Mark 16:9-20 — The Missional Kingdom

July 1, 2015

Though the present text is not original to the Gospel of Mark, it is ancient and became part of Mark’s Gospel at an early point. In fact, Mark 16:9-20 appears to be a composite of stories from the other gospels (appearance to Mary, two disciples traveling, appearance to the Eleven, the ascension of Jesus) and […]


Enter the Water, Come to the Table

May 30, 2015

Below are summary statements that correspond to chapters or sections of chapters in my most recent book Enter the Water, Come to the Table (Leafwood, 2014). They summarize the theology present in the book, which is deeply rooted (I hope) in the story of God as given to us in Scripture. I am grateful for […]


Review of Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shank (Part 1)

August 11, 2014

 [Michael Shank, Muscle and a Shovel: A raw, gritty, true story about finding the Truth in a world drowning in religious confusion (5th edition, 2013; Kindle version). I have cited the book with chapter number first, then the Kindle location. For example, Chapter 1, location 245 is cited as 1:245.] [I have expanded my three-blog […]


Stepping into God’s Future (Joshua 3:1-17)

June 30, 2014

[An audio version of this is available here.] Contemporary visitors to Palestine rarely, if ever, find the Jordan River imposing. It seems relatively shallow, not very wide, and quite calm.  Wading across does not seem like much of a problem–except that it would take one from the modern state of Israel into the modern state […]


On Children, Baptism and David Lipscomb (1914)

May 23, 2014

While there are many variations along a continuum, credobaptists (that is, those who baptize believers) approach children within the faith community in two major ways. On the one hand there are the revivalists, but on the other hand there are those who emphasize nurture. Revivalists believe that children within the faith community, at some point, […]


Response to “Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry”

June 6, 2013

The 2013 Christian Scholars Conference is currently in progress. Gary Holloway asked me to present a paper that would respond to the ecumenical 1982 Lima “Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry.” I have uploaded the paper on my Academic page and it is now available here. The paper suggests that the great strength of the document is […]


Antebellum Gospel Advocate on Rebaptism: Tolbert Fanning and William Lipscomb

March 8, 2013

While David Lipscomb, editor the Gospel Advocate after the Civil War (beginning in 1866), opposed rebaptizing those who were immersed to obey God though they did not understand its design for the remission of sins, the original editors of the GA thought differently.  While reading through the 1855-1861 GA, I  ran across the following two statements from […]


Benjamin Franklin: On Rebaptism…Again

March 1, 2013

One of the more common “gotcha questions” in the late 19th century discussion of rebaptism in the Stone-Campbell Movement was something like this: Is baptism administered to a person scripturally valid when he claims he is in Christ before he was baptized, and will contend that his sins were all forgiven him before he submitted […]


Lenten Reflection: Luke 3:21-22

February 21, 2013

In obedience to the Father, Jesus went down into the water to pray. Jesus followed sinners into the water as they repented and confessed their sins. Jesus identified with sinners by sharing this water ritual with them. He underwent a ritual designed for sinners! In response the Father anointed the Messiah with the Holy Spirit, […]


Mark 1:9-11: The Baptism of Jesus

August 22, 2011

John’s baptism was designed for sinners–penitent and confessing sinners whose sins were forgiven through baptism. Jesus was baptized by John. What’s up with that? It is rather startling actually. Jesus undergoes a ritual designed for sinners. But, perhaps, it is not so startling. Jesus ultimately died a death designed for criminals (sinners) as well. Jesus […]