Resurrection, Part 5: The Rapture

I have a confession to make: I didn’t know what the “Rapture” is until I was in law school. A degree from Lipscomb and a childhood of Sunday school classes and sermons, and somehow the Rapture got entirely past me. We in the Churches of Christ don’t speak of the Rapture — either pro or […]

Resurrection, Part 4: 2 Peter 3:10-13: The heavens will pass away

2 Peter 3:10-13 is one of the most common — and understandable — objections to belief in a general bodily resurrection, as opposed to a disembodied eternal fate for the saved. This familiar passage is usually taken to mean that God is going to take the saved away from earth so that he can then […]

Resurrection, Part 3: Bodies in the afterlife?

So I was teaching a Wednesday Bible class of older adults not long ago, and I mentioned some of this to them, and they became upset with me. They’d always been taught they’d float off into the ether as disembodied souls. Plainly I was wrong. But I pointed out to them that they’d also always […]

Resurrection, Part 2: The early church fathers; Asking better questions

The early church fathers actually considered a denial of a bodily resurrection as damning! For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth], and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is […]

Resurrection, Part 1: A Definition

The scholar who has most thoroughly studied the question of Christian resurrection is doubtlessly N. T. Wright. The question is central to his books The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 3) and Surprised by Hope. Surprised by Hope is written at a more popular level and […]

The Future of the Brotherhood

The inimitable Patrick Mead recently posted this story on Facebook — Breakfast at hotel before boarding ship. A man comes in greeting everyone. Asks me my name. Immediately says, “I’m a preacher for the Lord’s church in —-. Brother Mead, for shame. I saw your website with that woman on there.” He shakes his head […]

“He will rule over you”: An egalitarian perspective

I should start by saying that I dislike the term “egalitarian.” I’d rather refer to myself as a “complementarian” because I believe God made Eve to be a complement to Adam — to make up what was lacking. But “spiritual leadership” or “hierarchicalist” teachers have adopted “complementarian” as their own self-description, leaving me with an […]

Inerrancy, A Parable (Morning espresso)

So morning came way too quickly. I was eating breakfast, and I needed caffeine, quickly and massively. I pulled into a local coffee shop and ordered an espresso. I began sipping while reading the morning paper on my smartphone. Just as the fog was beginning to clear, the phone rang. It was Stanley. “Sorry. I […]

Inerrancy, A Parable (Midnight snack)

It was late, but for some reason, I was keyed up. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep for a while. And so I went looking for a snack — even though my wife had thrown all my snacks out, to “encourage” me to lose some weight. Finally, I found my grandson’s stash of […]

Inerrancy, A Parable (Coffee)

“Sorry for the soap box speech. I get a little wound up with all this biscuits, barbecue, and lemon pie in me. And by the way, I’m buying. I enjoy talking about God, Jesus, and the Spirit so much that I happily pay.” Stanley objected. “Look. I know you’re time is valuable, but I just have […]

Inerrancy, A Parable (Dessert)

“So what does that mean about my faith? And all the other alleged contradictions?” “Well, there have been some fairly lengthy books written laying out alleged contradictions, and some are pretty tough to sort out. This is one. But there are others. “And I can only speak for myself, but they just don’t bother me […]

Inerrancy, A Parable (Entrée)

Stanley leaned back and drew in a breath. “You’re right. But it still bothers me that there are these contradictions. They seem to seriously impeach the credibility — a good legal term — the credibility of these witnesses. If they’re in error about small things, then maybe they’re in error about big things.” “Ah, we […]

Inerrancy, A Parable (Appetizer)

I had just taught my Sunday morning Bible class when our campus minister approached me. “You know Stanley — he’s in pre-law at the University — don’t you?” I’m a lawyer, and so I usually meet the pre-law students who come through my church’s campus ministry. “Sure. A good kid. I little intense, I think, […]

Reflecting on “10 Predictions About the Future of Churches of Christ”

In a recent post, Matt Dabbs offered 10 Predictions About the Future of Churches of Christ. I think his predictions are very insightful — so much so that I feel compelled to add a couple of thoughts. 4 – Universities and churches will compete against para-church ministries for “talent.” I think this is true — but […]

Reflecting on “The Future of Churches of Christ: Table & Baptism”

I’ve been pondering Richard Beck’s excellent post “The Future of Churches of Christ: Table & Baptism.” Richard writes, In my opinion, if the (ecumenical) Churches of Christ want to maintain a distinctive and coherent identity going forward they should increasingly focus upon articulating a robust and distinctive theology as it pertains to two specific church […]

Dropping Our Nets: Questions

Paula Harrington recently posted an article called Dropping Our Nets suggesting that, if the Holy Spirit had his way with the Churches of Christ, our attitude toward the poor would be transformed– Where are the churches of Christ headed? I hope it is to the place where the hungry aren’t judged but are fed. I […]

Fix Me, Jesus: Jesus’ Plans for the Churches of Christ

I just love this song, although I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in a hymn book. The composer is unknown. I can only find credit being given to “traditional.” And we need to sing it. All of us. It’s a song about humility and prayer — and faith in a living Jesus who is […]

Making Weakness Perfect

This month’s theme is “Our Weakness and God’s Power.” It’s a vital topic, and how the church should relate to politics is particularly important for today’s church. The Churches of Christ, as a denomination, have long avoided politics, being heavily influenced by David Lipscomb’s Civil Government. Lipscomb, who lived through the horrors of the Civil […]

On the Spirit’s Ordination of Elders

When I mention “elders” in a Church of Christ forum, I immediately receive a negative reaction, as though all elders in the Churches of Christ are just awful — troll-like, even — just like in the illustration. And yet our elders don’t ordain themselves. Every church I’m familiar with requires the members to nominate candidates […]

Social Media for Normal Churches

Much of what is written on the Internet about churches and social media is targeted toward big churches, big enough to have meetings about “branding” and “marketing.” Big enough to hire pros to help with their branding efforts. Most Churches of Christ are 200 members or less and have only one or two ministers on […]