About the Author

Guin,JayI am an elder (on leave of absence as I recover from a series of back surgeries), a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ.

I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!).

I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.

18 Responses to About the Author

  1. Rick Blaine says:

    Hello, Jay! Mike Morrell asked me to contact you because he really appreciates your blog and thinks you’d be an excellent candidate for his Speakeasy Blogger Network. Do you like to review off-the-beaten path faith, spirituality, and culture books? Speakeasy puts interesting books in your hands at no charge to you. You only get books when you request them, and it’s free to join. Sign up here, if you’d like: http://thespeakeasy.info

  2. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    I’m flattered. But I’m already a part of the SBN. Have been for several years. And I’ve reviewed several books for Mike — just not lately. He has a great program. I’m a fan and appreciate his letting me participate.

    But I found myself way over-committed and have tried to limit my review commitments. (It’s really NT Wright’s fault. I’m going to read his books even if I have to pay for them, and he’s publishing faster than I can read them. I’m still trying to swallow Paul and the Faithfulness of God!)

  3. David Herron says:

    Hello Jay. I love your article on 1 Cor. 8, beautifully written and concluded; and with your characteristic wit along the way. Very enjoyable and edifying. Causes me to look closer . . . what is The “Progressive” Church of Christ? That word is generally mis-used in Evangelical Denominations . . . and politics. I’m sensing a unifying, true gospel here.

  4. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    Good to hear from you. The Churches of Christ drifted into legalism in the 20th Century after having been a unity movement in the 19th Century. There is now a movement within the Churches to escape fundamentalism/legalism and find a better path. We sometimes call it “progressive,” but it’s a very poor term. I’m continually looking for something better. “Third Way” has recently popped up, and it might catch on.

    There is no one leader but rather an ongoing conversation regarding “what next?” I have written an article that will appear in a week or so based on a post by Josh Graves that addresses this directly but only in the context of how the different movements approach the Bible – hermeneutics. He uses “Third Way,” and it’s growing on me.

    I will soon begin a series on the Atonement that seeks to lay out a better approach to that part of our theology, based on a book by Michael Gorman, who’s is in the Fresh Perspective camp along with N. T. Wright and others. (Even Wright has a problem labelling his views.)

    Some progressive Churches of Christ have trended to be kind of generic Baptist-ish, but I think the larger, longer trend will be toward what Josh calls Third Way theology, that is, a theology informed by such theologians as N. T. Wright, Scot McKnight, and Michael J. Gorman. These men are heavily influential in other circles as well, but since the progressive CoC is aware of the need to find something better, we have less trouble seeing the advantages of their narrative, holistic approach to scripture. We’ve already seen that we need to change.

    We’ll still baptize converts by immersion for the remission of sins and take weekly communion, but we will be more interested in serving our communities, in working with other churches even across denominational lines, less programmatic (lots of programs but more about personal transformation into servants rather than recruiting volunteers to serve — not that we’ll ever escape that).

    I heard RIck Atchley, a prominent preacher in our movement, explain it this way. His parents would remember as their legacy a church with sound doctrine, teaching sound theology about how to be saved. He hopes his legacy will be people helped as they struggle to overcome AIDS, homeless shelters built and homeless people ministered to, people brought to Jesus to become not merely saved but followers of the Master, transformed hearts … You get the idea. It’s more about being than knowing.

    It’s hard to summarize, and I really ought to think of a way to do that. In fact, Josh’s excellent article, which was aimed at something else but hit me here, has me reflecting on just what we “progressives” are about.

    It’s a movement. And it moves. But right now, that seems to be trend. I think it’s extraordinarily positive for us, but I have no idea how to compare it to anything or anyone else.

    Does that make any sense?

  5. John Strong says:

    Mr. Guin, I’d like to thank you for taking time to share your professional opinion about tax matters of importance to missionaries working abroad. Extremely helpful. It is still not clear to me whether there is any way for a missionary to receive tax deductible donations without forming a non-profit corporation. If you can offer an opinion on that, it would be much appreciated. Thanks & blessings,

  6. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    There must be an organization qualified under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3), such as a church, involved. Contributions to an individual are rarely deductible as charitable contributions, and then only if done as part of a program established by a 501(c)(3) organization. Prudently, you’d always want the money routed through a recognized 501(c)(3) — a church, a missionary support organization, that sort of thing.

  7. Pingback: The Future of the Progressive Churches of Christ — Is There a Third Way? | One In Jesus

  8. Dan Corner says:

    I would be happy to see this cult destroyed. Their false teachings are poisoning many and must be exposed (Jude 3,4). Our website exposes them and more http://www.eomin.org

  9. Dennis says:

    Hello, we were missionaries in Europe for 16 years then we needed to return home for a medical furlough that has lasted about 4 years. We believe the Lord is prompting us to go back, but some questions have been raised as to the mission agency that we were with not keeping up with the IRS laws, namely that they are not doing random audits of their missionaries. It’s been advised that we not use them until they change their current policy. I have a brother in law who has done missions work in India for years and he formed his own 501c3 and received the funds through that. I don’t know, forming your own 501c3 for missions work almost sounds like certain jail time if you’re caught. Is it OK to do that? Could you explain the pros and cons of forming your own 501 for missions work? Thanks 🙂

  10. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    I can’t advise you on the particulars of your situation, except to say that you need the help of a qualified tax CPA or lawyer. It’s perfectly legal for someone to form a 501(c)(3) for mission work, but issues arise if it only supports one person. And I don’t see the point, but different denominations operate different ways. This is a structure that most Churches of Christ would find objectionable (long story and not worth telling if you’re not from among my particular tribe.)

    I am much more concerned that your mission work be supported by an experienced missions support organization that can help you not only with tax issues but also in church planting strategies and in supporting your work. I don’t believe missionaries should go into the field without experienced, qualified coaching and support. There are many organizations that do this. MRN is the one I’m most familiar with in the Churches of Christ. There are others.

    The model my congregation follows is a sponsoring congregation, working with an organization such as MRN. The missionary works under the oversight of the sponsoring congregation, but the missionary receives training, coaching from MRN. It works well, and our missionaries seem very happy with this arrangement because it provides them with so much support and encouragement. (And it simplifies the tax situation quite a lot.)

  11. Jim H says:

    While I too dislike the term “progressive,” and I consider myself one, the “third way” takes my mind to the “third wave,” a semi-Montanist movement? I have no suggestions as to a better one. I like to think of us as moving from a “doing” (works/legalistic) focus to a “becoming” (grace/spirit led transformed being focus, ontologically speaking, as we come to a deeper understanding of what it means spiritually
    to be in Christ.

  12. Dwight says:

    How about just “the way” or saint or Christian.

  13. J.D. Partain says:

    Thanks for the wonderful posts, the intriguing insights. I currently pastor a former CoC church plant in Missoula, Montana, and continually feel blessed by our rich heritage in Churches of Christ. Our church plant continues to change its DNA from a church with dogmatic emphasis, to a church with discipleship emphasis – in other words, a church on the ground and in the mess. The transition has been tough, and we may never fully arrive at our vision, but the rewards have been immeasurable.

    The beauty of a heritage in CoC has been the common love we share for God’s Word, and the ability for the average member to have a general grasp on basic theology. And yet, we (those of us raised in CoC churches) are becoming more bold when questioning the validity of various “doctrines” we’ve been raised with. As a result, real questions are raised, answers researched, discussions erupt with graciousness, rather than the heat of proving oneself right. My father, a true theologian and former CoC preacher, half-jokingly refers to this new movement as “The Second Restoration.”

    He feels that, across the Kingdom (which I personally feel includes many of our Calvinistic-based denominations as well as Arminian) there is a new awakening, a revived yearning to go back to Scripture – not to defend our “rightness” but to see doctrine restored through the lens of love, the grace of Jesus Christ. I regularly meet with many other pastors from various denominations/churches across the city, and I think he may be right. The walls seem to be coming down, churches are beginning to talk with each other, and new theological discussions are happening!

    We live in exciting times! The Second Restoration!

    Thanks again for your insights. They are a blessing to me.

    Grace & Peace…

  14. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    Thanks for the kind note. You wrote,

    Our church plant continues to change its DNA from a church with dogmatic emphasis, to a church with discipleship emphasis – in other words, a church on the ground and in the mess.

    I love it! But how???

  15. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    PS —

    Yes, there will be Calvinists in heaven. And they are going to spend the first million years telling Paul that he’s semi-Pelagian and debating with him. It’s predestined and God’s sovereignty requires it.
    (And then they’re going searching for the author of Hebrews to get him (or her) straight. I think it’s Priscilla and look forward to the debate between her and John Piper.)


  16. John Randy Royse says:

    Hey, Jay, I’m a new elder at The Hills church here in North Richland Hills and have very much enjoyed the ‘Advice to a new elder’ series. I want to share it with my other new shepherds….

    But when I search on the topic (and I do get them all),they are in reverse order, i.e. the latest first…. Is there a way to make a ‘page’ with the articles starting Number one on top?

    This would actually apply to all your great series, just a way to read them sequentially without having to go back several pages to start on the first one….

    Ping me if I’ve confused the issue….


  17. Larry Cheek says:

    I also have found it very hard if not impossible to organize the topics into any kind of order to find a continuing flow of the subjects. It really would have seemed to me that we could click on the subject and all posts should line up from either earliest to latest or the reverse. I remember attempting to find what I had remembered as a wise quote by Jay upon a peculiar subject, I finally gave up, and decided not to paraphrase Jay’s quote.

  18. Jim Betterton says:

    II have bee wondering if you know any news about Brother Jim McGuiggan. I have not been able to contact his site. A brother here says he heard Jim is quite ill. I love your site. Thanks for your great efforts!

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