What Bill Gothard and His Followers Still Don’t Get About Grace

When debating Gothardites on the topic of grace, often the first text they cite is James 4:6b: “‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble,’” (ESV). It is also usually the one text they keep coming back to in support of their assertion that grace is not freely given, unmerited favor, but rather is a desire and power to do God’s will that is earned or merited. When someone rightly tells them that … Continue reading

What the Evangelical Haters Are Really Saying

When I became an evangelical Christian 40 years ago this past December, I had no idea what I was getting into. I was only sixteen. So what were “evangelicals” to me? People who liked to run hospitals and rent out their churches for free? How should I know? It took a few months for me to realize that not only had I become one of them, but that—hey!—now it was 1976! This was the year … Continue reading

Wither Evangelicalism?

Was I the only one who was both frustrated and disappointed by the recent interview of Robert H. Gundry in Christianity Today?1 For those who missed it, the eminent Dr. Gundry has come out with a new book on the Apostle Peter in which he claims that “Matthew portrays Peter as a false disciple of Jesus, a disciple who went so far as to apostatize.” Just about everything most people would want to know about Kevin P. … Continue reading

An Invitation to Disaster

He sang in our church’s choir. His wife was part of our musical accompaniment. Week after week they helped lead our Sunday morning worship, and week after week they participated in the small group Bible study we held in our home. They were solid, mature Christians. They listened to all the right Christian teachers. They read all the right Christian books. They said all the right things. Until that one evening… I don’t remember how … Continue reading

Bill Gothard ’s Evangelical Talmud, Part 3: Gothard and the Law

 (This originally appeared in the July/August 1998 edition of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 6) In Parts 1 and 2, we assessed some of the teachings of Bill Gothard and his Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) through a chronological approach. While we wish to maintain that basic perspective in this series, this article covers such a vast and pervasive topic in Gothard’s ministry that it will depart from the chronological format. To evaluate … Continue reading

Leveraging Lunacy: How Bill Gothard Rode a Wave of Evangelical Goofiness

Recently, an old article of mine, “Trapped in the Shadow of ‘God’s Anointed’: Breaking free from an Unbiblical Concept” (MCOI Journal, Volume 8 No. 3, Fall 2002, pp. 12-15) was re-posted by the Recovering Grace (RG) web site, which is devoted to helping people break free from the spiritual bondage caused by the teachings of Bill Gothard and his Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), as well as his Advanced Training Institute (ATI). The mere … Continue reading