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Don’t Believe Everything You Read or Hear

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 … We are scheduled to close the transaction on June 12th, so, supposedly, this will happen the week following. I want to assure you that this is indeed a baseless rumor. 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.

Another example that’s much more national.[Continue Reading...]

Don’t Confuse Me With the Facts

Christians are funny creatures.

About six months ago, someone sent me a Tweet saying, “I am reading one of your books. I’m half-way through, and I don’t agree with it.”

I responded (in a series of tweets) the following:

Twitter isn’t the place for substantial dialogue. In fact, it’s impossible. Make a comment on my blog and let me know where *specifically* you disagree and why.”

“If I’ve written one word that’s inaccurate or unbiblical, I want to know where & how.”

The person declined and essentially said something that was the equivalent of, “I’ve made up my mind. I don’t want to be proven wrong. Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

[Cough.]

In 2012, I wrote a blog post that went viral. It’s called So You Think You Disagree? 4 Reasons Why You May Not.

The article puts a finger on a profound problem today.

If Christians don’t take the time to dialogue with each other on issues where they think they disagree, they will never find out if the disagreement is real or just perceived.[Continue Reading...]

Is Suicide Unforgivable & Media Spin? I Need Your Help

Following Robin Williams’ tragic death, I wrote a lengthy article called A Jesus Response to Suicide.

The enormous media periodical Opposing Views picked up my article and wrote a full piece quoting me in it.

Now I’d like your help on something.

Read my original article A Jesus Response to Suicide which was published on a newsfeed blog that recasts some of my work.

Then compare it to how Opposing Views portrayed my view of suicide.

Question: Did “Opposing Views” accurately represent my thoughts and feelings about suicide or did they leave out some key points and thus “spin” my take on it to suit their own purposes?

Your feedback would be enormously helpful  here.

Thank you.[Continue Reading...]

Hope Reborn

Adrian Warnock and Tope Koleoso have written a well-attested book called Hope Reborn: How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus.

I caught up with Adrian recently to discuss the book. Check it out!

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Instead of asking, “what is your book about,” I’m going to ask the question that’s behind that question. And that unspoken question is, “how are readers going to benefit from reading your book?”

Adrian Warnock: For some people we hope our book will be their introduction to the gospel which accomplishes our salvation. We have already heard of some people who were given the book as non-Christians and made a decision to follow Jesus before they got to the end[1]. But for others, perhaps they will decide to read the book to check whether they want to use it with their friends, but the gospel has a way of surprising us with its freshness and power for ourselves. We pray that every Christian who reads will experience a renewed passion for the gospel, an enriched understanding, and greater confidence to share the good news more clearly with others.[Continue Reading...]

The Ultimate Issue

The 105th podcast episode just released. It contains a conference message I delivered entitled “The Ultimate Issue.”

Listen in the following venues:

iTunes Subscribe (for Apple devices)

 

Beyond Pod Signet

Beyond Pod (for non-Apple devices)

 

If you don’t use a smart phone, then click here to see the complete list of episodes on one page.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to subscribe to the podcast using your smart phone or tablet, how to rate the podcast in iTunes, and how to find time to listen to podcasts.[Continue Reading...]

Does the Bible Really Contradict Itself?

“Without the Way, there is no going. Without the Truth, there is no knowing. Without the Life, there is no living.”

~ Thomas à Kempis

In some recent progressive Christian blogs, the authors often argue that the Bible contradicts itself a great deal.

Some of these authors even go as far as to say that the Bible isn’t terribly reliable, and that certain things that God told Israel, for example, were . . . well . . . little fibs. “God really didn’t tell those people that. They had their fingers crossed behind their backs as they penned those claims.” Or so the thinking goes.

I find these sorts of explanations to be unconvincing at best. And they reflect modernistic Enlightenment rationalism (which governs the frontal lobes of those who flat-footedly reject Scripture) at worst.

While I don’t believe the Bible has a journalistic type of accuracy that most fundamentalists ascribe to it, nor do I believe that the Bible is some sort of magic book that will yield an answer to every conceivable question posed to it, I am convinced of the following:[Continue Reading...]

The Song “Bethany” is Now Part of an Album

For those of you who are new to the blog, my most popular book is God’s Favorite Place on Earth. That book is based on a series of messages I delivered in Kentucky in 2012.

Those 3 messages are on my podcast, so you can still listen to them freely. The messages are called “God’s Favorite Place: Part I, II, and III.”

One of the young men who attended the conference — Mikey Sweet — wrote a song based on the messages I delivered that weekend.

You can hear the raw recording of it at the end of the third message, where he performed it live in front of all of us for the very first time.

You’ll want to listen to all the messages to understand the lyrics.

Mikey had written the song in his motel bathroom between conference sessions.

Well, Mikey recently recorded the song professionally and it’s now part of his new album entitled “The North King.”

Go here to get the album and listen to the professional version of “Bethany”

[Continue Reading...]

Origin of “Personal Savior” & The Idea of Having a “Personal Relationship” with Christ

What’s to Come:

On Monday, I plan to publish a controversial post called “Does the Bible Really Contradict Itself?”

On Thursday, we plan to publish on the podcast a conference message I delivered called “The Ultimate Issue.”

You don’t want to miss those.

Today, I want to talk about this business of having a “personal Savior” and a “personal relationship” with the Lord. Actually, I’ve already spoken on this subject. Here it is.[Continue Reading...]

I’m Building a Team – A Personal Invitation

I talk about this on my latest podcast.

Stream it directly here

Listen to it on iTunes

Subscribe on Beyond Pod and listen to it on your Android phone (the podcast is called “Christ is All – Frank Viola”)

Oh, and if you have friends who are in ministry or if they are artists (writers, speakers, musicians, bloggers, etc.), send them the link. They’ll want to know about this opportunity.[Continue Reading...]

What’s Wrong With LEFT BEHIND?

So what’s wrong with Left Behind, the movie?

For starters, it’s based on a doctrine that was invented in the mid-1800s and which is built on an incredibly brittle interpretation of Scripture.

We can trace the doctrine back to John Nelson Darby, D.L. Moody, and C.I. Scofield. I told the story elsewhere:

For D.L. Moody, “the church was a voluntary association of the saved.” So staggering was his influence that by 1874 the church was not seen as a grand corporate body but as a gathering of individuals. This emphasis was picked up by every revivalist who followed him. And it eventually entered into the marrow and bones of evangelical Christianity. It is also worth noting that Moody was heavily influenced by the Plymouth Brethren teaching on the end times. This was the teaching that Christ may return at any second before the great Tribulation. (This teaching is also called “pretribulational dispensationalism.”)[Continue Reading...]