Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Two Great Books on Legalistic Christianity

Book One:
A Matter of Basic Principles

Never heard of Bill Gothard? With his three ring binders and nationwide seminars he swept the US starting in the early 1970s teaching a high view of authority and step-by-step methods for being a Godly Christian. Started as the Institute for Basic Youth Conflicts (IBYC) he reached out to a new market: parents who felt threatened by the counter-culture and needed the old certainties proclaimed afresh. This Bill Gothard did- and more. Gothard's rise paralleled and intermingled with that of fundamental Baptists throughout the 70s and much of the 80s, for one simple reason: they both legislated pre-counterculture culture in an attempt to restore the order that was shattering before them. This legislate-what-was-in-order-to-guard-against-the-new mentality was given up by many fundamental Baptists by the close of the 80s as American culture was returning to some sort of equilibrium-- but others along with Gothard persisted, becoming the new legalists.
This is why this book is so important. In dealing with with Gothard's teachings it also deals with the legalism at large that has crept into many of our conservative churches.

Book Two:
The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse

A highly legalistic Christianity is also highly authoritarian. Authoritarianism and legalism are twin brothers. This book explores the authoritarian aspect of legalism and the group dynamics that result. You can pull yourself from legalism; this book will enable you to break from the legalistic system itself.

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