Tag Archives: frank viola

Brief History of Rapture (Left Behind) Theology

The Left Behind reboot with Nicolas Cage has Christians talking about all things rapture. Oh, joy.

I suspect that the continued cinematic production of such a ridiculous and counter-biblical narrative will only serve to wake folks up to the undeniable truth that rapture theology is nothing more than a baptized escapism–sort of a neo-Gnosticism. And it has only been around since the early 19th century.

Dr. Ben Witherington III, evangelical professor of NT for doctoral studies at Asbury and St. Andrews, has recently completed a video for Seedbed entitled “Where Did Rapture Theology Come From?” (10-8-14).

This brief history of rapture theology is worth watching.

For those interested, I’ve posted the following on rapture theology:

You might also enjoy reading a few blog posts from my friends:

D.D. Flowers, 2014.


2013 in Review

Hello blog readers and subscribers!

It has been another great year here at the blog. In fact, it has been the busiest year so far with almost 80,000 views! Thank you for reading and giving your feedback along the way. You encourage me to keep blogging.

Here are the 20 most popular posts of 2013:

  1. Jesus UnCrossed
  2. Support Us or You’re a Bigot?
  3. How Worship of the American Flag Changed Everything
  4. Meeting Jesus at Abu Ghraib
  5. Is the Pledge Good for Our Kids?
  6. An Open Theism Theodicy
  7. Why I Do Not Support or Oppose Gay Marriage
  8. In Awe of the God of Science
  9. Loving God With Your Mind
  10. Anabaptist Core Convictions
  11. Really Bad Church Names
  12. Josh Garrels on Believing
  13. The Difference Between Conviction & Condemnation
  14. Finding the Naked Anabaptist
  15. On Christian Cynicism
  16. Jumping Over Jesus
  17. Heaven is Not Our Home
  18. The Twilight Zone God
  19. Is God Good?
  20. God is Not Cynical (So Why Are You?)

Other blog highlights in 2013 include the following:

Was there a post this year that you appreciated more than others? What was it and why?

Please do me the honor of reflecting back on this year’s many posts and let me know if you there was one or two that especially ministered to you. (It may be a post that’s not mentioned above.) I sincerely thank you!

You can expect one more post in 2013. There, there now. Dry your eyes. :-) Stay tuned for a personal Christmas post from the Flowers family.

D.D. Flowers, 2013.


On My Return to Vocational Ministry

Hello blog readers!

I’m still here. I’ve been sick over the last week, and the last two weeks I just haven’t been able to find time to write. I intend to pick back up with the blog series this week. Thank you for your patience.

In the meantime, I thought it was best to put together a video about my journey over the last 14 years—out of vocational ministry and back again.

You had questions, so I’m responding.

As I announced a couple months ago, I have been called to pastor an Anabaptist congregation in the New River Valley of Virginia. We now know that we will be moving after Christmas. My official start date is January 1st, and my first Sunday at Christiansburg Mennonite Fellowship is January 5th.

The following video is 25 minutes in length. Feel free to ask further questions if you’ve got them. Please follow the rules of the blog. Thanks!

Other Related Posts:

D.D. Flowers, 2013.


Q&A with Frank Viola

Frank Viola is a frequent conference speaker and author of numerous books on the deeper Christian life and radical church restoration. He has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church life.

As I wrote last week, Frank has been an encouragement to me for almost seven years now. His writings always spur me on toward Christ and knowing him together with saints in community.

Frank has written many books, including “From Eternity to Here,” “Reimagining Church,” “Pagan Christianity?,” “Jesus Manifesto,” “Jesus: A Theography,” “Revise Us Again,” and “Finding Organic Church.” I have reviewed several of his books here at the blog.

Frank was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about his new book, God’s Favorite Place on Earth (David C. Cook, May 1, 2013).

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You’ve written many successful books. What is unique about God’s Favorite Place on Earth?

Of the 14 books I’ve written so far, God’s Favorite Place on Earth is different. It’s a work of biblical narrative that combines story with non-fiction. It’s fast and easy to read.

The curtain opens with Lazarus, who is now ready to die, telling the incomparable story of Jesus’ interactions with him and his sisters, Martha, and Mary. God’s Favorite Place blends drama, devotion, theology, biblical narrative, and first-century history. Within each narrative, the common struggles that we Christians face are addressed and answered.

These are struggles that I’ve faced in my own Christian life, so I offer solutions that I’ve discovered. Some of them are, How Do You? . . .

  • Gain God’s peace and presence in the midst of your worst storm.
  • Grow to the place where you are beyond being offended.
  • Truly forgive and release those who have rejected you.
  • Learn how to live life without fear of anything.
  • Trust God when He doesn’t meet your expectations or doesn’t appear to fulfill His promises.
  • Handle rejection, misunderstanding, and unjust criticism, especially from fellow Christians.
  • Be set free from bitterness.
  • Identify what touches the heart of Jesus the most. (It may surprise you.)

Why do you believe this book to be your “life’s work” as an author and church practitioner?

Because it includes all the major themes that I believe God has given me for the body of Christ. These themes have been burned into me from my own experiences, sufferings, mistakes, failures, and struggles. The book presents these themes in a creative and easy-to-read format.

When did you first conceive of the idea to retell the Bethany narratives through the eyes of Lazarus?

Good question. I don’t remember exactly when it happened. Probably several years ago. But when the     idea came to me, I instantly resonated with it and thought it would be a neat way to tell the story.   Readers will have to decide if it works or not.

Do you have a favorite chapter in the book? What would it be and why?

I like them all, but “Awakened in Bethany” and “Anointed in Bethany” have come out of deep pain, suffering, and struggle in my own life. And I feel God really anointed me in writing those chapters particularly.

I wept while writing parts of one of them. I published parts of “Anointed in Bethany” on my blog recently, and a number of grown men said it reduced them to tears.

Any chance this book will be turned into a movie or short film? Maybe Leonard Sweet could play Jesus!  ;-) 

Boy, I’d LOVE to see this. I mean, I’d would be like a dream come true. It could be really powerful if done right. And I’d insist that the script was close to the book and faithful to Scripture and first-century history.

That’s why I consulted two NT scholars before I published it. They both graciously endorsed the book: Craig Keener and Joel B. Green. Greg Boyd is also a scholar of sorts and is an expert in Jesus studies.

Who’s Leonard Sweet? :)

Beyond buying this book on May 1st (today), what does God really want from us?

Lol. I think He wants us to drink Saki and always remain kids with big dreams. :)

Actually, it seems to me that He wants all of us to be “Bethanies” for Him. What that means exactly and what it involves, well, that’s what I try to uncork in the book.

Tell us how you prefer we purchase the book and share it with friends.

Go to GodsFavoritePlace.com between May 1 and May 7, and you’ll see the link to online bookstores and the specific local bookstores carry it. There will also be instructions on how to get the 25 free books and audios.

I’m just a kid with a dream, Davey, just a kid with a dream.

Thanks for the interview.

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Thanks for reading the Q&A with Frank Viola. If you would like to know and read more from Frank, he blogs regularly at frankviola.org, which is rated in the top 10 of all Christian blogs on the Web today.

D.D. Flowers, 2013.


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