The Prologue of Job: Three Questions

September 8, 2011

In my last post I noted three hermeneutical keys for reading the book of Job.  But is there dissonance within the Prologue as well that might undermine those keys? Three questions are particularly important.  Is Job a Legalist? Some think the description of Job in 1:5 is a bit neurotic. They may have a point.  […]


Providence and Suffering: Can God Be Trusted? (SBD 11)

May 23, 2009

[Note: I am attempting to keep these SBD installments under 2000 words each, but that is–of course–quite inadequate for the topics covered. Consequently, these contributions are more programmatic than they are explanatory or defenses of the positions stated. You may access the whole series at my Serial page.] Defending God is not my job. Good […]


May 21 – A Shared Day of Pain with John and Maggy Dobbs

May 21, 2009

May 21, 2001 and May 21, 2008 have something in common, and I remember that today, May 21, 2016. Those are the days on which our children died–my son Joshua and John & Maggy Dobbs’ son John Robert. The memories are painful and today we will each remember, commemorate, and reflect. I pray for peace […]


Creation: A Divine Piece of Work (SBD 3)

May 8, 2009

[Note: I am attempting to keep these SBD installments under 2000 words each, but that is–of course–quite inadequate for the topics covered. Consequently, these contributions are more programmatic than they are explanatory or defenses of the positions stated. You may access the whole series at my Serial page.] The divine community enjoys communion with the […]


Bent and Broken but Better For It?

April 29, 2009

Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but–I hope–into a better shape. Estella to Pip, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, chap. 59 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I […]


Comment on “Providence, Death and Grief”

April 28, 2009

Yesterday I posted two articles by my hand from the 1981 Gospel Advocate. These were my first atttempts, at the age of twenty-three, to write (even publicly speak of) the loss of my wife in 1980. Reading them again after so long–I don’t think I have read them or perhaps even thought of them in […]


Providence, Death and Grief

April 27, 2009

On April 30, 1980, Sheila Pettit Hicks, my wife of two years, eleven months, and eight days, died twenty days after recovering from back surgery. A blood clot stopped her heart while she slept at her parent’s home in Ellijay, GA.  This week is the 29th anniversary of that horrendous moment in my life. It shifted […]


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 […]


Another Example: Texas and Tennessee Clash

January 15, 2009

Foy E. Wallace, Jr. dubbed Harding College “an incubus of error” and “unsound” in the May 1941 issue of The Bible Banner.  Wallace’s assault against George Benson, J. N. Armstrong and Harding College is a good illustration of the tension between the Texas and Tennessee theological traditions within Churches of Christ. The emphases below are […]


Meeting God at the Shack IV: The Great Sadness

October 3, 2008

[My book on the Shack is now available on Kindle.] The first time I encountered the phrase “The Great Sadness” in The Shack it immediately resonated with me.  I knew exactly what my own “Great Sadness” was though I did not as yet know what Mack’s was or what Young’s own personal sadness was. Grief Renders […]