If you’re familiar the American Gospel films you’ll know that we’ve attempted to be fair in our representation of those we are critiquing. In the first film, you’ll notice a lot of text graphics which say something like, “[insert person] declined [or did not respond to] an interview request.” In AG2: Christ Crucified, we were more successful in getting some opposition interviews to agree to appear in the film, including Bart Campolo, a secular humanist. Our approach with people like Bart is to give them the ability to review and approve of how we have edited their interview before they sign their appearance release (Bart describes his experience here: http://www.watchagtv.com/videos/campolo-recommend). We think that overall, this approach is a helpful way to discern truth and error, when two opposing views are contrasted side by side with Scripture.
In AG3: Spirit & Fire, we’ve continued with the same approach in interviewing people like Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. Randy Clark, and Will Hart (hopefully a few more people will agree before AG3 is finished). Some of our viewers have brought up concerns with this approach, which we do understand. However, we think it’s healthy to have these people involved no matter how difficult the process may be. We need to know and understand the arguments from the other side for a number of reasons. First, this can ensure that our critique of their positions is honest and fair, and we can avoid being dismissed for taking people out of context. Second, this approach can help our arguments to be stronger, or perhaps help us to see weaknesses or errors in our own beliefs compared to Scripture. Third, we think this approach can help open up this content to a wider audience for the purpose of evangelism, or challenging other Christians who may be in error. Finally, if we were to release this content without any input from those we disagree with, they would likely spend a lot of time commenting and critiquing this project from the outside after its release, just like many did with the Strange Fire Conference in 2013. Instead of spending the time responding to their critiques, why not allow them to critique our perspective, and respond to that within the film?
As you can imagine, this approach has made it very difficult to create a trailer for the project. The point of a trailer is to tease the content of a full-length feature film, not to spoil everything, or present every argument that will appear in the final film. A normal trailer is around 2 minutes in length, which makes it impossible to address every argument, or to be completely balanced (in hearing the opposing argument) on every single point. All of this has created the need to create a longer, extended preview, in order to have more time for differences to be explained. At the end of this 12-minute preview, we allowed Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Randy Clark to add a summary of their disagreements and concerns that didn’t make it into the main body of the trailer. Much of what they say, we disagree with, and we plan to address many of their points within the final docuseries.
In response to some of their criticisms, it’s important for our audience to remember that they are critiquing a preview* of a docuseries (*a small teaser of something that is much larger and more detailed) which is still a work in progress. So any claims of us taking Scripture out of context, or taking those we are critiquing out of context, are premature. We plan to go into great detail about these issues in the full series, including the controversial issue of “grave-soaking” (which is shown briefly in the preview). Here are some other important questions to consider in response to some of their points: Does the doctrine of cessationism itself necessarily lead to a shipwrecked faith or apostasy? Regarding judging the fruit of a movement, is it Biblical to equate church growth to church health? Are we to judge quantity of fruit, or quality of fruit?
As you can see, the differences in perspectives here are big, and require a lot of time and nuance to fully understand. Lord willing, this April we will conclude our production with a final roundtable discussion with Justin Peters & Jim Osman discussing their differences with Dr. Michael Brown & Dr. Sam Storms. Please continue to pray for the production of this project. We do not like giving estimated release dates, due to the nature of all of the issues above and size of the project, but we we are hoping it will be done by the end of Spring, 2023.
-Brandon Kimber & the AG Team
Thank you for taking up this task I loved both AG movies and continue to pray for your team as you work to present all positions fairly. Please know your approach is more powerful and will bring more eyes to view and convict the hearts of all to return to the love for truth Jesus Christ and the works of His Spirit in the Church. God bless you and keep you.
1/30/2023 02:36:58 am
These films are in my view modern day creeds. Like Nicene, Apostles etc Clear and definite statements of Biblical truth which are also rebuttals of error. All my family watch AG2 as a family treat each Christmas when we get together. AG 1 was superb, AG 2 even better as it so clearly defined for us what the Gospel is, start to finish. AG..... agonizing wait.
2/1/2023 10:45:58 am
I'm so excited for this to come out! I so desperately want to share this trailer on my personal page as I have several friends who are wrapped up into this teaching, some more deeply than others. But because of the interviews at the end, I'll refrain as I'm afraid they won't know the "good guys" from the "bad guys" (for lack of a better description), therefore they won't understand the position of the documentary. I'm excitedly waiting! Bless you all as you continue your work of protecting the sanctity of Scripture!
2/1/2023 04:14:25 pm
Hi, just saw the 12 minutes trailer and I think it is great, that you let Dr. Michael Brown, who I really appreciate in his defence of the Jewishness of the bible against rabbinic Judaism and Dr. Randy Clark give their opinion on the previous trailer. To Randy Clark I would say, the fruit is not the only means to measure if something is from God. The bible gives other important means, especially what kind of gospel is given and that we are to test everything (e.g. commendation of the Bereans that tested the message of Paul against the scriptures). Concerning the statement of Dr. Brown that he could also make a documentary with people getting their faith shipwrecked through leaving the charismatic movement and going to churches that believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for today I understood his comment in this way: If you interview people that have been harmed or lost their faith in any denomination, you will always find enough of those. This alone is not a good enough argument against the teachings of a specific denomination. If I understood him correctly I agree. I would say: If something is of God it has to be in line with scripture. Trips to heaven at my own initiative, waking up/ seeking contact with Holy Angels, Baptising New Age practices that I have claimed back from the occult and the like are all clearly not in line with scripture! Blessings! Keep up the good work!
2/3/2023 03:17:22 pm
U guys have no idea how much respect I have for u guys finally getting the other side to represent.
Nathan and Kaylen
2/3/2023 09:06:14 pm
Ahhhh!! We’re so excited!
2/7/2023 10:01:59 pm
Thankful for your honest exposure of differing beliefs. What encourages me the most about your work is your obvious confidence that the truth will come out on top and those truly looking for it will finally have a chance to hear. It is the Lord Who saves and His Word and Spirit does the work, we just sow the seed.
2/8/2023 06:31:03 pm
I have been attending a baptist school that united with the pentecostal church of Norway (and the pentecostal church in large took it over in numbers). I have been there for 2,5 years now and been taught so much that I deep down know is not true because it does not reflect the Lord and his communication with us. Reading Strange Fire by John MacArthur (and repeating it 2 times, as well as reading Dr.Browns "Authentic Fire" response) opened my eyes to just how far many of these practices are from the will of God, and it has taken time for me to start focusing on evangelizing, church planting and my music since I had such conviction that these modern "holy spirit" experiences are dividing the church and establishing a firm different gospel, and that I need to fight in the collective war against it, to snatch them out of the fire. A few weeks ago, I had 3 people sharing their testimony in class, for 10-15 minutes, without mentioning sin. I could go on, but as a relatively new believer coming from eastern spirituality, I can not be convinced of anything else that this is a different spirit, doing a lot of things appearing good, feeling good, but gradually weakening the church at large to preach the real gospel that brings people to Heaven.
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Brandon is the director of American Gospel series, and President of the streaming service AGTV.