When I first began this weblog in 2005, I wanted it to be a place for encouraging growth in what C.S. Lewis called mere Christianity. As such, I have engaged writers and readers from a wide range of religious traditions. That certainly doesn’t mean I approve of everything these writers post. It does, however, mean I’ve found something worthwhile in the particular item to which I link.
On this blog seldom get into what might be called doctrinal distinctives. Lately, however, I’ve been getting emails that seem to be covertly trying to get me to reveal something or other about my own doctrine or Christian affiliation. Although I’ve not made a point of playing up such information on this weblog, I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I’m a preacher with the (a capella) Churches of Christ.
There are a couple of reasons I don’t make a big deal on this blog about my religious affiliation. First, I don’t like to debate doctrine, most especially online. In my experience going head-to-head on doctrinal disagreements usually only encourages the disputants on both sides to dig their heels in deeper. What’s more, online back-and-forth is not the purpose of this blog, and I don’t have enough hours in the day to do it. I am willing to discuss doctrine, even debate it if you insist, but if you want to have such a discussion, then please don’t try to do it either in the comments section or by email. You’re welcome, however, to come study with us at Fredonia Church of Christ near Manchester, Tennessee. We do a fair amount of discussion and debate there—in the best of ways, I think.
I strongly believe that reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God helps a person develop a more clear mind for right doctrine, whatever his or her religious background. If your understanding of God’s will is askew, the solution (at least on this weblog) is not to argue about it. Instead, I post writings and links that I hope and pray will encourage you to think more deeply about God, faith, and discipleship. As someone once said, “Seek and you’ll find.”
Secondly, I don’t like to be pigeon-holed. When I first began blogging, a couple of guys from a seminary in Kentucky went on a little crusade against what they seemed to think was my doctrine of baptism. As best I can tell, they believed that I believed what one of their seminary professors told them members of Churches of Christ believe. I do believe what most Church of Christ preachers do on baptism, but I’m pretty sure these seminarians didn’t know what that doctrine actually is. We went around and around, and I don’t think they ever understood what I was trying to say. I certainly didn’t get what they were pushing.
Perhaps because we have no denominational structure or confessions in Churches of Christ, emphases and fine points of doctrine vary widely. There are “progressive” and “conservative” wings within the church, and I’ve pretty much given up on trying to please either extreme. I’m trying not to be of Paul or Apollos, but simply of God.
Thank you for visiting. I pray you find something here that helps you draw nearer to Jesus.