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Review of “A Journey to Waco: Autobiography of a Branch Davidian”

A Journey to Waco: Autobiography of a Branch Davidian by Clive Doyle with Catherine Wessinger and Matthew Wittmer. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012. 298 pp. On February 28, 1993, ATF agents raided the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas. The Davidians had separated from the Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1955. This particular group lived communally […]

Does the Church of Wells Teach a False Gospel?

Over the past several months, the Church of Wells in Wells, Texas has received national media attention, most recently by the ABC show Nightline Prime with Dan Harris, which aired on 4/5/14. Background Concern about the group first rose to prominence when the church allowed a baby to die in the summer of 2012 rather […]

Rethinking Matthew 18 – Gossip Control and the “Can’t Talk” Rule

Editor’s note: This is a re-post from Dr. Stephen Crosby’s blog, “Sword of the Kingdom.” This article about the “Can’t Talk” rule explains how authoritarian church leaders misuse the church discipline process in Matthew 18 to stifle dissent. It is an excellent article, used by permission. For my related post on “Church Leaders and the […]

The Lion Makers: Fred Phelps and the Outcome of Cult Leaders

In India, there were four Brahmans who set out on a journey. Three of them were highly educated but had little common sense. The fourth had little education but good sense. As they journeyed through a field, the first Brahman said to the second and third, “Through our own efforts and hard work we have […]

What Mark Driscoll Can Teach Us About Church Leadership

In his recent article, “Mark Driscoll’s Problems, and Ours,” Carl R. Trueman pens a thoughtful synopsis of the crisis in church leadership in the Reformed movement as seen through the lens of Mark Driscoll’s latest faux pas — a lesson applicable, of course, to other Christian movements and churches. Carl R. Trueman is Paul Woolley […]

Brainwashing Writ Large: Vladimir Putin and the Crimean Crisis

For 25 years I was a member of a Bible cult. One of the first questions people ask me when they discover this is, “How could any intelligent person get sucked in by a group like that?” Many people wonder how cult members can believe the mind-bending interpretations of their cult leader, when the reality […]

How to Deal with Personality Disorders among Church Leaders (Part 5 of 5)

I am not a clinician and this is not a prescription. This is my attempt to start a conversation which is long overdue. I welcome the input of Christian brothers and sisters whose education and experience better fit them to tackle this topic. Thankfully, you don’t need a psychology degree to start to construct a […]

Personality Disorders in the Church: Paranoid Personality Disorder (Part 4 of 5)

In my research on cults—and in my own experience as a former cult member—I have learned that many cult leaders evidence traits of undiagnosed personality disorders. What is a personality disorder? According to the Mayo Clinic: “A personality disorder is a type of mental illness in which you have trouble perceiving and relating to situations […]

Confirmation Bias and the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham Debate

Lower your pitchforks. This is not a post about origins. Instead it is a post considering the reaction to the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate held on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. I have read dozens of blog posts and news articles which offer interpretations of who won. And I’ve read hundreds of comments on […]

Missing Link: Bill Nye, Ken Ham, and the Lack of Transitional Bloggers

In case you missed it, Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Science Museum in Kentucky, and Bill Nye (of Science Guy fame), will debate “Is Creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” You can catch the debate on 2.4.14 at debatelive.org. It sounds like a great event. The chief apologist for […]