An Email About Romans 5, Part 3 (The Age of Accountability)

Dan wrote a passionate comment, questioning where the conditionalism theory might take us in terms of infants and others who are not morally accountable. I recommend that you read it.

I thank Dan for it, because he’s pushed me to dig deeper.


Every position has its difficulties. Consider the traditional view. A child who dies before the age of accountability goes to heaven to live with God forever. However, if the child dies the day after attaining the age of accountability, having committed but a single sin, without having found Jesus, the child suffers eternal conscious torment. That’s a truly awful doctrine. Continue reading

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The Gopher Wood Debate Continues

From ReverendFun. Used with permission.

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An Email About Romans 5, Part 2

This brings us to a hard question that’s different from the questions that were asked in the first post, but which helps explain the answers. Earlier in Romans, Paul says,

(Rom 3:23-25 ESV) 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

This parallels Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill — Continue reading

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An Email About Romans 5, Part 1

I get emails or, in this case, Facebook messages. This is about a class on Romans 5 –

Question #1: Is it possible for one to be under the reign of sin and that sin not be like Adam’s?  Give the verse that proves your answer.

Question #2: ( True-False)  All people have sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.

A reader has been leading a class on Romans and wanted help with these questions. And I have to begin by expressing how very hard it must be to teach such a class out of the King James Version. Romans is hard, and having to sort through Pauline theology through the filter of Jacobean English makes it all the harder. But I understand that there are still congregations where the KJV is not optional.

(“Similitude” is the giveaway. I can’t find it in any other translation. It’s one obscure word.) Continue reading

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Cecil Hook’s Freedom’s Ring is Back Up

Readers will recall that “Freedom’s Ring” website maintained by the late Cecil Hook for many years was hacked and taken down several weeks ago. Several readers contacted me about it, and I passed that information along to the family.

The family appears to have taken the opportunity to completely redesign the site, which is still under construction.

It’s much more modern, prettier site, but I’m going to miss the old-fashioned look of the original. Nonetheless, I’m thrilled that his work is being preserved and made so easily available to all.

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Many readers my age and older will remember Jack Exum, Sr., who traveled the country for many years preaching gospel meetings. Jack was an important thought leader in helping the Churches of Christ rediscover the work of the Holy Spirit and grace. He also wrote many books on a wide variety of subjects.

I’m delighted to announce that his family has established a website that, among other things, provides downloadable versions of many of  his books and other writings. Seven books are already available for free download.

It’s still under construction, and so the link I’m most excited about — Three Unusual Days — doesn’t work yet. I remember that meeting very well. I can’t wait to get my hands on his notes.

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Comments, Mobile Theme, Etc.

First, a question:

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Here are the relative advantages, as I see them: Continue reading

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Real Restoration: Acts: Paul’s Sermon at Antioch in Pisidia

In Acts 13, we read Paul’s first recorded sermon, delivered early during his first missionary journey –

(Act 13:16-41 ESV) 6 So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: “Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen.”

“You who fear God” is a reference to Gentile believers in God. Paul was speaking in a synagogue, and there were Gentiles present for Torah study.

17 “The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it.  18 And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness.  19 And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance.  20 All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet.  21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.  22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’  Continue reading

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Comments / IntenseDebate

As an experiment, I’ve removed the IntenseDebate feature and reverted to the default WordPress format. I’ve also forced a single layer of comments. That is, all comments will listed in strict chronological order, with the newest at the bottom.

This also means that clicking a comment in the Recent Comments column to the right will take you directly to that comment.

Let me know how well this works for you.

PS — I’m having trouble with the blog sometimes defaulting to the Mobile Version view, which is quite odd. Hopefully, it’s a caching issue and will correct itself. In the meantime, I’ve turned off the Mobile Version entirely, in hopes of clearing the problem.

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Missions: Mark Woodward, Parts 6 and 7

In part 6 of his series, Mark points out the chronic problem of poor planning –

I know missionaries who strategically planned on getting jobs in their new country, only to discover when they arrived that local law would not allow them as foreigners to obtain work permits. I know of missionaries who planned on doing house churches, only to learn that apartments are too small and large gatherings are not allowed in private buildings. I know missionaries who have selected a site for a new church plant without even knowing that there was another congregation already there!

And churches have sent all of these missionaries! With support and oversight! What’s wrong with this picture??

How do we prevent such poor plans? In part 7 of the series, Mark points out that mission training in the Churches of Christ is very ad hoc. Continue reading

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