|Born||William W. Gothard Jr.
November 2, 1934
Illinois, United States
|Residence||La Grange, Illinois, United States|
|Known for||Institute in Basic Life Principles|
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.
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 and a Ph.D. in biblical studies from Louisiana Baptist University in 2004, which is not a regionally accredited university.
Gothard started an organization in 1961 called Campus Teams, 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), of which Gothard is currently the president and a board member.
Gothard's primary teaching, his "Basic Seminar," focuses on seven Biblically based "Basic Life Principles." He claims that these principles are universal and that people will suffer consequences for violating them. Gothard's principles are called Design, Authority, Responsibility, Suffering, Ownership, Freedom, and Success.
The design principle is that people should understand their specific purpose for which God created them. Gothard writes that "a person's attitude toward himself has a profound influence on his attitude toward God, his family, his friends, his future, and many other significant areas of life."
The authority principle is that inward peace results when people respect and honor the authorities (parents, government, etc.) that God has put into their lives. It is based on the idea that God gives direction, protection, and provision through human authorities.
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 so that no one can point a finger at you and say, "You've offended me and never asked for my forgiveness."
The suffering principle is that people should allow the hurts from offenders to reveal “blind spots” in their own lives. Genuine joy is a result of fully forgiving offenders.
The ownership principle is that people are stewards, not owners, of their possessions. Gothard teaches that anger results from not yielding personal rights to God.
The freedom principle is enjoying the desire and the power to do what is right. Moral purity is the result of true freedom. The key to freedom is learning how to walk in the Spirit and appropriate the victory that Christ has already won through His death, burial, and resurrection.
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 organization published "Basic CARE Bulletins" and offers "Stress Resolution Seminars".
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.
Gothard continues to be the subject of debate. Various books and websites have been formed on the basis of personal claims to have been psychologically, physically, and/or emotionally abused as a result of Gothard's teachings.
- Advanced Seminar Textbook. Institute in Basic Life Principles, 1986, ISBN 0-916888-11-8
- Basic Preparation for Engagement. Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, 1971, ASIN B00
- Basic Seminar Textbook. Institute in Basic Life Principles, 1979, ISBN 0-916888-05-3
- Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts: Research in Principles of Life. Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, 1981, ISBN 0-916888-05-3
- Men's Manual, Vol. 1. Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, 1979, ISBN 0-916888-04-5
- Men's Manual, Vol. 2. Institute in Basic Life Principles, 1983, ISBN 0-916888-09-6
- Nuestro Dios Celoso/Our Jealous God: El Amor que no me deja ir/The love that doesn't let me go. Editorial Unilit 2004, ISBN 0-7899-1215-5
- Our Jealous God. Life Change Books, 2003. ISBN 1-59052-225-7
- Rebuilder's Guide. Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, 1982. ISBN 0-916888-06-1
- Research in Principles of Life: Advanced Seminar Textbook. Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts 1986. ISBN 0-916888-11-8
- Rewards of Being Reviled. Life Change Books, 2004. ISBN 0-916888-30-4
- Self-Acceptance. Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, 1984. ASIN B0007270AO
- The Amazing Way. Institute in Basic Life Principles, 2010. ISBN 978-0916888497
- The Power of Crying Out. Life Change Books, 2002, ISBN 1-59052-037-8
- The Power of Spoken Blessings. Life Change Books, 2004. ISBN 1-59052-375-X
- The Sevenfold Power of First Century Churches and Homes. Life Change Books, 2000. ISBN 0-916888-18-5
- Why Did God Let It Happen? Institute in Basic Life Principles, 2011. ISBN 978-0-916888-54-1
- "A Tribute To William Gothard, Sr". Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- "Biographical Sketch". Archived from the original on January 01 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
- "Outstanding Alumni". Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Cassels, Louis (June 23, 1973). "Clergyman-Novelist Links Wit, Theology". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
- Poll, Rich (March 1, 2003). "A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life". Christianity Today. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
- "IBLP Educational Programs". Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- "Resolving Conflicts". Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- "Basic Life Principles". Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- Basic Seminar Textbook. Institute in Basic Life Principles. 1979. p. 10.
- Basic Seminar Workbook. Institute in Basic Life Principles. 1993. p. 16.
- Basic Seminar Textbook. Institute in Basic Life Principles. 1979. p. 42.
- "Basic Life Principles". Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- Basic Seminar Textbook. Institute in Basic Life Principles. 1979. pp. 100–102.
- Basic Seminar Workbook. Institute in Basic Life Principles. 1993. p. 46.
- Basic Seminar Workbook. Institute in Basic Life Principles. 1993. p. 64.
- "A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard & the Christian Life" by Don Veinot, Joy Veinot, & Ron Henzel. 21st Century Press, 2002.
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