Don’t Believe Everything You Read or Hear

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This site isn’t operated by Frank Viola Author. It’s a newsfeed for information related to the author and baseball player.

gossip

Several years ago, Michael Hyatt (former CEO of Thomas Nelson) responded to a rumor on his blog. In the post, Michael wrote,

“According to the most recent rumor—which I’ve now heard twice—we [Thomas Nelson] are planning a layoff for June 19th … We are scheduled to close the transaction on June 12th, so, supposedly, this will happen the week following. I want to assure you that this is indeed a baseless rumor. There is absolutely no truth to it … If you hear this rumor, I would be grateful if you would help me short-circuit it. You can tell ’em it’s not true, and you heard it directly from me.”

I recall when this rumor was circulating and was saddened (and surprised) at how many Christians believed it without going straight to Michael to see if it was true or false.

Another example that’s much more national.

Late last year, I came across a website alleging a sex scandal involving President Obama. The “story” first came out in 2008 just before the primary. It was shown to be baseless and quickly faded away. Then it resurfaced again in 2010. (The original story was removed by the source after staying online for 4 years.)

Another site purports alleged “proof” that Obama is a Muslim terrorist in disguise. Again, a baseless rumor.

And another alleges that Obama is gay, has sexually harassed males, and abuses drugs. Again, baseless.

Note: I don’t agree with many of Obama’s policies. But these accusations are scurrilous, vicious, outrageous, and just plain slimy. There’s no good evidence to support any of them. That’s why they’ve never gained traction. However, because they are written intelligently, they persuade the uniformed (a characteristic of effective libel).

Earlier this year, Rick Warren was personally attacked, judged, and lied about by professing Christians. (more…)

Frank Viola Women

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Frank ViolaWomen

His book The Day I Met Jesus (2015), with Mary De Muth (the author and sex-abuse advocate), was a best-seller and highly popular in women’s ministry groups.

His articles, Rethinking Women in Ministry, God’s View of a Women, and A Farewell to Self-Righteousness have been read and shared by countless Christians. (You can find all these articles on this site. Just “Search” in the search window on the top right.)

Here are some excepts from one of Frank Viola’s articles on women in ministry.

A basic question must be answered at this point: What is the overall teaching of the New Testament on a woman’s role in the church? That is, what’s the big picture about women in ministry?

You’ll find that it’s perfectly consistent with the broad principles of the New Covenant.

What follows, therefore, is a chronological survey of women in ministry in the New Testament. Since I don’t have a concordance in front of me, I’m doing this from less than inspired memory:

 Elizabeth and Mary (not Zachariah and Joseph) are the first to receive the message of Christ’s birth into the world. They are honored and blessed by angels. They are also the first to sing and prophesy about the Christ child.

Read the rest of this article here.

See also:

God’s View of a Woman

Frank Viola Women in God’s Work

Rethinking Women in Ministry

Frank Viola Author – Thoughts

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frank

Frank Viola author has written over 20 books on the deeper Christian life and radical church restoration.

What follow is an excerpt from Frank Viola’s new book, Jesus Speaks.

The Price of Following the Lord’s Voice

Sometimes the voice of the Lord will land you in trouble.

Consider this: Jesus lived by His Father’s life. He had the mind of His Father, operated by His spiritual instincts, and followed the Father’s voice.

Where did the voice of God eventually lead Jesus? Up a hill to be crucified.

But it was also the life of the Father who raised Jesus from the dead. (Perhaps the Father said to Jesus, “Come forth,” just as Jesus said to Lazarus.)

Recall that what the Father was to Jesus, Jesus Christ is to all of us. So where will the voice of Jesus lead you? To lay your life down. To take up your cross. To die to your self. But the life of Jesus will also raise you from the dead.

 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (2 Cor. 4:10–12 niv)

Indeed, there is a danger in following the voice of your Lord. It very well may land you in trouble. Some of the greatest saints in history paid a high price for following the voice of Jesus.

It got Paul of Tarsus beheaded.

It got Peter crucified.

It got John Huss burned alive.

It got William Tyndale strangled.

It caused John Wesley to be slandered mercilessly.

Why?

Because each of these people followed the voice of their Lord and it caused them to challenge the status quo.

Yet for all who lay their lives down, there’s always a resurrection.

~ Frank Viola, author

An Open Letter to People in Ministry

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For those of you who don’t know who I am, for over 30 years I’ve been involved in church planting, shepherding the Lord’s people, and training leaders internationally. I’m the author of 12 published books, 7 of them bestsellers, published by Tyndale, Thomas Nelson, Baker, and David C. Cook.

In all my years of working with fellow teachers, pastors, speakers, authors, and bloggers, I’ve come to the conclusion that most Christian leaders today are plagued with one of two kinds of ministry orientations.

The root of these orientations is similar, but they are express themselves differently.

If you don’t read this entire article, I’m fairly certain you fit into one of these two ministry orientations. Skimming then bolting is another characteristic of each one. Reading this to the very end could change your life.

When I first put my hand to the plow of God’s work in my early 20s, I experienced both orientations at one time or another.

They are …

Read the rest of the article here

The Deeper Christian Life

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The deeper Christian life. What is it exactly?

The term comes from Andrew Murray’s classic book, The Deeper Christian Life, published in 1895.

This phrase is a reaction to the shallow and superficial state of contemporary Christianity.

The deeper Christian life is what Watchman Nee once called “the normal Christian life.”

A close reading of the New Testament epistles reveals that Jesus Christ is alive and in the Spirit. And He has come to indwell all who follow Him today.

Consequently, some of the themes of the deeper Christian life are …

Read the rest of the article here.

Frank Viola Author on Amazon

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Frank Viola author’s work is located on Amazon.

Viola’s catalog of books is found there with a video displaying one of the author’s most important titles.

You can view Viola’s work here on Frank Viola author on Amazon.

Below is a photo of Frank Viola speaking with N.T. Wright and Brennan Manning at the Soularize conference.

frank viola author

For questions or comments, you can go to Viola’s blog at frankviola.org

 

Meeting Jesus for the First Time

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The ancient Christians named the Samaritan woman Photine, which means “enlightened one.”

It was no random act that Photine visited the well to draw water alone at noon. The typical time that women drew water was early in the morning or at sunset. And women typically accomplished this tedious work in groups. So why did Photine visit the well at noon alone?

Because of her reputation, the women of Sychar most likely shunned her. She probably grew tired of the scornful stares of the other women in the village. She wearied of whispering tongues and wagging heads. This explains why when she arrived at the well, only Jesus sat there.

Jesus ventured from Judea to Galilee. But He took a route that few Jews normally traveled. The exception was if it was during the Jewish festivals or if they were in a hurry.

We can see no external reason why He had to go through Samaria, so we assume—as John tells us repeatedly—that the Father led Jesus in that direction (John 5:19). The Spirit blows where He wills. The Father had chosen Photine in Christ before the foundation of the world. And so He led His Son Jesus to share the water of life with her at this specific point in human history. And now, at this well, a lonely, despised Samaritan meets a lonely, despised Jew.

Here stood a despised and desperate woman. Thrice an outcast in Jewish thought. An unclean Samaritan. A woman who had been with five different husbands. And a woman with a sixth man who didn’t wish to marry her. But on that special day, the seventh man arrived. And He would turn out to be the Messiah. Not the national leader of the old Israel, but the Taheb, the Restorer, “the Savior of the entire world” (as they called Him).

Yes, on that day, salvation ventured outside of Judaism into the Gentile world. Once again, we see Jesus doing what He does best: touching and transforming the unclean and crossing boundaries of culture, social status, and gender. The Jesus of the Gospels is more concerned with people than the traditions that separate them. And His scandalous behavior pointed to the new reality of the unity of the Spirit and the global nature of God’s salvation.

That day the Samaritan community not only met their Messiah, they met their bridegroom . . . the lover of their souls. What a Christ! Consider this, dear reader. If your Lord could love an insignificant, uneducated, “worthless,” sinful Samaritan . . . a multiple divorcee . . . an outcast among her own people, then you can rest assured He loves and accepts you too. Why? Because if you have bowed the knee to His lordship and trusted in His saviorhood, then you are also part of His lovely bride. But there’s more. Note Jesus’ words: “He who drinks from this well will thirst again.”

Can you relate to this woman? If you’ve ever been lonely, if you’ve ever known use or abuse, if you’ve ever experienced the wearisome burden of carrying your sins, with all of the shame and guilt that accompanies them, then certainly you can. Jesus told this woman that drinking from Jacob’s well would eventually leave her thirsty (John 4:13). In the same way, the wells of this world will always run dry . . . eventually.

A cup of water may satisfy your thirst for a short time, but soon enough, you will thirst again. Fame can satisfy for a time. Fortune can satisfy for a time. The pleasures of sin are indeed satisfying . . . for a season (Heb 11:25).

But eventually, you will thirst again. Not so with the water that Jesus Christ offers to us. In fact, Jesus Christ Himself is that water. He is the Spring of living water, the well of eternal life which can be received and enjoyed now (Rev. 22:1; 7:17; 21:6). All who partake of that real water—which is Christ— will never thirst again. And what is needed to partake of this water? To open your heart, receive, and drink.

This water is “the gift of God.” You can’t buy it; it’s sheer gift. You simply must receive its life-giving qualities. Jesus Christ, the lonely despised artisan, the one called a bastard, a traitor to Rome, an accused false prophet, and a deceiver of the people, is the beautiful gift of God. He is the living water that never runs dry. Sadly, Christians so often turn to every other thing, digging in their own strength. Choose the real water of heaven and you will never thirst again.

*This excerpt is from the newly published book, The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels (Baker Publishing House).

Greg Boyd and Frank Viola on Heresy

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“Heretic.” It’s a favorite word that many Christians have no problem dropping on the heads of their fellow sisters and brothers.

In common parlance, the term is used to describe any person who disagrees with “orthodox Christian teaching.” The problem, of course, is that there are different perspectives on what exactly constitutes “orthodox Christian teaching.”

Some claim this for Calvinism, while others claim this for Arminianism, or for Roman Catholicism, or for Eastern Orthodoxy.

And we must not forget the many Fundamentalist groups who reserve the term “orthodox” only for people who agree with every one of their distinctive beliefs and/or practices.

2,000 years down the church history pike and the body of Christ is sliced and diced into over 33,000 fragments, some of which pull the heresy lever at everyone else without blinking.

In this essay, we are definitely not going to suggest that false teaching doesn’t exist. It existed at the time of Jesus and Paul, and it exists today.

What we are going to suggest is that many people are using the word “heretic” in ways that are not biblical and/or that do not align with its use in church tradition. And this, we believe, brings disrepute on the body of Christ.

Read the full article here

Protection & Healing

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The following article is an excerpt from the book Jesus Now by Frank Viola Author

Protection

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies …

Before spring, a shepherd of Israel would make a trip to survey the wild country, looking for a new “tableland” to keep his flock. Before the sheep arrived at the new territory, the shepherd would roll up his sleeves and do the hard work of pulling up poisonous plants, clearing the debris, and opening up the springs and waterholes.

This was all preparatory work.

Jesus Christ, our chief shepherd, goes before us to prepare the way for every encounter we will face.

Sometimes He will deliver us from troubles that lie ahead. But other times, He will carry us through those troubles. Rather than remove them, He will bless us in the midst of the storm. This is just as miraculous as His deliverance.

Paul’s thorn in the flesh is an example. The Lord chose not to remove the thorn; He rather chose to cause Paul to endure.

So sometimes our good shepherd will ward off our enemies with the rod of His judgment, while other times He will prepare a feast for us in the presence of our enemies.

Healing

You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows …

During the summer months, sheep are often brutalized by pests. These include mosquitoes, gnats, and nose flies. All are profoundly irritating to the sheep, often causing extreme inflammation.

To get relief, the sheep will sometimes beat its head against trees, rocks, or other objects. Sometimes the tormenting pests will cause the sheep to stop eating. In more severe cases, the infection from the pests can cause a sheep to go blind.

The antidote is for the shepherd to anoint the sheep’s head with oil. The oil wards off the sheep’s tormentors and aids in healing its wounds. As a result, the sheep can eat again. The oil, however, must be applied regularly for it to have a sustaining effect.

All throughout the Bible, the oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, our good shepherd, ministers His Spirit to us, and the Spirit brings healing, freedom, and peace. However, a fresh supply of the Spirit must repeatedly be given. So Paul exhorted his readers to be continually filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18).

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