Did the Bereans Think Paul Was a Charlatan?

I’ve heard sermons extolling the Bereans for searching the Scriptures, but it’s a rare preacher indeed who will urge his listeners to themselves search the Scriptures to see if what he is teaching them is true.

When I’ve heard it, it’s often been about fact-checking him on details.

But when Acts 17:11 describes the Bereans searching the Scriptures, it wasn’t about fact-checking Paul. It wasn’t about looking at just one or two proof texts. Continue reading “Did the Bereans Think Paul Was a Charlatan?”

Casting Out Fear by Whistling a Happy Tune

A couple of years ago I wrote a series about “fear” (part one, part two, part three). But I knew there was much more for me to learn, and for me to share with others.

Not to mention that I want my next Untwisting Scriptures book to be (tentatively) subtitled Shut Your Mouth and Stuff Your Emotions.

Yesterday, a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I sat outside with my Bible and pondered “perfect love casts out fear” in 1 John (which I plan to blog about eventually). As I did, I thought about the typical ways believers are told to “cast out fear” and get on the right track with their “perfect love.”

All too often church leaders and other church people tell us that it’s by “choosing to do right,” our actions, our behavior, our internal decisions. Gritting our teeth and forcing ourselves. Will power. There may be some mention of the Holy Spirit, but it is often passing and incidental.

A friend’s question for me

So then I remembered that twelve years ago a friend I was mentoring, “Melissa,” presented me with a related question. First she quoted a song from the old musical “The King and I.” Continue reading “Casting Out Fear by Whistling a Happy Tune”

6 Ways “The Gospel” Is so Much More than You’re Usually Told

OR “Why the Resurrection is Essential to Your Salvation” (in honor of Holy Week)

Much of my writing is presented to refute false teaching in the fundamentalist and evangelical Christian world. But I always want to point my readers to what is true, right, and good.

This Holy Week—the week that Christians especially honor the Lord Jesus Christ for all He has done for us, the week that culminates with a celebration of His Resurrection for us—I want to zero in on The Gospel.

Through the years that I’ve been in this evangelical world, I’ve pondered how much the term “gospel” is presented as vital, while at the same time how seldom those who use the term “gospel” have actually defined and described what they mean by it.

But understanding what “the gospel” is can mean the difference between death and life. Continue reading “6 Ways “The Gospel” Is so Much More than You’re Usually Told”

The Amazing Grace Cycle (Guest Post by Deborah Brunt)

Deborah Brunt is a friend who served in the Southern Baptist Convention for many years, as an author, teacher, and women’s leader. Long before others were doing so, she bravely stood against the abuses of power and belittling of women that she saw and experienced in her various capacities there.

A couple of years ago Deborah wrote her account of being ousted from her life-long denomination for refusing to simply go along with the program, continuing to question and challenge. She described how she was shamed, blamed, ignored, shunned, and thrust to the side. In today’s terminology, we would say she was “cancelled,” or at least that’s what they tried to do. Continue reading “The Amazing Grace Cycle (Guest Post by Deborah Brunt)”

4 Effects of Rules Without Relationship (From the Book of Romans)

NEWS

Untwisting Scriptures: Book 2 Patriarchy and Authority is available now! Subscribe to this blog to be the first to get notification of when the Kindle version (regularly $5.99) will be available as a free download.

And as you read this blog post, you’ll find an excerpt from the book sneakily inserted. And yes, it’s about Doug Phillips.

And now to our regularly scheduled broadcast . . . Continue reading “4 Effects of Rules Without Relationship (From the Book of Romans)”

Your Pastor Isn’t Moses: A Response to John Bevere’s “Under Cover”

A while back when I posted on Facebook a question about authority teachers, one person told me that John Bevere’s book Under Cover had taught “church authority” in such a way that that it had nearly destroyed her and her family.

So I bought the book and started reading it.

I saw that the presentation of authority in the book was indeed dangerous and  . . . I might even say craftily presented. Continue reading “Your Pastor Isn’t Moses: A Response to John Bevere’s “Under Cover””

Bill Gothard’s Umbrella Heresy in a Day of Protests Against Police Brutality

If you’ve blogged for over ten years as I have, you probably have scores of jotted ideas, half-baked posts, drafts, and . . . what do you know it, full posts that somehow never got posted.

Today, when I had a few moments but wanted to avoid listening to the news that literally put me to bed yesterday on Pentecost Sunday, I began scrolling through my files and files of blog ideas. 

And then, there before me was a complete post about Bill Gothard’s umbrella heresy that I never had posted. And since Gothard—a man that I, along with many thousands of others, used to adore—has been in the news again recently, and since his teaching promotes complete compliance to abusive authorities (talk about being pertinent to the news!) I’m posting it now.

My previous blog post about the Umbrella Heresy is here. Continue reading “Bill Gothard’s Umbrella Heresy in a Day of Protests Against Police Brutality”

What’s the Best Way for Us to Bring Glory to God?

This is a burden on my heart (that I pulled from yesterday’s post because it deserved its own) because I believe this understanding is crucial to becoming the people of God He has called us to be. I pray it will help someone the way similar teachings helped me in the 1990s.

Spoiler alert: I believe the Bible teaches that the best way for His people to glorify God is to live in the New Covenant.

This isn’t just distant theory. For example, the harmful theology of what has been called “Biblical patriarchy” is based on living in the Old Covenant.

The power of living in the New Covenant (in which all our sanctification is found in Jesus Christ) has tremendous practical application for us right now.

I believe far too few Christians understand the crucial difference between the Covenants and what that difference means, even though it’s explained right there in the New Testament. Continue reading “What’s the Best Way for Us to Bring Glory to God?”

Here’s What’s Wrong With God Looking Through the “Filter” of Jesus to See His Children

It’s supposed to be encouraging when we hear that God the Father sees His children through the filter of His Son Jesus Christ. I’ve seen Christians almost come to tears when they talk about how God the Father is wearing “blood-colored glasses” to look at us, seeing the righteousness of His Son instead of our sinfulness.

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So, we are told, He sees His blood-bought children as holy instead of the unrighteous, filthy, utterly degraded, deceitfully wicked, totally sinful vile creatures we actually are. Continue reading “Here’s What’s Wrong With God Looking Through the “Filter” of Jesus to See His Children”