I have been a part of the Restoration Movement (RM, hereafter) for most of my life. As far back as I can remember, my family attended a Christian Church or Church of Christ. Although I never attended many (if any) of the RM’s annual conventions (the North American Christian Convention, a.k.a. NACC), I grew up reading the popular weekly publications Christian Standard and the Lookout. I went to some revivals and attended as much church camp every summer as I could. I heard the stories about the glory days of the burgeoning RM that began in the early nineteenth century–about how many came to the same conclusion in early America that the shackles of “denominationalism” needed to be cast aside and how the Cane Ridge Revival set a fire in people’s hearts to pursue “New Testament Christianity.” My youthful mind was enamored with the “plea” (as it came to be known) to restore the church’s faith and practice of the first century as revealed in the New Testament. I was a dyed-in-the wool RM kind of guy. Continue reading
It is common to hear that science and faith are opposed to one another: science is about finding “facts” and giving “proof,” while faith is about “believing” without evidence. It is like having a brick wall that separates the two and never the twain shall meet. This sentiment is expressed by the well known atheist Richard Dawkins. He proclaims that the entire idea of God is based upon “private revelation rather than evidence”  , and that “faith is an evil precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no argument.”  For Dawkins and other atheists like him, scientific theories are believed because of the overwhelming evidence, and if evidence were found to contradict a particular scienctific theory, such a theory would be abandoned. But not so with faith.  Continue reading
It was not long after arriving at my new home in Arizona that the church advertisements began flooding our mailbox. One piece, professionally done, had six of their “promises” to their new customers prominently displayed: “Exciting Kids’ Programs,” “Incredible Music,” “Inspirational Teaching,” “One Hour Service,” “Casual Atmosphere,” and “We Won’t Beg for Your Money.” All that a new customer shopping for a new church could ask for, along with an offer of a $10 Starbucks gift card to first time customers!
Is this what the church ought to be doing? Attracting customers by appealing to their every desire like a Wal-Mart, Continue reading
Apologetics, the study and practice of defending the Christian faith, has always been a part of the historical church. In fact, it dates back to the New Testament when the Apostle Paul entered the Greek city of Athens and debated the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers (see Acts 17). The Apostle Peter even commanded his readers to always be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15; NASB). Defending the faith continued on after the apostolic era with Christian theologians and philosophers developing arguments for God’s existence, defending miracles, and providing good reasons to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he was raised from the dead. Even today, especially in the last several decades, Apologetics continues to thrive as apologists like William Lane Craig and the popular Lee Strobel develop and write about the arguments and reasons for faith in God and Christ. Continue reading
In his little book Should We Use Someone Else’s Sermon? Preaching in a Cut-and-Paste World, Scott Gibson discusses the out-of-control problem of preachers plagiarizing their sermons. One minister, W. Banwell “Barney” Heyward Jr., lost his job after admitting to plagiarizing sermons from Tim Keller, minister of Redeemer Church in New York City. Another minister, Robert C. Hamm of Keen United Church of Christ, resigned when he was confronted with his plagiarism. In this case, Hamm had copied and pasted entire sermons from the internet and preached them as if they were his own. Example after example, Gibson relays how preachers are copying and pasting sermons, and then preaching them as if they are their own. The problem is clear: more and more preachers are plagiarizing their sermons. Continue reading
In my last post (found here), I reflected upon this year’s North American Christian Convention (NACC). In that post I commented upon “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of the convention, and concluded that the NACC was a mixed bag of philosophies, indicating that the NACC (and the Restoration Movement in general) has an identity crisis. Many left comments in response to my blog. One especially significant comment came from next year’s NACC president, Mike Baker. He stated, Continue reading
With the North American Christian Convention (NACC) concluding just last week, it is a good time to reflect upon the entire event while it is still relatively fresh in the mind. I was present for the entire week (except Friday), “manning” the Louisville Bible College booth, meeting and greeting old friends and new friends, and even taking in a session or two along with a few workshops. As any good philosophical theologian, I listened attentively to all the speakers and focused my attention on my surroundings. What were the messages being conveyed? Who was there? Why were they there? Overall, I found the entire experience to be a gallimaufry (look it up; it’s a great descriptive word) of messages. In the end, the NACC epitomizes the good, the bad, and the ugly of a Christian movement with an identity crisis. Continue reading
(This address was given on May 10, 2014 at the Commencement of Louisville Bible College by Dr. Peter Rasor. This address may not be used in part or whole without the permission of the author.)
Welcome parents, grandparents, children, relatives, and loved ones. On behalf of Louisville Bible College, I thank you for participating in this momentous occasion—this milestone of those graduating today. Congratulations, graduates.
It has been said that I am “scary.” I am not certain what this is in reference to. Perhaps it is because I tend to “bleed” on papers and exams. Whatever the reason, something more scary than myself exists in this world: it is the war that we Christians are engaged in. Continue reading
(This article was co-authored with Dr. Jack Cottrell, Professor of Theology at Cincinnati Christian University.)
In the March 2014 issue of Christian Standard, Matt Proctor, the president of Ozark Christian College, presented OCC’s attempt to set forth a Biblical case for allowing women to teach and/or preach in church meetings “on occasion.” (See Proctor’s article here.) Continue reading
“Many [colleges] have been captured by stealth and their guns deliberately turned against the citadel of God’s Word. We must with zeal and generosity support the schools among us that are true to teachings of our Master, and the sinews of war and new recruits must be withheld from the training camps where the order of the day is doubt instead of faith.” –R. C. Foster 
American history is littered with examples of progressives infiltrating fine Christian colleges and universities and then corrupting their sound theology and mission. Continue reading