Rescripting the Christian Life: Part II

Jen Wise, over at Restoration Living, recently interviewed me on the subject of rescripting the Christian life. This is part 2 of a 2-part interview. Click here to read Part 1 which includes Jen’s unique introduction.

Jen: In Chapter 3 of Revise Us Again you exhort readers to resist making all things ‘religious’. At Restoration Living we exhort readers to see all things as spiritual. The difference between these two is important. How do we help move Christians from ‘making everything religious’ to ‘seeing everything as spiritual’?

Frank: It depends on how one defines these terms. In the book, “religious” means being pretentious and/or legalistic. (I define legalism in the book and here as well.)

In the NT, the word “spiritual” has to do with that which is governed by the life of Christ, i.e., the Holy Spirit. Elsewhere, I’ve spoken a great deal about living by the indwelling life of Christ. This reality is central to Christianity.

A spiritual person, according to Paul, is a person whose soul and body is governed by the Holy Spirit through their regenerated spirits. We’re not talking about perfection here. But the overall pattern of one’s life.

Being “religious” is the fallen soul’s way of trying to duplicate the job of the Holy Spirit. [Continue Reading…]

Rescripting the Christian Life: Part I

Jen Wise, over at Restoration Living, recently interviewed me on the subject of rescripting the Christian life. This is part 1 of a 2-part interview. The interview follows her introduction:

I recently had the honor of interviewing author Frank Viola on his recent book, Revise Us Again. I am delighted to share with you an in-depth look at the experiences behind the words, the theology that shaped the book, and his journey to understanding the issues within.

Revise Us is a timely book that approaches many issues that often go untouched, but deserve our attention. It is a ‘must’ for anyone entering theological studies or ministry (possibly in the same way ‘A Little Exercise for Young Theologians’ is used) as it touches on issues of Spiritual Conversation Styles, Christ as our chief pursuit and the pitfalls to avoid as a mentor (or mentee).

This is also a compelling read for those outside of vocational ministry. Chapters exploring God’s three-fold voice and His felt presence are both compelling and stretching on a personal level. A close look at ‘The God of Unseen Endings’ will be a comfort for anyone who has traveled through rough waters in life.

Join us below as we dig in to all these issues from a unique Restoration Living perspective.

~ Jen Wise

Frank Viola 

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How (Not) to Correct Another Christian

When I was a young Christian in my late teens, I was “rebuke-happy.” I had no problem confronting and correcting the faults of others. The people I looked up to modeled this to me, and I benightedly followed their example.

I knew the Scriptures well; so I was cocked and loaded for bear with my Bible verses in hand. Some of my favorite texts at the time were those in Proverbs that say wise people love reproof and fools hate it (Proverbs 9:8; 12:1; 13:1, etc.)

As I grew in the Lord, I came to some painful discoveries. One of them was that I had no idea how to correct another believer in the spirit of Jesus Christ. And I did more damage than good with my “corrections.”

Another was that God didn’t want me correcting everyone else, even when I spotted faults and flaws in others (which, by the way, is no great gift or something to boast about).

Adjusting the behavior of my brothers and sisters in Christ wasn’t my job or duty. And I needed to pay more attention to my own spiritual walk than that of others (James 4:11).[Continue Reading…]

On Prizes

“All anybody needs to know about prizes is that Mozart never won one.”

~ Henry Mitchell

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

~ Philippians 3:14
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So You Think You Disagree? 4 Reasons Why You May Not

Over the last three weeks, two interesting things have happened that provoked this post:

1) A new author asked me to address the issue of disagreements, especially with regard to those who write books and blogs and those who read them.

2) I had a phone conversation with a well-known webmaster who read a negative review of one of my books. Before the conversation, the webmaster was almost certain that we bitterly disagreed about many things. After we talked, however, he realized that we didn’t disagree about anything we discussed. He also realized that the review had grossly misrepresented my book.

If you have ever had someone disagree with something you’ve said or written . . . or you’ve disagreed with what someone has ever said or written, then this post is for you.

Three things by way of introduction. When people disagree with you . . .

  1. Some will be charitable in their disagreement.
  2. Others will be defamatory.
  3. Sometimes many of the people who think they disagree with you really don’t. But because “Christians” (especially) so often fail to do the thing that Jesus taught–go straight to the person with whom you THINK you disagree and ASK them questions, misrepresentations abound (Matthew 7:12).[Continue Reading…]