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 […]


McGary on Rebaptism: Reason to Divide

March 15, 2011

In 1898, Willam K. Homan in the Texas Christian Courier noted how relationships between the Gospel Advocate and Firm Foundation were deteriorating. This elicited a strong comment from Austin McGary, the editor of the Firm Foundation. I find this particular comment quite revealing as it parallels the instrumental music and missionary society controversies with the rebaptism […]


Old is Good, New is Better: Creation and Sacraments

November 18, 2010

Created materiality is good; indeed, it is very good. It is not simply good in an ethical sense but delightful and wondrous. God created the world as a temple in which to dwell, a place where God and humanity would enjoy each other, delight in the wonder of the world, and rest within it. Materiality, […]


The Baptism of Jesus–Fuller Picture

September 8, 2009

[For those interested, a video of my 2007 sermon on the baptism of Jesus at Sycamore View Church of Christ in Memphis, TN, is available here (October 21, 2007) and my 9/6/09 sermon on the baptism of Jesus at Woodmont Hills Family of God will be available here soon.] Luke’s description of the baptism of […]