Franic Chan..Good of Bad for Christianity?

Some of you may not know who Mr. Chan is. He is a very popular media evangelist with the younger crowds. Fundamentalist also find him interesting. I have a few Protestant friends (Lutheran and Baptist) or adored Mr. Chan. They even called him “St. Francis” for some odd reason.

He does give a good sermon that draws your attention. He will even say stuff that us Catholics will agree with, but what most do not know is he hides his true theological beliefs. Mr. Chan is a “New Calvinist.” My Lutheran friends were not aware of this and once I pointed it out, they were not really interested in what he had to say.

So my question is, mostly for Protestants, do you feel it is ok with Mr. Chan preaching a message while hiding his true theological beliefs? He does it so cleverly that it is hard to know unless you know.

Never heard of him…
Of course I’m not up on the latest “pope with a Bible” celebrity.

I read one of his books on the topic of Hell. Most of it was theologically sound, using Christ’s own words. BUT, at one point in the book he said “failing to help the poor could damn you to hell” (Kindle location 1504-19). Sounds like works righteousness to me and as a Lutheran it doesn’t fit with the concept of grace and our need for totally reliance on Christ.

I could not finish the rest of the book as it just does not fit with what the Bible says.

It is perfectly consonant with what Christ said in the Gospel of Matthew.

[BIBLEDRB]Matthew 25: 31-46[/BIBLEDRB]

IMO Francis Chan is a pretty good writer and preacher, and generally quite sound. I don’t think he’s been hiding anything, but New Calvinism (now that I’ve looked it up) does sound like an accurate description. I do however find in his material a little too much works righteousness and not enough grace for my taste. Like skigirl, I am a Lutheran (ELCA). I suspect other Lutherans might feel the same way.


He had a tough life, must hand it to him to recover with all that hardship (if the wiki entry is correct) .

Yet, once again someone who starts his own church. Doesn’t this sound familiar? :stuck_out_tongue:


I was doing a small group with Lutherans (LCMC and ELCA). They liked Francis very much until I pointed out his Calvinist training and beliefs. Calvinism kind of goes against what Luther taught and what the Catholic Church teaches. He has flipped-flopped on many of his beliefs, which leaves one wondering what his core belief system truly is.

Erasing Hell is the name of the book. I found it very distrubing. If you know he is a Calvinist, you can point out the Calvinist doctrine in all his material.

I would have to do more research on this person before giving an opninion.

i’m glad you are going to research him. Many people do not research this mass media evangelist. A Baptist radio station in Texas had John MacArthur in their lineup. He is a very much proclaimed Calvinist. They had no clue he was a Calvinist until it was brought to their attention. So as I stated before, thanks for doing research!!

I did my research and came up with the following. He attended Masters College and Seminary. The College’s president is none other than Mr. MacArthur. It is considered the most Calvinist school and seminary in the USA. He signed a statement of belief with the seminary stating that we will uphold and preach the message and doctrine of the faith. Many of his “teaching” videos are with well known Calvinist, proclaims that many Christians will never see heaven (hinting at the elect few), started his own seminary that is very semi-calvinist in nature and almost all the staff are proclaimers of the Reformed Theology…the list can go on and on.

I am not pointing out this stuff as if I am pointing my sinful finger at him, but I like people to know exactly who and what they are listening to. I know many Catholics who enjoy his work. He speaks of how we should live out our faith but will later contradict it in another video.

Skigirl seemed to be using a bit of short-hand. I Lutheran would not say we are justified by our own works, but by grace through faith. Yet, a saving faith is a faith that works through charity. Are our works the basis of our justification and salvation? No. But works are required of us, and failure to not do works is sin, and repeated and unrepented sin leads to a loss of saving faith.


Yes, Jon, I probably wrote my response late at night and was not thinking to explain it better. Our good works are evidence of faith and without them we lack that evidence we truly have saving faith.

My issue with Chan’s book is he never qualifies how works play into redemption. If someone is not versed in their faith, he or she may take Chan’s statement’s incorrectly and become scrupulous as to whether or not he or she is doing enough to avoid damnation.

The problem with Chan is that he comes off as an Evangelical. He says something in one sermon and then contradicts it in another. He believe in Lordship Salvation in one video and then kind of strays from it in another. If he is not a Calvinist, then wouldnt one expect him to denounce his signing of a Statement of Faith with Masters College and Seminary? If I were a mass media telavangelist and believed in a certain doctrine and then later changed my mind, I would publicly correct all my confusing statements in the past. Chan often does seminars with Platt, Piper and many other self confessed Calvinist. Doesn’t the term “you are who you hang out with” kind of fit here? You do not see a Fundamentalist doing talks with Patrick Madrid.

I think the answer to that is that Chan is indeed a Calvinist, though he doesn’t make a big deal of it.

And I find that odd. If someone believes in the Calvinist theology that’s fine, but let it be known when so many people follow what you are saying. I will have the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Patrick Madrid next week. If for some reason he decided to convert to become an Evangelical, I would like to know that out of respect for my faith.

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