Micah 2 – Confronting Economic Greed and Injustice

October 3, 2013

While the first half of Micah’s first oracle assured Judah that God was serious in treating them much like he did their northern neighbor Israel. Yahweh, Micah warned Judah, is about to appear at the gates of Jerusalem with the Assyrian army after they devastate the cities of southwestern Judah. In response to the message, […]


Amos 6:1-14: The Second Woe

March 28, 2013

This is the second of two woe oracles in Amos. The first (5:18-20) was followed by a legal indictment (5:21-27). The second (6:1-7) is followed by a judgment pronouncement (6:8-14). Together, as the third major section of Amos, they lament Israel’s sin and warn the nation about impending doom. The woe oracle in Amos 6 itself falls […]


Amos 4:1-13: “Yet You Did Not Return to Me”

March 4, 2013

This is the second of Amos’s three prophetic speeches against Israel. They each begin with “Hear this word” (3:1; 4:1; 5:1). The first announced God’s coming visit in judgment against Israel while the third will voice lament. The second highlights divine patience and persistence in seeking to turn Israel from its sins. While this second […]


Amos 3:9-15 — An Oracle of Divine Punishment, Part 2

February 28, 2013

The second major section of Amos (chapters 3-5) contains three oracles describing the punishment, sin and lament of the northern kingdom of Israel. Each begins with “Hear this word!” (3:1; 4:1; 5:1). In many ways, this is the heart of Amos’s work as it lays out Yahweh’s case against Israel. We might even imagine Amos […]


Amos Addresses the Nations: Amos 1:3-2:3

January 7, 2013

The first section of Amos startles us. The editorial heading prepared us to hear a word from Yahweh to Israel. Instead, the first six of eight proverbial sayings are addressed to regional nations. How does a Yahwehist prophet speak to the nations, on what basis, and about what? To be sure, he does finally get to […]


Reading Amos

January 2, 2013

How might a migrant worker convict luxurious homeowners about their oppressive lifestyles? What might a poor, rural believer say to wealthy, urban idolaters? Amos was neither trained as a prophet nor assumed the career of a prophet. He was a shepherd near the Judean wilderness six miles SE of Bethlehem in the backwater village of […]


Lipscomb on the Demise of Church Attendance in the Cities (1878)

May 17, 2012

In the late 1870s several noticed a decline in church attendance among the urban poor. David Lipscomb offers his own opinion as to why there is such a decline which, he thinks, is primarily a northern phenomenon (though he does think New Orleans may fit). The urban poor do not participate in urban church life because […]


David Lipscomb on “Fine Houses for Worship”

May 16, 2012

When the Central Christian Church in Cincinnaiti, Ohio, completed its $140,000, 2000-seat French Gothic building in 1872, many–especially Benjamin Franklin and David Lipscomb–thought it was an outrage.  By 1892 there were rumors that the church needed to sell the building since many of its members had moved to the suburbs. The downtown, urban church could not […]


Lipscomb on the Poor IV

April 19, 2012

The bloody stress of the Civil War strained relationships between northern and southern members of the Stone-Campbell Movement to a breaking point. While sectional attitudes created tension as well as the diverse response to participation in the war, the gut-wrenching reality–as Lipscomb saw it–was that northern brethren were more interested in high-salaried preachers, worldly buildings […]


Lipscomb on the Poor III

April 18, 2012

The situation in the South through 1866 and for several years thereafter was critical. The hungry, naked and homeless were present in overwhelming numbers. The War had devastated the country. I think this is one reason we see a constant stream of small blurbs from Lipscomb in the 1866 Gospel Advocate on the poor and the […]