DeVern Fromke

DeVern Fromke is one of the Christians who has had a profound influence on my life. I met Fromke in 1993 and we’ve kept in touch ever since. Devern Fromke worked with T. Austin-Sparks, the man who has had the greatest influence on my life and ministry. He also spoke in conferences with Stephen Kaung, a dear friend of mine and a co-worker with Watchman Nee.

DeVern Fromke, T. Austin-Sparks, Stephen Kaung in 1966

DeVern Fromke, T. Austin-Sparks, Stephen Kaung in 1966

Because so many of you who read this blog are in your 20s and 30s, not many of you have heard of Fromke or know his work.

Hence this post.

It concerns me greatly that I see so little emphasis or understanding today on the deeper things of God. While a number of popular speakers with rock-star followings are fronting three new movements aimed at 20s and 30s, there’s very little that’s new in those movements.

It’s not that these movements are bad or wrong. Nor is it that God isn’t using them. I believe He is. It’s just that they are missing something essential. Critically essential.

What is lacking is . . .[Continue Reading…]

An Interview with Dr. Michael Brown: The Real Kosher Jesus

Before I get to today’s interview, I want to let you know that we just uploaded to the podcast the message I delivered at the NCY Ministers Conference. It’s entitled “For God So Loved the World vs. Love Not the World.” Other speakers were Scot McKnight, Jon Acuff, Larry Osborne, et al. You can listen to the message freely via iTunes, Beyond Pod, or direct streaming. Just click here.

Now on to the topic at hand.

Dr. Michael Brown is one of my favorite people. He’s not only a superb Hebrew scholar, but he’s a friend and a respected brother in Christ. I interviewed Michael recently on his new book, The Real Kosher Jesus. Enjoy!

The Real Kosher Jesus: Revealing the Mysteries of the Hidden Messiah  -<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
        By: Michael L. Brown Ph.D.</p><br /><br /><br /><br />

[Continue Reading…]

The Absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ

“And He is before ALL THINGS, and by Him ALL THINGS consist. And he is the Head of the Body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in ALL THINGS He might have the pre­eminence.”

~ Colossians 1:17-18

“. . . According to His good pleasure which He has PURPOSED in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one ALL THINGS in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.”

~ Ephesaians 1:9-10

“And [God] has put ALL THINGS under His [Christ’s] feet, and gave Him to be the Head over ALL THINGS to the church.”

~ Ephesians 1:22

Often when Christians come into a deeper understanding and experience of grace, they lose sight of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I’ve addressed this problem on the blog before in detail. However, I want to revisit it in light of God’s eternal purpose.

The eternal purpose of God is centered upon making the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ a visible reality. God’s goal is the establishment of the complete sovereignty and supremacy of His Son. His driving passion is to make His Son preeminent over all things. All of God’s activities are toward this end. Hence, the chief work of the Holy Spirit in this age is to establish the absolute Lordship of Christ in the universe.

Accordingly, the Holy Spirit will break down and devastate everything that opposes, obstructs, and hinders the Lord’s sovereign rule in the hearts of His people. He will stand against all that gets in the way of God’s ultimate intention of establishing the centrality and supremacy of His Son over all things. Strikingly, before Christ can be made preeminent over all things, He must first have the pre­­­eminence among His own people. Colossians 1:18 puts it this way, [Continue Reading…]

How to Start a Blog from Scratch – A Quick & Easy Guide

In 2012, I took some new steps to increase the reach of my blog. I did this for two reasons. 1) I wanted to get the messages that are on my heart out to more readers, and 2) I wanted to increase the income that this blog generates.

While my blog and podcast are completely free, I earn income from advertising and affiliates. I never knew that becoming a professional blogger was possible, but it is.

In a future post, I’ll talk about some steps you can take to becoming a professional blogger (for those of you who are interested). But in this post, I want to sketch out how to start a blog in less than 10 minutes. Just follow each step and you’ll have a brand new blog by which to reach the world.

I suggest you open up this post on your browser in one screen and then open up a new screen to follow each step, point by point. If you have friends who are interested in blogging, please share this post with them.

You can also watch the video of these steps by clicking here.

15 Easy Steps for Creating a Blog from Scratch – Demystifying the Process


Step 1. Click BlueHost and click the SIGN UP NOW green button. BlueHost is the only web hosting service I recommend. It’s inexpensive and the support is awesome. You can also get domain names from them at great rates.

Step 2. If this is a brand new blog, type in a domain name in the I NEED A DOMAIN NAME box to see if the domain name is available. If you want to transfer your existing blog to BlueHost, click your domain name in the I HAVE A DOMAIN NAME box.

Step 3. Once you’ve settled on a domain name that’s available, fill out the registration form.

Step 4. As you can see, you can set up your blog for 12 months at $7.95 per month or get a lower rate for a longer period of time. I pay $4.95 a month for 3 years. Select Confirm for the Service Agreement and click the blue NEXT button at the bottom.

Step 5. When you are taken to the next page, click the blue CONTROL PANEL button at the top.

Step 6. When you see the welcome message, scroll down to Software / Services (heading) and click the WORDPRESS button.

Step 7. Click the green INSTALL button at the bottom.

Step 8. When you get to the next page, go to Step 2: Advanced Options and give your new site a name in the box.

Step 9. Create your own password in the Password box.

Step 10. Check both boxes under Step 3: Legal Information.

Step 11. BlueHost will now create your new WordPress blog (you’ll see an “In Progress” time stick).

Step 12. Your blog is now ready to go! Open up a new window on your browser and type in the name of your blog. Example:

Step 13. Click the Log In link on the right and enter your username and password. (Admin & Your Password). You can save the password if you want by clicking on the box that prompts you for this.

Step 14. Click on Appearance on the left-hand panel and click Add New Themes to change your blog theme. When you find a theme you like, click on Install and then Activate.

Step 15. Click on Posts on the left-hand panel and click Add New. Type out the title of your new blog post in the top box and begin typing the post in the large middle box. When finished, click the blue PUBLISH button on the right.

You’re done!

Click here to see these steps in a video and see my six reasons why I recommend BlueHost over every other hosting service.

If you want to add a KILLER theme to enhance your WordPress blog, I recommend StudioPress Themes. They are beautiful, inexpensive, and very powerful.


See also The Buzz Seminar for training on blogging and writing.

Three Kinds of Critics & How to Respond to Them

Not long ago, someone asked me the following question:

“Frank, I’m a new author and I’ve been getting some criticism over my new book. I know you’re not a stranger to criticism because of the controversial things you’ve written in years past. Can you give me some advice on how to handle criticism? I don’t think I’m doing a good job with it. Thanks.”

Anyone who is making an impact is going to draw fire. It’s written in the bloodstream of the universe. An oft-repeated platitude is, “If you’re flying over the target, you’re going to catch flak.”

Or as Elbert Hubbard stated, “To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”

If you are someone who is putting (or will one day put) your hand to the plow of God’s work, you will invite criticism. And the more valuable your contribution is to the kingdom of God, the more severe the criticism will be.

Just take a look at the long list of specific (and surprising) criticisms that were leveled at both Jesus and Paul during their lifetimes.

In answer to the above question, here’s what I believe the Lord has taught me about handling criticism. In short, there are three kinds of critics and each should be responded to differently.[Continue Reading…]

Ann Voskamp – One Thousand Gifts

Ann Voskamp is the author of the blockbuster bestseller, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. I caught up with Ann recently to talk with her about her book and how she became an author.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are  -              By: Ann Voskamp

You’ll notice that Ann was a blogger long before she got a book publishing deal and became a bestselling author. She is one of many who share that same narrative. If you’re someone who wishes to begin a blog, I recommend BlueHost to get your started. You can choose your domain name from them and they will even set you up with WordPress for an incredibly low price. To find a domain name for your blog, click here and then click the “Sign Up Now” button when you get on the page. Click here to begin a new WordPress blog on BlueHost. I’ll give step-by-step instructions in my post on Friday. So stay tuned. But you can try it now using that link. As you will see, Ann’s story is so inspiring that I wanted to put legs on it for my readers.

Here’s my interview with Ann Voskamp. If you enjoy it, share it via the share buttons below.[Continue Reading…]

To Preach or Not to Preach

My good friend and co-worker Jon Zens has just re-issued David Norrington’s classic book on the sermon. In To Preach or Not to Preach, Norrington carefully documents the origin of the modern sermon, showing how it’s different from New Testament preaching and teaching.

Norrington’s book was one of the many sources I used in my research for Pagan Christianity. Before he passed on, I had some wonderful correspondence with Norrington about his book. In this new edition, Jon Zens has added a powerful introduction and Dave Norrington responds to critics. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the topic.[Continue Reading…]

What Makes Jesus Angry?

Since Jesus was human “in every way that we are, except without sin” (Hebrews 4:15), it is not surprising that He showed anger. His anger never ran wild, however, and anger danger was never an issue with Him.

But Jesus often got angry at His disciples, especially Peter. He got angry with the Pharisees. Jesus got angry with the priests and publicans of the temple. It is very revealing what ticked Jesus off. Of course, we are encoded beings, and human nature is not the same in all ages. If Jesus exhibited the seven basic facial expressions that correspond to seven basic emotions recognized by people from all cultures, the emotion ascribed to that face would depend on the broader context in which it occurred. What sparks anger in particular can differ radically from one age to another.

The Range of Jesus’ Ire is Impressive

The range of Jesus’ ire is impressive. For example, within a very short period of time in Jesus’ life, three things made Him see red, and each one reveals something important about the essence of the Gospel. In this post, we’ll just look at one of them . . . along with His greatest irritant.[Continue Reading…]

Interview — Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

Last year, Mike Morrell interviewed Leonard Sweet and me on our book Jesus: A Theography. Here is the complete interview.

Mike Morrell: “Theography?” What’s a theography?   

Len: “Theography” literally means “the story of a god.” Even though I’m not averse to coining words (some would call that an understatement), we did not make up the word “theography.” It’s an actual genre of literature which has a long history. Rather than write a “biography of God” (Jack Miles) or a “history of God” (Karen Armstrong), we decided to lay our cards on the table and write the story of someone we believe is, as the Nicene Creed puts it, “God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made.”

Frank: A theography is a theological biography. The book, therefore, tells the story of Jesus, beginning from eternity (John 1:1), all the way through the Old Testament (where Christ is foreshadowed, prefigured, and prophesied about), all the way through the New Testament and ending in Revelation. It seeks to marry theology with biography, bringing together Christology with historical Jesus studies.[Continue Reading…]