Rethinking Your Reputation

“Hush, Dorothy,” whispered the Tiger, “you’ll ruin my reputation if you are not more discreet. It isn’t what we are, but what folks think we are, that counts in this world.”

~ Frank Baum in The Road to Oz

Early in my Christian life, I sometimes thought about how many of us Christians would follow Jesus if we lived during His time?

I was mainly thinking about the possibility of being killed for our faith, just like most of the apostles were.

However, after I began reading church history and got to know some people whom God was using mightily in my own lifetime, my question shifted from the threat of death to something else.

Imagine . . . a man who claims to be the Messiah, living during your time. This man is impressive, but He’s been accused of the following:

*He’s an illegitimate child (John 8:41).

*He’s a deceiver (John 7:12).

*He’s mentally ill (John 10:20).

*He’s demon possessed (Matt. 9:34; John 7:20).

*He’s Beelzebub [Satan] enfleshed (Matt. 10:25).

*He’s a blasphemer (Matt. 9:3; 26:65; Mark 2:7)

*He’s an open enemy to the Law of Moses. (To put this in modern terms, His teachings and practices went against the Bible).

In addition, His words are regularly misunderstood by His followers (John 21:22-23) and deliberately twisted by His detractors (Matthew 26:60-61).

I’m of course talking about Jesus of Nazareth. He was accused of all of the above.

Because these rumors were so widespread during His day, Scripture says that Jesus was a man of “no reputation” (Philippians 2:7).[Continue Reading...]

The One Word Monologue

The word today is guns . . . that’s right, guns.

Share your thoughts . . .

New! Online Discipleship Course. Click the banner below for more information. The course is discounted until October 1st.

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Join over 30,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my eBook Rethinking the Will of God (Revised) and my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you want to start your own blog from scratch in less than 10 minutes, click here. And if you’re looking for a hosting or domain-name service, I highly recommend BlueHost.

7 Things You May Not Know About Jesus

In our book, Jesus: A Theography, Leonard Sweet and I take 424 pages to show that both the Old and New Testaments tell the story of Jesus in great detail. The Old Testament points forward to Him. The New Testament points back to Him. But “all Scripture” points to Him, as Jesus said in John 5:39. Throughout the book, we draw on the best scholarship available to throw light on who Jesus is and was and put it together in almost novel form.

In this post, I’d like to sketch out seven things that many Christians may not know about their Lord. (The book contains many more.) Note that we expand each point in the book and provide source materials:[Continue Reading...]

Frankly Speaking – “I Don’t Like Christians”

Hi Fun Seekers,

I have 4 important announcements to share with you:

1. We just uploaded the 82nd podcast episode. It’s called Frankly Speaking – “I Don’t Like Christians” – click here to listen or download. Oh, listen at your own risk!

Frank Viola

2. We made another adjustment to the Books Page . . . all the sample and discount icons now match one another. Click here to view it and be sure to refresh the screen.

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3. My online discipleship course has exploded. Based on early feedback, it’s meeting a BIG need . . .  so I’m thankful to all of you who registered early. Remember, the price goes up October 1st, so order soon. Click here.

0IDL

4. If you haven’t marked your turf on the Web yet, you should do so soon. Click here to learn how to start a blog in 5 minutes. Even if you’re not a writer, you should have a space on the Web with your name on it.

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If you find this post helpful, you are free to ADD A LINK to it on your blog or website. But don’t copy and paste the post as this violates Google’s guidelines.

Join over 30,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my eBook Rethinking the Will of God (Revised) and my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you want to start your own blog from scratch in less than 10 minutes, click here. And if you’re looking for a hosting or domain-name service, I highly recommend BlueHost.

How One Spoken Talk Delivered to a Small Audience Can Impact Thousands

Many of you who read this blog are preachers and teachers.

I want to encourage you with a discovery I made awhile ago. It’s simple, but impressively effective.

In 2011, I delivered a message that I entitled Epic Jesus: The Christ You Never Knew at a small conference that had approximately 250 people in the room. Those 250 souls heard the message live.

However, I recorded it — as I do all my conference talks. It was then uploaded to my podcast.

To date, that message has been listened to over 22,000 times by people all over the world.[Continue Reading...]

10 Mistakes Christians Should Avoid at All Cost

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes.

However, here are 10 mistakes that Christians, especially those who are active in ministry, should avoid at all costs.

These aren’t the obvious ones that are typically talked about in Christian circles.

They are more subtle and less frequently discussed:

  1. Refuse to Receive Correction from Genuine Christians Who Have Credibility.
  2. Believe Accusations Against Your Brethren Without Going to Them Directly.
  3. Make a Cause More Important Than Christ and Do Not Understand the Difference.
  4. Believe the Myth That You Should Only Read the Bible and No Other Christian Books.
  5. Assume that Everyone Who Professes to Have a Ministry is a True Follower of Jesus.
  6. Break a Friendship Over an Interpretation of the Bible.
  7. Refuse to Have Peers Who Know You Well and Can Speak Into Your Life.
  8. Befriend “Christians” Who Falsely Accuse Others on Social Media and Blogs.
  9. Be Quick to Defend Yourself Against Attack and Return Evil for Evil.
  10. Buy the Lie That Reading Scripture is Unnecessary for Your Spiritual Development and Well-Being.

If you find this post helpful, you are free to ADD A LINK to it on your blog or website. But don’t copy and paste the post as this violates Google’s guidelines.

Join over 30,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my eBook Rethinking the Will of God (Revised) and my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you want to start your own blog from scratch in less than 10 minutes, click here. And if you’re looking for a hosting or domain-name service, I highly recommend BlueHost.

Does Giving Away Free Resources Devalue Them?

Everyone likes free stuff, right?

If you’ve been subscribed to this blog, you know that I love to give away free resources whenever I can.

For instance, while some blogs are now charging their subscribers to read their content, my 600+ blog posts are all free of charge.

In addition, my podcast of 75+ episodes is free.

I recently gave away 25 free eBooks to those who purchased a copy of God’s Favorite Place on Earth during release week.

Beyond that, I’ve given away several eBooks, hundreds of copies of all of my print books, and a free copy of From Eternity to Here for two weeks.

I say all that to make one simple point. It’s a discovery I’ve made from all of the above.

To the minds of most people, if something is free, it’s not really valuable.

Here are some examples of how I’ve come to this conclusion:[Continue Reading...]

Reading the Bible in 3D

The 80th episode of my podcast has just been published.

Frank Viola

Episode Overview

  • This is my second session at the NCY Ministers Conference in January 2013 (other speakers were Jon Acuff, Scot McKnight, Larry Osborne).
  • How to read the Scriptures where Christ is revealed on every page.
  • How Jesus and the disciples interpreted the Old Testament compared to how countless Christians interpret it today.
  • How to preach in such a way that hearers begin to love the Lord without using guilt.
  • The message is a introduction to Jesus: A Theography.

Listen to the Episode

Jerusalem is NOT God’s Favorite Place on Earth

Bethany

In every generation, Christians face the same challenges—namely doubt, discouragement, fear, guilt, division, rejection, and the struggle against consumerism and complacency.

The Gospels narrate the incredible story of Jesus’ earthly life. Yet there is a story within this narrative that’s often missed. And to my mind, it’s the greatest story never told—a narrative within the narrative.

That narrative is the story of Jesus’ repeated visits to the little village of Bethany.[Continue Reading...]

The Race Card of the Early Christians – What They Can Teach Us Today

The following article was co-written with my friend and brother in Christ Derwin Gray

The Race Card of the Early Christians – What They Can Teach Us Today 

by Derwin Gray and Frank Viola

The Zimmerman trial and the tragedy that surrounds it has captured the world’s attention. Including that of the body of Christ.

Media coverage has heightened passions on both ends. Conversations about race, law, injustice, prejudice, guns, etc. are all being argued and inflamed.

In this article, we don’t want to weigh in on the public debate. Instead, our passion is to encourage God’s people everywhere to transcend the debate that the world is holding on its own terms by seeing ethnicity through the eyes of our Lord. There is only one race, the human race, which is comprised of different ethnic groups (Acts 17:26).

We want you, dear Christian, to take your cue from the New Testament believers, for they can teach us a great deal about this subject.

A Walk Into the First-Century Church

The world of the first-century was littered with racism and oppression. In the mind of a first-century Jew, Gentiles (Africans, Romans, Greeks, Syrians, Asians, etc.) were created to fuel the fires of hell.[Continue Reading...]