Doctrinal Matters

These documents address issues of faith and practice
that pertain to the Exchanged Life Counseling movement


TRINITARIANISM: A Preliminary Report to the Exchanged Life Evidences Committee of the Association of Exchanged Life Ministries, by John Best and Lee LeFebre (1/27/2011). (This document shows the error of those who exaggerate grace to the point of universal salvation.)


“Keswick”–Good Word or Bad, by John VanGelderen. This article presents the historical background of the annual evangelical, deeper life convention in Keswick, England. The author addresses inaccurate accusations and shows how this view of victorious life sanctification is biblical and relevant for today.

David C. Needham’s Birthright (Multomah Press) has been very helpful in clarifying the implications of the New Covenant for grace-based sanctification. Here is a response to an unfavorable critique of Birthright.

The internet contains critiques of Spirituotherapy from those who reject a spirit, soul, body model of man (1 Thess. 5:23), reject even a contextual role of observable psychology, and advocate a different view of sanctification. Here is a response to one of them (from an otherwise venerated journal: Bib. Sac.).
A_Response_to_”A_Critique_of_the_Exchanged Life”


Are relationship with God and fellowship with God identical concepts? If not, how do they differ? This article by John Woodward shows how these themes overlap and how they differ.
Relationship and Fellowship_JBW2

Dr. John Best addresses 12 issues in his insightful book, Resolving Misunderstandings of the Exchanged Life. It is available from Here is an outline summary:
Resolving Misunderstandings_J.Best

Traditional terminology describes the believer’s residual inclination toward sin (the world/flesh/devil influence) as a “sinful nature” (as those words are sometimes rendered in dynamic equivalence Bible translations). This article addresses the question: Does the Believer Have Two Natures? The answer may surprise you.

What is “the flesh”? (This article revises the Gems and Jargon definition.) The flesh remains in the believer’s mortal body after salvation (Rom. 7:18). It makes him vulnerable to a carnal (fleshly) condition in his personality (1 Cor. 3:3) if/when he walks according to the flesh instead of the Spirit (Rom. 8:3-5;13:14).
Flesh – Body of Sin

Is “self” already crucified with Christ? or should we deny “self”? Or love our neighbor our “ourself” ? That depends on which of the four meanings of “self” is under consideration.
Sorting_Your Self_Out

Does the Exchanged Life endorse or require passivity?
Passivity? Walking by Grace

Some are so emphatic that believers are not under the law, that they may cross the line into “antinomianism.” Is God’s moral law in force today for everyone?

Although the believer is positionally and spiritually set apart from sin unto God at the new birth, the New Testament exhorts us to progress in sanctification. Should the believer be concerned about growing in holiness in character and conduct?
The_Perfected_and_Progressive_Aspects_of Sanctification


What is the role of psychology in biblical counseling? Should observable psychological data be totally avoided, integrated, or used in some other way? Here is an outline addressing this controversial issue (from the GFI Solomon Lecture Series).
Psychology_- Contextualization


What is the nature of eternal life? As Exchanged Life disciplers/counselors convey the message of the believer’s union with Christ, the nature of eternal life is addressed. Here is a brief biblical outline on this theme.
What is Eternal Life?

Calvinism versus Arminianism. Was the systematic theology of Calvin accurate and balanced, or is further reformation needed? Must we choose between the T.U.L.I.P. (predestination to salvation or damnation) or the daisy (He loves me; He loves me not…)?

Is a human being one indivisible part (monism), dichotomous (body and soul), or trichotomous (body, soul and spirit)? Or must we just say “multifaceted”? Most theology students have not been informed that the early church fathers believed in trichotomy, and so did Luther. Most evangelical Bible commentators favor the ontological distinction of the human soul and spirit. The concept of “holistic trichotomy” agrees that we are one in personhood, have two separable parts (Matt. 10:28), yet three distinguishable parts (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12). We believe that clarity in biblical psychology is a demonstratable advantage in Christian counseling.

Law versus Grace
A helpful chart that illustrates how the believer is no longer under law but under grace (Rom. 6:14).

Biblical Texts

An examination of Galatians 2:20. We live by faith of, or faith in the Son of God?
Grammar_of_Galatians_2 20

Ephesian 4:22 has been interpreted as if “the old man” is still part of the believer. Consider this text in relation to Romans 6:6 and Colossians 3:9.

Does 1 John 1:9 restrict confession of sin to one’s initial salvation?

What did Paul mean by his statement that he considered himself the “chief of sinners”?

Doctrinal Statements

A good survey of Bible doctrine is this college text book by Dr. Mark Cambron.
Bible Doctrines_Cambron

A Doctrinal Statement from Association of Exchanged Life Ministries
AELM Doctrinal Statement 2012

If you have a question or comment about these matters feel free to use this form: