Analyzing Bill Gothard’s Textbooks

Glen E. Chatfield, of The Watchman’s Bagpipes, Analyzes Bill Gothard’s IBLP Basic Seminar Textbook which could prove very useful to many, even if they do not necessarily agree with everything Brother Glen has posted.  Here is a large excerpt from his intro:

I have to state up front that the principles taught in this text are indeed good principles.  The premises of the lessons are generally to be commended.  The problem seems to be with the method of teaching, which revolves around a lot of erroneous ideas.  In my review of the text, I found the following problem areas were manifested:

1.  Misapplication of Scripture
2.  Poor teaching (this is just my opinion)
3.  Poor hermeneutics
4.  De facto claim of extra-biblical revelation
5.  Poor doctrinal teaching
6.  Superstition/mysticism
7.  Cultish teaching
8.  Lack of credibility
9.  Faulty logic
10.  Pop psychology
11.  Unbiblical teaching
12.  Personal opinion given Biblical authority
13.  Scripture twisting
14.  Legalism

What follows is a page-by-page analysis of the problems I found.

In another post he examines Bill Gothard’s ATI Textbook. He introduces that examination by saying:

This will not be a detailed analysis, but a highlight of some of what I determined to be the more problematic areas. The entire text has much misapplication and twisting of Scripture to make false claims seem Biblical.

Although the “Operational Definitions” are in the back of the text (pp.355-358), I will address them first because I think they really show where the problems lie with Gothard’s way of thinking.

The remainder of this analysis will be in page order, with as short of commentary as possible.

Stay tuned for analyses of other Gothard textbooks some day in the future.

Edited to add:
Analyzing Bill Gothard’s Textbooks – “Character Sketches – Vol 1”

Letter to a family considering ATI

Robin shares her experiences with ATI (Bill Gothard’s teachings) in this Letter She Wrote to a Family Considering ATI.

More Thoughts About ATI

John Cornish has posted a follow up to his post about his childhood in an ATI world.

Betrothal

Eric M. Pazdziora writes about the Bondage of Betrothal at Quivering Daughters. This is a very good explanation of why the Courtship and Betrothal Movement is not Biblical.

In response, Sister Lisa, at Soul Liberty Faith, writes about Betrothal and the Works of The Flesh in which she discusses how her family approached the concept after leaving legalism behind.

Childhood in the ATI World

John Cornish shares about of his Childhood in the ATI/IFB World and how it affected his life.  This is not really about abuse per se, more of how a mindset damaged him.  This mindset is known to lead to abuse and this testimony shows how damaging the mindset is.   More importantly, he explains how scriptural it is.

Analyzing the Schatz Tragedy

Cindy, from Under Much Grace, analyzes what causes people like Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz to harm their children in a new series:
Why Good People Make Dangerous Choices (Pondering Pearl and Lydia Schatz)

An Introduction

Part I: Virtue In Place of Unquestioned Obedience.

Part II: How Dehumanization (and Declaring War Against Family Members) Causes Moral Disengagement

Part III: Defining Aggression as Normal, Acceptable, and Desired Behavior

An Addendum Note About Lydia Schatz and the Correction She Suffered for a Mispronounced Word: Liberian Adoption and Reactive Attachment Disorder

Part IV: The Milgram Experiment and the Pressure to Commit Evil for the Common Good

Part V: Pondering the Atrocities of the Jewish Holocaust and its Relationship to the Study of Obedience

Bad Apples or Bad Barrels? The Short and Long Versions of Zimbardo on the Lucifer Effect

Part VI: The Calm Before the Storm Following the Schatzes’ “Guilty” Pleas

Part VII: The Breaking the “Diabolical Will” of Infants in the IFB – Even at Hephzibah House

Part VIII: There But For Grace

Part IX: Using the Milgram Study to Understand How Pearl Becomes Appealing

Part X: The Schatz Family is Not Unique

The Burden of Legalism

Rach at the Incorrigible Gingers posts about the Burdens legalistic teachers are placing on the Believers’ backs.

Speaking of Legalism, there is an interesting article at NLQ about Why the Quiverfull Movement is called Legalistic?

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