Thursday, April 17, 2014

An Open Letter to IBLP

Posted by Christine Pack 

A number of Christian leaders have added their voices to the growing public concern over the troubling issues associated with Bill Gothard and the ministry he founded known as Institute in Basic Life Principles. Gothard recently stepped down as president from the organization amid reports of sexual misconduct. According to the open letter, Christian leaders have attempted over the years to address concerns with Gothard, reaching as far back as 1973. From the letter:
Over the years a number of leaders and organizations have expressed concerns over certain IBLP teachings which they have found unbiblical and harmful. Many of them have attempted to work with Bill Gothard to correct and/or drop the more problematic teachings but have been rebuffed, ignored, and on occasion attacked. We believe that some of these teachings are at least partly responsible for the recurring moral failures of Bill Gothard and other IBLP leaders. 
Prior to the sex scandal of the 1980s, Dr Earl Radmacher, then president of Western Theological Seminary, made such attempts and his associate, Dr. Ronald B. Allen had made attempts since at least 1973..... 
These warnings went unheeded then, and in spite of the attempts by these and other leaders and organizations, including Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. and, as in prior cases Bill Gothard’s consistent response has been to issue denials, attacks, and even threats from an ever more strongly entrenched position. (Online source)
Some of the signers of the letter include Norman Geisler (Chancellor, Veritas Evangelical Seminary) Paul Carden (Centers for Apologetics Research), Don Veinot (Midwest Christian Outreach), Ron Rhodes (Reasoning From the Scriptures Ministries), Keith Gibson (Pastor, Word of Life Community Church) and Sarah Flashing (Christian researcher/writer).

The letter can be read in its entirety here.

The complete list of co-signers can be read here.

 Additional Resources 

Bill Gothard Legalism (Sola Sisters)

Josh Duggar's Infidelity Outed in Ashley Madison Website Hack (Sola Sisters)

A Beginner's Guide To Bill Gothard (Ron Henzel)

Growing Up Gothard (The Gospel Coalition)

A Matter of Basic Principles (an excellent expose of Gothard legalism by Don Veinot)

Battered Sheep - a review of Don Veinot's book A Matter of Basic Principles

Bill Gothard Resigns, Duggars Still Slated To Speak at IBLP 2014 Conference

Conservative Leader Bill Gothard Resigns Following Abuse Allegations (Religion News Service)

The Duggars, Bill Gothard, Vision Forum, and The Quiverful Movement (I am aware that some of the links in this article are no longer active, but this article still gives a quick thumbnail sketch of Bill Gothard, the Duggars, Vision Forum, Hyper-Patriarchy and the Quiverfull Movement, and how they are interconnected and overlap with each other)

How God Saves Us In Christ (And The Problems With Legalism) (Pastor Jeff Crippen)

 Midwest Christian Outreach 

From the IBLP website
A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life

Josh Duggar, Mike Huckabee and Fodder for Progressives

Is Jesus a Sinner According to Bill Gothard’s Teachings?

If Bill Gothard is Wrong, Then What’s Right?

Bill Gothard: Who Knew What and When? A Question of Accountability


Bill Gothard’s Analogous Teachings

Bill Gothard; Déjà vu All Over Again

Bill Gothard and the Continuing Sex Scandal

Bill Gothard - Truly Repentant?

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

Four part series on Bill Gothard
 - Part 1, Bill Gothard's Evangelical Talmud
 - Part 2, Bill Gothard's Chain of Authority
 - Part 3, Bill Gothard and the Law
 - Part 4, Bill Gothard's Mystical Approach to Medical Issues

An Evening With Bill Gothard

 Secular Articles 

When Having Kids Is A Religious Experience
 (ABC News)

Quiverfull: More Children For God's Army (Newsweek writer Kathryn Joyce)

Inside the Duggar Family's Conservative Ideology (Newsweek, Kathryn Joyce)

 Websites by Former Gothardites 

Recovering Grace

Abuse Allegations Against Bill Gothard, Founder of Institute In Basic Life Principles
 (Dr. John Cornish and Kari Underwood, co-founders of Recovering Grace)

Under Much Grace