Lenten Reflection: Luke 4:1-2

February 22, 2013

Only Luke says that Jesus “returned” to the wilderness. Returned? That is something about which I would like to know more. Perhaps Jesus went into the wilderness to contemplate his future, to reflect on his decision to be baptized, or to decide whether to embrace the mission into which God had called him. The wilderness, […]


R. C. Bell, Divine Dynamics, and the Holy Spirit

February 28, 2012

R. C. Bell (1877-1964) attended the Nashville Bible School from 1896-1901. James A. Harding took Bell with him as a faculty member at the newly founded Potter Bible College in 1901. Later Bell would teach at several different colleges among Churches of Christ and eventually ended up at Abilene Christian College as a beloved teacher. In 1959, […]


Zechariah 4:1-14 — Two Olive Trees and the Oil of God

February 9, 2012

Awakened from lethargy or deep reflection by the angel who had previously spoken to him (Zechariah 2:3) as if he had been woken from a sleep, the angel directs Zechariah’s attention to a new vision. “What do you see?” asked the angel. This is Zechariah’s fifth vision. Paired with the fourth vision, these two are the […]


Worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24)

February 8, 2012

“God is Spirit, and those who worship God must worship in Spirit and Truth” (John 4:24). You might not immediately notice but one of the differences between my translation and the traditional one is that I capitalize “Spirit” and “Truth.” I think this is important. The traditional use of this text is to locate the prepositional […]


The Holy Spirit and Unity in Stone-Campbell Perspective

December 5, 2011

On November 7, 2011, I met with the Stone-Campbell Dialogue in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Interested persons from the Disciples of Christ, Christian Church/Churches of Christ and Churches of Christ met for some dialogue, fellowship and service in the community. This was the sixteenth time the Dialogue has met. It was the second time I had […]


Mark 3:20-35 — Blaspheming the Holy Spirit

October 24, 2011

Having chosen his twelve, Jesus resumes his ministry in Galilee, and he finds both popularity and opposition. He is so popular that people crowd him in such a way that Jesus and his disciples are not able to “eat bread,” that is, to eat anything. At the same time opposition intensifies with accusations of demon […]


Mark 1:2-8–The Ministry of John the Baptist

August 17, 2011

Mark’s telling of the gospel about Jesus begins with the ministry of John the Baptizer.  This telling is shaped by quotations from two Hebrew prophets–Malachi (3:1) and Isaiah (40:3), though Mark only references by name the most prominent prophet. The Malachi text announces the coming of a messenger who will precede God’s own coming to […]


R. C. Bell: A Lament Over A Theological Shift Among Churches of Christ

March 7, 2011

R. C. Bell (1877-1964) attended the Nashville Bible School from 1896-1901. James A. Harding took Bell with him as a faculty member at the newly founded Potter Bible College in 1901. Later Bell would teach at several different colleges among Churches of Christ and eventually ended up at Abilene Christian College as a beloved teacher. In 1959, […]


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 […]


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 […]