Healing from Our Achilles Tendency

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 […]

Rhetorical Violence & The People of God

To illustrate how far down the wrong path many Christians have gone, consider the following not-so-far-fetched, hypothetical situation: Christian protesters stand in opposition to one another. All carry picket signs that read, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” One group is against abortion. The other is protesting the death penalty. But get this. Each group is opposed to the other’s issues. The […]

Prayer in Theological Discussions and Disagreements

Over the last few years I have finally learned that I do not have the authority to change someone’s mind. I don’t have enough logic or reason to ensure someone will change their mind. There is one thing I can do. I can pray. When it comes to having theological disagreements with people I am […]

Breaking Bruised Reeds and Quenching Smoldering Wicks

As Jesus went about healing the least of these Matthew lets us in on a little secret in Matthew 12:15-21. Matthew tells us that Jesus’ healings were a direct fulfillment of Isaiah’s words about the suffering servant in Isaiah 42:1-4, “18 “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen,     my beloved, with whom my soul is […]

Truth, justice, and the biblical way

When I think about having cordial disagreements in the church, I often focus on how I describe others. I rarely think about how I describe myself. Yet what I say about me and those that agree with me can speak volumes about how I view others. For example, I was in an Internet discussion group […]

Giftedness, Part 4: 1 Corinthians 12 on Giftedness and Authority

1 Cor 12 and giftedness Now that we have a better understanding of 1 Tim 2:11-14 and 1 Cor 14:33b-35, we can consider the significance of giftedness without feeling like we’re pitting one scripture against another. How does Paul say giftedness should be lived out in the church? The obvious place to look is 1 Cor 12 […]

Giftedness, Part 3: The Present Work of the Spirit in Christians

The missing Holy Spirit I couldn’t help but notice that Matthew’s article, arguing that giftedness does not provide authority, never once mentions the Holy Spirit or even uses “Spirit” or “spirit” in any form. How can someone write an article dealing with the question of giftedness and omit the member of the Holy Trinity — that part […]

Giftedness, Part 2: Further on 1 Cor 14:33b-35

What if the text is authentic and expresses Paul’s own teaching? How would we then interpret the passage? Reconciling with chapter 11 First, this passage can’t repeal the first half of chapter 11. And no matter how you exegete chapter 11, the fact is that women were praying and prophesying in the presence of men in […]

Giftedness, Part 1: Does Giftedness Give Women Authority to Speak?

In the September issue of the Gospel Advocate, Matthew Morine challenged the claim that women may be authorized to speak to a worship gathering including men because of their giftedness. The article is available on the Internet here. Matthew writes, The argument is that if God has “gifted” a woman with the ability to speak […]

Let Their Talk Be …

My senior year of High School I took a theater class to fill an empty spot in my schedule. Mrs. Hayes taught the class with grace and was very compassionate to a bunch of guys who had no idea what stage right was or how to use voice inflection. Several times during the year she […]

May We Judge as Jesus Judged?

A few days ago, Matthew Morine published an article in the September issue of the Gospel Advocate about the role of women: “The Feminist Agenda Within the Churches of Christ.” Mike Cope has posted a response in Wineskins: “Judgment Free Disagreements: A Response to Matthew Morine.” I appreciate Matthew’s and the Advocate‘s willingness to post Matthew’s article on […]

Let’s Talk

I want to speak into a lot of the hurt that I see going on out there in Christian conversation because I believe there is a better way. It must start with a humble recognition of our own fraility and imperfection and then move toward an attempt to truly understand another person. So here goes… […]

Discussing How We Discuss Things

A husband and wife come in for marriage counseling. Things are falling apart. They should have come in long ago but here they are and things don’t look good. She never apologizes. He always gets what he wants. She doesn’t feel like he cares about her. He never tells her that he loves her.   That […]

Judgment-Free Disagreements: A Response to Matthew Morine

Many years ago, I got to be part of a small group of ministers who spent a few days with one of my ministry heroes, John Stott. During one session, Stott asked people what their current ministry challenges were. Someone began talking about the challenges they were facing in their religious tribe and in his […]