This month: 178 - The Book of James
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Archives for 101 – Embracing Biblical Restoration

What I’ve loved about Wineskins for over two decades now, is its safe environment to exchange our new ideas, or to even stretch our comfort zone.  I would like to utilize this format now to raise an issue none of us really want to face head-on, yet this common struggle is decimating us.

Take a deep breath, and let’s be brave together.  If there’s one great weakness we’ve mutually experienced…

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I will admit that sometimes conversations about restoration of the early church strike me as a bit dull.  In my time, I’ve heard some stodgy, unexciting, seemingly-endless restoration-centered debates about worship practices, some of them meticulously dissecting such minutia as whether or not Paul would have approved of a woman passing a communion tray from front to back instead of side to side. What a travesty! When we see…

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When we speak of restoring the New Testament church it immediately begs the question of what, exactly, that means. Another legitimate question arises at the same time: was it God’s intent to have a first century church in the twenty first century? Was God a God of patterns, as one famous book in our tribe argued at length a few decades ago? And if He does want something restored,…

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I grew up in Restoration Movement churches in Upstate New York. During my “pre-memory” years (0-5 years old) my family attended a Church of Christ. I have only the vaguest impressions of this church: a basement with flaky-paint, cinder block walls; a kitchen with leftover grape juice shots; and a cappella songs in minor keys (“We Are One in the Spirit,” “The Lord Is in His Holy Temple,” etc.).


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About once a week I get the prompt from Google informing me that Chrome has failed to shut down correctly.  In their eagerness to simplify my life they always offer the, ever so helpful, option of just clicking restore. If only life were that easy.

We’re talking a lot about Biblical Restoration these days, but I wonder if we’re truly prepared…

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“All creation has an instinct for renewal.” –Tertullian

A few months ago I read about some research done between the Universities of Oregon and Kansas about how what we believe about what God will do in the “end times” affects how we live now.

And it was disturbing.

They discovered that people who believed in Hell were less likely to do bad things, like commit crimes or like Nickelback. But they also…

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I have a love/hate relationship with the desire in Churches of Christ for restoration of the New Testament church. For much of my life, I was driven by goals, by checklists, by A’s at the top of my school assignment, so making a church check list according to the model of the New Testament church appealed to the over-achiever in me. I liked the idea of having a definitive…

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Restoration projects generally seek to conform the present to the past.  But this is not God’s restoration ideal.  God’s restoration project is the realization of the future.

I understand this is a fairly significant twist to an old and comfortable idea. Many of us have lovingly embraced the idea of returning to the past in order to restore the church to its pristine condition. We thought conforming to past patterns…

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I have experienced way too much of that in my life.

Going to the dentist is painful and difficult when you have had mouth trauma over the years.

It is also financially painful.

At age 51, I (and my wallet) remain terrified of dentists and the work they do.


Because at age 15, I totaled a Volkswagon Beetle. In the process, I ate the steering wheel and knocked teeth out and tore gums…

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There has been a lot of discussion about the future Christianity in the Western world and what things are going to look like in the future. This discussion has focused on everything from the loss of our young adults to rethinking what “church” is all about and why we do the things that we used to take for granted. These are important conversations that will be pivotal for many…

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