David Aikman

David Aikman is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist, a best-selling author, and a foreign affairs commentator on various media outlets. He was the Beijing bureau chief for Time Magazine and is a Professor of History at Patrick Henry College, a Senior Fellow at the Trinity Foundation, and a member of the editorial board of Salem Communications. His many books include Jesus in Beijing and Billy Graham: His Life and Influence.

“…a significant number of distinguished scholars take the view that the doctrines of the Local Church do in fact coincide with historic Trinitarian Christianity.”


John H. Armstrong

John H. Armstrong is the president and founder of ACT 3, a mission for equipping leaders for unity in Christ’s mission. He is an adjunct professor of mission at Wheaton College Graduate School and the author/editor of twelve books, one of which is the much reviewed and discussed book, Your Church Is Too Small: Why Unity in Christ’s Mission Is Vital to the Future of the Church (Zondervan, 2010).

“…do not believe a testimony against any other Christian teacher or group until you have carefully heard the whole matter and weighed the preponderance of evidence.”


Tom Ascol

Tom Ascol is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Cape Coral, Florida, Executive Director of Founders Ministries, and editor of Founders Journal. He has edited books including Reclaiming the Gospel and Reforming Churches and Dear Timothy and has contributed articles and chapters to numerous publications.

“…I have been blessed and challenged by their humble devotion to our Lord…”


Randall Balmer

Randall Balmer is the Chair of the Department of Religion and the Mandel Family Professor of Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth College. His books include the Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism and The Making of Evangelicalism. He is a frequent media resource and his articles and book reviews have appeared in a number of evangelical publications.

“I was impressed by the interracial character of the congregation…”


Paul Copan

Paul Copan is Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Dr. Copan is the past President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society and a well-known apologist. His books include True for You, But Not for Me and The Apologetics Study Bible, for which he was both an associate editor and a contributor.

“I …urge all true Christians to embrace our brothers and sisters in the Local Church, who share the same faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”


Fuller Theological Seminary

Fuller Theological Seminary is one of the largest multidenominational seminaries in the world. Fuller has completed a multi-year dialogue between a panel composed of senior Fuller faculty members and representatives of the local churches and Living Stream Ministry.

“In regard to their teaching and testimony concerning God, the Trinity, the person and work of Christ, the Bible, salvation, and the oneness and unity of the Church, the Body of Christ, we found them to be unequivocally orthodox.”


Edwin S. Gaustad

Edwin S. Gaustad, Ph.D. was Professor of History and Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and former President of the American Society of Church History. He authored over a dozen books including New Historical Atlas of Religion in America and Church and State in America.

“I conclude that the Local Church stands in the tradition of evangelical Christianity…”


Eugene Van Ness Goetchius

Eugene Van Ness Goetchius, Ph.D., Th.D. was a Professor of Biblical Languages, holding chairs simultaneously in the Episcopal Theological School and the Philadelphia Divinity School. He taught Greek and Hebrew and collaborated with colleagues from Harvard Divinity School and Weston School of Theology in teaching introductory courses in New Testament interpretation and exegesis.

“…their doctrine of ‘locality’ makes them a witness to a genuine Christian ideal: the unity of Christendom.”


Hank Hanegraaff

Hank Hanegraaff is the President of Christian Research Institute (CRI), the largest apologetics ministry in the world. He is also the host of the Bible Answer Man radio broadcast and a well-known author of many books, including Christianity in Crisis and Has God Spoken?. He headed a long-term dialogue and investigation of the teaching and practices of the local churches and the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. In the process, he has visited churches and church members in many countries covering three continents.

“…the local churches are an authentic expression of New Testament Christianity…”


Jerry Johnson

Jerry Johnson, M.A. is the National Director of Nicene Council/The Apologetics Group. He is a co-author of the successful DVD series Amazing Grace: The History & Theology of Calvinism and the author of numerous published articles. He is the former Georgia Director of Watchman Fellowship and hosted the radio and television broadcast, The Watchman Report.

“As a signer of the Open Letter to the Local Churches, I can say without reservation that the Statement of Faith published on the website an-open-letter.org is one all Bible-believing Christians can and should embrace.”


Peter Kerridge

Peter Kerridge studied theology at Oxford University and was Associate Minister at Avenue Baptist in Southend-on-Sea. He began his career as a broadcaster on Metro Radio in 1979 and has worked in both the commercial sector and the BBC. He was named Managing Director of Premier Radio in 1996 and today is the CEO of Premier Media Group, the largest Christian broadcaster in the United Kingdom.
premier.org.uk bio

“This ministry is entirely orthodox and to suggest otherwise is to willfully misrepresent them and impede the church’s mission.”


Peter Kuzmic

Peter Kuzmic is the Eva B. and Paul E. Toms Distinguished Professor of World Missions and European Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is also Co-founder and Director of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek, Croatia, and is widely recognized as the foremost evangelical scholar in Eastern Europe.

“…the larger evangelical community in this country and elsewhere will come to realize that your cause is right…”


J. Gordon Melton

J. Gordon Melton, Ph.D. is the Distinguished Professor of American Religious History with the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University and the Director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion, based in Waco, Texas. He is an ordained United Methodist minister. Dr. Melton has authored more than 35 reference books and scholarly texts on religious topics, including several encyclopedic works such as Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions (now in its 8th edition).

“I personally have been unable to find a single point upon which it [the teaching in the local churches] deviates on any essential doctrine of the Christian faith…”


Elliot Miller

Elliot Miller, M.A. is the Editor-in-Chief of Christian Research Journal. He has been with the Christian Research Institute (CRI) for more than thirty years. He was also involved in the earliest research projects involving the local churches and the teachings of Witness Lee in the 1970s and 1980s as well as the recent and more thorough reevaluation of earlier findings.

“…I find it [the statement of faith on this site] to be thoroughly consistent with historic, orthodox Christian theology in all of its affirmations.”


John Morehead

John Morehead, M.A. is Director of the Western Institute for Intercultural Studies and co-editor and contributor to Encountering New Religious Movements: A Holistic Evangelical Approach. Morehead is a co-facilitator for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization issue group on “The Church and the New Spiritualities,” a co-founder and editor of Sacred Tribes e-journal, and works with the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. He is a former President of Evangelical Ministries to New Religions and a former Associate Director of Watchman Fellowship.

“…those considering Living Stream Ministry are encouraged to listen to the organization and its members on their own terms… When this is done, the inquirer will have a rewarding experience in their encounter with the members of Living Stream Ministry.”


Timothy O’Fallon

Timothy O’Fallon, M.A. is a former Professor of Poetical Books and Philosophy of Religion at Florida Beacon Bible College. Currently he is a Teaching Pastor at Countryside Christian Center in Clearwater, Florida.

“Like many believers, I have had the privilege of reading Watchman Nee’s The Normal Christian Life…”


Gretchen Passantino-Coburn

Gretchen Passantino-Coburn, M.Div. is Co-founder and Director of Answers in Action (AIA) and former senior research consultant and editor for Christian Research Institute (CRI, under the founding leadership of the late Walter Martin). Gretchen’s published works include Witch Hunt and Satanism in the Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements Series.

“…the brothers and sisters associated with Witness Lee and Living Stream Ministry are our brothers and sisters in Christ…”


United States Congressional Record

On two separate occasions, Watchman Nee and Witness Lee were each recognized by a member of the United States Congress with statements entered into the Congressional record.

“…celebrate with us the contributions of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee to believers the world over.”


Aiming Wang (王艾明)

Aiming Wang (王艾明), Th.D., D.h.c. is a professor at Jinling Union Theological Seminary in Nanjing, China. He has a Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Basel in Basel, Switzerland, and a honorary doctorate from the University of Neuchâtel in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Presently, he is one of the directors of the China Religious Society, chief editor of Jinling Theological Journal, deputy director of the Christian Council of Jiangsu Province, and deputy director of the Theological Education Committee of the China Christian Council.

“Beginning from about 2008, I came to the definite conclusion that Watchman Nee and Witness Lee are spiritual giants in the history of Chinese Christianity.”


Dongsheng Wu (吴东生)

Dongsheng Wu (吳東生), Ph.D. holds a Ph.D. in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, and a master’s degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago, IL. He has taught the theology and practice of spiritual formation at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. His publications include Understanding Watchman Nee: Spirituality, Knowledge, and Formation, a book that examines the spiritual theology of Watchman Nee in dialogue with traditions in Christian spirituality. The Chinese translation of this book has also been published.

“Watchman Nee’s spiritual theology is a masterpiece of indigenous Chinese theology as well as a great contribution to evangelical theology universally.”


Paul Young

Paul Young is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Christian Research Institute and the Secretary of the Boards of Directors for both Christian Research Institute and Christian Research Institute Canada. He founded The Master’s Collection, a record production and marketing organization for primarily Christian musicians and music publishing companies in Canada.

“…I gained a deep appreciation for the oneness that characterizes the local churches.”


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