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Articles by John W. Kennedy

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A weight-loss program that has been criticized for its controversial health practices now is drawing fire for the questionable theological views of its leader, whose publisher has shelved plans for her next book.

Christians had earlier found fault with the Weigh Down Diet because it places no restrictions on what types of foods participants may eat. Apologists and church leaders are now asking whether founder Gwen Shamblin holds heretical views of the Trinity, based on her comments on the Weigh Down Web site.

Since 1992, Shamblin has taken her business from a garage start-up to a multimillion-dollar Nashville corporation. Her 1997 book The Weigh Down Diet has sold more than 1 million copies. There are 30,000 Weigh Down Workshop locations meeting weekly around the world, including in thousands of evangelical churches.

The controversy intensified after Shamblin posted a weekly e-mail communiqué to her followers on Aug. 10. "As a ministry, ...