Thursday, May 29, 2014

Response to Comments

Once in a blue moon I look at readers' comments. Thanks to those who write positive responses. Okay! Thanks to some of the negative comments too. The negatives worth reading make me think. Those that aren't worth reading don't deserve a response. Nonetheless I do think I need to respond in general to these comments.

First, there were an series of anonymous comments reacting to my blog entry about baptism. I don't know who anonymous is so I was tempted to say nothing. Someone who wants to challenge my thoughts without the courage to identify themselves is simply a coward who lacks the courage of their convictions. Besides that these comments repeat the same old Zwinglian arguments that really don't hold water when investigated closely. Even honest Baptist scholars recognize that fact! This brief response is all an anonymous respondent deserves.

Second, the material sent out to the churches on the issue of liberal teaching in one of "our" seminaries is called "The Beck Correspondence." That correspondence occurred over a two year period between Dr. M.N. Beck and a professor and administrator at Emmanuel Christian Seminary. Dr. Beck's son Callum was refused a degree at ECS because, according to his superintending professor, he did not demonstrate adequate scholarship. The correspondence resulted in controversy over biblical inerrancy and acceptance of liberal scholarship. ECS trustees "investigated" the charges but responded that the school and its professors represented "Restoration Movement" positions. The whole issue withered away without much further discussion.

It is said that history repeats itself. George Santayana said those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. In the late 1800s Ben Bettenfield charged professors at the College of the Bible (now Lexington Theological Seminary) taught Classical Liberalism. Hall Calhoun, COB Academic Dean, supported Battenfield's charges. Battenfield took his case to the churches and the seminary's trustees. The trustees "investigated" and supported the seminary's leadership. The churches slipped into the background and the controversy soon disappeared. The College of the Bible was lost to liberalism and theological liberalism contributed to the eventual Disciples split.

Third, I still write this blog but I do so less often. I contribute less to the blog because I write a monthly column for The Restoration Herald. I am also writing books. My personal recollections, On the Move: the Recollections of an Iowa Boy, is now available from Amazon. I should be getting the first proof of A History of the American Restoration Movement this next week. I am assembling a book based on the questions I was asked online while ministering with First Christian Church, Canton, OH. I also have a book entitled History of Christianity: From Pentecost to the Reformation awaiting a cover and reformatting to a 6 x 9 format. I've also given some thought to taking selections from this blog and putting them together into a book. I may contribute to the blog more often now that I've "retired."

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