Church Blog (Page 2)

Church Blog (Page 2)

Bible and praying hands

Thomas Campbell’s Declaration and Address

While the various men we have written about in the past few weeks – O’Kelly, Smith, Jones, and Stone – were aspiring to be simply New Testament Christians in the United States, the principal figures of the fourth and final movement to examine were still in the British Isles. Thomas Campbell (1763-1854) was a Presbyterian minister in Ireland who became increasingly dissatisfied with the divisiveness of his denomination: he was not just a Presbyterian, but an Old Light, Anti-Burgher, Seceder…

The Christians in the West

A tradition of restorationist thinking, despair over denominationalism, and a commitment to religious liberty combined in the young United States to produce 4 movements, emerging almost simultaneously and independently, that looked to Scripture and the faith and practice of the New Testament church as their guide. We noted 2 of these last week: the O’Kelly Christians in the South and the Smith-Jones movement in New England. The most numerous of these grew largely from former Presbyterians and Baptists in Kentucky…

Early-American Restoration Movements

For the last few weeks, we have had a series of articles covering the roots of the Restoration Movement. We looked at its spiritual predecessors in the Middle Ages; we saw more direct influences in the Reformed tradition, especially as delivered through the Puritans, as well as the Anabaptists. All of these factors were present in Europe, of course. But certain features peculiar to the American experience, particularly in the aftermath of the Revolution, made it ripe for the Restoration…
open book

Renaissance, Reformation, and Restoration

The Renaissance When we divide world history into discrete periods – realizing, of course, that nothing, in reality, is ever as neat and tidy as it appears in a textbook – the ebb of learning that characterized much of the Middle Ages is followed by the Renaissance (c. 1300-1517). The dependence on institutional authority that defined much of medieval life for common people – not least in the church – was rejected for an individualism manifested primarily as faith in…

“Restoration Movements” in the Middle Ages

The very concept of “Restoration” indicates that something needs to be restored. What do we mean by that? Acts 2 portrays the Jerusalem church in the immediate aftermath of Pentecost as a model: they were devoted to the teachings of the apostles, they engaged in regular prayer and fellowship, and they grew exponentially. But the rest of Acts as well as the NT more generally make clear that the early church had problems too: there was division in Corinth, Judaizing…

Why Study History?

For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.  Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples…

Spiritual Things NOT More Important Than Physical

I referenced this article by Wes McAdams, preacher for the McDermott Road Church of Chris tin Plano, on Wednesday night and thought I would go ahead and share it with you; it is certainly food for thought. If you have never read his blog “Radically Christian,” I highly recommend it. BP  A paradigm shift happens when you change or correct an assumption on which other conclusions are based. Most Christians, for instance, assume spiritual things are more important than physical…

The Danger of Anger

We all know the type of pithy little sayings that you find on church signs sometimes. Perhaps you have seen this one: “Anger is just one letter short of being danger.” It’s true; anger can be dangerous. And I imagine most of us experience times when we lose our tempers, because anger is one of the most difficult emotions to control. It’s like the comic book character, the Incredible Hulk. Normally he is a mild-mannered scientist, Dr. Bruce Banner –…
Water and reflections

James Harding on (Re)Baptism

We celebrate Independence Day this week, a time to reflect on the beliefs and actions of our Founding Fathers. In a similar way, I think it is profitable to occasionally consider the views of our fathers in the faith. James Harding was a preacher, writer, and educator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; Harding University is named for him. This is from the July, 1900 edition of his publication “The Way” in response to a letter from a…
Friends talking together

You Never Mentioned Him to Me

So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.  If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. (Ezekiel 33:7-8) James Rowe is one…

A Father’s Choice

On a Sunday in 1910 in Spokane, Washington, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in church and decided that fathers needed a day of their own. Eventually, this day was set aside nationally to honor fathers in the same manner that Mother’s Day is set aside for mothers – at least theoretically, anyway.  Fathers often seem to be an afterthought compared to mothers in terms of the respect they get for their role…
Big cross

A Fountain Filled With Blood

You can buy just about anything on Amazon. That is a bit of a double-edged sword, because it means that people have a platform for selling just about anything. This week, I saw a listing for a book written by a fellow who styles himself anonymously as “Ex Preacher” to avoid “personal attacks” and “pointless debates and arguments.” The book is entitled Obsessed With Blood, intended to be the first volume in “The Crazy Things Christians Believe” series. The teaser…