I’m Finally Responding: Part II

This is Part 2 of my response to your questions from the 2013 Blog Survey.

Click here to read Part 1.

I know that several years ago you paused your ministry of planting organic churches to focus on helping the poor and give attention on your more general ministry of the deeper Christian life. Are you still in that season or have you resumed your work with organic church?

For those who are new to the blog, two years ago I announced that my ministry was shifting focus. I’ve not been involved in “organic church” since that time. That includes planting new churches, encouraging and equipping existing ones, and writing books on the subject.

In fact, I’ve not written a book on ecclesiology since 2009. And the last church I planted was in 2010, four years ago.

Instead, my writing focus has been on “The Deeper Journey.”

Much of my time “on the ground” is spent helping the poor and developing relationships with non-Christians, which takes a lot of time.

So Frank Viola shouldn’t be considered “the organic church” guy. Most of my books aren’t on that topic, and the same is true for my podcast episodes and blog posts. In fact, I’ve only written 3 books on that topic!

Jesus Manifesto really sumps up the heart of my ministry and my contribution to this generation.[Continue Reading...]

I’m Finally Responding: Part I

Recently, I began responding to your questions from the 2013 Blog Survey. I’ve responded to several of them already in the following posts:

The Rapture Question

The Message Most Needed, But the One Few Want to Hear

There were so many other questions from the survey that I had to break my response into 5 parts. Here is part 1.[Continue Reading...]

The Missing Ingredient

Publishers keep sending me their new books on discipleship.

Alas, I’ve yet to find one that goes into the essential element of being a disciple of Jesus: How to live by the indwelling life of Christ.

This is why I released my 10-audio online discipleship course, LIVING BY THE INDWELLING LIFE OF CHRIST.

Today, I’m featuring the very first message in that course.

At the time of this writing, it’s been listened to 27,000+ times.

Click here to listen to the message for free

You can also listen to it on iTunes or RSS feed. It’s the podcast episode from 10/4/10.[Continue Reading...]

Christianeze Revisited

Today, I continue to answer questions from the 2013 blog survey.

You can check out previous questions and my answers here:

The Rapture Question

Having an Instinct for the Cross

Someone else asked me to give some examples of Christianeze beyond what I’ve already covered.

In Revise Us Again, I gave two examples of Christianize, with a chapter devoted to each one. They were:

“Let me pray about it.” (which is Christian code language for “no”).

“The Lord told me.” (which is often a self-justification for an unpopular decision a person has made.) 

There’s are two more examples of Christianeze that I didn’t mention in the book.[Continue Reading...]

You’re Putting God in a Box!

Have you ever heard someone make this statement?

“You’re putting God in a box!”

I’ve watched it used in two ways. One is legitimate, the other is a deflection from a spiritual truth.

The legitimate use of it usually occurs when someone ignores what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit’s ministry, or they try to restrict it beyond what Scripture teaches.[Continue Reading...]

The Rapture Question

I’ve finally gotten around to going through the 2013 blog survey questions, so I’ll be responding to your questions on this blog in the weeks to come.

On Wednesday, I’ll be talking about the Christian’s relationship to the Law. You don’t want to miss it.

Today will be the first question from the 2013 blog survey that I respond to.

Many of you asked me where I stand on the “rapture question.”

I suspect that those who asked (1) are new to the blog, and (2) have not yet read Jesus: A Theography.

I’ve given my answer to this question previously in a post entitled Rethinking the Second Coming of Christ. And I go into more detail in Jesus: A Theography.[Continue Reading...]

The Results of Your Survey – My Next Discipleship Course & A Brand New Website

As I shared in 9 Reasons Why Discipleship Isn’t Working Today, the missing ingredient in the contemporary discipleship movement is biblical, practical, experience-based teaching on how to live by the indwelling life of Christ.

This subject has been a main staple of mine both in my spiritual journey as well as in my ministry to others.

Yet few people who wax loudly about “discipleship” never talk about it.

For that very reason, I released an online course last September called How to Live by the Indwelling Life of Christ.

The response to the course has been overwhelming. Over 800 people are taking it and the testimonials have been no less than amazing. (You can read some of them below.)

The course reopens on March 1st and it will remain open for only 1 week.[Continue Reading...]

What We Haven’t Been Taught About Jesus

The 88th episode of the “Christ is ALL” podcast is one that will interest many — if not all — of you.

Dr. Michael Brown and I discuss what we haven’t been taught about Jesus. (By “we,” I’m referring to most Christians in my experience and observation.)

Speaking of Dr. Michael Brown, his new book Authentic Fire is now in paperback. And the paperback edition is on sale for $14.99 (regular price $19.99) until February 17th.

This is a superb book that every Christian should have in their library. I just got my copy on Sunday. Over 400 pages, it also contains contributions by Craig Keener and Sam Storms.

Here is my endorsement:

“Dr. Michael Brown’s Authentic Fire puts the brakes on John MacArthur’s crusade against charismatics with irrefutable logic, extraordinary insight, Christ-like graciousness, and an undisputable handling of Scripture.”

Click here to get the paperback on limited-time discount (until February 17th). No other bookstore sells the paperback edition.

To get the Kindle edition, click here.

You can listen to the podcast episode – What We Haven’t Been Taught About Jesus – in one of three ways:[Continue Reading...]

A Message to Ex-Pastors and Those On Their Way Out

If you aren’t an ex-pastor or someone who is thinking about leaving the clergy system . . . or you don’t have friends who fall into either category . . . feel free to skip this post as it’s probably not for you. 

Study after study has revealed that between 1,500 and 2,000 pastors leave the pastorate every month in the USA. This figure is staggering. Yet it’s the reality.

I’m not going to talk about why they are leaving, since I’ve done this elsewhere.

Instead, I want to talk to those of you who have left the pastorate or who are seriously considering it.

Most of you have left because of a crisis of conscience with the modern pastoral role. But there’s a major question you face, and it’s terrifying. That question is: what do I do for income once I’ve broken these ties?

I’ve received countless letters from pastors telling me that they want out, but they have no employable skills. So in order to keep their homes and feed their families, they stay in a job with which they are unsatisfied or feel isn’t right for them.

Many who have pulled the rip cord on the position are struggling financially.[Continue Reading...]

Rethinking Leadership in the New Testament

In my book, Reimagining Church (2008), I crafted a detailed exposition on what leadership in the first-century church looked like and the revolutionary principles that were clearly articulated by Jesus and Paul.

The second half of my book is entitled “Who is Your Covering?” (a title I created in the 1990s), and it goes into great depth on the issues of accountability, submission, and authority.

The Appendix of Reimagining Church answers every objection I’ve ever seen about my views on this subject along with my responses.

In this connection, Jon Zens has just released a powerful new book. It’s called 58-0: How Christ Leads Through the One-Anothers

Print

If I had one book by Jon Zens to give to people, it would be this one.

It contains Zens’ best thinking on the subject of leadership from a New Testament perspective, and it also contains chapters by other writers — some past and some contemporary.

Here is the chapter I contributed to the book.[Continue Reading...]