A Recent Article

On Monday afternoon I went down to fetch my mail and I was delighted to see the August edition of Christianity Today at the bottom of the pile.  Brushing off the junk mail, I saw that my Mom was on the cover.  I already knew she was going to be featured in one of the coming editions but I’ve found there is very little by way of preparation for a moment like this one.  It is difficult to describe to you the feeling of seeing the face of the one who bore you on the cover of a magazine.  I do not mean this in a pompous way because it is not a feeling of pride.  It is a feeling of great sobriety.

During that moment the butterflies in my stomach were akin to the ones fluttering around on the day my Mom spoke during chapel hour when I was a sophomore at Baylor University.  Or the evening Mom spoke at Founder’s Week during my first year as a transfer student at Moody Bible Institute.  I have, on numerous occasions, watched Mom speak in venues with 20,000+ people and it not even fazed me but these two gatherings were different. The events at Baylor and Moody were composed of a whole bunch of people I knew, people I loved and respected.   Mom’s been in a bunch of magazines over the years.  But Christianity Today is the one and only Christian magazine I actually read.  Although “they” don’t know me from Eve, I feel like I know them.  I laugh with them, cry with them, “amen” with them, and I even argue back and forth with them.  These folks are supposed to be my friends, right? So this time when I picked up the magazine it was a little bit different.  It hit closer to home.

It was a little bit more vulnerable.

You may think that it is the fear of criticism that is so sobering about a moment like this one, yet that is not exactly true. Sure, criticism is tough but far worse is the momentary thought that, for better or worse, I sit as a passive observer while my Mom’s value is being weighed under the critical scrutiny of a bunch of my peers and professors.  Please understand what I am saying, even if the responses are exuberant and laudatory in nature, it is the careful scrutiny of a parent that is the rub.  It is, of course, also a significant part of the life God has graciously and providentially given to me. And His tenderness never fails me in moments like these.

As I held the magazine in my hand, the daughter in me said, “Proceed with caution. You might get hurt.” But the student in me said, “Come on, Melissa. There are no questions that are off limits. No one is above question, observation, or criticism.”  Eventually I mustered the courage, put on my cloak of “objectivity,” and took the plunge.

As I made my way through the first article, I found I could understand or identify with the bulk of it.  I saw my Mom represented on the pages in more than just photographs, and whether the words were kind or critical, I found them to be fair. Again, no one is above careful observation because we all err in many ways.  We all need each other to get this thing right.  Even I, the biased observer, can recognize that much.  Christianity Today’s ability to represent a diverse set of viewpoints is the primary reason I read their work in the first place. There are very few voices left out of their articles and conversations and that spirit of diversity contributes, I think, to an overall appreciation of the richness and variety in the church, even if it is mostly the evangelical church that is represented.

So as I finished the last sentence of the first article I took a deep breath.  “It’s over and I’m still alive,” I thought.

Just kidding. It really wasn’t all that rough.

But I had yet to read the second article.

As I began to read the second article entitled “First Came the Bible,” some things started to become a bit opaque for me.  I do not want to get too pedantic and I certainly do not want to bore you all to tears, so I’ll get to my point.  And at this point you’re hoping I have one, right?  Wink. What troubled me most about the second article was a paragraph that purports the following (again, this can be found in the August edition of Christianity Today on page 27):

Moore is truly a Bible teacher.  Her teaching is rooted in her strong affinity for Scripture.  She does not show much interest in theology or tradition, distrusting the way the academy has, at times, handled the Bible. “Godless philosophies have not been my temptation,” Moore comments.  “In my life experience, the most dangerously influential opinions have been those held by intellectuals and scholars who profess Christianity but deny the veracity and present power of Scripture.”  Although Moore believes that seminaries are necessary despite the “stunning arrogance” and “theological snobbery” that reside in them, she argues, “Psalm 131 reminds us that [the Scriptures] are not primarily for seminaries, dissertations, and theological treatments.  They are primarily for everyday living on the third rock from the sun (27).

As I began to read through this paragraph, something just did not sit right with me.  The first half sounded sort of like Mom but the language was peculiar and the harsh indictment against seminaries took me by surprise. I assumed that if Mom said such a thing about the pride and arrogance of the theological and/or seminary world, she was most likely speaking about me.  And frankly, it would have been warranted.  I was one single theology class into my education when I began anathematizing every Christian I knew, including my Mom, Dad, Pastor . . . And I could go on.  So, in light of my own interests and experience, I began to wonder where these quotes were pulled from and the context in which Mom stated them.

Even though I am intimately acquainted with Mom’s writing and speaking, I still didn’t know where exactly these quotes originated.  I came to find that, to the best of my knowledge, the various pieces were pulled from Believing God (the trade book) and Stepping Up (the bible study).  The first quote, “Godless philosophies have not been my temptation. In my life experience, the most dangerously influential opinions have been those held by intellectuals and scholars who profess Christianity but deny the veracity and present power of Scripture,” was pulled from Believing God. Although the quote is fairly clear in isolation, when you read the immediate context carefully, you find that Mom has tempered her claim by statements such as “Thankfully, many churches and Christian institutes of higher learning teach the God of Scripture, but why do so many others default to a lesser-God theology?” and even stronger, “Flawless churches and Christian universities don’t exist because they are full of flawed people just like me.” Should you be interested in reading further please look in and around pages 47-50 of the Believing God book, not the bible study workbook.

I think you will find that Mom is not writing about her hostility toward “the academy” (a term that needs to be clarified in the article itself) but the tendency in all of us to minimize God in our pursuit of the knowledge of Him.  Mom presents academic institutions as the most influential place where this minimizing can be found, but very clearly acknowledges that the tendency is not to be limited to the academic world, or even descriptive of the academic world.

The second quote is far more bothersome because it implies that Mom only reluctantly admits that seminaries have any value. After a bit of searching I made my way from Believing God to Stepping Up because of the author’s mention of Psalm 131, a Psalm of Ascent.  None of these sources are referenced in this particular paragraph in the article, by the way, which made these “quotes” really *fun* and convenient to track down.  Please raise your hand if you think magazines should abide by Turabian! Thank you, nerds of the blogworld.  I’m going to quote the second part of the paragraph from the article “First Came the Bible” again:

Although Moore believes that seminaries are necessary despite the “stunning arrogance” and “theological snobbery” that reside in them, she argues, “Psalm 131 reminds us that [the Scriptures] are not primarily for seminaries, dissertations, and theological treatments.  They are primarily for everyday living on the third rock from the sun (27).

First, the way the author has set up the quote is nothing short of misleading.  Mom has never said that she believes seminaries are necessary despite the “stunning arrogance” and “theological snobbery” that reside in them.  Instead, the author has combined snippets of three different portions of text from Stepping Up. When the order has been changed and all three snippets are worded together, they, at the very least, produce an exaggerated claim. At the very worst, they produce a disfigured one.

If you would like to see this clearly for yourself, you can consult Week 5 Day 3 of Stepping Up and make your own conclusions about the way the quotes were construed.  For those of you who do not have the workbook, I have also typed a large part of the text myself and included it here so that you can get an idea of what is going on.   There are various breaks in the text because I don’t have time to type all of Day 3. I have, however, typed quite a bit of it. I figure the more context I can give you, the better. You can tell where the author of the magazine article is drawing the quote by the text I have in both bold and italics.  Week 5 Day 3 is entitled “Things Too Great” and it is a study of Psalm 131, one of the shortest of the Psalms of Ascent:  A Song of Ascents, of David. O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.  2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.  3 O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.

I am now going to begin quoting Mom starting from the top of page 131 in Stepping Up:

“Like so many in the Gospels, the metaphors of the psalms came from common scenes and experiences in the daily lives of God’s people.

  • Psalm 126 pictured seeds watered by tears turning to sheaves of joy.
  • Psalm 127 sketched sons, like arrows in a quiver, defending their father.
  • Psalm 128 centered on the family table with moms like fruitful vines and children like olive shoots.
  • Psalm 129 drew us the unforgettable picture of plowmen leaving furrows on the backs of the oppressed.
  • Psalm 130 painted the image of a night watchman on a city wall.

God drew each metaphor from a common sight seen by a common people. Perhaps no sight was more ordinary than the one etched in Psalm 131, particularly as throngs of Israelites made their pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times a year. It’s the same common sight I see every time I go shopping: a child in a mother’s arms.

Psalm 131 reminds us the words of God are not primarily for seminaries, dissertations, and theological treatments. They are primarily for everyday living on the third rock from the sun. The words of God are for people who run late to work, hop out of the car, and spill coffee on their crisp, white shirt. It’s for people who run to get their trash to the curb before the garbage truck comes and end up strewing it all over the driveway. It’s for people who need to change the litter box and who realize something green and furry is growing in their fridge. The words of God are for people whose neighbors drive them nuts. And mainly, I suppose, for people who drive themselves nuts. Like me. Maybe like you.

If you’ve concluded that Scripture is for how you do church, teachers like me have failed you. Scripture is for how you do life, whether at home, at work or on a date, at a baby shower, at a funeral, or at church. Scripture is for servicemen defending their nation and for mothers nursing their babies…if they can keep their eyes open. Today we will be wholly preoccupied with the first verse of Psalm 131, and actually, we’ll have to work diligently to limit ourselves to this space.”

[Break in text & some interactive questions]

“The term ‘haughty comes from the word high’ and in the context of eyes it describes people who look down on others. Of course, none of us is going to immediately admit, ‘That’s me!’

We recognize snobbery and pride pretty easily in others and despise nothing more. Somehow when we are the snob, however, the thin air at the altitude where we keep our noses impairs our judgment. The Bible tells us that God abhors pride and probably for no few reasons. Both you and I have had tug-of-wars with God – however ridiculous and futile – that revolved around our pride.”

[Break in text for an interactive question]

“Since I made you answer such an exposing question, I’ll offer a few reasons of my own. I am convinced that my pride over a specific matter was a tremendous contribution to the horrifying sifting season God put me through a few years ago.

I also think God cannot bring the kingdom increase to our harvests that He desires (John 15:7) until our egos decrease.

Finally, I think our pride is a strobe light flashing how ignorant we are about God, despite our lengthy quiet times and in-depth studies. Above all things besides love, humility is the truest sign of intimacy with God. Like little else, a humble spirit says we really do ‘get it.’

Though Psalm 131:1 certainly applies to haughtiness and pride in general, when we consider the congregational aspect of the Psalms of Ascent, I think a tighter interpretation may be what we could call theological pride: arrogance regarding God, His words, or ways.

Stunning arrogance slithers down the halls of many academic institutions of theology. Thankfully, some professors are wise enough to slam their office doors and refuse to let the snake bite them, but they must be overtly intentional to resist a lure as old as the garden.

I wish the problem of theological snobbery only resided at institutions of higher learning, but it doesn’t. Every one of us, until life pummels us into knowing better, is drawn to things that feed our flesh and make us feel smart.

Reflect on the words of Psalm 131 again: I do not get involved with things to great or too difficult for me.”  I think this verse could very well refer to times when we get our big heads into matters we know nothing about- times we have the gall to speak for God or explain His actions when a wiser person would have kept their mouth shut. God has a fitting expression for it.”

[Break in text for interactives, etc]

“Obviously God is not saying that we are never to offer possible explanations for the deeper things of Scripture and its divine Author.  Furthermore we most assuredly need higher institutions of theology and well-trained professors.  And a good debate between them can be tremendously insightful.

So, where’s the line?  How do we know when a matter is too great for us? Deuteronomy 29:29 may offer the best example.”

[Break in text for Interactive and several paragraphs]

“Over and over Scripture attests that God can do no wrong.  It also blatantly assures us He is sovereign and could stop any  ill.  How can I make those ends meet?  I can’t . . . but God can and one day will.  Between His arms that seem at times outstretched in opposite directions, you will find His heart.  Out of the ashes of the unfathomable, sooner than later Lazarus-faith must rise from the dead- questions still unanswered- or the Devil has won.  Perhaps Anselm, an eleventh-century English monk, voiced an approach that draws today’s lesson to the best conclusion:

I do not seek, O Lord, to penetrate thy depths.  I by no means think my intellect equal to them: but I long to understand in some degree thy truth, which my heart believes and loves.  For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand.”

End of quote.

Please note that the chunks of text the author pieces together are not in consecutive order and her summary does not include the necessary qualifications to do honest justice to Mom’s writing.   One primary example is that she pulls the phrase, “theological snobbery” from its immediate context where Mom has clearly qualified her statement to encompass not just institutions of higher learning BUT “every one of us.” This is a very real misuse of Mom’s work.  Again snippets of quotations from Stepping Up have been combined to create a new meaning, one that Mom herself does not support.  Various qualifications that Mom made in the text have been ignored or left out of the article.  Another example is the author’s use of the word “despite” to head the sentence.  Although the word “despite” is not in quotations (signaling that Mom herself did not say or write it), it is misleading as a header for the entire quote.  On the contrary, when Mom wrote, “Furthermore, we most assuredly need higher institutions of theology and well-trained professors.  And a good debate between them can be tremendously insightful,” her words are accompanied by an enthusiastic tone, not a reluctant one like the author inserts.

While Mom’s use of biblical and theological scholarship may fail to meet this author’s standard, it does not necessarily follow that Mom’s voice echoes Tertullian’s famous cry: What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?  What communion is there between the academy and the church?” The chasm between Mom’s faith and intellectual inquiry is surely not as wide as this author asserts.  If you read the text from Week 5 Day 3 that I recorded above, you might have noticed Mom’s quotation of Anselm at the end: I believe, that I may understand.”  Anselm’s maxim is a basic motto in many Christian academic institutions, for it has often been identified as the appropriate bridge between the church and academic inquiry.

I would hardly find it significant enough to mention this misuse of Mom’s work, if I did not also think that it misrepresented Mom’s heart on the matter. Unlike Amanda, I was never interviewed by the folks who wrote these articles. So in brief, I want to say what I would have told them if I had been:  Mom has, more than anyone, stimulated my passion for academic study of the Bible. I will never forget the day she called me from Oxford University in England.  I could hear her voice breaking over the sea that stood between us as she described to me how inspiring it was to walk on a campus that had been a home to so many great minds.  She has been a constant support during my entire theological education- spiritually, emotionally, and financially.

From the semester I first learned about the JEDP theory in my Old Testament class at Baylor, to my transfer to Moody Bible Institute’s Bible department and even on through my days as a little metaphorical P.O.W. in the Biblical Exegesis Program at Wheaton Graduate School.  When I hadn’t slept forty eight hours straight because I was up late writing yet another exegesis paper or reading Calvin’s Institutes, she reminded me why I was going to school in the first place- in her words, “ to get your feet planted firmly on the ground (biblically & theologically), with your hands raised straight up in the air.”  She was also the one who taught me my first great piece of hermeneutical advice, “If you’re completely alone in your interpretation of a certain verse, then you’re most likely wrong.”  Apparently her mentor, Buddy Walters, had passed that one down.  I’ve never forgotten it all these years. Even more stunning and meaningful to me has been Mom’s love and support for me over this past year when I completed a Th.M. in New Testament at a PCUSA seminary that assumes a completely different doctrine of Scripture than she does.  She has been my primary dialogue partner in this quest and brave enough to support me in my theological journey even when it has gone beyond her own theological comfort zone.  Now, Mom is certainly not an academic in the technical sense, but equally true is that she is no mocker or skeptic of the academic world. Mom not only rests on the work of many academics in her research, but she goes to great lengths to express her great indebtedness to them along the way.  Academics who spend each day in the pedantic little details of exegetical methodology and at the same time love God with all their hearts are Mom’s heroes.

Well, as you can imagine I called Mom to speak with her about the article as soon as I closed the final page.  I said, “So what did you think?”  She replied, “They were kinder than they had to be.  And I learned a lot.” I said, “You learned a lot? Seriously?”  Apparently she learned a lot.  Now that is just vintage Mom.  I told her that although I was moved by her humility, I was also troubled by this little paragraph in the second article. While, I too, think being teachable is a virtue, I also wonder if there is not an appropriate time to express some concern about what may appear to be a misunderstanding of Mom’s work.  Only once someone is properly understood should he or she be criticized.

It seems to me that for the most part using criticism constructively would imply that the criticism is legitimate and in this particular case, I do not think it is.  Even if I got this all wrong and Mom very coincidentally said these exact words in another work or speaking engagement, I would not find them to be warranted in a discussion of the four fundamental themes that are threaded throughout all of Mom’s writing.  The reason I felt burdened to write this blog for you is that I think you deserve to know that Mom, and so also Living Proof Ministries, tremendously respects and makes regular use of trustworthy biblical scholarship. Now, I, would argue until my dying breath precisely what Mom said about Scripture being for everyday living and not primarily for the academic world.  But does that undermine my passion for biblical and theological scholarship?  I don’t think it does.

We love you and esteem you enough to carefully walk through something that could be confusing.


449 Responses to “A Recent Article”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Gravatar.com. Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.


  1. 201
    Village Sister says:

    Wonderfully done, Melissa! Thank you for your excellent, godly response – it was a hissy-fit done right.

    Blessings & Love…..

  2. 202
    Richelle says:


    I esteem your mother, you, Amanda, and Living Proof Ministries. Criticism is tough, and sometimes you have to step in and clarify. It would be too lengthy to explain how well I understand this. God is doing a mighty work through this ministry. Hold on….I sense a new level coming. Satan doesn’t like it one bit. His time is running out. That’s just the way I see all of this. May it is my strange way of coping.

  3. 203
    Connie says:

    The love of a daughter nothing like it! I was so excited and proud when I saw the picture of Beth on Christianity Today it made my heart swell.Thanks for taking the time to explain some of the quotes that seemed not quite like Beth.I showed my daughters the cover we all screamed together.We love the Living Proof Conferences and try to go once a year as a time of learning more about the word!I enjoy reading your and Amanda’s blogs they are always interesting.

  4. 204
    Barb says:

    Very gracious correction. In situations like this we can be thankful that God knows our hearts and motives in what we say and do. May you and your mom find great encouragement as you delight yourself in Him today. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us.
    Press on for His glory!!!

  5. 205
    Rhonda says:

    It is sad when things or quotes are taken out of context. I know publicity can be cruel. I know you make your mama proud. As the saying goes, “if you don’t stand up for yourself/family, who else will?”

    Thanks for you all do. You are such an inspiration. I love this blog!

  6. 206

    Wow, so if anything Melissa, I have been taught a huge lesson here. I serve in women and youth ministry and sometimes the criticism becomes too much. I have to pray through the comments I receive. I imagine all the times Jesus’ words have been taken out of context and his heart misinterpreted and how frustrating that must be. Your Mom’s reponse is a lesson for all of us. What grace.

    I just think you are ‘tops’ for taking the time to defend her. I would have done the same thing. My friend and I were reading this together and she said, “Uh Oh … Melissa just took her earring off!” haha … I’m not sure you know what that means, but hear in the south it would indicate you’re getting ready for a fight 😉

  7. 207
    Mary says:

    I am so inspired by your assertiveness, Melissa! This is my first post on the blog. The last time I felt moved to write was when I read your tribute to your dad, but I remained silent. This time you inspired me to speak up.

    Your critique is such a masterful reflection of your intellect, your heart and your spirit. It is scholarly yet inclusive. Thank you for adeptly walking us through these important distinctions and for inspiring me on two fronts: to add my voice to the discussions in Siestaville and to start reading Christianity Today. I think your mom is so blessed to have a daughter who can count herself among that select group of “academics who spend each day in the pedantic little details of exegetical methodology and at the same time love God with all their hearts.”

    With great respect,
    Nova Scotia, Canada

  8. 208
    Maria says:

    Well said!!! The media has become a source of evil influence..not all but a large percentage of it has. I’m glad you spoke truth and showed your love for Beth as a bible teacher! She has blessed my life through her love of the Word of God. The media must be held accountable but we all know that our Lord will make all things right some day. In the meantime, we’re going to be Believe God!!!!

  9. 209
    LeAnn says:

    Melissa, When you first began your response regarding the article, I thought “oh, I need to subscribe to the magazine.” By the time you were through I wasn’t so sure. It discourages me that a source you “think” you can trust misrepresents someone. I think I would always question future articles for their trustworthiness.

  10. 210
    Valerie says:

    Wow Melissa, what an endearing sense of protection. How blessed Siestaville is with the resources of you and your academia. I am no where near the level you are, but I am grateful for it because I know your research is threaded in the studies I have taken.

    I only had time to read the first article, but will definately have your post ready when I read the second 🙂

    Thank you Living Proof for all that you teach us and push us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

    Louisville, KY

  11. 211
    Angel Haynes says:

    Melissa, This article made me love you more! Loyalty is one of my favorite qualities. Just so you know, lots of us have YOUR back, too, through much prayer. I’m so blessed by the intelligent fiery spirit God gave you!

    Love, Angel in Tucson, AZ

  12. 212
    Pam says:

    wow, Melissa, what a careful, thoughtful, and scholarly response to something that touches you and all of us deeply. You brought truth to the “lies” that were published with your head and your heart. It’s a little tricky to combine those two things, especially when we are wounded by someone’s words. I’ve done your mom’s Bible studies for over 12 years, here in Southern California, where we have many scholarly folks speaking, preaching and teaching all around. I’m a little odd (we won’t go there), in that I have gotten more out of your mother’s teaching, speaking and writing than anything else in my 50 years on this planet. Truth is truth, but truth with humility and love and transparency are a winning combination to communicate to people, which is what you and your mom have done in your work. Bless you, Melissa…you have written an incredible response to a troublesome article. (I hear the “Wheatonese” in your article, my daughter graduated in 2006, undergrad) Pam in San Diego

  13. 213


    You have my utmost respect! While it could have been easy to state the error of the Christianity Today author, you respectfully, and methodically argued your point(s). If anyone would know the heart of Beth Moore, it would be her most intimate companions, you could have just said “That author doesn’t know Jack!” but you dealt with it perfectly! I appreciate the work that went into dealing with this contextual error, and am impressed by your heart to want to see your mom represented justly. 🙂

    By the way, I didn’t read the article, but would have known in an instant that those words weren’t spoken by “our” Beth! Anyone who hangs out here for a minute knows that it wouldn’t be in in our Siesta Mama’s character to say something like that!

    Keep your chin up girl-you are loved!

  14. 214
    Julie plosz says:

    I love the reminder to not always take media articles too serious,( yes even Christian articles) Thank you for showing us how quotes can be re-arranged and twisted to produce a totally different message.

    After doing all of your mother’s studies more than one time, I feel like I know her well enough to say that her body of work is in itself her best defense. She always stresses in her studies to learn from many solid based teachers. Her studies only encouraged me more to seek the truth out for myself.

    I am so grateful that she has put herself & her life before us, I would not be where I am with God without her contagious passionate love for Jesus and His word,….. so very grateful

  15. 215
    Carolina Cheesehead says:

    It stinks to be misrespresentented doesn’t it. I think we expect that from the world but it is doubly hurtful when it comes from within. Rest assured though that God has got your mom’s back! He’s got her front, sides and all of her hemmed in. If I were in your shoes Melissa I know I would be defending my mom too so do what He is bidding you to do but also stand back and be amazed at how He defends her! 🙂 It may not be immediate but oh baby can He ever make up for some wrongs!! When I see pride oozing out of one side and the kind of humility that your mom shows oozing out of the other, knowing what God thinks about pride I just want to take some quick cover behind the humble side don’t you????

    Your mom is AMAZING…she has touched so many lives….perhaps that’s all the defense she needs…

    Carry on the good work!

  16. 216
    Linda says:

    I already responded, but had to hop back on again. I keep thinking of the author of that article. I hope it was just an error in judgment, or perhaps a past personal sore spot that made him/her interpret Beth’s stance wrongly, rather than an intentional misrepresentation of her. Either way, in light of your post, Melissa, I imagine – knowing this was not your intent – that there must be or will be some measure of chastisement, even just internally, for using quotes out of context in a way that was misrepresenting. And at least for me, whether guilty or not, being called out is usually painful. So although my heart is so greatly with you and your mom and family on this issue and always, it is also going out to that person today, and I will also hold him/her in my prayers.

  17. 217
    Hannah says:

    Melissa, I hadn’t gotten the chance to read that particular article yet, but I really appreciate your insight into it. I would have known something was odd about it without you even going into details, but your research and showing us where those particular quotes really came from is incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for your insight and dedication to the truth. What a blessing you are.


  18. 218
    Diane says:

    I’ll get a copy of the magazine and read the entire article to be fair, but it sounds to me like Beth was misrepresented…disappointing, especially from a publication of the caliber of CT.

  19. 219

    Hope you saw your sister’s tweet yesterday. You are definitely 4 for 4!!
    Prayers and blessings,

  20. 220
    Lauren says:


    Thank you so much for such a humble, thoughtful, articulate and honest response to the CT articles about your mom. I have not yet read the articles, but will do so now with your words in mind. I have such respect for and appreciation of you and your commitment to cultivate both careful scholarship and a heart that truly loves God. Thank you, thank you for this. Your mom is a servant to this generation with such a powerful anointing. You and Amanda are too, in the unique ways that God has called both of you. Thank you for serving here. We love you.


  21. 221
    Bobbie says:

    Thank you, Melissa! You’re a wonderful daughter and scholar with a big heart, you’ve said so much in the post and I’m praying that the author of this article will be led to read your feelings. Like a Siesta said earlier, I can’t believe that someone that we should be able to trust with our words would misuse them in such a way.

  22. 222
    Dionna says:

    I hope the folks at Christianity Today read your blog regarding their article – especially the author. As a writer (although one who doesn’t interview people) I would think it would be crucial and critical to not only get someone’s words write – but to get across their heart’s intent and motives.

    I know it must be so tough on you and Amanda at times. Your mom is a person with real feelings – just like you both. And the “media” industry never think twice about whether or not they’ve hurt someone or their family members. It’s usually all about what “sells” or grabs an audience.

    So kudos to you for not only speaking up, but for having your mom’s back. I know that I for one, feel like I know your mom’s character enough that had I read the article, I wouldn’t have questioned or had second-thoughts about her a bit. 🙂

  23. 223
    Abraham's Daughter says:

    Dear Melissa,

    Thank you for taking up for your Mom, because she is “our Beth.” We know her heart.

    I have been changed forever by her ministry. Her example of following hard after Jesus and hungering to know Him through His Word have lit a fire in me that I pray will be continually fueled by the Word as He fans the flame.

    And just this morning as I was completing Day 5 of Week 6 in “Stepping Up,” I thanked God that your Mom is “driven by responsible scholarship.” Her gift of sharing that scholarship in a way that those without theological education is awesome! And I think it is way cool when I find chiastic structure that I learned while studying Esther in Psalm 134.

    But most of all I am thankful that I know that I know that your Mom ministers out of her love for Jesus. And nothing that any person or magazine say will or can change that fact.

    How we love Him. How we praise Him.


  24. 224
    Toni says:

    As I read the snippet from the article, I thought, “Hmmm…that just doesn’t sound like Beth.” This was BEFORE you revealed that, in fact, her words were misused. As a homeschool mom, I saw Dr. Phil take the input of a fellow homeschool family on his show and edit it until it did not reflect their family or lifestyle at all. Sure, they were the actual words of the family as taped on the show. But when cut and edited, a totally different picture emerged for the viewers. I’m sad to know that something similar occurred here with a well respected Christian magazine. I’m a big believer in not throwing out the baby with the bath water, but I’m going to be more discerning of this particular “baby” in the future.

  25. 225
    Diane Ellison says:

    Brilliant analysis! I hope you sent it to the magazine!

  26. 226
    Yvonne says:


    I truly believe you should send an editorial to the magazine. There will be MANY who will read this and not see this blog. While I DO think that arrogance is a huge problem in the Kindgom’s work right now (and this is not a comment I make lightly since I am a PK and MW), I know that this will be used against one of the finest women I have ever had the privilege of studying scripture under.

    Please know that I will be spending much time in prayer for your mom and LPM concerning the fallout from this article.

    With love and concern,


  27. 227
    Laura says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Thank you for replying to this article and in such a thoughtful and detailed manner. I have been concerned about several articles I have read in this magazine.

    I have spent so much time with your mom through bible studies and conferences that I knew this was not an accurate representation of her heart.

    I want you and Beth to know that what Buddy Walters did for your mom, your mom has done for me. And I have come to love God’s word so much and have come to know and love the Father so intimately through his word. He is my whole life.

    In my pursuit of knowing God, I have not only done the bible studies but have gone back to the sources referenced in these studies. Anyone that implies that your mom is not in favor of academics does not really know her work.

    Please give her our love. And let her know that we are continually praying for all of you.

  28. 228
    Rebecca says:

    Dearest Beth

    I have been so upset over the articles, but so extremely assured by Melissa’s comments that I found it necessary to comment on the Christianity Today Website. I am a loyal friend and if someone hurts my friend I will defend them to the best of my ability. Therefore this is what I sent to the magazine, and I encourage anyone else that feels the same to let their voice be known.
    “I am quite dismayed at the article in the August issue of Christianity Today of Beth Moore. I have done a few studies of her books and also seen her at a simulcast. I am a thinker and if something doesn’t sit right I will investigate to see for myself. Which brings me to the articles of Beth Moore. So many women rely on her personnel experience and her love for the Word. The articles did not do her justice. There are thousands of women followers who can relate to the life of Beth Moore. For anyone new who is trying to discover the Word or find hope in experiences they are going through, the articles have destroyed that. Several times in the past I see articles written about other people that do not encourage me to further my knowledge on the subject at hand. I believe along with hundreds of others that you have not done justice to Beth Moore. There must be something she is doing right if she can pack an audience bether than Elton John.”

  29. 229
    Cindi says:

    Wow. That’s really all I can say in response to a description and depiction of writings that I have studied and have had such an incredibly strong impact on my life. The Believing God and Stepping Up studies helped to carry me through the most difficult times of my life. I know God used them, and your mom as the author, to help me understand His Presence in my life at that time. Those writing had a huge influence on me and knowing that God was able to grant me the faith to carry me through and strengthen my trust in Him beyond what I have ever known.
    And Wow, again.
    That someone could read those same words that were such a positive encouragement and strengthening of faith for me and get something so TOTALLY different from them. It breaks my heart for them – what they missed and what they could have seen, instead.

    • 229.1
      Cindi says:

      Oh, and in addition, Beth’s studies have helped to create in me more of a hunger for the Word than I have ever had. She has challenged me to examine the Scriptures, to not take ANYONE’s word over THE WORD.

  30. 230
    Gina says:

    Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me….NOT! As a human, words must have hurt Jesus more than anything.

    The Lord loves…the Lord sees…

    “…whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an oppotunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So…let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed…you will be strong in character and ready for anthing.”

    Lord God…strengthen us with might in our inner man through Your Holy Spirit so that we might know the love of Christ beyond our own human knowledge and… fill us with all the fullness of God.

    My heart is bursting with love for Him right now!

    Melissa, Beth, Amanda….and all of the hubby-men…many prayers are being sent your way.

  31. 231
    Michelle says:

    It’s a shame the writer of the 2nd article did not delve into Beth’s Daniel study before writing the article. Countless times, I heard her refer to various “brilliant scholars” with a ton of awe and respect. APPARENTLY, the writer was not nearly as well researched on his/her subject matter (Beth) as Beth, herself, is on the subject matter of her writings (the Word).

  32. 232
    April says:

    I’m not a regular reader of the blog but I’ve been checking for the last three days hoping to find some comment on this very article – the second one. I was greatly disturbed by it and thought it misleading and an unfair misrepresentation of her teachings and motives. In my opinion, it was a VERY thinly veiled attack an attampt to discredit Beth. Recently I’ve found myself displeased with Christianity Today and, needless to say, this didn’t help.

  33. 233
    Rebecca says:


    Thank you for this post. Number One, for standing up for your Mom. Number Two, for standing up for truth.

    The treatment of your mom’s words in the second article (misuse), is probably one of your mom’s worst fears as a writer of God’s Truth which is why she slaves over academic publications, God’s Word and spends hours upon hours flat on her face before God. She just doesn’t want to write something that is untrue about our God. And I love her for that.

    If I remember correctly, your mom or you once wrote a post about becoming so intently focused on learning about God, that you can forget to have a relationship with Him. That is the most I’ve ever heard her talk about academics–and that’s not slanderous.

    Your mom’s response to the article was classic. I’m sure it hurt her heart, but as she has taught so many times before, humility is a sign of a relationship with Christ. May God wrap His arms around her and remind her that all things work for good according to His purpose! And that He loves her very, very, very much!

    Prayers and blessings,

    p.s. I am a BIG fan of Turabian!!! I was a history and political science major, so Turabian rocks! From one nerd to another! 🙂

  34. 234
    Little Monkey's Mama says:

    Dear Melissa: It’s beautiful to see the gift of wisdom God has given you. How brilliantly you displayed it in this blog.

    Thank You Jesus, that your mom will continue to do what she does, and be who she is; that is the real proof…the Living Proof!

  35. 235
    Jennifer says:

    Melissa and Beth,
    I think your response to the article is very well thought out. It is definitely frustrating to have your words taken out of context and then used to further a message that is not your own. This has happened to me on numerous occasions! God has put Matthew 24 in front of me several times recently; it talks about that in this age of the church and the days approaching Christ’s return “many will be offended, will betray one another, and hate one another…the love of many will grow cold.” The bait of Satan (a well known book I’m starting to read) is to use offense between Christians to make our love for each other grow cold; he wants us to be divided, inconsistent in our behavior and completely predictable. Beth’s response showed she was wise enough not to take the bait! As many others have written, by spending years with Beth and her family in some part, we know her heart for the Lord and her character. That speaks louder than any individual article could. Offended people/Christians filter everything past their hurts,rejections and insecurities first instead of God’s word. Beth already taught us to say “so long” to those. We’re believing God. Said with my 5 fingers in the air!:)

  36. 236
    joyinthejourneys says:

    Isn’t it so amazing to be so “known” for your humility, that right off the bat, “it doesn’t sound like Beth” is on everyone’s lips! Wow…
    How much your girls admire their momma…thanks for sharing this Melissa. We can be praying for truth to shine from the “untruths.”

  37. 237

    My prayers today are for the author of this clearly slanted article. Perhaps there needs to be some accountability for the inaccuracies in the chopped up atricle. But more than that I think Beth showed us how to respond. First grace, then her baby girl has the next best responce, backing up a moment and surrounding the false with fact.The way we respond to this authors attempt at discouraging Beth and the ministry will speak 1,000,000 times louder than her attack.Beth…you have a mighty cloud of witnesses including your amazingly prolofic daughter; you are wrapped in prayer and love…this author is in need of a living witness to the love of Christ…this blog entry and Beth’s responce should give the author a crystal clear picture of “They will know we are Christians by our love” truly looks like in spite of the attempt to place a crack in all that The Lord has done through Living Proof.

  38. 238
    Laura from Damascus, MD says:

    Dear Melissa,

    The magazine arrived in my mailbox on Monday also, and I was looking forward to reading the articles. However, when I read the second article, I had to re-read the sections you referenced in your blog over a few times. It just didn’t sound right–it didnt sound like Beth to me. After being part of many of her studies and attending several simulcasts, the so-called “quotes” didnt jive with what I know about your dear mom. I chalked it up to poor reporting.

    Your response to the articles this week is excellent!

    Well done good and faithful daughter!

    Laura from Damascus, Maryland

    PS. I am facilitating a “Believing God” group this Fall–I took it a few years back and it changed my life! I can’t wait–I’m going out to buy some “blue tassles” this Week! Pray for us!

  39. 239
    Beth Wayland says:

    precious precious, melissa. anyone who has experienced 3 minutes of your mom, a teaching, bible study, blog entry would know something was “amiss”. it’s not just that you are her daughter and “too close to the situation” and even if you were, who better to clarify!

  40. 240
    Beth Wayland says:

    …to clarify “someting amiss in the articles use of beth’s quote’s”…

  41. 241
    Andrew McIntyre says:

    Well said. Even the best can sometimes be sloppy in research. The valuable lesson here is that quality research requires a reading of the original documents to verify that quotations accurately represent the words and thoughts of the quoted. Too many in our culture wrongly assume that quotations are accurate without doing the hard work of putting the quotations in their original context. Too many conclusions have been based on inaccurate quotations.

    So, the next time we read/hear someone being quoted, remember that an accurate conclusion (based on the quotation) cannot be legitimately reached until one has done the painstaking work of actually reading the original document(s) or listening to the quotation in its entire context. “Sound-bite” theology is often FAR from the truth!

  42. 242
    Robin says:

    What a coincidence that I just read that article today at the library! As someone who has done about 7 of your mom’s studies, I had to laugh at the comment that she doesn’t rely on biblical references. It has been so obvious that she does her homework! I also was bothered by the inference that she goes too far into the whole spiritual warfare thing, as I think she is one of the most balanced teachers I have ever heard on that subject. Thanks for coming to her defense.

  43. 243
    Anne says:

    Hey, ladies. Just on the chance that someone is in tonight – could you lift up a prayer for my mother? She’s in the hospital for what appears to be a nasty case of pneumonia, but they’re doing tests to make sure that it isn’t something exotic like West Nile Virus. They’re also concerned that she might have had a mini stroke.

  44. 244
    Kathy says:

    Melissa, that is one well written commentary! I hope you are sending it to the magazine!

    To misrepresent someone’s words in that way can be very damaging. Sounds to me like someone needs to issue and appology to your mother.

    You go girl!

  45. 245
    Lee says:


    Hey fellow Moody chick~

    All I needed was to read the quote once to know it was a GROSS misquote.

    I was passionate about Christ when I went to MBI, but I fell in desperately in LOVE with my Lord during ‘Jesus the One and Only.’

    Your defense IS good, but I’m here to tell you if ANYONE has heard your mother or sat under her teaching they knew better from the first few words.

    During the Grand Rapids Living Proof conference she relayed a story of being misheard during a session at Deeper Still. Kay pricelessly set the record straight. She said something like, “Don’t you know our hearts better?”

    Sweet friend, we know Beth’s heart. The Lord has hemmed you both in. Satan is loving this mess. Don’t be distracted. We’ve got your back in prayer.
    Love to you.

  46. 246
    Laura says:

    I appreciate the fact that Beth, so often, stretches my mind without breaking it! She is undoubtedly used by God to whet the appetites of men and women to HIM!

  47. 247
    Northern Lights says:

    Dear Melissa,

    Like you I have a couple of master’s degrees – not in theology – but I’m a major academic nerd myself is my point. Totally frustrating to see such a misrepresentation of what Beth has said. Having published an article in a journal of my discipline, I know how carefully each word is scrutinized by the editors, so it’s even more annoying to think that these words were put together to say just what they said. And without appropriate citations, nonetheless! (I don’t know the reference system of which you speak, but we had to pretty much memorize the APA style manual in grad school!!)

    Your response is, as others have already commented, gracious, articulate and accurate.

    Anyone who has ever done one of Beth’s studies or heard her speak would KNOW that the words attributed to her in the article would never come out of her mouth. The paragraph does not sound like what she would say and it does not in any way reflect the unbelievable humility with which she speaks.

  48. 248
    Texas in the Mountains says:

    Dear Darling Melissa,
    I absolutly love how indignant you are over a mis-representation of your mother’s work. I can only hope that my boys will love and respect me half as much.
    Fear not.
    We know our Siesta Mama.
    We know what she truly stands for. We have done countless studies with her, watching her on dvd (or cassette!) and feeling like she were in the room. This is the SIESTA! blog, where we love and encourage each other.
    We L. O. V. E. Beth.
    And Melissa.
    And Amanda.
    Et al.

  49. 249
    Kelli says:

    As a daughter I just want to say well done Mwlissa. That was so wonderfully written in your defense of your mama. It is so very obvious how both you and Amanda make her proud!

  50. 250
    Diana Tempski says:

    Thank you for sharing such a complete analysis with us! I like many of my fellow siestas that have already posted would’ve immediately questioned the quote as well. I have led enough ladies through so many of Beth’s studies that I feel I know her so well even though I have never met her.
    Such a loyal daughter – Beth, your heart must have been blessed to read such a beautifully written defense!
    Blessings to you Melissa!

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: