Article

Article

Happy couple standing with umbrella

Count Your Blessings

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thess 5:18)  Paul exhorts us to give thanks to God regardless of our circumstances in life. But that’s hard. Sometimes conditions are less than ideal; at other times, they’re downright bad. We all feel overwhelmed by life at times. In those instances, we are so close to our own problems that we think they must be greater than anyone else’s. It seems…
various food ingredients

Taste and See

The proof is in the pudding. That’s one of those idioms we all know; it means that the end result will tell whether or not our efforts or planning were successful. But the phrase doesn’t make much sense when you really break it down: why is the proof in the pudding anyway? It becomes clearer in knowing that this is a shortened form of the original phrase: the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The word proof here…

Homecoming

The most famous story Jesus ever told is about a homecoming. We find it in Luke 15. One day, a young man went to his father and demanded his share of the inheritance. Then he left home and traveled to a distant land, wasting all of his money in wild living. When hard times hit, with no other recourse, he hired himself out to a farmer who had him feed pigs. Jesus could not paint a more dramatic picture of…
Businesspeople shaking hands in office

Stone and Campbell Unite

The two Restoration Movements led respectively by Barton W. Stone and Thomas and Alexander Campbell came into increasing contact with each other in Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky throughout the 1820s. Their interactions brought the realization that they had a great deal in common, with their commitment to Scripture as their only guide and common call to unify Christians around the primitive NT church. Despite some differences that existed, members of both movements began to question why they did not unite…
K-199-jj-0000183wf

Stone and Campbell Intersect

A Restoration Movement, led primarily by Barton W. Stone, emerged in Kentucky; another Restoration movement, led by Thomas and Alexander Campbell, emerged in southwest Pennsylvania. As these two groups spread, they began to intersect in Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. By 1823, Stone’s Christian numbered between 15 and 20 thousand, and few had heard of Alexander Campbell. But that year, he traveled to Kentucky to debate the Presbyterian W. L. McCalla on baptism, taking along several copies of his new journal,…
Quill pen on an old book in a library

Alexander Campbell and the Baptists

While Thomas Campbell was separated from his family, establishing himself—and a burgeoning reform movement—in America, they had an eventful 30 months themselves. Their first attempt at a voyage was shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland. That night, while awaiting rescue, Thomas’s 20 year old son Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) made a decision he had often contemplated: he would devote his live to ministry. It was too late in the year to attempt to cross the Atlantic again, so the Campbells settled…
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…

“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…
  • 1
  • 2