The Healer-Prophet, William Marrion Branham: A Study of the Prophetic in American Pentecostalism

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01If you have ever considered reading material around the late William M. Branham, you’ll not be frustrated. What might raise the ire may be the lack of material lacking any apologetic interest: the article author is usually a disciple or possibly a former follower.

While he might preach not, the legacy William Branham still provokes two responses: adulation or revulsion. As the other reviewers show, Branham’s words continue to have the power to spark.

Weaver’s analysis does several important matters:
1) Contextualizes Branham within American Pentecostalism: As one other reviewer shows, followers may bristle at any claims that produce Branham in a historical type (Pentecostal, Healer, etc.). But such analysis is important to understand Branham’s claims along with the culture where he arises.
2) Traces developments within Branham’s teachings: Branham’s tenuous relationship towards the mainstream is the reason for an increasingly eccentric body of teachings. Weaver shows how alterations in culture, economics, and demographics led (partly) to Branham’s increasingly apocalyptic visions, his late aspersions towards denominations, along with a legion of would-be successors.
3) Analyzes Branham’s doctrines: Branham’s mixture of Baptist, Oneness, Pentecostal theology, not forgetting his unique teachings in connection with “serpent seed” and “third pull”, are evaluated in just a broader Christian framework.

This book nicely fills a chasm between extremes. While critical of Branham’s ministry, this is definitely no hatchet job. Weaver has little vested involvement in destroying Branham’s character. On the contrary, Weaver is generous, emphasizing Branham’s personal humility, the romance, with his fantastic personal holiness.

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