David W. Bercot (bornApril 13, 1950) is an attorney, author, and international speaker. He has written various books and magazine articles about early Christianity and Christian discipleship. His two best-known works are Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up?, and the Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs. Bercot is a conservative American Christian and lives in Pennsylvania, United States.
David Bercot was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. After leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1976, he began his university education. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University summa cum laude, and he obtained his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree cum laude from Baylor University School of Law.
In 1985, Bercot began an in-depth study of the early Christians who lived before the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. His studies started him on a spiritual pilgrimage. In 1989, he wrote the book, Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up, which sets forth some of the teachings and lifestyle of the early Christians. That same year, he joined with an Assembly of God pastor to establish Scroll Publishing Company for the purpose of publishing various writings of the pre-Nicene Christians, as well as to publish other Christian books.
Bercot’s studies of the early Christians brought him into contact and dialogue with three different branches of Christianity: the Anabaptists (Mennonites, Amish, Brethren), the Anglican Church, and the churches of the Restoration Movement (Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, International Church of Christ). In 1985, after completing his religious studies through Cambridge University, Bercot was ordained as an Anglican priest. However, he eventually left the Anglican Church and began fellowshipping with various Anabaptist churches.
Today Bercot promotes his own unique blend of Anabaptist, Mennonite, and Jehovah's Witness doctrines. He is well known for his attacks on Calvanism, the Reformed faith, and historic Christian doctrines like the "Eternal Security of the Believer". Bercot is also a pacifist (does not believe in war, the use of weapons or other means for self defense or the defense of others, including women and children).
Bercot’s most widely read work is A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, published in 1998. It is a work that collects together over 7000 excerpts from the writings believed by many to be those of early Christians, arranged alphabetically by topic. According to Bercot, before the publication of his work, the only practical way to determine what the early Christians believed about any given topic was to read the actual writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers themselves. After the publication of A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, the Evangelical Review of Theology (a Review that favors anabaptistic and Mennonite beliefs) stated: “David Bercot has done the church a great service in providing an accessible point of entry into the extant writings of the pre-Nicene church.” The Conservative Theological Journal (another journal that favors various anabaptist views) stated: “This is a must text for everyone interested in modern theological trends in general and especially historical studies.”
Other popular books that Bercot has written are Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up published originally in 1989 (a work that attacks the Reformation and promotes Bercots interpretation of anabaptist history), and The Kingdom That Turned the World Upside Down (2003), and Will the Theologians Please Sit Down (2009), (a diatribe against Reformed theology, Sola Scriptura, and the sufficiency of Scripture.
Bercot and his wife, Deborah, were married in 1972. They have three children.
Critiques of Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up?
On Patristics and the Development of Christian Doctrine