If you have ever searched into reading material for the late William M. Branham, you simply won’t be frustrated. What might lift up your ire may be the lack of material with no apologetic interest: the article author is usually a disciple or even a former follower.
While he might preach no more, the legacy William Branham still provokes two responses: adulation or revulsion. As the other reviewers show, Branham’s words still the power to spark.
Weaver’s analysis does several significant things:
1) Contextualizes Branham within American Pentecostalism: As one other reviewer shows, followers may bristle at any claims that produce Branham to a historical type (Pentecostal, Healer, etc.). But such analysis is essential to understand Branham’s claims plus the culture by which he arises.
2) Traces developments within Branham’s teachings: Branham’s tenuous relationship for the mainstream is the reason for an increasingly eccentric body of teachings. Weaver shows how adjustments to culture, economics, and demographics led (simply) to Branham’s increasingly apocalyptic visions, his late aspersions towards denominations, plus a legion of would-be successors.
3) Analyzes Branham’s doctrines: Branham’s combination of Baptist, Oneness, Pentecostal theology, not forgetting his unique teachings with regards to the “serpent seed” and “third pull”, are evaluated in a broader Christian framework.
This book nicely fills a chasm between extremes. While critical of Branham’s ministry, this is actually no hatchet job. Weaver has little vested curiosity about destroying Branham’s character. On the contrary, Weaver is generous, emphasizing Branham’s personal humility, the romance, with the exceptional personal holiness.