A profound loss

Well, it has happened: In the so-called “worship wars,” the advocates of contemporary worship have won. I can see it in your young people who now know none of the songs written more than twenty years ago. I see it when I lead a song in my college classes; they simply don’t know the old songs. Their faces fall, and they remain silent, motionless.

It’s not their fault. Continue reading “A profound loss”

Ten blessings of baptism

What are the blessings of Baptism? What does the Bible say baptism does for us? Perhaps we are under the impression that baptism does only one thing – save. Others suggest that though it is a good thing to do that it has little or no bearing on our salvation. Make no mistake, it does, but submitting to baptism does many other things for us, too.

Baptism’s Blessings Continue reading “Ten blessings of baptism”

Bad romance advice

The Wise Man found four things mysterious to him: the way of a snake on a rock, a ship in the seas, an eagle in the sky, and most baffling of all, “the way of a man with a maid” (Proverbs 30:19). If this relationship mystified Solomon we might be forgiven for being a little perplexed ourselves!

Because I teach at a college, I am around a lot of young people interested in some kind of romantic attachment (though some might not admit it, I know that they are). Sometimes I offer the following bad romantic advice: Continue reading “Bad romance advice”

Then write something better

Here is a conversation I ran across about a year ago:

“Why aren’t more Christians reading and sharing articles written by members of the church?” To which another person wrote, “We will when you write something worthwhile.”

I will admit that there are some articles on the Internet by our fellowship that are either poorly written or are tactless in tone. Writing good stuff, in any format, is the result of hard work, numerous revisions and prayer. Good writing is no accident. I would add that it is important that the writer cares about the church and cares about the lost. There is far too much ranting and wrath spewed by those who are supposed to be God’s children. Continue reading “Then write something better”

Graceful words

They are more powerful than a punch to the gut, and potentially more inspiring than a sunset over a beach. Words have the power to build or destroy. We vastly underestimate the power of words, for good or ill, to affect others. And, what is more, the Christian is obliged to use gracious words:

“Let your speech always be gracious,” the good apostle said, “seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6). Continue reading “Graceful words”

The Sounds of silence

One question that comes up frequently in a discussion over a cappella music is whether arguing from the silence of Scripture is a legitimate way to study the Bible. Does silence communicate? I recall that my mother could communicate without saying a word. Does the Bible suggest that it should be interpreted by its silence as well as by its words? What if the Bible actually expressed how it was to be interpreted?

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Jesus was capable of fusing the entirety of the Law of Moses into two principles: Love God and love your neighbor, noting that “on these two commandments depend all the law and prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). Continue reading “The Sounds of silence”

The singing evangelist

Crowds gathered in breathless expectation to hear the “Singing Evangelist.” In mostly small towns and congregations he would mix sermons, delivered with great fervor, and hymns, led with great skill. His name was Knowles Shaw (1834-1878), and he was one of the most effective evangelists of his day.

He was born in Ross Township, Ohio. His father, who died when he was 12, left him a violin, which he learned to play. Soon he was playing at parties and dances around the region. Oddly, it was at a dance while he was playing that he was struck by a thought from Amos 4:12: “Prepare to meet thy God.” This was the turning point of his life. He left the dance immediately and spent the rest of the night in anguish and prayer. He began attending the Flat Rock Church of Christ and was baptized on September 13, 1852. Continue reading “The singing evangelist”

I am a father who does not know everything

When I was little my father appeared to me to always be strong and wise. Of course, that was merely the perspective of a little boy. Now that I am a father, I know better. I am a father who does not know everything. I can relate very well to the biblical writer who said our fathers disciplined us “as it seemed best to them” (Hebrews 12:9-10). There were times I wondered if I should have been stronger. At other times I wondered if I should have been more lenient. Kids, give dad a break! When you were a kid he had to make decisions on the fly, decisions no one else was willing to make, and he did it out of the very best of intentions Continue reading “I am a father who does not know everything”