Dear Friends & Supporters,

It had been my hope to issue a message at the time of the publication of the board’s letter announcing my reinstatement, but for the last month we have had the Anglican bishop of Bukuru, Nigeria, Jwan Zhumbes, with us. We brought him here to raise awareness of the extraordinary persecution that Christians suffer in that country at the hands of the Boko Haram, the Fulani Herdsmen Militia, and a corrupt government. As many of you know by now, after a speaking engagement at Cathedral Church of the Advent on August 18th, Jwan became quite ill. We took him to a G.I. physician and, much to Jwan’s and our shock, he was diagnosed with “a massive ulcerated [cancerous non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma] tumor” in his stomach. He was immediately hospitalized.

This has been nothing short of a work of God on the bishop’s behalf. Had his sudden symptoms of illness – an inability to keep any food or liquid down – happened to him after his return to Nigeria (as he was scheduled to do on September 5th), he would have been dead within a week, physicians tell us. But the Lord had him with us and knew that we would help and that we knew others in the medical community who would help. (Let me say here that St. Vincent’s Hospital has been nothing short of incredible.) The bishop was released from the hospital last week and has started chemotherapy and will be staying with Lauri and me for the next five months.

Needless to say, this has knocked us all for a loop and we are reeling. This is a major life and schedule adjustment for him and for us. Hence the reason I have published nothing of significance for the last three weeks. Cancer is no respecter of persons or schedules! So we ask for your forbearance, and please pray for the good bishop. He has a tough road ahead.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Regarding my reinstatement as executive director of Fixed Point Foundation:

I am grateful to the board who loved what this organization has represented, believed in it, wanted to see it continued, and always had the Gospel in view.

I am grateful to our friends – and they know who they are – who stood with us through thick and thin. What can be said of them? Not enough. King David, it is believed, wrote Psalm 38 after his sin with Bathsheba. There he throws himself upon the mercy of God and compares his sin to an illness akin to leprosy or boils – nasty, ugly, and foul. He says that his “wounds stink and fester because of [his] foolishness.” He then speaks of those “friends” who “stand aloof from [his] plague” and “who seek [his] hurt and speak of ruin.”

Well, those people that I here honor are exactly the opposite of what David describes in that Psalm. They are the kind of people who shine when the chips are down. They were the embodiment of Galatians 6:1-2, where Paul speaks of restoring the fallen “in a spirit of gentleness” and of bearing “one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Rather than withdrawing, they drew near. And they did so when there was nothing to be gained for themselves – no exciting job or trips; no soirées where they might rub elbows with celebrities; and where there was no social benefit whatsoever. They modeled the Gospel of grace and peace to us and to our children. They gave no ear to gossip and did not become malicious toward others. They offered wise, godly counsel. They reached out to us, hosted us, and visited us at Duck River Ranch during our darkest moments, sometimes staying for several days at a time, just to see how we were doing. During our “silent period,” they came and helped me in my labors around the ranch, pulling up fenceposts, shoeing horses, cutting trees, laying water lines, demolishing old barns – all hard work, just to help and provide friendly companionship. They put a shoulder under our burden and carried it. They never presumed to judge or to act as if I had wronged them. When I believed there was no future, they assured me that I was wrong, and that this was the beginning of a new and better thing. In short, these were the people who, in the words of Romans 12:15, rejoiced when we rejoiced and wept when we wept. They didn’t do this because they thought Larry sinless or perfect. They did it because they love us and especially because they love God. These have set the standard for what true friendship looks like. I am humbled by them and indebted to them. I love you all.

Rather than withdrawing, they drew near. And they did so when there was nothing to be gained for themselves – no exciting job or trips; no soirées where they might rub elbows with celebrities; and where there was no social benefit whatsoever. They modeled the Gospel of grace and peace to us and to our children.

I am grateful to no human being more than I am to Lauri, the only victim in this, who has taught me more about love and grace than anyone ever has – and not just in her actions (or nonactions) toward me. She is my high school sweetheart and the love of my life. She has taught me the difference between genuine love and false manifestations of it. She has demonstrated to me a deeper meaning of grace – not just in the abstract, empty manner in which many Christians speak and sing of it and put on their signage – but in real life where it costs you something. She was deeply wronged by others who never displayed brokenness and repentance before her, and yet she never retaliated. She never sought to harm a single person, least of all me. Where one might act haughty and self-righteous and spitefully lord your sin over you as if they had none of their own, and do it with subtle and not-so-subtle reminders, Lauri, the only person who possessed that right, never did.

Luke 8:1-3 lists a number of women who propelled Jesus’ ministry forward. The reference to them is understated, but significant. So it is with many ministries, businesses, and organizations, mine perhaps more than others. I am blessed to have a number of remarkable women of grace in my life. Women who have made so much possible and who gave so much of themselves. Of these, none is more remarkable than Lauri, whose quiet faith is stronger than that of anyone I know. The last two years have seen us grow closer than either of us ever thought possible in an earthly relationship.

I have endeavored to model grace and to build an organization that modeled it. I wrote a book about it, extended it to the hurting, the misfits, and the broken. And I have literally travelled around the world in search of it. Little did I know that I would have to come home to find it for myself.

And, most of all, I am grateful to the gracious God who is there. In Psalm 40, also written after King David’s sin with Bathsheba, David writes of how the Lord “drew [him] up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set [his] feet upon a rock, making [his] steps secure.” In his overflowing gratitude to God, David goes on to say that he will not “restrain his lips” but will “tell the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation.” He says he will not hide this in his heart, but will proclaim the Lord’s “faithfulness and salvation” to the masses. So must I do also, and I do it with a full heart!

The God of the Bible sets Himself apart from all other gods, pretenders to that title and throne, when we are in our worst moments and circumstances. This is how I know the friends mentioned above will be richly rewarded in heaven where I will serve them – because their conduct in this (and in other situations that I know of) reflected the character of God himself. Our Lord binds our wounds when we turn to him, and He restores that which was broken. He is a God who forgives seventy times seven and urges us to do the same (Matthew 18:21-22). He is a God who casts our sins as far as the east is from the west and remembers them no more (Psalm 103:12 and Hebrews 8:12). He is a God who puts us through the fire not to do us harm, but to refine us, making us more useful vessels in his hands. To the broken, I hold up David to you because God did much more than restore him – David became the man against whom God measured all future kings of Israel. As restorations go, this one was not too shabby. This is on offer to all, no matter who you are.

On a practical note, I assume leadership of an organization with an amazing history of success and cultural impact, but there is much work to be done. If Fixed Point were a race car with a couple of trips to Daytona’s winner’s circle to its name, you would say that the car is now cobwebbed, covered in dust, and that the tires are dry-rotting. And with no money in the bank or assets to its name (contrary to absurd reports), it’s in need of more than a few sponsorships. That this is so, is, in part, my own fault. I bumped up against the devil and crashed into the wall in inglorious fashion. But the roll cage proved sturdy, and the seat and steering wheel feel familiar, so I am optimistic.

Besides, I like building things. Duck River Ranch has been my focus for the last two years. Now I turn my attention to Fixed Point. We have a great staff, but we are going to need help. So if you would like to apply or volunteer, you can email us at contact@larryalextaunton.com. (At present, I am a volunteer, as Fixed Point cannot pay me a salary, and that will need to change.)

Where are we going? The mission is unchanged. If you subscribe to the blog, then you know that I have been writing and publishing widely since the beginning of this year, just as I did in the past, on the Big Issues. It is in my writing and speaking on those issues where our work is most effective. We reach huge audiences with a single article, and that, we believe, is a worthy endeavor. But there will continue to be the occasional event. Indeed, you can catch us on The Eric Metaxas Show in NYC next month.

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you. If you would like to meet, you can send an email to the address above and we will reply as able. There are many of you that I love very dearly.

As we move forward, know this: we do so in grace. There is no self-righteousness here. If it is not already clear to you, I am a sinner! Perhaps not the one of sinister gossip or, I don’t know, maybe worse, but a big sinner nonetheless. I am not your pastor or priest, and don’t want to be. God created me to contend on his behalf for the sake of the Gospel: to defend it, to fight for its place in the world, and to equip others to do the same. I do so because I believe in it with all of my heart, and in the full knowledge that I am saved by grace and loved by Him who said, “Let there be light.” I wish harm to no one. Not even those who promote ideas against which I speak and write. On the contrary, I desire that all find the peace that surpasses all understanding – and that, I can tell you from hard experience, can only be found in the grace of the Lord. Everything else is, in the words of Ecclesiastes 1:14, just so much chasing after the wind.

God created me to contend on his behalf for the sake of the Gospel: to defend it, to fight for its place in the world, and to equip others to do the same.

Finally, for your encouragement I have included below many of the responses to last week’s board announcement. Lauri and I were overwhelmed by the nature of that response. Indeed, we were moved by it. There was only one negative response, and we include it below, too!

May God bless you and your families,

Larry Alex Taunton

Great news!!!!

Sara

__________

So glad to hear this. 

Joanne

__________

Excellent news!

Gina

__________

Wonderful news. Praying for your family and for the work of FPF!

Kim

Gal 2:20

__________

This is good news. Thanks for not killing a wounded soldier. May the Lord fully restore and make whole all that was broken. 

In Him,

Timothy

Nigeria 
__________

I applaud that decision.  GRACE WINS!

Keep up the good work

Harold H

__________

Fist. Pump. BOOM!

Julia

__________

Repentance, Forgiveness, restoration. Wonderful stuff.

All the best,

Ivan P.

__________

PRAISE GOD!!! So happy for you and especially for Fixed Point!

Teresa J

__________

This is great … but when was Larry not the director of Fixed Point?

Phil

__________

It was great to read this news. Claiming this prayer for you: Ephesians 3:20: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever. Amen.” Praying your life will have an impact for generations to come. Love u.

_______

Dear Steve and Larry,

Hallelujah. By God’s mercy and grace, this has turned out to be the birth pains of something greater. May this as well as His wisdom and hope be your guide for what’s to come.

Be in His Holy Spirit always,

Kerry

__________

Amen, and Amen!

Holly Y.

__________

I thank the Board for taking this action on Larry, a most gifted and talented man in fighting for the souls of men using the Scriptures and his skill set. We all stumble. We all sin. We all at times walk in the flesh. I am delighted that you all have reinstated Larry to ministry.

William T

Atlanta, GA

__________

Praise the Lord!

Mary T

London, UK

__________

Good move. I have followed the situation over since the beginning. The entire situation has been handled the biblical way, by FPF and Larry and his family. Thank you for showing a great example of how it is supposed to be done!

Tim G

__________

Yeah!! Such a wonderful journey of the redemption we all so desperately need! Well done on how you all have handled this in the light (of the public especially). 

Nick

New Zealand

__________

This is a wonderful announcement. Grace works for a living!

Kelly

New York City

__________

Wonderful! I could not be happier to hear this news! 

Jessica G.

Oregon

__________

Sorry no. Very unimpressed.

Mary Lynn

__________

Who else but Kirk commands the Enterprise? I feel better knowing he’s back in the captain’s chair! “Mr. Chekhov, take us out!”

Jordan

Birmingham, AL

__________

Amen. Welcome back!

JJ

Longview, TX

__________

Awesome news, Larry. I couldn’t be happier for you. As well as for Fixed Point. Onward and upward!

Lauren

Mountain Brook, AL

__________

Dear Larry,

Congratulations, this is a good thing the board has done and the right thing to do.

God bless you in continuing to do God’s work.

Randy Z

__________

this is wonderful news!

Carol B

Nashville, TN

__________

I applaud Larry’s reinstatement and pray God will continue His work through Fixed Point. The “Grace Effect” is alive.

Lou V

__________

Larry. So glad to hear this good news. Congratulations for the humble hard work it has taken from you and Laurie to get to this point.

MK

__________

This is wonderful news! I hope there will be further TV broadcasts of Fixed Point.

Lynne

__________

Praise God. His redemption lived out!

Susan

__________

To God be the glory. May the Lord of all grace continue to  uphold Larry for the work He has assigned him. 

Okoye G

Abuja, Nigeria

__________

I applaud FPF’s courage and wisdom in making this move, just as I agreed with what they had to do two years ago. Time does not heal all wounds, but God does as He works in His own time.

Prayerfully, I thank you, and Our Father of All Mercy.

Joseph K

__________

Please let me know of upcoming events, news of a location, and anything related to

FIXED POINT.

Happy to see this take place.

Truman

__________

Praise the Lord! I am so thankful for you Tauntons and will pray for you as you continue your unique work of the gospel in the strength that God supplies. May our mighty God continue to restore and heal you and make you more like Christ. 

May the Lord bless you and keep you always.

Sincerely,

Britney

__________

Dr. Skinner,

Thank you. We are all broken. Mr. Taunton chose the route to redemption, we can do no less than to meet him there, with great joy.

Sabrina O.

__________

Larry and Lauri,

This is GREAT news! Praise The Lord! Grace and Forgiveness! I have often thought that King David would not have made it in the modern day church but perhaps he could have been a part of FPF!

Your fellow bondservant,

Mike W

__________

I wholeheartedly agree. I have learned much from your organization.

And it is your calling.

Grace and Peace,

Terry S., MD

Coventry, England

__________

Took a minute, but I’m glad this happened. Are congratulations in order? I hope so because I’m very happy for both you and Fixed Point!

Nathan

Birmingham, AL

__________

Excellent news from Fixed Point.

Thanks,

Valerie J.

__________

Sounds good.

Hal M.

__________

The day I read of your resignation, I cried. I literally felt like the world was a safer place knowing you were out there doing what you do. It made me a better person. I was inspired to be braver seeing you go, go, go. It never dawned on me the subtle pressure people like me put on you…. Knowing you’re coming back, though, I can’t help but feel like things are right with the world again!

Amber W

__________

That is awesome! I was so excited to see the announcement. Praise God. 

Melissa

Colorado Springs, Colorado

__________

Congratulations to Larry. 

Stephen

Nigeria

__________

That is great news!!

George O.

__________

Hi Larry,

Congrats on your reinstatement into Fixed Point. I am happy for your faithfulness in this process and look forward to your continued fruitful ministry.

Ian

Boston, Massachusetts 

__________

Very gratifying to see the Christian community comfort and encourage our wounded warriors!

All blessing,

Jeremy

__________

Glad to have you back in the saddle.

Clay

__________

This is good to see.

Rhonda

__________

Praise Him from Whom all blessings flow!

Michael

__________

There is no doubt that a man who survives [a gruesome bicycle] crash and has a nun appear at the scene is deserving of absolution and acceptance. Taunton is an excellent apologist for Christianity especially with all the attacks on our Faith. It is especially hard for this Catholic these days, so pray for us.

Thomas

__________

We are very happy for this unanimous reinstatement. We agree completely, and pray God’s blessings on you.

Naomi and Jonathan

__________

Wonderful news and delighted to read it.

Tiffany

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

__________

WELCOME HOME!!!

Evan

Mountain Brook, Alabama

__________

Praise the Lord. VERY good news!

Christopher M

New York City

Larry Alex Taunton is an author, cultural commentator, and freelance columnist contributing to USA TODAYFox NewsFirst ThingsThe AtlanticCNN, and The American Spectator.  In addition to being a frequent radio and television guest, he is also the author of The Grace  Effect and The Gospel Coalition Arts and Culture Book of the Year, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens. You can subscribe to his blog at larryalextaunton.com.

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