It would be almost 3 decades before another brave soul ventured to carefully examine Gothard in book form. A Matter of Principles is a far more thorough work, investigating both the teachings and person of Bill Gothard, along with his organization. What is unearthed is extremely unpleasant at times, as Gothard is portrayed as a man lacking in integrity and simply not practicing what he preaches. Accounts of scandals being hushed and lies being told are detailed throughout the book. More importantly, many of Gothard’s core teachings are held up to the light of Scripture and found wanting.
A Matter of Principles is a disturbing book that will anger many. The question of course is whether Don is right, especially concerning Gothard’s teaching. I would encourage anyone connected with Gothard’s ministry to give this book a fair reading and determine, with his or her Bible open, whether Don has won his case. I for one believe for the most part he has.
I will reserve further comments on Bill Gothard for my Think on These Things study papers that should be published in early 2003.