Muscle & Shovel”: Chapter 30, Part 2 (the Real Restoration Movement)

muscleshovelWe are considering Michael Shank’s book Muscle and a Shovel.

Thomas Campbell, Alexander’s father, in his “Declaration and Address,” stated the aims of the Restoration Movement. It’s generally considered the founding document of the Campbell wing of the Restoration Movement. And it says nothing of baptism.

6. That although inferences and deductions from Scripture premises, when fairly inferred, may be truly called the doctrine of God’s holy word, yet are they not formally binding upon the consciences of Christians farther than they perceive the connection, and evidently see that they are so; for their faith must not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power and veracity of God. Therefore, no such deductions can be made terms of communion, but do properly belong to the after and progressive edification of the Church. Hence, it is evident that no such deductions or inferential truths ought to have any place in the Church’s confession. Continue reading

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On Mitigating Gall

I’m having a good bit of post – surgical pain. The doctors say that I have to rest the painful areas so they can heal.

Working at a desk or computer aggravates the pain, and so I will not be commenting much for a few days .

Commenting via my iPhone is allowed, however, if I’m in the right posture.

I’ve already written the rest of the Muscle and a Shovel series and so daily posts will not be affected.

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Muscle & Shovel”: Chapters 28 – 30 (“Reverend”; the One-Man Pastor; Campbellites)

muscleshovelWe are considering Michael Shank’s book Muscle and a Shovel.

“Reverend”

We’re now getting to even more picayune peculiarities of the conservative Churches of Christ. (I’m starting to get really embarrassed by this. I mean, I attend a Church of Christ myself.)

“My friend, don’t ever call a man reverend,” Randall said. He wasn’t criticizing, nor was his tone harsh. He was simply instructing. “What’s wrong with that?” I laughed. “The only place you’ll find the word reverend in the Bible is in Psalms 111: 9: Continue reading

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Muscle & Shovel”: Chapter 27B (Instrumental Music)

muscleshovelWe are considering Michael Shank’s book Muscle and a Shovel.

Chapter 27, continued

Randall illustrates the exclusionary principle that underlies the Regulative Principle –

“Mike, what did the Lord use in the communion meal?” I thought about it for a second and said, “Unleavened bread and wine from the fruit of the vine.” “That’s right Mr. Mike! But why not use meatloaf and ice-tea? Jesus didn’t say we couldn’t use them, did He?”

(Kindle Locations 5684-5688).

Can you believe that anyone would fall for that? I mean, using an instrument adds to the singing — it does not prevent the singing from happening. If you replace communion bread with meat loaf, you’ve not used the bread at all. There’s an obvious, huge difference between replacing a commanded element and adding to a commanded element. Continue reading

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Muscle & Shovel”: Chapters 26 -27A (Authority and Worship)

muscleshovelWe are considering Michael Shank’s book Muscle and a Shovel.

Chapter 26

The Five Acts of Worship

Randall next makes a presentation on the Five Acts of Worship: Lord’s Supper, Prayer, Singing, Giving, Preaching.

Randall argues that if you dropped denominational names, you’d recognize the true church by its practices, and since the true church has these and only these practices, the Churches of Christ are the true church.  Continue reading

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You’ve Got Some Gall!

gallbladderYesterday, I went under the knife to have my gall bladder removed. It was a laproscopic procedure, meaning the doctor cut four small holes in me, filled my abdomen with gas (evidently using an industrial-strength leaf blower), stuck the organ in a bag, and pulled the bag out.

Simple, right?

Well, it started last Monday. I had a follow up visit with my internal medicine doctor to leafblowermake sure I was properly recovering from sepsis in January and double back fusion in October, and a ureteroscopic kidney stone Roto-Rooter procedure, also in January.

As I was getting out of the car, I felt one or more kidney stones let loose (kind of like 20 electric shocks in the right kidney), and so I was sent for a CT scan on Tuesday.

The CT scan said nothing worth repeating about my kidney (which seems to be just fine) but found a possible infection in my gall bladder. This was so ambiguous, though, that I then had to have an ultrasound on the gall bladder. Which was also ambiguous. Continue reading

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Muscle & Shovel”: Chapters 22 – 25 (the One True Church)

muscleshovelWe are considering Michael Shank’s book Muscle and a Shovel.

Chapter 22

Shank becomes upset with the divisions resulting from “denominationalism.”

Each denomination teaches an opposing set of practices and beliefs. Their idea of unity is to keep their individual beliefs, practices, and doctrines, while accepting all other differing – even conflicting beliefs, practices and doctrines. That’s not unity. That’s tolerance. Tolerance is not Christ’s teaching of unity.

(Kindle Locations 4437-4444).

But what about –

(Rom 14:3-6 ESV)  3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.  4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.  5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.  6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. Continue reading

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“Muscle & Shovel”: Chapters 19, 20 & 21 (the Ethiopian eunuch; abusing Mark 16; picking a church)

muscleshovelWe are considering Michael Shank’s book Muscle and a Shovel.

Chapter 19

The Ethiopian eunuch

We next find Shank studying the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch together. Randall had introduced them to the story, saying it’s important to know that Philip preached Jesus.

“Preached Jesus!” I thought — at last Randall and Shank get to the heart of our salvation and the gospel, he who died for us — but no such luck.

Now, why is it important to point out that Philip preached Jesus to the Eunuch? It’s important because the Eunuch said to Philip in verse 36, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” Continue reading

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“Muscle & Shovel”: Chapter 16, 17 & 18 (Pouring & why the KJV uses “baptize”)

muscleshovelWe are considering Michael Shank’s book Muscle and a Shovel.

Chapter 16

Shank gets into a discussion with another friend about Acts 2:38.

I’m going to cut short the long litany of Baptist vs. Church of Christ baptism arguments at this point because most readers have heard them all and, I’m sure, don’t care to hear more of the same arguments once again. Continue reading

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“Muscle & Shovel”: Chapters 12, 13, 14 & 15 (A Personal Relationship with Jesus?)

muscleshovelWe are considering Michael Shank’s book Muscle and a Shovel.

Chapter 12

Shank describes a family gathering at which his aunt tried to pray for him to receive the gift of tongues. She prayed in tongues as part of the process, and yet she failed to summon the “gift of the Holy Ghost,” which she understands to mean the gift of tongues. Shank was not impressed with her understanding of the Spirit.

The rest of the chapter deals with Shank asking family members where the Sinner’s Prayer is found in the Bible. No one knew.

Chapter 13

Shank ruminates on the ignorance of his family as to the doctrine and history of their various denominations. He considers whether we can trust our subjective feelings. Continue reading

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