Destiny: The Life and Times of a Self-Made Apostle


Destiny, written by respected commentator Peter Lineham, is the first full and independent account of the church and its personnel. With unprecedented access to its inner workings, including interviews with Bishop Brian Tamaki and other pastors, Lineham reveals the truth about the man and the movement, addressing the public’s questions and fears, and delivering a fascinating picture of the organisation on the eve of launching its ‘City of God’.

I’m liking

There are aspects of this book that are fascinating – the explanation of how Destiny came about; descriptions of the Tamakis (and their finances!!); and consideration of the place of Destiny in New Zealand in 2013.

I enjoyed reading Lineham’s discussion of the development of the pentecostal church movement and also the place of ‘Christian’ politics in New Zealand.

Things that made me go hmmmm

I think this book will struggle to find a popular audience as it’s fairly dense in detail and, at times, lacks a narrative thread. Sometimes it feels more like an academic thesis than a book and I think you’d need to be fairly interested in order to read the whole book.

The book begins with a discussion of the Destiny Church march on parliament as this was clearly a pivotal moment for the movement. However, I found that it felt somewhat like leaping into the book mid-way through.

The conclusion

Politics and religion are two of my interests and I was intrigued to read this book. If I’m honest, I was hoping for a bit more ‘dirt’ but Lineham was clear that this was not the intention of the book. However, because it’s New Zealand, you’re bound to know someone in the book 😉 Overall, some interesting reflections on the role of an intriguing phenomenon.

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