Bill Gothard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Bill Gothard
BornWilliam W. Gothard Jr.
(1934-11-02) November 2, 1934 (age 77)
Illinois, United States
ResidenceLa Grange Illinois, United States
OccupationInstructor, author
ReligionChristianity
Website
BillGothard.com
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Bill Gothard
BornWilliam W. Gothard Jr.
(1934-11-02) November 2, 1934 (age 77)
Illinois, United States
ResidenceLa Grange Illinois, United States
OccupationInstructor, author
ReligionChristianity
Website
BillGothard.com

William W. (Bill) Gothard (born November 2, 1934) is an American Christian minister, speaker and writer, and the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), notable for his conservative teachings. Among the several strong distinctives of his teaching have been encouragement of Bible memorization, large families, homeschooling, aversion to debt, respect for authority and extended principles related to identity, family, education, healthcare, music and finances.

At the height of his popularity during the 1970s, the Basic Youth Conflicts seminar with Bill Gothard was regularly filling auditoriums throughout the United States and beyond with attendance figures as large as ten thousand and more for a one-week seminar. In this way, he reached many in the evangelical community from the Baby Boomer generation during their teen years and years of young adulthood. Other seminars during this time included an advanced youth conflicts seminar and as well as seminars for pastors, physicians and legislators. Bill Gothard has credited a large influence to his parents and father, William Gothard, Sr. who was a speaker at many seminars during the early years. William Gothard Sr. held high positions at organizations that included the Gideons, Child Evangelism Fellowship and Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago.[1]

Contents

Biography

Bill Gothard received his B.A., in Biblical Studies from Wheaton College in 1957 an M.A. in Christian Education in 1961 from the same institution[2]and a Ph.d. in biblical studies from Louisiana Baptist University in 2004.[3]

Gothard started an organization in 1961 called Campus Teams,[4] which in 1974 changed its name to Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts. Later, in 1989, the organization's name changed again to Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP),[5] of which Gothard is currently the president and a board member.

Teaching

Gothard's primary teaching, his "Basic Seminar," focuses on seven Biblically based "Basic Life Principles." Some[who?] argue that Gothard's teaching is legalistic but he claims that he teaches principles rather than rules to avoid legalism. He claims that the seven principles are universal and people will suffer the consequences of violating these principles. This philosophy is similar to natural law based ethics. Just as a physicist discovers natural universal laws, the natural law ethicist believes that there are discoverable universal ethical principles. Gothard's principles are called Design, Authority, Responsibility, Suffering, Ownership, Freedom, and Success.[6]

The design principle is that people should understand their specific purpose for which God created them. This is a similar principle that launched Rick Warren's best selling book, The Purpose Driven Life. Once a person understands his/her purpose and the purpose for other people, objects, and relationships in their life, then harmony and self-acceptance are the result.

The authority principle is that inward peace results when people respect and honor the authorities (parents, government, etc.) that God has put in their lives. One controversial aspect of this teaching is that the husband is the authority figure in marriage.

The responsibility principle is that a clear conscience results when people realize that they are responsible to God for every thought, word, action, and motive. Part of this principle is asking forgiveness from whomever has been offended. Personal responsibility begins with a person's thought life.

The suffering principle is that people can and must forgive others for the pain that they have caused them; pain is often a tool that God uses to develop character.

The ownership principle is that people are stewards, not owners, of their possessions. Gothard teaches that when people yield their rights to God, true security results.

The freedom principle is enjoying the desire and the power to do what is right. Moral purity is the result of true freedom. This is probably the most controversial principle because many of the examples of "wrong" like certain types of music and dress are not generally accepted as being "sinful" even by those[who?] claiming to be evangelical Christians.

The success principle is that when people learn to think God's thoughts by meditating on and memorizing scripture, they make wise decisions and fulfill their life purposes.

In addition to the Basic Seminar, Gothard also has an Advanced Seminar and an Anger Resolution Seminar. He also has a 49-week "Daily Success" series where he expounds on the "Commands of Christ" found in the Gospels.

Gothard's "Total Health" training seeks to bring a Biblical view of sickness. He considers that there may be spiritual aspects of illness. His "Basic CARE Bulletins" and "Total Health Seminars" are offered to those who have attended "Basic" or "Advanced" or "Anger Resolution" seminars.

Gothard encourages homeschooling. IBLP publishes its own Advanced Training Institute (homeschool) materials.

Gothard teaches that dating is morally dangerous and that courtship is the better alternative. Gothard encourages parents to be involved in their children's courtship. The father, especially, should be involved in his daughter's relationships. He should at the very least have the right to say "no" when a man asks to marry his daughter.

Gothard’s teachings discourage dating and rock music, including Christian rock. Gothard teaches that women working outside the home are putting themselves under another man's authority and conflict may arise. He has warned that some toys such as Cabbage Patch dolls may cause destructive behavior in children.[7]

Gothard teaches that some diseases have spiritual roots and to have suspicion of modern medicine.[7]

Gothard continues to be the subject of debate. Various books[8] and websites have been formed on the basis of personal claims to have been psychologically and/or emotionally abused as a result of Gothard's teachings.

Books

References

  1. ^ http://iblp.org/iblp/about/billgothard/father/ IBLP:A Tribute To William Gothard, Sr.
  2. ^ "Biographical Sketch". http://www.billgothard.com/about/bio. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Outstanding Alumni". http://lbu.edu/outstanding_alumni.htm. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Cassels, Louis (June 23, 1973). "Clergyman-Novelist Links Wit, Theology". The Pittsburgh Press. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=3UcdAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ZlQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6930,2526281&dq=bill-gothard+campus-teams&hl=en. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  5. ^ Poll, Rich (March 1, 2003). "A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life". Christianity Today. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/march/35.77.html. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ http://iblp.org/iblp/seminars/basic/principles/
  7. ^ a b ”Shooter's lessons strict, rule-driven”, Nancy Lofholm, The Denver Post , 12/12/2007, [1]
  8. ^ "A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard & the Christian Life" by Don Veinot, Joy Veinot, & Ron Henzel. 21st Century Press, 2002.

External links