on before. How did these New Apostolic Reformation leaders get that access? What were they doing there in the leadup to January 6? Who did they meet with?
The NAR Apostles were at the heart of the Christian Trumpism of the J6 Insurrection, and Dutch Sheets was foremost among them. One of the overlooked and under-analyzed details of the Capitol Riot is how many “Appeal to Heaven” flags there were in the crowd. There must be dozens of them, maybe even hundreds. This is a striking signal of how far Dutch Sheets’ “Appeal to Heaven” prophetic meme has spread and of his Christian nationalist mobilizing potential. How did Sheets and his colleagues collaborate with the Trump Administration in the leadup to January 6th and what questions remain unanswered about the Christian nationalist organizing that contributed directly to the violence that day?