A Pentecost Sermon: Race, Slaves, and Women

June 9, 2019

Acts 2:17-18 Only seven weeks ago the future looked bleak. The one whom they thought was the Messiah was dead. The disciples of Jesus hid in fear, and their spirits were broken. They had lost all hope. But that changed when God raised Jesus from the dead, and Jesus began to appear to his disciples […]


A Mother’s Day Homily

May 22, 2019

This homily was delivered by Melanie Smith at the All Saints Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 12, 2019. It was her first time to sermonize before an assembled people of God. She is a public school teacher. Characteristic of her heart, she will spend a month in Costa Rica learning Spanish so […]


Suffrage, Women, and Creation

July 6, 2017

In 1917, only a mere one hundred years ago after fifty years of suffrage in the state of New York, women voted in state elections. In 1874, D. G. Porter, a minister within the American Restoration Movement, wrote an article entitled “Republican Government and the Suffrage of Women” (“Christian Quarterly” [October 1874] 489-90) in which […]


St. Photini of Samaria – Woman, Evangelist, and Martyr

March 20, 2017

GUEST POST:  Claire Frederick of Nashville, TN, earned an M.Div. graduate from Lipscomb University and is presently the  Program Director of Engage at Lipscomb University.  Yesterday, March 19, 2017, she delivered this sermon at the All Saints Church of Christ yesterday.  I wanted to share it with you on this Feast day of St. Photini […]


Traditional, Complementarian, or Egalitarian?

January 11, 2017

[An audio version is available here (under January 8)] In this post I have no interest in advocating for any position, and my taxonomy is primarily applied to the historically controversial question about what function/role may women serve in the public assembly of the church gathered to communally praise/worship God. Rather than advocating a position, […]


1 Peter 3:1-7 – Living as an Exile with an Unbelieving Spouse

July 19, 2015

Imperial residents, submit to the empire. Slaves, submit to your masters. Wives, submit to your husbands. “In the same way” (homoios) heads the Greek sentence and connects Peter’s advice to the wives to the same ethic as his directives to slaves and imperial residents. This places the whole discussion under 1 Peter 2:12-13, that is, […]


When Quoting David Lipscomb about Women…..

December 29, 2014

In recent weeks, some within Churches of Christ have discussed the rising participation of women in worshipping assemblies. Some find this disturbing, even rebellious, while others think it encouraging. Whatever one’s perspective, sometimes we hope to find some resource within our past to guide or enlighten us.  I think this is legitimate–not so much as […]


Joel 2:28-32 — I Will Pour Out My Spirit On All Flesh

May 7, 2014

Joel’s lament liturgy in the first half of the book envisioned the devastation of Israel by a locust plague (or perhaps an invading army). That impending disaster also represented a future apocalyptic disaster. Joel is working at two levels–the immediate moment but also a future cataclysm. Israel’s response to such news, as with all other […]


19th Century Middle Ground: Women in the Assembly

February 11, 2013

Benjamin Franklin (1812-1878) was the leader of northern conservatives in the mid-19th century within the Stone-Campbell Movement. His American Christian Review was the most widely read periodical of the movement after the Civil War. He led the fight, for example, against the introduction of instrumental music into worship assemblies and grounded the argument for an exclusive “five public […]


Mark 15:39-47 — The Powers Recognize the Reality of the Kingdom of God in Jesus

August 15, 2012

Six hours on the cross are followed by an assortment of events which bridge Mark’s story from  the cross to the empty tomb. The body of Jesus is moved from the cross to a tomb. The Romans permit it, a Sanhedrin member does it, and some female disciples witness it. But is this text simply […]