Amazing Grace: Part 1.5, The Salvation of those who commit the Galatian heresy

grace2.jpgWe adult Bible class teachers met Wednesday night to go over Parts 0.5 and 1 of the lessons on Galatians (those of us who didn’t go to the basketball game). It was correctly pointed out that I left unclear my position on whether those who are guilty of the Galatian heresy are lost. I said in Part 1 that I thought that the teachers were the ones Paul mainly had in mind. Continue reading


Top Posts for February

star.jpgAs is my habit, it’s time to post a summary of February’s top posts —

Quail Springs Minister “Disfellowshipped 486
Quail Springs Church of Christ “Disfello 337
Quail Springs Church of Christ “Disfello 266
Index 238
Quail Springs Church of Christ “Disfello 207
About the Author 200
Communion Meditation: A Lesson from an E 179
Quail Springs Minister “Disfellowshippe 158
U.S. Income and Employment Taxes for Mis 151
Communion Meditations 137
Quail Springs Church of Christ “Disfello 135
Upgrading a Church of Christ Worship Ser 135
Books by Jay Guin 132
Communion Meditation: The Christian Pass 115
<i>A Plea to Reconsider</i>: On How Hard 110
<i>A Plea to Reconsider</i>: Abusing Res 108
Quail Springs Church of Christ “Disfello 107
<i>A Plea to Reconsider</i>: Introductio 107
Amazing Grace: Objections (revised, agai 103
Leading Change: On Being a “Change Agent 100
Amazing Grace 99
Leading Change for Elders, Part 1 91
But If You Do Marry … 90
Born of Water 90
Instrumental Music 89
Amazing Grace: Does God Forgive Doctrina 88
Research Materials 81
Searching for The Third Way: Once Saved, 79
Lessons on Grace: How Grace Unites (or R 73
Searching for The Third Way: Introductio 70
January’s top posts 66
The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace 64
2008 Pepperdine Lectureship 61
Amazing Grace: Objections, Supplemental 61
Searching for The Third Way: The Trinity 58
Amazing Grace: Our Heritage of Wonderful 56
A Communion Meditation Reflecting on the 55
Leading Change for Elders, Part 3 54
<i>Gospel Advocate</i> Creed 47
Quail Springs Church of Christ “Disfello 46
Searching for The Third Way: Predestinat 45
Roll Tide!!!! 45
The <i>”Gospel Advocate”</i> Creed 45
Amazing Grace: Now that We’re Saved (the 45
Amazing Grace: Now that We’re Saved (ref 44
Searching for The Third Way: Predestinat 44
Buried Talents 43
Baptism 42
Blue Like Jazz: Lesson materials 41
A Theological History of Restoration Mov 41
Ministers Guilty of Sexual Sin 40
Amazing Grace: The Scary Lesson of Galat 40
What’s Wrong With How We Do Church?: And 40
Grace and How We’ve Taught It Wrong 40
Leading Change for Elders, Part 2 39
A Communion Meditation: The Pattern for 38
Church Growth: National Trends 37
Searching for The Third Way: Once Saved, 37
On Communion Meditations 37
Richland Hills, Instrumental Music, and 35
Entertainment, Applause, and Worship 35
Amazing Grace: The Scary Lesson of Galat 34
Hermeneutics 33
<i>Blue Like Jazz</i> lessons 33
Searching for The Third Way: Once Saved, 31
Do We Teach Another Gospel? 31
The Prostitute, the Pharisee, and the Pr 31
Communion Meditation: The Bread of Life 30
Leading Change for Ministers, Part 1 30
A fresh approach to the Lord’s Supper 29
A Debate on Instrumental Music, Part 1 29

Well, it’s obvious that the Quail Springs ad has struck a chord. Those posts have gotten by far the most traffic. And February has set a record for monthly hits with nearly 12,600 hits!

I’m a little surprised that the post on upgrading a worship service has gotten the traffic it has. If that was helpful, you might like this old one on communion meditations.

I doubt that I’ll see that much traffic in March. I’ll be off a week on vacation (going to see Mickey in Orlando) and I doubt that there will be another controversy quite like Quail Springs! I hope not.

Thanks to all of you for helping to spread the word — and thanks especially to those who post comments here. The blog is much better when we talk about it among ourselves — especially those of you who correct my mistakes or just plain disagree!

The Future of the Progressive Churches of Christ: Part 1, Background

elephantintheroom.jpgLately, I’ve been pondering the direction of the progressive Churches of Christ. Where are we going to be in 20 or 30 years? More importantly, where do we want to be in 20 or 30 years?

Now, many congregational leaders have learned of the importance of vision in leading a church. Are we just keeping house or should we have common goals we’re going to work toward as a community? The same principle holds true at the denominational level.

Vision, I believe, is just as important for a community of congregations as for the community that is a congregation. I mean, I just don’t think it’s enough to lead a local church well. We must also cooperate congregation to congregation. If we don’t work together, then the unity Jesus prayed for would be far too abstract. It wouldn’t matter in any real sense. But to do what?

You see, the problem none of us is addressing — the elephant in the room — is who are the progressive Churches of Christ going to be?

[PS — I’m not through with the Third Way series. I just figured we all needed a break.]

Continue reading

Searching for The Third Way: Predestination, Part 4

three-thumb.jpgThe Third Way of Predestination

In Christianity, there are essentially two views of predestination. The Calvinists teach that God decides who will be saved and then changes them, outside their own choosing, so they’ll have faith. Calvinists deny that we can choose to be saved or not saved.

Arminians teach free will. We decide whether to have faith. This, however, gives the Arminians serious problems when they are asked to interpret the predestination verses. They come up with all sorts of clever theories, all of which explain away the passages. The Arminians cannot explain why Paul considers predestination a source of great comfort for individual Christians.

The Calvinist view is indeed comforting — for the elect. It’s ugly and awful for the rest. The Arminian view is true to our experience — we make choices every day — but completely missed the message Paul wants us to hear — a message of cosmic importance! Continue reading

Communion Meditation: Heaven on Earth

Communion2,000 years ago, God saw that heaven and earth were too far apart. God very much wanted to bring heaven down to earth so that all his children could enjoy it, just as he does. And for a moment, this happened.

The price to move heaven to earth was the life of God himself — God the Son. The Son gave everything to make this happen, even surrendering his place in heaven, even descending into the depths of Hades. Continue reading

Quail Springs Church of Christ “Disfellowshipped”: An Invitation

quailsprings.gifI just received this comment —

It’s nice to read some supportive words. We’ve taken the no response route as you have suggested here.

On Thursday, May 1, the National Day of Prayer, we are hosting a joint worship service with at least 2 other churches from OKC – Catedral de Adoracion and Tabitha Baptist. A mostly white suburban Church of Christ, a Latino inner-city church and a black Baptist church coming together to worship and fellowship. Worship teams from all three churches will participate. Communion would be a great addition to the plan.

We’ll invite other churches of Christ and anyone else who would like to come be with us. You’re welcome as well of course.

Grace & peace to you,

Gary Bruce
Worship Minister
Quail Springs Church of Christ

I moved this to a post to make sure everyone sees it and it goes out to RSS feed and email subscribers.

On May 1, I’ll be at the Pepperdine lectureship, where I’ll be speaking on why the Churches of Christ are so divisive (kind of ironic, isn’t it?). I wish I could be in Oklahoma City! I’ll be there in spirit.

Readers, please attend this event! I pray that Quail Springs fills their auditorium, the church next door, the parking lot, and the streets with supportive brothers and sisters in Christ.

You see, those who persecute Quail Springs for worshiping God with an instrument stand opposed to the gospel of Christ. They don’t mean to. But they do. It’s the Galatian heresy — squared. We cannot sit by idly while a spiritual war is being fought by others.

It’s extremely important that the Church of Christ community in Oklahoma see that Quail Springs is supported by others. Elderships of other churches need to know that they can resist the forces of legalism and find support among their members and their sister congregations. If this isn’t worth standing for, what is?

Your brothers and sisters at Quail Springs need to see that they are loved and accepted. Please be there.

The antidote for divisiveness and backbiting is love — openly displayed.


Leading Change for Ministers, Part 1

change.jpgI’m frequently asked by ministers how to cope with the fact their church desperately needs to change, to escape legalism. Sometimes the elders are uncooperative, even opposed. Sometimes the elders are open to learning.

Now, I’m talking about stuff I don’t know much about. I’ve never worked as a minister of the gospel. My livelihood has never depended on keeping a bunch of elders happy. So forgive me if my perspective is skewed. It likely is.

I don’t think every church can be rescued by the minster’s efforts. But some have been and can be — and I’d never place a limit on what God can accomplish through a good man — and his Spirit. Continue reading