Madisonville, Kentucky Seminars

In 1996, 1998, and 2000 I conducted one day, Saturday, seminars for the Pennyrile Church of Christ in Madisonville, KY to which area ministers and members were invited to spend a day discussing “current” theological questions.  My friend Norris DeBerry was the minister for the church at the time.

Those were encouraging, helpful discussions, I think. We did not all agree, but that is part of the process of thinking through some of these questions. It was a respectful dialogue in which love abounded…for the most part.  🙂

BTW, I have not been invited back since.  🙂  There is no problem; my good friend Jon Partlow is the minister there now. Well, maybe that is the reason after all.  🙂

I have uploaded to my General page the handouts for those three seminars.  These are detailed handouts (20-30 pages) and some of the material became parts of books in 2004 (Down in the River to Pray) and 2007 (Gathered People). The handouts, therefore, are rather dated and may not always reflect my current thinking.  Nevertheless, I provide them here for whatever benefit some might gain from them.

In May 1996 the seminar was entitled “Worship: What’s All the Fuss About?” Some of this appears in “A Gathered People.”  The charts are probably most helpful and the material that focuses on some of the “worship war” issues offers opinions about music, solos, posture, etc. which we did not discuss and intentionally avoided in the book.

In May 1998 the seminar was entitled  “The Water that Divides.” The topic is baptism. Some of this appears in “Down in the River to Pray.”  There are charts that do not appear in the book in any significant way and covers some ground that is more general than the book.

In May 2000 the seminar was entitled  “Hermeneutics and Gender.” The topic is the “role of women in the assembly” (and somewhat more generally about leadership, etc.).  This is dated material in my opinion, but the data, argument and processing may be helpful to some. For a more balanced (and up-to-date) take on “Egalitarian vs. Complementarian” see my bible class material “Women Serving God.” Sorry, no book by me (at least of recent vintage) on this topic. I have much more to learn, think about and dialogue about before I venture into those choppy waters any time soon.  🙂

Ok, I’ll confess.  I did co-author a book with Bruce Morton that was published in 1978 by Lambert Book House. I wrote the material when I was 18 years old, single and attending Freed-Hardeman. It was entitled “Women’s Role in the Church,” which you can still purchase (wow!).  Of course, it was a wise (tongue firmly planted in cheek) thing for an unmarried teenager to write about women!  Bad move on my part, but the young do some rather strange things. When my mother read it, she had one comment.  “You use the word ‘subordination’ alot in there.” Ouch!  🙂  How embarrassing!  Forgive me, Mom….and my daughters and my wives…and…well, everyone.  🙂  The book is not all bad, but it ain’t all good either. In any event, it is part of my history, my story and I certainly would not be where I am now on my spiritual journey without the experience and research that went into that book as well as the maturing of my friendship with Bruce. That I do not regret.  

[Forgive me, Bruce, if I have overstepped here….my friend attended Sheila’s funeral in 1980 at great expense when he and his family had very little money. That comfort is etched in my memory and I will never forget it.  Thanks, Bruce!]

Since I will be gone for the next week, I thought I would provide these handouts to chew on just in case someone is in need of a “Hicks fix”.  BTW, if you are in such need, there is something seriously wrong with you and I think you need to start attending a 12-step group.


8 Responses to “Madisonville, Kentucky Seminars”

  1.   richard constant Says:

    It’s lucky for you, that there are handouts. Yes I am one of the sick individuals that need a Hicks fix. This could of gotten so out of hand for me without these handouts.
    That I could’ve jumped on a plane, Rent-A-Car they went searching through the mountains.
    Anyway it could happen, if my wife what is said it was okay for me to take off.
    But then without handouts she would probably just institutionalized me.
    So again I say it’s lucky for you.
    Blessings hope you’re having fun if you read this hope you had fun if you read it when you get back
    Rich in California

  2.   Nick Gill Says:

    If you have some time, peruse the “Buried Talents” series at

    I think Jay’s done a lot of good writing, and Alan Rouse has done a healthy job of testing and challenging his views from a loving hierarchical standpoint.

  3.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Thanks for noting this, Nick. I have read through some of those articles but have not focused on that “issue” of late. I hope to give more attention to it in the future.

  4.   K. Rex Butts Says:

    So what is the first step? 🙂

    Have a great vacation!


  5.   richard constant Says:

    There happens to be in this place my wife knows about it if things get terribly bad for me if things get terribly bad for you I’m sure we could meet up they absolutely promise not to give you a full deck of cards.
    Which will remind us of being on John Mark’s blog site he keeps saying that there is a conclusion somewhere. Then runs off to the mountains with his wife on a full moon weekend at no less. Leaving us with a few petty and handouts.
    That’s all right is always the deck of cards

    Blessings rich in California

  6.   richard constant Says:

    All seriousness aside, a be praying for a wonderful clear beautiful weekend for you and your wife to enjoy yourselves and come in peace with one another and and have yourselves a wonderful time.
    It is so unfortunate that these simple things, that can be cherished so much. Get so lost in the shuffle of our daily lives.
    Blessings my brother, drive safe, half too much fun
    Rich in California

  7.   rogueminister Says:

    Thanks for these. Did I tell you that I got fired, at least in part, from the church at which I was preaching for teaching about Women’s roles? Well that and I wouldn’t encourage the congregation to vote a certain way on an amendment about gay marriage.

    This reminds me, the other day one of our Chinese sisters heard me say Rubel’s name and she chimed in, “Hey I know that guy’s name, he was the one who wrote the book about why we shouldn’t use instruments.” I guess we should all be thankful that God continues to work on us and grow us beyond what we would ever be otherwise.

  8.   Keith Brenton Says:

    I don’t think twelve steps will be enough for me.

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