Old JMH Articles: 1970s Gospel Advocate

 With these below and my previous posts (1970s articles and Contending for the Faith articles), I collected my twelve articles that were published from 1977-1979 when I was 20-22 years old.   In a future post I will reflect on my theological journey through those years (maybe 🙂 ).

Holy Spirit Baptism in 1 Corinthians 12:13?Gospel Advocate 119 (October 27, 1977) 679-80.

 I set up a false dilemma in this article: either believe the Pentecotal version of Holy Spirit Baptism (a post-conversion experience including speaking in tongues) or accept that 1 Corinthians 12:13 is submission to water baptism as taught by the Holy Spirit without any direct connection to the Spirit. This article clearly indicates that I stilled lived in the world of “word only” and had a fundamental adversion to any direct work of the Spirit. I failed to see that the water and Spirit could both be elements in one baptism and that the experience of the Spirit is not merely cognitive (“through the word”).

Equal, But Subordinate,” Gospel Advocate 120 (June 29, 1978) 405, 410.

This is a polemical piece directed against a statement made by Norman Parks who stated subordination entailed inferiority.  In response I parallel the relationship between the Father and the Son to the relationship of male and female based on 1 Corinthians 11:3. While the Father and Son are equal in essence (both divinitas), the Son is “subordinate” to the Father in terms of subsistence (filiation; he is a Son) and operation (submits to the Father’s direction in redemptive history). Likewise, so I argue, while male and female are equal in essence (both humanitas), women are “subordinate” to men in their function and role in the family and church (but not world?, I would ask now).  The parallel is too simplistically drawn and does not take account of incarnational Christology.

Did He Understand?Gospel Advocate 120 (November 16, 1978) 727.

This article is the same as the one published in the World Evangelist 7.6 (1 January 1979) 17.  The link takes you to the World Evangelist printing.  I argue–in good debating style–that the tongue speakers in Corinth understood their own speech. It was not “unknown” to them; they understood what they were praying and were edified by it.  Consequently, when contemporary tongue speakers claim they can neither understand nor control what they are saying, they betray the reality that they do not themselves have the same gift that the Corinthians had. Whether the argument remains effective, I will leave for you to decide.  On another day I will comment on my own development on this point which is not necessarily a denial of the claim that I am making in the article itself.  However, my insensitivity to those who experience tongue-speaking as edifying in their own lives is all too evident in the article.

Good, Better, Best,” Gospel Advocate 121 (March 29, 1979) 196.

This is the article that I like the best of all that I wrote in the 1970s though it still has its flaws. It reflects that I was already thinking eschatologically though it did not necessarily affect the structure of my theology as yet.  While life here is abundant in Christ (“good”), to die is gain because to be with Christ is “better” than the present. Yet, the “best” life is the resurrected life. The article is a theology of “body” (soma)–present physical body, the disembodied intermediate state, and the furture resurrection body.  As I read it today, I fear that I underplay present life where God locates us and values us, and I fear that the article may depend too much on “living in the future” rather than being the body of Christ in the present.

We Do Not Well!Gospel Advocate 121 (October 18, 1979) 644, 648.

This article arose from one of my homilies. It is probably a good example of how I preached in the late 1970s (but hopefully too typical 🙂 ). I took a text, and then used the text to scold the congregation about a point that is not really the point of the text. The use of the second greatest commandment is interesting though forced, but the tone and “superior” attitude I see in myself is distasteful and disturbing. The topic is evangelism based on 2 Kings 7:9.

One Response to “Old JMH Articles: 1970s Gospel Advocate”

  1.   rogueminister Says:

    John Mark, this gives me hope, hope that God will continue to grow me and hope for the churches of Christ. I too have written and preached some things that I would never think of uttering now and I am sure when I look back in several years I will be able to say the same about some things I believe now.

    This also reminds me of a comment by one of our sisters in China. Somehow Rubel Shelly came up in conversation one night and she said with loads of excitement, “I know that name, he wrote the book on why we don’t use instruments.” It made me chuckle just a bit.

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