I’m Finally Responding: Part V

This is Part 5 of my response to your questions from the 2013 Blog Survey.

Click here to read Part 1.

Click here to read Part 2.

Click here to read Part 3.

Click here to read Part 4.

When will Frank stop being so ecumenical?

You have to be new to my ministry to ask such a question.

If by “ecumenical” you mean why do I fellowship with other Christians with whom I differ on peripheral doctrines and practices, then the answer is: When Jesus Christ returns, I’ll consider stopping.

Jesus and the apostles were quite clear: It’s carnal to be sectarian and sinful to be exclusive when it comes to those who have trusted in Christ.

Please read Getting Rid of a Sectarian Spirit Once and For All and Rethinking Christian Unity. And remember these words of Jesus from Mark 9:

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.  Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

I’ve written extensively on the principle of cooperation without compromise. For example, I can cooperate with a Catholic or an Anglican or someone from the Eastern Orthodox Church in the kingdom work of helping the poor, and not compromise my distinct beliefs about the ekklesia of God. 

What are your thoughts on Christian Unity?

Answered in Rethinking Christian Unity

The Trinity – how it relates to our relationship with God and people. 

I’ve explained this extensively in From Eternity to Here, Reimagining Church, and Finding Organic Church.  Though I prefer to use the term triune God. There’s also a post on it in the Archives.

What are your thoughts on grace vs. law?

Answered in these two posts:

Legalism, License, Lordship, and Liberty

My Thoughts on Hyper-Grace

The Christian’s Relationship to the Law

Have you addressed equipping Church Planters anywhere? 

Yes, in Finding Organic Church. 

What do you think about the third wave movement?

Broad question.  Some things I like about it, others I don’t. I talk about both in Reimagining Church, last chapter.

Were we sanctified, being sanctified, or will be sanctified?

The New Testament teaches all three. It does with the same with the word “salvation.”

What Bible tools do you recommend?

See these two lists:

http://frankviola.org/100

http://frankviola.org/academic

The Christian response to Mental Illness? 

Answered in 3 Christian Responses to Mental Illness

What are your thoughts on going to heaven?

The Bible teaches that heavenly places will descend on the earth (see Rev. 21-22). And the ultimate end of salvation is not going to heaven, but the bodily resurrection. I recommend N.T. Wright’s book, Surprised by Hope for details. I also treat it in From Eternity to Here. 

The relationship of Israel and the Church; the place of Israel in end time prophecy; is replacement theology (or extension theology)? 

I address this in Jesus: A Theography. I don’t believe in “replacement theology.” I would call the biblical view “fulfillment theology,” yet God may have something in store for national Israel according to Romans 9-11. 

Can you comment on Acts 2:46, the temple vs. the house to house? 

This is one of the most misunderstood and misused texts in the New Testament. I address the subject in detail in Reimagining Church. 

What does New Testament “leadership” look like? 

See The Myth of Christian Leadership and Reimagining Church. The second half of that book is all about leadership according to the New Testament. 

Can you tell me about Jesus being a rabbi? 

Answered in Jesus: A Theography. There’s much more to the subject than meets the eye. 

What is the apostolic ministry today and how do we recognize it? 

I’ve written an entire book answering this question. A very big subject. It’s called Finding Organic Church. 

What is your view on discipleship and how we do it today? 

Large topic. I’ve covered this extensively in my new eBook DISCIPLESHIP IN CRISIS. Click here to get a free copy.

What is your opinion of original sin? 

Both Scripture and experience testify that we humans are born sinners. Our very nature is selfish, which is the opposite of love. For more, see The Normal Christian Church Life by Watchman Nee.

In Pagan Christianity, Frank does a wonderful job at separating the biblical from the extra-biblical church traditions, and pointing out that many of our current church practices and traditions came from pagan roots. What does Frank think about the efforts of many American Christians to fight to keep “Christ” in Christmas, and to protect the religious aspect of Easter holidays? It is my understanding that these “Christian” holidays started as pagan celebrations that were co-opted by the Church for Christian purposes. As such, should Christians really be overly concerned about the secularization of these holidays?

This is a subject that doesn’t interest me at all. I gave my thoughts on it years ago here. 

If you asked a question on the survey that I didn’t answer, email it to PTMIN@aol.com

If I don’t answer a question, it’s either because (1) I didn’t get it, or (2) the question isn’t within my wheelhouse, so my answer is I don’t know.  :-)

However, I’ll be answering a few other questions not listed in this series in separate blog posts since they demand a more comprehensive answer.

To see the questions I’ve answered over the years, go to my FAQ page.

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Comments

  1. says

    “The Bible teaches that heavenly places will descend on the earth (see Rev. 21-22).” Just downloaded ‘Surprised by Hope’ by NT Wright. Looking forward to the read. This is our Father’s world … my instinct has long been that we should love the earth (not the fallen world system) and get comfortable with it … it’s going to be renewed and we have a significant role in it which begins now. Appreciate your writing.

  2. Kalil says

    Frank, thanks for taking out time to answer these questions and leave links to others you’ve addressed in the past. I appreciate how accessible you are. I’ve really been enjoying these recent posts. Love you brother.

  3. says

    Frank,
    I sincerely appreciate your continued transparency and authentic search for guidance in living intentional lives as Christ followers. Your answers are stimulating and challenging but at the same time hopeful and encouraging. I love the ongoing process of seeking insights and am frequently disappointed in meeting those who have closed their minds to unfolding truth. Regardless of what one believes about revelation, our understanding of it will certainly never be complete. Keep leading the way for those of us who are basking in the richness of the journey.

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