Several years ago, Michael Hyatt (former CEO of Thomas Nelson) responded to a rumor on his blog. In the post, Michael wrote,
“According to the most recent rumor—which I’ve now heard twice—we [Thomas Nelson] are planning a layoff for June 19th … There is absolutely no truth to it … If you hear this rumor, I would be grateful if you would help me short-circuit it. You can tell ’em it’s not true, and you heard it directly from me.”
I recall when this rumor was circulating and was saddened (and surprised) at how many Christians believed it without going straight to Michael to see if it was true or false. Here’s another example that’s much more national.[Continue Reading…]
The book that some have described as “a bombshell dropped on the institutional church playground” released in January 2008. Pagan Christianity, co-authored with George Barna, took the pop Christian world by storm, igniting fury on the one hand and freedom on the other.
The book was unveiled at a time when interest in intentional, Christ-centered community and body life was high among 20s, 30s, and 40s. (That season ended in 2012, but I believe it will begin again in my lifetime.)
As was expected, Pagan Christianity set off a firestorm of misrepresentations, personal attacks, and misguided critiques, all in an effort to discredit the book and persuade people to never crack it open.
It also launched a series of conferences called Threshold which spawned Christian communities seeking to meet under the headship of Christ in different parts of the world.[Continue Reading…]
Heads Up: Next Thursday’s post is entitled, “10 Years After Pagan Christianity – Looking Back” – you don’t want to miss it.
Now for today’s article.
As I explained in PROLIFIC, every year I take an “activity audit” and cut activities that aren’t moving the needle on my life mission. And adding those which will.
In that regard, here are four changes I’m making in 2018 (there are actually more, but I’m sharing four here). Perhaps they’ll give you some ideas of your own.[Continue Reading…]
Happy New Year to all my blog readers!
I believe you’ll be interested in the following two things that I’m unveiling this year:
MY NEW 3-MINUTE PODCAST: Last Spring, I began creating a secret project — a brand new podcast on the Gospel of the Kingdom. Each episode is only 3-minutes long (except for the finale). We are now launching it publicly. You can subscribe through iTunes or your favorite podcast app. You can also stream the episodes from the new podcast page at frankviola.me (the iTunes link is on that page also).
Make sure you listen to all the episodes in order. They all build on each other until the final climax. If you quit, you’ll miss the best part.
If you find the podcast valuable, please share the link with your friends so it will have greater impact and reach.[Continue Reading…]
Kingdom Myth 7. The kingdom of God is the equivalent of signs, miracles, and wonders.
Today’s myth is the idea that the kingdom is the equivalent of signs, miracles, and wonders. This view is popular among some quarters of the charismatic segment of the body of Christ. The idea is that those who preach the kingdom today must always confirm it by miraculous signs and jaw-dropping wonders.
As I’ve explained in great detail in my Titan Collectible, I’m a post-charismatic. So I believe (and even function in) the gifts of the Spirit, but without the charismatic wrappings and Pentecostal packaging.
Those who believe God is in the business of always performing signs and wonders – and that every Christian should be walking the streets and visiting local hospitals healing the sick, casting out demons, and “doing the stuff” that Jesus did — overlook the following:[Continue Reading…]
Kingdom Myth 6. The kingdom of God is “within you” as an individual, privatized reality.
Many years ago I went on a trip with an old ex-pastor and an acquaintance who happened to be a professional debater with a reputation of being devious. My acquaintance also happened to have attended Bible school (something I chose not to do).
All three of us were having lunch together and the old ex-pastor asked us, “In Luke 17:21, Jesus said that the kingdom of God is ‘within you’ in the King James Version. Do you think He meant ‘within you’ or ‘among you’?”
I answered, “I don’t think He meant ‘within you’ because Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees. And that would mean that Jesus was saying the kingdom was dwelling in the Pharisees, which cannot be the case.”[Continue Reading…]
Kingdom Myth 5. The kingdom is separate from the ekklesia.
By “ekklesia,” I’m not talking about a church building, a Sunday morning service, a denomination, or an institutional organization that people call “church.”
I’m speaking about what the New Testament writers meant by ekklesia—a local, face-to-face community of people who surrendered their lives to the lordship of Christ and were learning to live by His indwelling life together. (I’ve detailed the difference between ekklesia and “church” as we know it elsewhere.)
Those face-to-face communities are “the manifestation of God’s ruling presence” in the earth. Consider Revelation 1:6:
“[He] made us to be a kingdom.”
And also Revelation 5:10:
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God.”[Continue Reading…]
Kingdom Myth 4. Christians are called to build the kingdom.
Young people are often captured by a vision to improve the world. When they get older, however, most of them realize that the vision was mostly informed by idealism. There has been progress made, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a dent.
The problems of injustice, oppression, racism, sexism, hatred, and war have been with us since the fall. (The first child ever born into this world was a murderer.)
These problems will always be with us until Christ returns and sets all things right.
While there have been improvements to society, few if any of them have brought Jesus Christ into unmistakable prominence.
The kingdom message of the New Testament isn’t about “building” the kingdom. It’s one of “manifesting” the kingdom by being an alternative to the world system, and then demonstrating the grace and glory of the King to society as the Spirit leads.[Continue Reading…]