The movement known as “Word of Faith” is a branch off of the Pentecostal movement. In the late 20th century, E. W. Kenyon studied under Phineas Quimby, and was taught a system known as “New Thought” that connected the mind with God’s Word in such a way that what we think and speak is brought into reality by God. This is where the “name it and claim it” theology originated. Quimby would pass on his teachings to men like Kenneth Hagin and he would in turn make his own disciples.
Today, the Word of Faith movement is large—and is the prominent flavor of theology found on the popular Trinity Broadcasting Network. When you hear popular voices like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer speak, they are employing the tactics of the Word of Faith system. It’s one thing to criticize Joel Osteen’s preaching on various different levels—both serious and jokingly (such as on The Babylon Bee), but at the foundation, what’s wrong with this approach to preaching? Read More
For those who may be unfamiliar with Phineas P. Quimby, the intellectual father of the New Thought movement, he was nineteenth century clockmaker who studied Mesmerism and developed a theory of mental healing from his study of hypnosis. Among his early disciples were Warren Felt Evans, Annetta Seabury Dresser and Julious Dresser, the founders of the New Thought Movement, and Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement. Evans and the Dressers and Eddy developed their ideas from Quinby's teaching. Evans would integrate Quimby's ideas with his own Christian faith and the teaching of the Swedish philospher, theologian, and mystic Emmanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg claimed to have received special revelations from God that superceded God's revelation in the Bible. Quinby himself was a critic of traditional religious practices. Evans and other New Thought writers employed Biblical language in their writings, creating the false impression that their ideas were taken from the Bible. New Thought, like Spiritualism and Theosophy, was one of a number of philosophical systems that were developed in the nineteenth century as an alternative to Biblical Christianity.