Beyond Extraordinary Ep. 10: Special Debate Edition

In this episode, I share my review/editorial of the recent debate between Russ Houck and Cris Putnam on View from the Bunker with Derek Gilbert.  I recently posted a breakdown of the debate which you can see here:

At the end of that article, I promised to provide my honest opinions about the debate in a podcast, which is what you will find here.  I wrestled with just how open to be about my feelings, and determined that the best approach would be just to lay it all out there.


This was more than just a trinity debate.  Many other issues were raised.  It was quite interesting, but there were parts that truly concerned me.  I hope you’ll understand that my goal here was not to attack, but to honestly discuss the deeply important issues raised, and examine how someone could get to a place where they defend such radical claims.

Listen to the full debate here:  VFTB 164: Did Constantine Steal Christianity?

Cris Putnam:

Russ Houck:

Russ Houck Podcast discussing the debate:





  1. TonyPMiller

    I just have to say wow. Natalina whoever you are I am very impressed. I became aware of Russ Houck some time ago and was really interested in what he was promoting. It wasn’t until I was later convicted about my own arrogant desire to be “set apart” from mundane believers that I recognized the appeal of Houck’s ministry is that it makes you feel special like you have inside information. But none of it checks out and it doesn’t pass the acid test. Listening to your analysis I felt like it was the heart shaped stamp on Cris Putnam’s academic dismantling of Houck’s theology. The two of you have delivered a one two punch. Hey don’t mistake my saying that you (natalina) provided the heart to mean that you were lacking in intelligent inspiration. In this podcast you proved that you’re not only warm and caring but also that you have an impressive intellect and a very compelling way with words. Bravo and God bless to Cris and Natalina. Both doing good work.

  2. This podcast, while it may not have been the most intriguing subject you have covered, may prove to be one of the most important topics you have discussed to date. After spending some time ruminating on the entirety of the debate from the lead up discussions – to the actual debate and on to the “follow up” postings and commentary, I see a picture forming that is so much more than just a denial of the Trinity.

    The final 15 minutes of the pod cast was a powerful, poetic and poignant (I know how you love alliteration). You really nailed it when you stated that Mr. Houck and his “followers” have an all out “vendetta against orthodoxy” and have fallen deep into the “special knowledge sinkhole”. You further drove the point home by suggesting that their feelings of being misinterpreted and alone in their uncommon knowledge leaves the door wide open to the opportunity to identify with all manner of persecuted people in the past. It is this mindset that brings about the Inquisition language, for as you stated, “the entire world is conducting an Inquisition against them.” This victim mentality is a powerful group motivator, and combined with the surface charm and manipulative language that targets emotional responses, this “movement” is tremendously dangerous.

    Now, to add my commentary to the situation. I cannot get past the idea that our scripture is not authoritative and that 1700 years of theology is utterly corrupt.

    “Yeah, hath God said?” – the first words uttered from the serpent to humanity. “Did God actually say?” “Can it really be that God said?” “Did God really say?” “Is it true that God said?” No matter what translation you read, the bottom line is, humanity is in the condition that we are in now (sin) because Adam ceased listening to God and what He said and began listening to the tempter. And just as Paul said we all “in Adam we all die” mankind continues repeating the sin of Adam by asking “hath God said?”

    There are 3 verses in the Bible that are identical. While I believe every word of the Bible is important, when God says something more than once, one must really stand up and take notice. Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31 and Luke 21:33 all state that” Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.” God has promised, and has made a way for His Word to persevere, regardless of the human factor. In Jeremiah 1:12 we are assured that God is alert and active as “He watches over His Word to perform it.” If, as Mr. Houck claims, God’s Word was lost – passed away – for 1700 years, then God is a liar and I have no need for Him.

    So, either God has, in fact, preserved His Word, or He has not. What more is there?

    I would like to once again say thank you to Cris for leading the charge on this effort and for having the courage and strength to contend for the faith with reason and intellect. I would further like to commend Natalina for her thoughtful commentary. These public platforms are integral to dispensing truth.

  3. Great job on reporting this. It’s good to discuss these topics and present facts! Iron sharpening iron. Thank you!

  4. the Truth is stranger than fiction...

    Natalie, loved your discerning input on this whole affair. the debate itself really revealed how, like you said, Houck’s whole stance in question is really about much more than even specific issues like the Holy Spirit, but a deeper danger. I don’t want to espouse negativity or judgement as him as a soul who God loves, but as a teacher (which he indeed is!), he has proven to be demonstrably false to the degree that I wouldn’t want myself or any of the teachers I respect to have any association with his work…

    That being said, as a sidenote I feel compelled to mention that while I found Chris’s engagement with Russ to be justified and appropriately “assertive”, (considering how slippery he clearly is about backing up any of the claims he makes), I must say that I feel that the way that Chris has in turn focused his sights on Rob Skiba (because of his promotion of Houck), has been less justified. Having now listened to a bunch of Skiba’s podcasts done with Doug Hamp, I gotta say that while I’m really bummed Rob found Pappy to anything worth listening to, overall I just don’t feel the same degree of deception going on with Rob, as though he’s drank the full pitcher of heresy kool-aid… If we are to extend grace and love to Russ, then Id say that much more to Rob, cuz heck, even if I don’t agree with Skiba’s current understanding of the Holy Spirit, his understanding can change, and he didn’t write Houck’s book, and certainly doesn’t spew out the wild spectrum of bombastic claims Houck makes about “religion” and everyone but him being adherents to Catholic doctrine etv., etc! Anyways, just wanted to say something about that, cuz if Doug Hamp (who as far as I can tell is about as orthodox as Chris is) can disagree with Rob on stuff, but still see his genuine heart for Jesus and allow questions to at least be asked, then why can’t Putnam treat Skiba the same way?

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