Monthly Archives: May 2019

The Flourishing Gospel :Kern Family Foundation and What are They Teaching Your Future Pastor?

Rev Thomas Littleton                                                                                                5/16/ 2019

Since the revelations that “Social Justice ” mantras were echoing down the corridors of learning in many conservative seminaries, everywhere their sound is heard the Kern Family Foundation funding is present. Kern looks to have gone into hiding after a New York Times interview with SEBTS professor Walter Strickland, part of  SEBTS /Kern and partnership, revealed that these echoes included the voice of James Cone and his radical “black empowerment ” rhetoric of Black Liberation Theology and “institutionalized racism”. Yes this is all happening on the campus of a Southern Baptist Seminary .


According to reports in multiple books and articles the present partnership with Kern Family Foundation (KFF) and some 25-30 (or more) seminaries also includes curriculum and speakers ,as well as imbedded “fellows” from Acton Institute which is a Catholic run communitarian think tank.

Here are some examples of their curriculum outlines

“The Economic Wisdom ”

“The Oikonomia Network and the Economic Wisdom Project
We are theological educators committed to the Oikonomia Network vision of integrating faith, work, and economics into a cohesive understanding of Christian discipleship and mission. We are actively participating in ON ventures with our colleagues, students, and ecclesial publics. The Economic Wisdom Project is important – for our churches and
educational organizations, local communities, nation, and the world. We are stewards of fresh and focused thinking that builds on the work of many past and present leaders. We believe these are incisive insights for our moment in history, as we experience profound economic and social changes unparalleled in the past five centuries. This is not the final word on economics and work, nor is it a comprehensive or constructive work of theology. The Economic Wisdom Project is the beginning of a new conversation that we pray will lead to biblically sound and contextually relevant praxis in the 21st century. As a new community of theological educators, we welcome insights that will enhance our mission of integration as we prepare leaders who will equip congregants for robust 24/7 Christian living.”


These ideas sound good – that Christians should see value and purpose in their work. Few would disagree that Christians should do all things wholeheartedly, including work, as unto the Lord. But keep in mind this movement in our seminaries represents a well organized effort toward “Centralized Planning” to promote “the common good ” and “human flourishing ” as pastors are fed these principles in the name of economics and then taught how to apply and teach them to their congregations.

Watch carefully some of the specific elements of what pastors are being taught and the resources provided. Oikonomia Network (ON) is Kern’s oversight and implementation arm on the campuses where KFF funds are invested. Oikonomia means “stewardship”. O.N. offices are located on the TEDS campus where The Gospel Coalition offices are and the two organizations work very closely together with the same goal of influencing young ministers and seminary students.The topic of study for O.N. is Faith And Works programing and training.

It is an Ivy league /liberal Christianity ideal envisioned  for and  across ecumenical and interfaith lines

“The mission of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture is to critically examine and promote practices of faith which advance authentic human flourishing and the global common good.

We advance this mission through each of our four core initiatives:

A number of legacy projects established strong foundations and relationships for our current work and remain important components of our identity. These include:

In our work, our staff is led by YCFC founder and Director, Miroslav Volf, and advised by our board.”

Miroslav Volf is a Croatian clergyman who would not be considered a Biblical conservative  by many evangelicals. The Yale Center’s focus and rhetoric differs little if at all from what KFF / Oikonomia / Acton are teaching in Southern Baptist seminaries .

Oikonomia- Economic Wisdom Project


“Why connect theology and economics?
Because our lives should manifest the
Gospel, making it tangible and visible.
In addition to personal holiness, we
need to reach beyond ourselves and
have an impact on the world around us.
Christians are called to live out God’s
creation purposes and be signposts
of the glorious future to come. That
includes activities like religious works,
charity, and volunteering, but these
take up only a small fraction of our
lives; discipleship must be a whole-life
endeavor. If we want to follow God’s
call and live into our true identity as
his stewards, we have to integrate our
faith with the spheres of life in which
we invest most of our time: work and
the economy.”

KFF ROLE IN Economic Wisdom Project

“The Kern Family Foundation (KFF) is
committed to helping pastors and churches
realize the vision of God’s kingdom. We
rejoice in the many ways this is already
taking place through worship, fellowship,
discipleship, service, and evangelism. Yet
the church is often silent when it comes to
an area that often determines how people
steward their God-given talents and resources
as they care for themselves, their families,
and their neighbors both near and distant.
By neglecting to equip people with an
understanding of how faith relates to work
and the broader economic environment
in which they exercise stewardship, the
church is missing an opportunity to help
people more fully serve God and others in
ways congruent with biblical foundations
of human flourishing. Two ways the KFF is
helping pastors reconnect their ministry with
this critical area of life are the Oikonomia
Network (
and the Kern Pastors Network (www.
The Economic Wisdom Project (EWP) was
created in 2012 as the KFF greatly increased
its investments in helping pastors connect
faith to work and economics. Although a
large body of theological reflection already
existed on the topic of work, we discovered
little prior development on the topic of
economics. The purpose of this document
is to create a focal point for reflection that
we hope will foster a deeper understanding
of our mission. ”

1. We have a stewardship responsibility to flourish in our own
lives, to help our neighbors flourish as fellow stewards, and to
pass on a flourishing economy to future generations.
2. Economies flourish when people have integrity and trust each other.
3. In general, people flourish when they take responsibility for
their own economic success by doing work that serves others
and makes the world better.”

4. Real economic success is about how much value you create, not
how much money you make.
5. A productive economy comes from the value-creating work of
free and virtuous people.
6. Economies generally flourish when policies and practices
reward value creation.”

7. Households, businesses, communities, and nations should
support themselves by producing more than they consume.
8. A productive economy lifts people out of poverty and generally
helps people flourish.
9. The most effective way to turn around poverty, economic distress,
and injustice is by expanding opportunity for people to develop and
deploy their God-given productive potential in communities of
exchange, especially through entrepreneurship”

10. Programs aimed at economic problems need a fully rounded
understanding of how people flourish.
11. Economic thinking must account for long-term effects and
unintended consequences.
12. In general, economies flourish when goodwill is universal and global,
but control is local, and personal knowledge guides decisions.”


Human Flourishing is understood to be that which will make for the best outcome for all for the “common good”.It’s origins are found in Greek Philosophy and do NOT find their roots in the Gospel of Christ nor as presented by Yale or by Oikonomia because their cultural applications do not have the eternal souls but rather human “welfare and happiness” as the measure for success. Thriving and Flourishing are popular words in many circles but have only temporal and very limited ,unsustainable  impact in light of eternity.  Common good and Flourishing as outcome goals and measures is where social justice replaces the Good News that God was in Christ reconciling the World to Himself . Common good reduces everything to the lowest common denominator . The Good News reduces everyone to their eternal need for Redemption and Christ who provides it.

Eudaimonia (Greekεὐδαιμονία [eu̯dai̯moníaː]), sometimes anglicized as eudaemonia or eudemonia /jdɪˈmniə/, is a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, “human flourishing or prosperity[1][better source needed] and “blessedness”[2] have been proposed as a more accurate translations.”

“Etymologically, it consists of the words “eu” (“good”) and “daimōn” (“spirit”). It is a central concept in Aristotelian ethics and political philosophy, along with the terms “aretē“, most often translated as “virtue” or “excellence”, and “phronesis“, often translated as “practical or ethical wisdom”.[3] In Aristotle‘s works, eudaimonia (based on older Greek tradition) was used as the term for the highest human good, and so it is the aim of practical philosophy, including ethics and political philosophy, to consider (and also experience) what it really is, and how it can be achieved.”


Jesus fast for 40 days and afterwards is brought in this weakened state into the unthinkable situation for most people of being  tempted face to face by the Devil himself. Jesus is tempted to meet his human need (turn these stones into bread) . He refuses and quotes that “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”.

Yet human flourishing tells us human hunger for bread alone is a central goal of flourishing and common good. In the same chapter of Luke Jesus warns that many in need were left with those needs unmet even by God’s servants the prophets. “25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to[l]Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

Why is Jesus making this statement if His goal and teaching is to assure the human flourishing of all mankind in the context of meeting their temporal need?


Christians are some of the most compassionate people on earth. True Christians by nature help those around them in need. Historically Christians have been at the forefront of building hospitals, providing disaster relief, ministering to families in crisis, providing quality education, counseling , opportunity for recovery and building new lives. Christian business owners the world over quietly go about their own private efforts one soul at a time to provide aid and employment to those in need around them.

KFF / Oikonomia / Acton are promoting their way as the Gospel way while it appears it’s inspiration is not found in scripture and minimises emphasis on the greater eternal needs of men in favor of the “common good”. Marvin Olasky’s book “The Tragedy of American Compassion” which was used as the basis for launching the Faith Based Partnerships allowing Churches and ministries to access grants( tax dollars and corporate/ foundation funding) is part of the KKF/ Oikonomia Network /Acton curriculum .This ideology calls the church and ministries to become the third leg of the stool with Government “oversight” and obligation as well as corporate involvement to “partner together” in providing for the poor and becoming agents of the government in delivering social services “building community” or “Community Development”.

The corruption and waste brought on by such policy applied in the church under the Obama administration has done nothing to aid the church in proclaiming the Gospel but instead obligated it to government regulations which include excluding “explicitly religious activity ” in it’s funded compassion programs and forced the adoption of and shaping  of ministry priorities to fit those funded by the federal programs.

Also the resources of Tim Keller, Redeemer Church, and John Stott, along with other political commentators provide a window into the progressive political compromise embedded in these Faith and Work ideologies which have a much stronger motivation toward “social justice ” motivation than Gospel calling.Faith and Work seeks to harness the energies of the younger generation into community service and tends to vilify prosperity and individualism as it promotes the collective vision of Common Good. Interestingly many who cast shadows on the values of individualism and the American Dream are themselves celebrity preachers, authors and speakers who are themselves living that DREAM.


In short,true Christians live out compassion every day and do so out of a calling to follow the two great commandments  to love God and to love our fellow man as ourselves. Compassion, if heralded,  is not true compassion but Jesus encouraged that it be done without fanfare and with the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Jesus did not call the apostles in the New Testament or seminaries today to distract preachers of the Word into teaching politically correct ideologically left leaning economics wrapped in clever afterthoughts from Catholic social policy and then to utilize the church facilities to train the people of God to serve in these efforts to “build community” for the common good and human flourishing.

To insist that this is the heart of the Gospel or that Jesus urged such planning and implementation as central to the great commission is simply not an honest approach to the Word of God. It is also very likely that such idealism translated from concept to implementation without the work of the Holy Spirit guiding it and providing the actual wisdom found in the Heart of God and infused by redemption into the heart of man will end in a very poor outcome and loss of the greater calling of those under it’s influence. Mercy ministry is inspired only by those who know mercy -God’s mercy and is sustained only by other worldly inspiration. Otherwise the novelty wears thin very quickly and the inspiration of progressive social policy fades in light of reality among the deeper human need of a lost world filled with lost souls in need a Savior.

Jesus nor Paul nor any of the Apostles called for organizing Christian compassion or for partnering with pagan powers to end or “cure” poverty. Christ called His people out of the world and then sent them as ambassadors into it on the behalf of a Kingdom- His Kingdom that is NOT of this world. The church is not sending it’s young men and women  who are called of God into seminaries to learn how to community organize or build community or to learn critical theory or Black Liberation Theology -but how to proclaim the everlasting Gospel and follow the Lamb wherever He goes in the Great Commission.


Jesus is offered the world if He will simply bow the knee to the god of this world and yet Jesus refuses. “[d]Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”

And Jesus answered and said to him, [e]“Get behind Me, Satan! [f]For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”

Jesus clearly cast the two opposites against each other .He is not seeking the world nor its goods nor the good of it (flourishing ) He is seeking the good and the Worship of the Living God and to make His worship possible for human kind ” in Spirit and in Truth ”     (as he revealed to the woman at the well in John 4).

The advocates of Human Flourishing are seeking to help the church gain the world – to focus “Globally ” in a time when the human landscape appears to be resembling far more the kingdom of antichrist than Christ Kingdom. The advocacy of KFF / Oikonomia / Acton to promote value and economics and common good are totally missing from Jesus presentation of His purpose and Divine nature and power to achieve them .

16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me [i]to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are [j]oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

Those who heard Jesus read from Isaiah 61 and declare Himself the promised Messiah that day in Nazareth were mindful of their need and of human concerns just like the common good focus and flourishing ideas of today. They missed their own Saviour by savoring earthly concerns and ultimately were blind to the eternal because of temporal expectations and desires.Jesus was ushering in a salvation that encompassed eternity and the power to break the chains of sin and death while those who watched Him wanted an earthly king and freedom from Roman oppression . Little differs in these errors which are thriving today.


Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you,’

11 and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up,

Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”

12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not[g]tempt the Lord your God.’ 

The subtle effort to prove God is true by some forced intervention into human crisis is missing the point of the Gospel entirely . The Truth is not human centered  but God centered. The need that is met by the Gospel is an eternal one and is brought about by the satisfaction of God’s heart not man’s need. It is not God being forced to intervene but man being confronted by the certainty of death and the reality of God who holds life and death and the power of it. Jesus is telling us NOT to tempt God by “putting Him to the test” to prove Himself to man.

The flourishing gospel is false because God is not supreme in it . It suggest that Christians can prove God in them merely by meeting human need and usher in God’s presence and kingdom by doing so.


The  main ingredient missing is FAITH. It is the primary forgotten element without which it is impossible to please God and by it the fathers obtained a good report and overcame the world and the trials in it.There is no faith in the “flourishing gospel”. Works- human efforts are highlighted and are actually THE most common obstacle to faith. Works and the self righteousness that often arise from them are likely the greatest barrier to saving faith for many .


God’s economy is driven by GRACE alone – not human effort and not the ideology of leftist Catholic social justice or Greek Philosophy. It is not the product of human wisdom of think tanks with political and economic gain as inspiration . Jesus Kingdom is not of this world- not of this origin nor of its systems nor to its ends . Jesus came to save sinners not produce a basis for twisting His words to capture human energies of  believers for a collectivist / communitarian vision. The church which is in the world and not of it – is not here for the goals of seeing progressive socio – economic development realized.

This flourishing gospel is false because it is simply missing the real elements that would help the hurting around us in the world. It is missing God as its center- missing Faith – the only action needed to find God’s provision and it is missing eternity -which if it could feed every hungry belly on the globe but leave them hopeless and Saviorless -it has done far more harm than good .It has  reduced the Gospel of Christ to soup kitchens and indoctrinated pastors indoctrinating congregants into finding meaning from meeting human need while neglecting the awful realities of eternity in the hands of the Living God- even while flourishing their way to the judgement seat.


Think about these studies and you are likely to understand why your pastor may not even know how to preach the Gospel if he has been under these influences in the seminary in recent years.

“God created human beings to be good stewards of this
world. We carry out that stewardship when we do
work that helps God’s world flourish. In the beginning,
God put Adam and Eve in the garden “to work it and keep
it” (Genesis 2:15) and appointed them as stewards over
creation (Genesis 1:28). The Fall has infected our work
with toil and frustration, but our “to-do list” remains the
same: do work that serves others, and cultivate blessings
out of the raw materials God provides. This restores God’s
creation purposes in the world, and provides a foretaste
of future glory. As God redeems us, he empowers us to
reorient the world toward him. God is a worker (John 5:17)
and we were made in his image, so we were made for work.
Through the Holy Spirit, God has equipped us for work
and called us to it; work takes up most of life because it
serves God’s purposes. Work is also essential to character
and spiritual formation. How we work shapes us, steadily
leading us either toward or away from God. The economic
institutions that define the cultural meaning of our work
provide the essential background for that journey.”


John 6:28 “Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

He goes on in this chapter again to rebuke those who are seeking mere earthly fulfillment and the meeting of human need after seekers from the feeding of the 5000 are demanding more bread for hungry bellies . Jesus has greater things to serve in a meal at His table of Communion and the real passover. Jesus is offering Himself as the Living and TRUE BREAD .Again the earthly minded men in this crowd are missing the real Gospel even at the mouth of the Lord Himself . So much for Human need driving the Gospel .


“Recommended Resources:
• Stewardship Study Bible
• Darrell Cosden, A Theology of Work
• Tom Nelson, Work Matters
• Timothy Keller with Katherine Leary Alsdorf,
Every Good Endeavor
• Charlie Self, Flourishing Churches and Communities
• Gene Edward Veith, God at Work
• Michael Wittmer, Heaven is a Place on Earth”


“4. Real economic success
is about how much value
you create, not how
much money you make.
5. A productive economy
comes from the valuecreating work of free and
virtuous people.
6. Economies generally
flourish when policies
and practices reward
value creation.”

Productivity and Opportunity

“7. Households, businesses,
communities, and nations
should support themselves
by producing more than
they consume.
8. A productive economy
lifts people out of
poverty and generally
helps people flourish.
9. The most effective way
to turn around poverty,
economic distress, and
injustice is by expanding
opportunity for people to
develop and deploy their
God-given productive
potential in communities
of exchange, especially
through entrepreneurship”


“SO WHAT does THIS have TO DO
What do pastors have to do with the
economy? In Ephesians 4, Paul calls
upon the church to be a place where people
learn to “put on the new self, created after
the likeness of God in true righteousness
and holiness” (4:24) in contrast to a world
where people “have become callous and
have given themselves up to sensuality,
greedy to practice every kind of impurity”
(4:19). When he lists some of the key
ingredients for living into the likeness of God,
he emphasizes that “doing honest work” is
how we support our households and provide
for human needs more broadly (4:28). And
why did God give us the apostles, prophets,
evangelists, shepherds, and teachers? Paul’s
answer begins: “To equip his people for works
of service” (4:12). ”

“If we explore the reasons why work is
central to the pastoral task of helping
people live into “the likeness of God,”
we discover that the way pastors describe
economic systems is a critical part of
that task. This can be explained in four
steps. Work is central to the pastoral
task because in the Bible, “the likeness of
God” refers primarily to how we behave
as responsible agents who can order the
raw materials God gives us in creation.
We were given stewardship over the world
with a mission to make it flourish for God’s
glory (stewardship and flourishing).”


Centralized Planning in economics -“History tells us that central planning is the true harbinger of chaos.”

KFF /Oikonomia / Acton would tell us they are simply advocating for free market economy promoted by the pastors of Christian Churches including philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and Christians seeing purpose in their work while . Yet they are partnering to promote and have your pastor promote their centralized planned vision – of how these things should be accomplished . The elements of Collectivism / Shared Resources / Justice all reek of the same old Socialist ideologies that have left much of the world emerging from communist /socialist economics in THE very poverty these programs are informing us how to end.


“Every major element of Christian
theology has profound application
to work and the economy. In the Trinity,
three persons work together. They do so by
choice, out of loving goodwill, rather than
out of coercion or utilitarian necessity. Yet
the persons do not lose their individual
identity or integrity; their acts of free
cooperation make each distinct personality
stand out more, not less.
In a similar way, we who are made in
the image of this triune God cooperate
through our work. We are made to act
together out of loving goodwill. We do
so freely; this is what distinguishes the
economic sphere of life from the political
sphere, which is based on the power of the
sword. The harmony we create through
the cooperation of our work produces
the social unity of civilization. Yet in this
weaving together of the social fabric, no
individual loses his identity or integrity.
Precisely because the cooperation is free,
it expresses the dignity of the human
person as God’s creature, rather than a
mere subordination of the individual to
the collective. ”

“The world is going through an
unprecedented economic realignment,
and pastors must prepare for the care
needs this transition will create. Economic
insecurity and uncertainty are here to stay.
The need for comfort and compassion, as well
as for wise counsel, is only going to grow.
In 1970, the vast majority of the world’s
population was living in primitive, traditionbased economies. Since then, virtually the
entire world has joined the modern economy.
The immediate impact has been enormously
beneficial to millions around the world, but
the transition is creating disruptive challenges
for advanced economies like ours.
Pastors need to know that the economic crisis
is primarily a crisis of moral character. During
the second half of the 20th century, America
came to trust in its dominant world position
for its security. We neglected the real source of
economic flourishing: sound moral character,
put into action by both individuals and society
at large. In general, when people manifest love,
joy, honesty, diligence, self-control, and other
virtues in work and business, and when the
economy as a whole is understood as a moral
system that exists to nurture such work, both
individuals and the nation will flourish. ”

“Connecting theology and economics for pastoral
ministry that produces human flourishing.”


More resources and organizations helping promote Faith Adn Work

Campus Crusade / aka CRU

Western Seminary

Tim Keller/ Redeemer City Church


Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Commonweal Project

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Intersect Project -Discussed in the article linked after the first paragraph of this writing.

And so on and so on and so …..on You get the idea. There is a Central Plan and it is wrapped in a theology but not founded in the teaching of Christ unless you believe Jesus was more social justice warrior and simply dishonest about His real mission and the Divine and supernatural way by which He was called to fulfill it.


Theory of Central Planning

Centrally planned economies assume that the market does not work in the best interest of the people and that a central authority needs to make decisions to meet social and national objectives. These justifications are often made on the grounds of egalitarianism, environmentalism, anti-corruption or anti-consumerism, which proponents of central planning do not consider that the free market adequately addresses.”

The goal just beyond these programs is the harvesting of Christians and their churches resources for the global vision of an unsustainable utopia. More on that at another time.













Rev Thomas Littleton                                                                                                  5/14/2019


Many Biblical conservatives are awakening and disturbed to find the indoctrination going on in their own seminaries . As revealed in 2017 – a massive effort to introduce the social justice /victim narratives of far left  “Christianity” began in late 2007-2009 and scaled up in 2013 to include some 23 conservative evangelical seminaries .Kern Family Foundation/ (its) Oikonomia Network partners with Acton Institute ,a Catholic libertarian think tank , to provide funding and overhaul /oversee curriculum changes. The partnership seeks to  implement their desired program focus (Faith and Work) on the seminary  campuses . This effort is generally found in the Cultural Engagement departments of the institutions . Currently Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is said to be undergoing the same transformation in it’s post Paige Patterson era under new leadership from at least three former SBTS/ Dr. Albert Mohler employees . These “below the surface” operations were described by this author as having the appearance of an “Evangelical Deep State “. The phrase has caught on in the Evangelical world as concerns continue to escalate and suspicions are confirmed .

Is This the Evangelical Deep State?

Is This The Evangelical Deep State?- Part Two


Some of those suspicions WERE confirmed  by whistleblowers from the seminaires and in a recent New York Times article interviewing Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary professor and “Intersect Project ” member Walter Strickland . Eyebrows raised when he acknowledged teaching Black Liberation Theology and James Cone at SEBTS and in churches/meetings on his speaking schedule.

“Radical thinkers have found their way into the citadels of white evangelicalism. Reading the black liberation theologian James Cone helped Mr. Strickland, the theology professor, see how white theologians often ignore the structural sources of earthly suffering. In 1969, the Rev. Dr. Cone admonished “new blacks, redeemed in Christ” to “say to whites that authentic love is not ‘help,’ not giving Christmas baskets but working for political, social and economic justice, which always means a redistribution of power.”

Strickland admits to being stealthy in his approach by not mentioning James Cone by name .

“Courses in African-American theology have been on the books at moderate evangelical seminaries since the 1970s. But it is significant that Mr. Strickland has brought a thinker like Dr. Cone into the heart of the conservative Southern Baptist Convention. Mr. Strickland spent years studying in majority-white evangelical schools, where he mastered the idiom of the Christian right. When he speaks to conservative white congregations, he is careful: “While Cone’s ideas are in play, I don’t mention him by name, because I don’t want to put unnecessary stumbling blocks in their way.” Scripture’s authority comes first. “If I’m able to demonstrate that this black man in front of them has read the Bible, I gain credit with them.”

New York Times /Walter Strickland interview was published on April 20th 2019


“Intersect is a project and resource hub of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary‘s Center for Faith and Culture. They have assembled a team dedicated to helping you connect faith with the rest of your life.

“You get insights from Southeastern’s faculty, alumni, students and other leading Christian thinkers, including Bruce AshfordKen KeathleyWalter StricklandBenjamin QuinnDavid W. Jones and more.”



About Intersect Project “Reconnect Your Faith with the Rest of Your Life”

“Why Intersect?”





UPDATE SPRING 2019 from Reverend Thomas Littleton

Evangelical Christians continue to observe an unprecedented infiltration of our churches and institutions which is designed to weaken the historic “faith and family values” and voting convictions of engaged conservatives. Leaders like Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist ERLC and Presbyterians like Tim Keller are using their parachurch organization The Gospel Coalition (TGC) and funding from “social justice” communitarian foundations to drive rabidly anti -President Trump and pro “Third Way” politics.

TGC EDITOR JOE CARTER CALLS FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP TO BE REMOVED FROM 2020 TICKET:  Joe Carter, editor for the Gospel Coalition, recently drew conservative criticism for his inflammatory remarks in an article in which he asserted that Christians are racist and anti-Semitic for being concerned about Cultural Marxism and Frankfurt School influences in the evangelical community.  This is despite a growing movement of concerns over such infiltration as reflected in the recent “Dallas Statement” against Social Justice. Carter even inferred that a recent synagogue shooter shared such sentiments and was evangelical.  Note Carter is also chief message man for the ERLC.

THE GOSPEL COALITION EDITOR JOE CARTER’S ANTI-TRUMP RANT COMMON IN TGC MEDIA OUTLETS: Joe Carter stated: Maybe. If it was only his sexual life. But Trump is craven, immoral, a liar, a cheat, habitually dishonest, racist . . . I could go on and on. He’s mentally and morally unfit for any office, much less the presidency… Will you join me in calling for his removal from the ticket…?

BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY AT BAPTIST SEMINARIES IN THE NAME OF “RACIAL RECONCILIATION”:  In a recent NY Times interview a professor from conservative Southern Baptist seminary SEBTS boasted in an opinion piece that “radical thinkers have found their way into the citadels of white evangelicalism.”

While professor Walter Strickland (also a new Colson Center Fellows faculty) admits he is careful “not to name Rev .Dr. James Cone” to his listeners, Strickland, a leader of a Kingdom Diversity Initiative, openly admits that he spent years studying in “majority white evangelical schools where he mastered the idiom of the Christian Right”.  The NYT article goes on to point out that “Seminaries like SEBTS play a crucial role in shaping the mindset of future pastors.” Pastors under Strickland and other faith social activist are adopting Cone ideology and taking the leadership of once conservative churches near you.


It is time for conservative evangelicals to unify in opposition to progressive infiltration, expose it and turn the tide that is undermining the church role in our culture as salt and light and preserving liberty.

Read more on these concerns and the evangelical infiltration written by Reverend Thomas Littleton at



Rev Thomas Littleton                                                                                          5/10/2019

Revoice 2019 event is coming up in June and the Christian press is very quietly ignoring it. The inaugural event in 2018 drew a great deal of attention even though most of the people who either chose to or were forced to comment on it were offering it extreme grace and advocated a “wait and see” attitude leading up to the event. The overall and likely coordinated approach for the second years event is to maintain radio and media silence as the movement continues a very radical scaling up of it’s LGBT+ Christianity at the same time seeks more mainstream legitimacy .

The 2019 Revoice Conference brings it’s primary braintrust and inspiration  forward as Mark Yarhouse is a keynote speaker . Yarhouse is pictured below speaking at Danny Akin’s Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary .

He is a Regent  University professor and a regular speaker at many conservative Christian colleges and seminaries including chapel service . Some Schools have hosted Yarhouse multiple times per year and The Gospel Coalition commissioned him to create the 2010 white paper which became the basis for the Christ on Campus Initiative and TGCs own LGBT policy standard. Yarhouse works with the American Psychological Association and asserts through work and his own independent research that homosexual orientation is real/fixed and unchanged by Christian faith. His approach to counseling Christians who experience Same Sex Desires is to merge their “sexual identities” with their faith identities resulting in “gay” or “LGBT + Christianity”. Yarhouse views on Gender are equally APA compliant and yet remain accepted and endorsed by Christian institutions and The Gospel Coalition. Revoice is a reflection of his influence among the of mainstream evangelical leadership .But Revoice now shows it has even greater inroads into the church as Intervarsity Press and Leadership Network are sponsoring the 2019 event .


Mark Yarhouse, Psy.D.

Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair of Christian Thought in Mental Health Practice

Co-Director, Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity




According to the Revoice 2019 website two major evangelical organizations are sponsoring Revoice .

Our Sponsors


These sponsorships reflect the point that has made the “LGBT+ Flourishing in historic Christian tradition” advocates of Revoice controversial from their origins. Though introducing radically fringe terms like “Queer Christian ” and the embrace of “Queer Theory ” into Conservative Christian circles like the Southern Baptist and PCA, Revoice has retained support from orthodox leaders.

We’re excited to announce as one of our conference sponsors! Be sure to visit their table at the conference, where you can pick up copies of “Single, Gay, Christian” by Greg Coles, “Listening to Sexual Minorities” by , and more!


Intervarsity  Press sponsorship of Revoice 2019 means an appearance of legitimacy for the message of Revoice.


“InterVarsity Press began right before World War II as a small service branch of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) campus ministry, which had its U.S. beginnings in the 1939-1940 academic year. At first we simply imported books from our sister movement in Great Britain for use by college students and IVCF chapters in the United States. Our first home-grown publication was a Bible study guide, Discovering the Gospel of Mark, written by an IVCF staff member and published in the 1943-1944 academic year. In 1947 a formal publishing program was established and IVP made arrangements for distribution of its books to be handled by Fleming H. Revell (which did so until 1960). In 1951 Joe Bayly resigned as a regional director for IVCF to become the head of IVP. (The next year he also became editor of HIS Magazine, a publication for college students.) In 1952 IVP sold 178,000 books and booklets.”


“In 1960 our editorial offices moved from Havertown, Pennsylvania, to Chicago where the IVCF offices were then located. At the same time Elizabeth Leake was named to manage IVP. The 1960-61 total list of books in print included 48 books and 20 booklets. By 1965, when James Nyquist became IVP director, this list had grown to 86 books and 22 booklets. The next year brought the landmark publication of How to Give Away Your Faith by Paul Little. It remains one of our top titles to this day. In 1966 we also moved our offices from Chicago to Downers Grove, approximately 30 miles west.”


“In 1968 Jim Nyquist became IVP’s full-time director and Jim Sire became IVP’s first full-time editor. Four other full-time employees filled out the staff. Shortly afterward, we began publishing Francis Schaeffer’s works—which put IVP on the map as a publisher of note. The IVP Book Club (1965) and the bookstore Rack program (1971) gave us a solid sales base and continue to be important parts of our publishing program.”

In 1984 Linda Doll moved from the editorship of HIS Magazine to the directorship of IVP. The next year LifeGuide Bible Studies were launched; they have now sold over 15 million copies. When Linda Doll decided to go back to editing in 1990, Ken DeRuiter became executive director of IVP.””

“In that same year, the award-winning Dictionary of Christianity in America was released. While over the years we had published many reference books created in Great Britain, this was the first of many major reference books originating in the United States. In 1994 we published our first Bible, The NIV Quiet Time Bible.”


“We had built our own warehouse/distribution center in nearby Westmont during 1979. In January 1995, after 29 years in Downers Grove, IVP moved to new offices constructed adjacent to the distribution center. Then in 1997, after Ken DeRuiter’s retirement, Bob Fryling joined IVP as director. Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength. by IVP editors Andy Le Peau and Linda Doll was written in 2006 as an anecdotal history of InterVarsity Press, summarizing leading authors and books that shaped evangelicalism in the 20th century. In 2016, after years of leadership as sales and marketing director, Jeff Crosby was named IVP publisher.”

“In 2017 we became North America’s distributor for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK), the United Kingdom’s leading Christian publisher. Read more about this expanded partnership, or read the press release.”


“Today InterVarsity Press has a staff of nearly one hundred, working together to publish more than one hundred titles every year. Our catalog lists more than one thousand books, Bible studies, and booklets. Many of our books are recognized as enduring classics, staying in print for years. Sales have grown steadily over the decades, with our distribution center now shipping more than 2.3 million books each year. Our books are distributed around the world and translated into dozens of languages.”

“We count it an honor and privilege to participate in the work of Christian publishing, and we pray that our efforts will continue to equip, edify, and challenge people in every generation—heart, soul, mind and strength.”

Is Intervarsity Press equipping and edifying the church through promoting Revoice?


We’re excited to announce Leadership Network () as one of our conference sponsors! Find them at Revoice next month, and pick up a copy of “Leading a Church in a Time of Sexual Questioning,” a fantastic new resource by .




Few organizations among  behind the scenes influencers among Evangelical movements in the last 35 years have impacted the church as much as Bob Buford and Leadership Network . Here is some history of Leadership Network and it’s influence from several sources.



“Leadership Network is the premier leadership collaborative for pastors and churches.  Over 200,000 church leaders around the world engage in Leadership Network to acquire innovative knowledge and drive local impact.  By inspiring and equipping leaders, we seek to help the Church flourish and communities thrive.”

Our Founder

“In 1984, at age 45, Buford, Fred Smith, Jr. and Gayle Carpenter started Leadership Network as a way of trying to help the newly emerging wave of pastors who were breaking worship attendance barriers of 1,000 and sometimes 2,000 or more. During his business years, Buford had spent countless hours talking with and seeking guidance from Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, and he now tapped into Drucker’s guidance for how best to frame Leadership Network. He later remarked that Leadership Network would not be the same—in fact, might not exist at all—were it not for Peter Drucker. (Buford later developed that 23-year mentoring relationship into a book, Drucker and Me.)”

“Leadership Network started in 1984 with a budget of $5,000, and held its first forum with 55 churches that had attendance of 800 and higher. By 2017 the organization was annually serving more than 400 larger churches through in-person events which included more than 1,500 leaders. Online conferences reached upwards of 25,000, and Leadership Network Advance subscriptions exceeded 50,000.”

“Bob continued to serve God through Leadership Network as a board member, influencer, encourager to countless pastors and a dear personal friend to me” says Dave Travis, CEO of Leadership Network from 2011 to 2017.”

“Bob Buford was a mega-force behind the megachurch movement,” said Robert Lewis, former chair of the Leadership Network board and himself a large-church pastor. “Bob’s unique life influenced thousands and transformed American Christianity by inspiring God-glorifying innovation and real-world results.”




Southern Baptist Rick Warren

“I personally witnessed this fascinating backstory between two of my best friends, Peter Drucker and Bob Buford. Now everyone can benefit from the amazing conversations Bob had with one of the brightest minds of all time.”
Founding Pastor of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life

“Being mentored by Peter Drucker was one of God’s great gifts to my ministry. I remain indebted to Bob Buford for making that happen.”
—BILL HYBELS, Founding Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church

“A mentor is a person who multiplies his or her impact by investing in the lives and work of others. Peter Drucker was such a mentor to Bob Buford and then Bob became a mentor to countless others. This is the heartwarming story of how two men changed each others’ lives and then leveraged that transformation to meet ‘human needs and alleviate suffering’ through a chain reaction that is still changing our world.”
President of World Vision US and Author of The Hole in Our Gospel and Unfinished


Buford died in April 2018 . His death was reported by Southern Baptist Ed Stetzer of NAMB/ Lifeway Research / Christianity Today/ TGC and current Billy Graham Chair of Evangelism at Wheaton College .


Christianity Today became the outlet for Leadership Networks influence and promoting it’s trendy ideas

Here is some of Ed Sterzer’s praise of the impact of Bob  Buford , his mentor Peter Drucker and Leadership Network on the American Church

“Buford helped take a new approach to ministry, a reinvention of American Protestantism, and fused it with leadership savvy, the principles he learned from Peter Drucker. Of course, Drucker was interested in the megachurch himself. He once told Forbes magazine, “pastoral megachurches are surely the most important social phenomenon in American society in the last thirty years.”

“Together, Buford and Drucker made a huge impact on the direction of the church. Simply put, your church probably sings like a Calvary Chapel, but is led like a Saddleback. Those two men are part of the reason why.”

“Catalyzing Change Agents” THE BOAST BY ED STETZER

“About 30 years ago, Buford pioneered Leadership Network and began to influence the influencers. He invested his time to train the trainers. He sought to create learning communities that might foster mutual learning among high capacity leaders. He did this early on with men like Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, and Robert Lewis.”

“Buford sought to find effective leaders who would teach others and then catalyze their skills. The end result was that leaders were pushed to a great capacity of leadership. Gifted pastors became effective leaders, resulting in stronger ministries. Their influence spread and, as a result, Buford’s impact was multiplied.”

“More Than Meetings”

“Buford did not just convene meetings. He funded the impact he desired. He did so selectively, however, only choosing investments that would create exponential returns. For example, he and Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz financed the Burning Bush Fund. They took their catalyzing passion and combined it with strategic investment. Leaders like Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, Larry Osborne, Greg Surratt, Neil Cole and others involved their churches and ministries.”

“I was brought in as a facilitator on the second wave of the project. Seeing the names of those who were invited in the first wave, I was struck by how many were almost unknowns at the time, but had since become national influencers.”

“Those were the “islands of strength” that Buford sought. He would find one and use his influence to build bridges to other “islands” so they could learn from one another. He made them better and helped them spread their story.”

“The end result is that churches are better led and more influential, all because of a person that, by design, stayed off stage and out of the limelight.”


“In late 2013, I was speaking at a celebration of sorts for Leadership Network and the Halftime organization. I presented a chart that pointed to the growth in some sectors of the church. Later, I had that chart framed for Bob. Why? Because as a missiologist, I see his influence in that growth trend.”

“There is a famous quote that has often been attributed to President Harry Truman, and others, that says, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That epitomized Bob Buford’s approach. He chose to catalyze his learning from Drucker and his fortune from cable, without much concern over the credit.”

“You may not have known Bob, but he probably influenced you and your church. More importantly though, he’s chosen to be a catalyst for Kingdom impact—and I’m thankful for his passion and investment to that end.”


Leadership Networks sponsorship of Revoice should come as no surprise given its past edgy work with its own “The Nines Conference” at which many evangelical leaders including current Southern Baptist President J D Greear has also appeared as a speaker .


Image result for J D greear, the nines conference



In this 11 minute session from Leadership Network’s 2012 The Nines Conference, J.D. Greear, Senior Pastor at The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, delivers a thoughtful and gracious message about the way the church should approach the issue of homosexuality. We often get sidetracked from the real issue in a number of different ways, but constantly returning to the cross of Christ will fix our perspective on this issue.

Greear at The Nines Conference “Truth without grace is fundamentalism. Grace without truth is just sentimentality. There is a way to speak the truth with grace so that we can disagree with people and let them know we love them. Think about how this dynamic affects the way we approach homosexuality.”


“J.D. mentioned several resources that have helped him learn and think about our culture’s reaction to homosexuality and the Bible’s response.


When Lutheran Pastor and author, Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber was invited to an evangelical online conference called The Nines, she noticed that one of the topics for discussion was the ‘issue’ of homosexuality.

The pastor decided that instead of talking about LGBT people, that people attending the conference would benefit from hearing directly from LGBT Christians. The result is a remarkable video with LGBT people talking about why they are Christians, why they do not appreciate being considered an ‘issue,” and why they are ‘the Church.’

In an email to the Huffington Post, Pastor Bolz-Weber explained:

Way too often, in the church, GLBTQ folks end up being the objects and not the subjects of discussions about their lives. So when I was asked to produce a 5-minute video for The Nines, an evangelical on-line leadership conference, I wanted to make sure that amongst the countless voices discussing the “issue of homosexuality” (which, let’s face it, is pretty much a term only used by those who have issues with GLBTQ people) that there would be actual queer Christian voices present.



To fully grasp the reach of Leadership Network and Bob Buford into the evangelical church  would require in depth  studies into the Church Growth Movement, The Multi Site Church ,The Emergent Church, Church Planting movement, Christianity Today’s history ( Buford saved the publication from extinction and opened a dozen or more sister publications on “leadership “) and a study of  many of the organization like World Vision , Intervarsity , ACTS 29 , The Gospel Coalition and even denominations like the SBC and PCA. The influence is everywhere in our seminaries and institutions -and today it is the ” gold standard ” for many on how leadership and church growth should be done . This is all in spite of the cold hard reality that to the work of Leadership Network “doctrine does NOT matter”. Given the endorsement/ sponsorship  of Revoice Conference,  this mantra remains unchanged .



Through the years several researchers have exposed the many dangers and damaging trends that Buford’s Leadership Network and Half Time brands have promoted into the mainstream of Christianity .From the Faith Based Partnership compromise -to the church growth cult and CEO models of modern church leadership and now the sponsorship of Revoice 2019 -Leadership Network and Bob Buford have left a lasting mark on the Body of Christ . In the view of those who do not believe in “promoting LGBT+ flourishing” in the Body  of Christ as Revoice does – it is fair to say that once again Jesus is being wounded in the house of His Friends and His Bride is being seduced into spiritual harlotry and the idolatry of the modern LGBT sexual /gender revolution. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God with such a legacy to testify against you. Many of Buford’s evangelical disciples should fear their future appointment in eternity.