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

February 14, 2013

In the years prior to the Firm Foundation (begun in 1884) there was practical unanimity on the question of whether one who had been previously immersed to obey God but without the knowledge of its saving import should be rebaptized. The answer was an unequivocal “No.” The only significant part of the Stone-Campbell Movement that answered “Yes” […]


Tolbert Fanning — Advocate for Peace in 1861 (Part XIII)

April 9, 2012

In the last issue of the Gospel Advocate during the Civil War, December 1861, Fanning noted the death of an “old friend,” Pierce Butler Anderson. It is Fanning’s last comment on the Civil War until the Gospel Advocate was rebirthed in January 1866. Fanning is gracious in reporting his death knowing “the Lord of all the […]


Tolbert Fanning — Advocate for Peace in 1861 (Part XII)

April 7, 2012

The church in Murfreesboro was divided over the war. Previously Fanning had published a letter from Lillard, Harding and Ransome, and he had printed an article by “Disciple” who responded to that letter from within the same church. Fanning now feels compelled to comment on their exchange. He uses the occasion to clarify his position. […]


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 […]


Old JMH Articles: 1970s Gospel Advocate

March 20, 2009

 With these below and my previous posts (1970s articles and Contending for the Faith articles), I collected my twelve articles that were published from 1977-1979 when I was 20-22 years old.   In a future post I will reflect on my theological journey through those years (maybe ). “Holy Spirit Baptism in 1 Corinthians 12:13?” Gospel […]


Old JMH Articles: 1980s

March 5, 2009

Some are worthwhile, some are not; or, at least, some are more worthwhile than others.  :-)  You will have to be the judge. “Ministerial Education,” Magnolia Messenger 11.6 (June 1989), 11, 14. Building on J. W. McGarvey’s article on ministerial education (Lard’s Quarterly, 1865, 239-250), the piece argues for a liberal arts education plus additional […]


Confession and the “Plan of Salvation”: Another Texas and Tennessee Difference

March 4, 2009

In an earlier post I quoted a piece from G. C. Brewer’s autobiography where he objected to the emphasis that some placed on the plan of salvation rather than on a personal savior. His comment came in the context of discussing the role of confession in the five-step (or is it four-step or three-step?) plan […]


Lipscomb on Rebaptism: A Succinct Statement

March 3, 2009

David Lipscomb, Queries and Answers, ed. by J. W. Shepherd (Cincinnati: Rowe  Publishers, 1918), p. 53.  Question: “May a person who believes his sins forgiven submit to a scriptural baptism while thus believing?” Answer:  “There is something unscriptural in the case as presented; but what is it? Is it the baptism, or is it the […]


Texas and Tenneseee Respond to a Baptism Question

February 17, 2009

A classic example of the divide between the Texas Tradition and the Tennessee Tradition is the “rebaptism” issue.  I reproduce a particular “for instance” here without comment. In my next post, I will offer a few observations.  Of course, this is but one example of many exchanges which actually began in the 1883 Gospel Advocate when […]