Patterns, Legalism and Grace: Alexander Campbell

February 6, 2009

It is not legalism to seek patterns or to live by patterns.     It is legalism to use those patterns in such a way that they undermine salvation by grace through faith. That is my summary of what I thought was the sentiment of Cecil May, Jr.’s concluding comments in his February 3, 2009 Freed-Hardeman Lectureship […]


Patterns and Legalism: Commenting on an FHU Lecture

February 5, 2009

Cecil May, Jr.–Dean of the V. P. Black College of Biblical Studies at Faulkner University–is a kind, loving Christian gentlemen in the best sense of that term.  He was the first to ever interview me for an academic position just weeks before Sheila died as he was about to become President of Magnolia Bible College.  […]


Controversies over Hands–Forgotten Debates

January 4, 2009

David Lipscomb (1831-1917) and James A. Harding (1848-1922) belonged to the same theological orbit. They started the Nashville Bible School (now Lipscomb University) together in 1891. Harding, for a time, was an associate editor of the Gospel Advocate in the 1880s. They agreed on a host of theological issues, including opposition to rebaptism, renewed earth eschatology, […]


“It Ain’t That Complicated” — Applied Theological Hermeneutics V

August 11, 2008

So, what about the assembly?  [“What about lifestyle?” is, of course, an equally–perhaps more–important question, but this has not been the historic location of hermeneutical debates among Churches of Christ though I hope we will spend more time on that question in the future–and sometimes in the past we have, as with David Lipscomb and […]


“It Ain’t That Complicated” — Applied Theological Hermeneutics IV

August 9, 2008

Rejecting 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 as a prescriptive positive law regulating how the church should give, but embracing it as an arrangement by which the church might be the instrument of God’s grace to others (as so intepretered by 2 Corinthians 8-9), by what hermeneutic do we discern our relationship to the poor or our responsibility to […]


“It Ain’t That Complicated” — Applied Theological Hermeneutics II

August 6, 2008

In this post I will consider the use of 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 among Churches of Christ as a legal prescription or pattern for weekly giving as an act of worship in the Sunday assembly. My purpose is to illustrate the use of the CEI hermeneutic to establish biblical authority. In my next few posts I will […]


“It Ain’t That Complicated” — Applied Theological Hermeneutics I –

August 1, 2008

“It ain’t that complicated.” My recent series on “theological hermeneutics” may seem complicated. I may have made it look complicated. But I don’t think it is complicated at all. The method for which I argued does call for inductive Bible study, reflection, contemplation, holistic thinking, attention to the plot (metanarrative) in the theodrama, prayer, communal dialogue, […]


Theological Hermeneutics X — “Texas Two-Step” or What?

July 4, 2008

Is the hermeneutical move from Scripture to application a “Texas Two-Step” or something else? Two or Three? By “Texas Two-Step” I do not mean the country/western dance that moves in sync with 4/4 time.  🙂  I am referring to the basic hermeneutical practice of moving from Scripture to application in “two steps.” Step One:  The […]


Theological Hermeneutics VII – The Christ Event

July 1, 2008

After a “deserved” break (for you as well as me), I now return to my series on “theological hermeneutics.” (For the previous articles, see the heading “Hermeneutics” on my Serial Index page.) My last few posts in this series emphasized the redemptive-historical character of Scripture as a function of the narrative plot of God’s story. In […]


Stone-Campbell Hermeneutics VI — Appreciation and Critique

June 1, 2008

In this last post for this series (link to the first post here) I attempt to offer a balanced–both appreciative and critical–perspective on the hermeneutic that has dominated Churches of Christ for most of their history. It was only in the 1960s that this dominance began to crack as journals like Restoration Quarterly and Mission […]