Several Church of God, The Eternal members have sent me notes about Jon Brisby's new book on the Armstrongs. They are none too happy that he is making money off HWA and Loma's name. Others claim he has turned into a tyrannical church leader like most of the other splinter group leaders. Others claim he is more "grace" oriented, which is unusual in Armstrongism since so many despise grace and claim it is a license to "sin."
He has now written a book about Herbert and Loma Armstrong. Check it out here:
(From the back cover)
To many, Herbert W. Armstrong was a familiar and distinctive voice on nightly radio, but little more besides. To others he was the preeminent symbol of loathsome cults that threatened beloved Christian traditions. To yet others he was the catalyst for dramatic life change—changes that affected them in ways which, for better or for worse, could never be erased.
Many of those who were affected by his work in some way since the early 1930s are ashamed that they ever responded to his message at all. Others still hold loosely to some version of what they first learned through him. But some few continue in determined personal sacrifice to hold fast to that which they believe was not the work of any man at all, but of a purposeful Creator God.
Was he a powerfully inspired messenger of God in the twentieth century, or was he, perhaps, merely an opportunistic businessman making a living off of religion? Is there anything of value still left of that Work today? If so, what might it be?
(From the inside flap)
"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people" (Exodus 19:5).
A woman's personal conviction to begin keeping the seventh-day Sabbath in 1926 would challenge her husband to begin an intensive study to prove her wrong. That study would spawn a new religious movement under Herbert W. Armstrong. A fledgling group would form in 1934, and an audacious media operation would make the Radio Church of God (later named the Worldwide Church of God) grow by 30% per year over the next 35 years.
Proclaiming a unique understanding of the Bible, traditional Christian orthodoxy would be challenged, making that church most peculiar indeed.
Internal and external forces would alter Herbert Armstrong's view of his own mission, and especially after Loma's death, doctrinal and administrative turmoil would stagger the church for the rest of his life. After his death in 1986, the empire would implode, and successors would dismantle everything that the Armstrongs had built.
Was it all just a fantastic, fraudulent escapade—conceived by a lucky and opportunistic salesman—or might it have been a divine Work—God's own peculiar treasure? If it did begin with God's inspiration, why and how did it all go so wrong? Is there anything left of it today that has any redeeming value? These are the questions that will be answered, with evidence to suggest that there is yet an enduring legacy of Herbert and Loma Armstrong.