Course Review: Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ

By | March 2, 2014

Last fall Frank Viola released a course entitled “Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ”. It contains nine audio messages (with an additional introduction) and an accompanying PDF workbook. The workbook doesn’t contribute greatly in my opinion. The contents of four of the chapters only take up a page each, and three additional chapters only have two to three pages of material. The material which is in the workbook largely just restates parts of what Viola says in the audio recording. So the remainder of my review will focus on the contents of the audio messages.

I’m finding it difficult to evaluate this course on its own because I have been learning similar things from several sources simultaneously. That said, Viola does teach some vital, foundation concepts which are largely absent from church. His teaching certainly contains theology, however it isn’t so abstract and academic as the sort of theology often taught. The theology isn’t the point however. The whole goal of this course is to teach people how to practically begin to live the teaching of the new testament. It is about learning how to “walk by faith”, follow God’s leading, and be transformed by the work of the Spirit (as opposed to trying to perfect ourselves through our own power). As mentioned, I believe this is truly foundational, vital teaching, but is also something I was never really taught in many years of attending church.

This course is available presently here. (It’s only available through March 15, but I’m sure it will be available again in the future also.) It does feel expensive and for that reason I don’t promote the course more. (This may be because I am not familiar with other similar courses.) To be fair, Viola isn’t a minister at a church, and therefore his messages aren’t being sponsored by a church—in contrast to many other popular Christian leaders. Also, though he is charging for this course, he has a boatload of great free content on his website, including blog articles, podcasts, and ebooks. He has also authored a number of books which are very reasonably priced. I highly recommend all of this content.

I don’t wish to go into great depth and review everything that Viola covers in this course. Probably the best thing I can say about it is that I believe it is good enough and important enough that I am considering putting together a class in order to share it with others. I believe this would be a great course for churches and small groups to go through, in part because the contents are better practiced as a group than just individually. Unfortunately, the fact the the messages are audio only and not video means that this possibility will be less appealing to many. Nevertheless, I believe this material would be far more beneficial than many other popular teachings available.

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