Home > Uncategorized > Not as “Reveal”-ing as you thought…

Not as “Reveal”-ing as you thought…

For quite awhile the blogosphere and “Christian” radio has been littered with articles and reports that said,

“Willow Creek Repents!”

“Hybels admits ‘We were wrong.'”

This misinformation was based on a flawed understanding of the Reveal study, in which Willow Creek evaluated their evangelism and disciple-making processes. You could almost see the bloggers and talk show hosts dancing with glee as they said, in effect, “SEE!? We told you that seeker stuff was bad!”

I have been part of that small chorus of voices in the wilderness saying, “Um, excuse me, the Reveal study does not say what you think it says.”  The case could be made that most of the “reporters” didn’t bother to actually read the document, except in the most cursory and superficial way possible. 

Well now, Willow Creek has released an interview with the man himself, Bill Hybels, that underscores how seriously misrepresented Willow Creek and the Reveal study have been. 

I suppose it would be too much to expect any kind of retraction from the “discernment ministry” types… I’m afraid that in their minds it will function as some kind of weird justification for their continued attacks.

Here’s the link: Bill Hybels Responds to Misinformation Regarding Willow Creek


  1. sprocket23
    June 7, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Hmm, two posts in a row where you take the “discernment ministries” to task. Have you become a discernment ministry to the discernment ministries? 😎

  2. sprocket23
    June 7, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Not everyone in the blogosphere was drooling at Bill saying “We made a mistake.” (Yeah, that was an actual quote.) Here is a great post that looks more at the issues and less at gloating at Bill’s admission. http://insipidgarbage.wordpress.com/2007/10/23/the-power-of-personal-discipleship/

  3. fiercegrace
    June 7, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Nah, I’m just pointing out that the emperor has no clothes on…

  4. sprocket23
    June 7, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    “Nah, I’m just pointing out that the emperor has no clothes on…”

    Hmm, that’s exactly what they (the discernment ministries) would say they were doing.

    One man’s discernment ministry is another man’s prophet… and another man’s clanging cymbal, it’s all in the eye of the discerner, I guess.

    I’ve heard some hateful things from the discernment ministries (and the thing that Chris shared takes the cake), but then again, I’ve heard some very less-than-Christian things coming from the discernment ministry-haters. It’s all relative, I guess.

  5. fiercegrace
    June 8, 2008 at 2:05 am

    I’m not a hater, but let’s just say I’m not a fan of ODM’s… I think they are modern day Pharisees…

    Relatively speaking.

  6. sprocket23
    June 8, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Aye, but here’s the rub.

    You think that they are Pharisees, straining at gnats and frustrating the preachers of the Gospel, just like those who wanted to stone Jesus for preaching his message of grace.

    But they think that they are prophets, boldly pointing out the apostasies of false prophets, much like the Elijah standing up to the priests of Baal who were telling the people what they wanted to hear, “tickling their ears”.

    So, which are they: fault-finding Pharisee or bold prophets standing up for the truth.

    I guess a lot of that depends on the person they are criticizing: some of the guys they criticize really do need someone to point out their heresies, especially in our time when any preacher who can smile broadly and fill a stadium can be lauded by Oprah and have a best-selling book.

    But, I’ll grant, some of the ODM’s seem to do little but try to find fault with every ministry that is successful and they major on the minors. As I’ve said to you, I think they dilute their very real message of warning by crying wolf at every perceived misstep of a Hybel or Warren. They might be taken more seriously and do more good if they would save their loudest warnings for those who don’t just have a different opinion on a nonessential but who are overtly wrong on the essentials.

    I’m not a big ODM fan either, but in some cases they do make good points: too bad it’s too hard to see the good points for all the Pharasitical stuff.

  7. fiercegrace
    June 8, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Excellent point. Whatever tiny crumb of good the ODM’s might do is certainly eclipsed by the Texas sheet cake of sanctimony.

    Isn’t it great when we agree! 😉

    I believe correction is necessary – but I also believe that correction should be personal and relational. When Apollos was in error, Aquila and Priscilla didn’t blog about it, they “took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” Error corrected, AND relationship preserved.

    I also don’t think the gates of Hell – or the Word of Faith movement, or seeker sensitive evangelism, or purpose driven anything – will prevail against the church. The ODM’s have an inflated sense of their own importance when they imagine that God has appointed them guardian of the realm.

  8. sprocket23
    June 10, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    yeah, I hate to tell you this, but we’re actually closer to being on the same page than either of us would like to admit! 😎

  9. fiercegrace
    June 11, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Are you trying to start a fight?

  10. June 12, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks, this helps to remind me that journalistic licence is just as alive in the Christian press as in the mainstream media.

  11. fiercegrace
    August 4, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Quote: Not everyone in the blogosphere was drooling at Bill saying “We made a mistake.” (Yeah, that was an actual quote.) Here is a great post that looks more at the issues and less at gloating at Bill’s admission. http://

    Thanks for sharing, O “great post” writer…


  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: