Acts 2:46-47 (Having Favor of All the People)

“Day by day”

(Act 2:46 ESV) 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

“Day by day” indicates a continuous practice. Many translations” say daily.”  Continue reading

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Theology, General: The Gospel and Football, Part 2

But seriously folks, the preacher really should preach against Auburn. Every week. That would generate some major enthusiasm!

Okay, that’s not serious at all — except in this sense: in football, we know who the enemy is. It’s Auburn. And there are some other teams that are enemies of Alabama, too. But it’s mainly Auburn. Continue reading

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Theology, General: The Gospel and Football, Part 1

Reader Bill Perkins wrote this comment:

Football is better than religion for many, and here is why:

1.  No one is late for the game, as a matter of fact they show up hours early for fellowship with fellow fans.

2.  People are content to sit for 3-4 hours packed in shoulder to shoulder on metal bleachers with no backs and never complain that it’s too crowded or uncomfortable. Continue reading

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Acts 2:44-45 (All things in common)

“All things in common”

(Act 2:44-45 ESV) 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

According to Robert Wall, in the New Interpreters Bible Commentary, “all things in common” is a common phrase, borrowed from Greek philosophy, for a close friendship. They didn’t merely attend church together, they were such good friends that they shared everything. Continue reading

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Acts 2:42-43, Part 3 (Prayer and Awe)

“The prayers”

Most translations say the disciples devoted themselves “to prayer,” but the ESV translates the Greek article, to give us “to the prayers.” Hmm … Is this a reference to regularly scheduled, liturgical prayer?

Interestingly, the definite article (“the”) appears before each element: the teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread, the prayers. This suggests that Luke intends to emphasis particular teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers. Continue reading

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Acts 2:42-43, Part 2 (Life in the Jerusalem Church of Christ)

“The breaking of bread”

To “break bread” was a common idiom for a shared meal, the emphasis being on the sharing. The host would take the bread, break it into pieces, and distribute the bread among the participants. A close analogy would be the ceremonial carving of the turkey at Thanksgiving, where the father carves the meat and distributes it.

Thus, to “break bread” is to exercise hospitality, inviting guests to your table to share food and fellowship. Continue reading

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The Fork in the Road: “The Way of UNITY between “Christian Churches” and Churches of Christ,” Part 11

In response to my comments on the Holy Spirit, Greg Tidwell posted an extensive quote from Robert Richardson, The Office of the Holy Spirit (Bosworth, Chase and Hall, Cincinnati: 1872), p. 11. You cannot imagine my delight in learning that Greg and I are both fans of Richardson.

Dr. Richardson was a great intellect and skilled writer. Indeed, Alexander Campbell appointed him as co-editor of Campbell’s Millennial Harbinger, eventually succeeding Campbell as editor after his death. Continue reading

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Elders: How Should Elders and Staff Relate to Each Other?

A reader asks,

Have you written on the issue of elder-led vs. the lead pastor model?  At work, I’m a big believer in the sole leader — follow or get out of the way — model.  I’m not sure that’s what God had in mind for the church. Any practical ideas on governing without squeezing the life and passion out of the staff? Continue reading

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The Fork in the Road: “The Way of UNITY between “Christian Churches” and Churches of Christ,” Part 10

Greg Tidwell quoted the great missionary Tolbert Fanning,

In plain words, the idea of professedly new revelations, or guidance of the Spirit, beyond what is written in the Bible, tends very much to satisfy all under the influence of the recent spiritual light, that the sacred Scriptures are of little or no value to the world. Moreover, for long observation, we are satisfied that such as look for direct spiritual light, will sooner or later renounce all confidence in the Scriptures of truth.

I’ve never understood this attitude toward works of the Spirit. Continue reading

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Acts 2:41-43, Part 1

(Act 2:41 ESV) So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

I take “about three thousand souls” to be quite literal. The first congregation of Christ’s church was a megachurch! So much for those who insist that the optimal congregation size is 150 … Continue reading

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