Tennesee and Texas: Mac Ice has provided another illustration of the tension between Tennessee and Texas on his blog. While looking into the writings of C. E. W. Dorris, a founding elder of Nashville’s Central Church of Christ in 1925 as well as a student of both Lipscomb and Harding at the Nashville Bible School, he discovered several letters from Dorris to Cled Wallace, the older brother of Foy E. Wallace, Jr., in the Tennessee state archives. The topic is pacifism and the Christian’s relation to civil government–a hot topic, as you might imagine, during World War II. Dorris expresses the astounding opinion (for the time in which it was written) that the Wallace’s hawkish promotion of the war “will do the cause of Christ much more harm than Bollism ever did” and that their “war baby” has “bad complexion” because it has been fed too much “Texas goat milk.”
Take a look at Mac’s post. Dorris, the author of Gospel Advocate commentaries on Mark and John, thought the warrior posture of the Bible Banner was much more dangerous than the premillennial teachings of R. H. Boll’s Word and Work. That is a good Tennessean (Lipscomb, Harding, Armstrong) sentiment. Thanks, Mac.
R. H. Boll, James A. Harding, and the Nashville Bible School: I have uploaded to my Academic page the paper I presented at the 1998 Christian Scholar’s Conference at Pepperdine University entitled Boll, Harding, and Grace: The Nashville Bible School Tradition. Some of this material found its way into Kingdom Come, co-authored with Bobby Valentine, but much of it did not. I suggest that one of the differences between the Texas and Tennesee traditions is how they conceived the doctrine of grace. I place this point in context of both eschatology and pneumatology.
Lord’s Supper: I have posted my handouts for the May 1999 Austin Sermon Seminar entitled Preaching the Lord’s Meal on my General page. Much of this material ultimately made it into may book Come to the Table, but there are several sermon or homily suggestions in the handout that are not in the book.
I have long suggested that there is no gospel sermon that could not be linked with the Supper itself because the Table is the gospel in bread and wine. If it cannot be linked, then perhaps it is not a gospel sermon. By “linked” I do not mean a mere addendum as many “invitations” may appear, but rather the theme of any gospel sermon may be experienced in the Supper itself. The Word is then integrated with Act–the Word is experienced as bread and wine (or a table meal, preferably). The gospel message is given concrete form through the welcome, grace and community of the Table.