New Frontiers or old barriers?

by Richard on January 11, 2013

David Matthias bids farewell to New Frontiers.

At the turn of the year, Newfrontiers UK, the UK part of the “apostolic sphere” of Terry Virgo, formally ceased to exist in it’s previous form. While the relationships and future plans had been under development for a couple of years, that was the moment, when something really final happened.

“Newfrontiers” is now a collection of “apostolic spheres” all over the world, of which there are six relating in the UK, around familiar (within newfrontiers) names of Jeremy Simpkins, Mike Betts, Guy Miller, Dave Devenish, David Holden and Steve Oliver.

Names for these new church groupings have sprung up: “Relational Mission”, “Catalyst”, “Christ Central”.

Dave Warnock takes him to task over his claim that New Frontiers was never a denomination, and I think he’s right. If it swims like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are it’s a duck! And like Dave, I have some concern about the language of ‘apostolic spheres’ that seems to have arisen. This is very recent, and as far as I can tell is linked to the ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ which (I think) claims that the church entered a second apostolic age in 2001. I find it very strange.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }


Blue, with a hint of amber 01.11.13 at 4:36 pm

Absolutely no link to the NAR whatsoever!


Blue, with a hint of amber 01.11.13 at 4:42 pm

For reference, Terry Virgo’s suggestions regarding the term “apostolic sphere”

A helpful post from 2009 which also provides some explanation


Richard 01.12.13 at 6:55 pm

No formal link, I’m sure. But the notion of the NAR and the language of ‘apostolic spheres’ does seem to come from a very similar place.


blue, with a hint of amber 01.13.13 at 7:34 pm

The language of spheres comes from St Paul in his letter to Corinth doesn’t it?

And as he was an apostle his sphere was apostolic?

The NAR are well into the end times, and the church gaining earthly authority.

You’ll find very little of that in Newfrontiers in my experience.


Richard 01.13.13 at 10:35 pm

The language of ’spheres’ doesn’t really come from Paul. It comes from one translation of Paul. And the idea of ‘apostolic spheres’ with the meaning that Terry Virgo seems to have given it is a far grander edifice than that foundation can bear. I didn’t suggest that the NAR and Newfrontiers are the same, but they do have in common this ‘re-discovery’ of the apostolic office.


Blue, with a hint of amber 01.13.13 at 11:31 pm

One translation? You sure?

Which word/translation do you prefer for that passage?

Would it in some way represent the limits of someone’s area of work / ministry / friendships?


Richard 01.14.13 at 10:50 am

I’m reasonably sure - can’t put my hand on my greek books at the minute but I’ll come back.

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