Seeing the Spirit

February 28, 2018

For many the Holy Spirit is an impersonal, imperceptible, and indiscernible force.  Cloaked in mystery, many find it difficult to “get a handle” on the Spirit. The Spirit has no “face” like Jesus nor any personal metaphors, such as parent, mother, or husband, like Israel’s God. Our desire, of course, is not so much to […]


Salvation in Stone-Campbell Theology

February 22, 2017

Paul describes salvation in three tenses—past, present and future. We have been saved (Ephesians 2:8), we are in the process of being saved (2 Corinthians 2:15), and we will be saved (Romans 5:9-10). Theologians have generally summarized these “tenses” as “Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification.” The Stone-Campbell Movement has recognized each of these, but different people […]


1 Peter 1:22-2:3 — Identity Empowered by the Gospel

June 17, 2015

A marginalized, refugee community within a hostile culture is potentially filled with stress, suspicion, and selfishness. Communities sometimes turn on each other rather than caring for each other. Peter recognizes this possibility and addresses the need for this new community, living a new life, to grow in love for each other. As children of God […]


1 Peter 1:1-2 — Exiled, But Chosen

May 11, 2015

Everyone wants to be chosen, especially those who feel marginalized or undervalued. Many of us remember what it feels like to be the last one chosen in a pickup game of basketball or uninvited to the school party. Sometimes we feel like outsiders, and sometimes we are treated like outsiders. Sometimes we simply are outsiders. […]


David Lipscomb: A Sermon at the Penitentiary (1900)

May 14, 2014

This sermon by David Lipscomb appeared in The Nashville American (February 21, 1900, p. 5). I thought it was interesting to read what Lipscomb said to those incarcerated at the “State Prison.” I thought the reference to “character” rather than status, place or position was a veiled reference to looking at the heart of a […]


Hungering for Power (Lenten Reflections)

March 17, 2010

Text: Philippians 3:4-14 That can’t be a commendable hunger, can it? To hunger for power. It depends on what kind of power we are talking about. To hunger for Caesar’s power (or wealth or status) is ungodly, but to hunger for the power to become like Jesus is something different. This is not a hunger […]


Salvation: Sector 8

February 4, 2010

What is salvation? In my first post in this series I proposed the below chart as a way of answering that important question. In this post I will comment on the eighth sector (8).   Past Justification Present Sanctification Future Glorification Personal Forgiveness of Sins and Relationship with God (1) Moral (Inner and Outer)  Transformation (2) Resurrection […]


Salvation: Sector 2

November 12, 2009

What is salvation? In my first post in this series I proposed the below chart as a way of answering that important question. In this post I will comment on the second sector (2).  I debated with myself (which is an interesting thing to observe :-)) whether to proceed numerically 1, 2, 3…. or to proceed […]


Wright on Justification

August 17, 2009

N. T. Wright’s new book, Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision, is primarily a response to John Piper’s The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright though he engages others as well (e.g., Westerholm). For another extended review of Piper’s book, sympathetic to Wright, see Trevin Wax’s interaction with the book as well […]


Soteriology: Union with Christ (SBD 13)

June 16, 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 Father elects, redeems and saves in […]