Daniel Sommer on Rebaptism

March 3, 2013

Daniel Sommer, the leader of northern conservatives within the Stone-Campbell Movement in the late 19th century and early 20th century, shared his mentor’s (Benjamin Franklin) perspective on the rebaptism questin within the Restoration Movement. He regarded the rebaptists as divisive and sectarian, and their position he judges as “unscriptural” and “inconsistent.” In 1904 he wrote that […]


Daniel Sommer on the Public Religious “Duties and Privileges” of Women

March 10, 2011

Daniel Sommer (1850-1840), a graduate of Bethany College and the heralded successor of Benjamin Franklin among northern conservatives, lived and worked among congregations of Churches of Christ who were more open to the public voice of women than their southern counterparts.  In particular, at least in the article below, Sommer is quite explicit about the […]


Struggle for the Soul of Churches of Christ (1897-1907)

June 25, 2009

When the division between Churches of Christ and the Christian Churches was recognized by the religious census of 1906, the theological perspectives among the Churches of Christ were fairly diverse. While there was an ecclesiological consensus to separate from the Christian Churches, there was considerable diversity between the three major representative “traditions” among Churches of […]


David Lipscomb (1911)

April 13, 2009

Continuing my reading of Lipscomb in the first decades of the 20th century, I have lifted a few more what I regard as illuminating comments by the 80 year old editor of the Gospel Advocate. Publish Both Sides for Free Discussion. Lipscomb believed that fair, thorough and open discussion of a biblical issue was the […]


Stone-Campbell Theodicies: Nineteenth Century

April 3, 2009

 ”Theodicy in Early Stone-Campbell Perspectives,” in Restoring the First-Century Church in the Twenty-First Century, ed. by Warren Lewis and Hans Rollmann (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2005), 287-310. In honor of Don Haymes, I penned an article concerning the various “theodices” that were prominent in the 19th century Stone-Campbell Movement. It was interesting to […]


Rebaptism: The Real Rub

January 30, 2009

Throughout 2008 I spent part of my time reading through the major journals of Churches of Christ from 1897 to 1907: Gospel Advocate, Firm Foundation, Christian Leader, Octographic Review, The Way, and Christian Leader & the Way.  I have shared some of my “findings” on this blog and will do more in the future. Other […]


Privilege or Silence: Women in Churches of Christ (1897-1907) IV

January 25, 2009

The previous post stated the specific arguments for silence. This post presents the case for “privilege.” In January 1904 the Christian Leader and The Way merged. Though a friendly merger, it was the union of a strong Tennessee paper with a Northern paper whose roots were shared by Daniel Sommer. This entailed some substantial difference […]


Controversies over Hands–Forgotten Debates

January 4, 2009

David Lipscomb (1831-1917) and James A. Harding (1848-1922) belonged to the same theological orbit. They started the Nashville Bible School (now Lipscomb University) together in 1891. Harding, for a time, was an associate editor of the Gospel Advocate in the 1880s. They agreed on a host of theological issues, including opposition to rebaptism, renewed earth eschatology, […]


“United, Yet Divided”: Understandable and Unavoidable

January 1, 2009

The article below, by the hand of J. N. Armstrong, first appeared in The Way entitled “United, Yet Divided” [4 (14 August 1902) 156-158].    Contextually, several factors are involved.  First, the Firm Foundation out of Austin, Texas–under the editorship of Austin McGary–was pushing a sectarian agenda which demanded unity on many fronts as a prerequiste for […]