Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Speaking in Tongues is Babbling

In a massive study of glossolalia from a linguistic perspective by Professor William J. Samarin of the University of Toronto's Department of Linguistics published after more than a decade of careful research, he rejected the view that glossolalia is xenoglossia, i.e. some foreign language that could be understood by another person who knew that language. Samarin concluded that glossolalia is a "pseudo-language." He defined glossolalia as "unintelligible babbling speech that exhibits superficial phonological similarity to language, without having consistent syntagmatic structure and that is not systematically derived from or related to known language." (William J. Samarin, "Variation and Variables in Religious Glossolalia," Language in Society, ed. Dell Haymes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972 pgs. 121-130)

Hmmmm. Who would have guessed? Self-deception? See Jeremiah 23:16-40.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

check out our new grand-daughter

Louise Jane Wilson,
born May 27, 2007
parents John and Laura Wilson
grandparents Phil and Jackie Sanders

7 lbs., 8 oz., 19 inches long

mother and baby are doing GREAT!

Check out this new website

Several dear friends have started a new website that I recommend. There are some excellent articles, outlines, and PowerPoint files dealing with a cappella music in the worship of the church. This website pleas for a cappella singing in worship to follow the model of the New Testament church. To learn more, go to:

Great articles by Everett Ferguson, Howard Norton, Stafford North, and others are available for download.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Evangelism Handbook available free

You can get a free copy of the evangelism handbook by going to the online tools section of

This is a 200 page resource dealing with many aspects of evangelism and Biblical teaching.

You can also get the "Upon the Rock" Bible study series free at the same site.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Aids and Additions

A recent comment made me want to say more about aids and additions. To liken church buildings (because they aren't mentioned in Scripture) to instrumental music (IM) in Christian worship (because it is not in Scripture) is a popular thing to do. But such a suggestion is like mixing apples and oranges. IM is like adding a fourth floor to the ark, when only three floors are specified. Church buildings are like the tools necessary to build the ark. One violates silence, while the other does not. Why? Because when instructions are specific, they should be fulfilled specifically; and when instructions are generic, they can be fulfilled by the use of the most expedient means.

We might use another illustration. Neither a tray nor a roast lamb was mentioned in the instructions for the Lord's supper. But adding roast lamb to the Supper is a violation of it, while putting the bread on a tray is expedient.

There is no mention of a baptistery in Scripture, but there is no violation of Scripture to use one. It is an expedient in the fulfillment of the instructions to baptize and to be baptized. But to add another mode of baptism (you can be immersed or sprinkled) is a violation of the specifics of the word baptism.

In generic instructions, God grants permission for expedients (the means to do what He has instructed); but when God gives specific instructions, the addition of other things is a violation of God's will. That is why the altar of Ahaz was so sinful and why Hezekiah took it away when he cleansed the temple.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

God's Answers to Life's Questions

Each week, God's Answers to Life's Questions appears twice on WNPX (Nashville) to nearly 2.5 million viewers. If you do not live in the Middle Tennessee or the south-central parts of Kentucky, you can still view this program online at the sites below. We have now aired more than 100 programs. Much thanks must go to the elders at Concord Rd, to Jimmie Tullis, Chad Westmoreland, Glenn Gentry, Tommy Burnett, Mike Walker, James Hunter, Jessamyn Barrett, and John Smilor for their efforts in the production of this program.

We have also been picked up on an online radio-on-demand network. Current cities include Nashville (, Pigeon Forge, Branson, Atlanta, Youngstown (OH) and Aurora (IL). We also have the internet affiliate ( and the Military Affiliate ( .

Please pray for this effort. The above sites are audio only. The sites below show the actual television program.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I am a Christian but not a Campbellite

I often hear misinformed people call members of the church of Christ, "Campbellites." One critic recently has brought up that name and attached it to writers of the Spiritual Sword. He has labeled us as cultish and has noted that people who had contact with the American Restoration Movement were involved in the formation of cults in the early 1800s.

I am a member of the Lord's church. I love the Lord's church, because Jesus did. He loved it enough to be its head and Savior. He was willing to die for the church and adorned her as his bride (Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23-32).

I have never quite liked the labeling of our brethren as the American Restoration movement. While I believe in restoring the church to the beliefs and practices of the New Testament (restoration is actually doctrinal and practical repentance), I do not for one moment believe they were trying to start something new so much as they were trying to return to the teaching and practice of the New Testament.

This critic likes to single out those who believe that the silence of the Scriptures are to be respected, who hold to inspiration and inerrancy, who believe in doing Bible things in Bible ways, and calling Bible things by Bible name, as exclusive and thereby cultish.

By doing so, it seems clear he is either ignoring what the Bible itself instructs Christians to be and do or he lacks a good definition of a cult. Christ and his church are inherently exclusive. Those who do not believe can not please God and stand condemned (John 3:18; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Heb. 11:6). This notion was recognized by the Restorationists, but the thought is fully Biblical. The church is to mark and avoid divisive heretics (Rom. 16:17; Tit. 3:9-11). Paul said that in the first century.

This critic does not seem to realize that brethren believe things because the Bible teaches them, not because the Campbells did. They don't seem to understand that people today can evaluate and judge the teachings of the Campbells just as they anyone else.

Neither Thomas nor Alexander Campbell had holes in their hands. Neither is my Lord; my Lord and Savior is Jesus Christ. Only to Jesus do I have allegiance. Only to his blood do I look.

The Scriptures that our sins are remitted at the time of baptism. I don't care what A Campbell believed in 1812 or in 1829. What he believed at either time does not determine the truth. What the Bible says determines the truth. The decision making factor in my mind has everything to do with Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 3:3-7; and 1 Peter 3:21 but not A. Campbell.

I am not a "Church-of-Christer"; I am a Christian. I am not a "Church-of-Christ" preacher; I am a gospel preacher and a member of the body of Christ. I did not become a Christian to join the Campbells. I became a Christian out of love for my Lord Jesus.

Critics often say more about themselves than they do those whom they criticize. This critic loves to debate and deride others. Let him rant and deride. He only shows his own colors (Prov. 26:4).


Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Exposed Truth

Dewayne Bryant and Focus Press have produced this wonderful new audio CD.

For the last several years, it seems like every time you hear the news, a new "truth" has been discovered about the Son of God. Should we be receiving updates on Jesus as often as we get updates for our computers, or is the public being sold a bad bill of goods.

In The Jesus Files, Dewayne gives a truthful picture of Jesus. His three presentations will help you answer many questions about what is being said in the media.

I hope you'll check with Focus Press and get this great audio CD. You can order it at:

Dewayne is a fine scholar and has given us a valuable product.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Postmodern Thinking

In Ross Rohde’s publication, Practical Considerations for Postmodern Sensitive Churches--A follow up to "The Gospel and Postmodernism", he lists what he believes are the behavioral characteristics of the Postmodern person.

  • I’m looking for a truth that works for me.
  • I can only try to see life from my own perspective; reality is too complex to understand it all.
  • I’m interested in the values of my group and my community.
  • I believe in being tolerant.
  • I believe in letting others live like they want to.
  • I don’t like it when people argue about how their group or beliefs are better.
  • I want practical answers to life. I’m not drawn to idealistic schemes.
  • I am suspicious of schemes that try to explain everything or give simplistic answers to complex questions.
  • When people talk to me about these schemes I think of it as "noise" to be ignored.
  • I like to have a group of close friends with which I share common values.
  • I don’t like institutional religion.
  • I do have a vague desire for non-institutional spirituality. But I don’t know how to find it.

A true Christian has a very different worldview. His presuppositions do not fall to culture but seek to please God.

  • I’m looking for the truth that sets me free, found in the words of Jesus (John 8:31-32).
  • I can read the Scriptures and understand God’s will for my life (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Eph. 3:1-5; 5:17). I do not have to know everything to know something.
  • I’m interested in the morals and teachings of Jesus Christ, which will be a blessing to me and will be the standard by which I am judged (Matthew 7:24-27; John 12:48).
  • I am interested in loving and respecting all men, but loving others means teaching them God’s truth and warning them of moral and doctrinal errors (Gal. 1:6-9; 4:16; Eph. 4:15; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; James 5:19-20).
  • I believe in evangelism and in teaching men to observe all things that the Lord teaches (Matt. 28:18-20).
  • I don’t like it when people allow error to corrupt and divide churches (Rom. 16:17-18; Titus 3:10-11). While arrogance has no place in the life of a Christian who love others (1 Cor. 13:4), Christians must recognize the difference between obedience and disobedience (Matt. 7:24-27).
  • I am suspicious of schemes that ignore God (Rom. 1:18-32).
  • When people dismiss God and His will from their lives, their philosophies become empty and futile; and their hearts become hard (Ecclesiastes; Eph. 4:17-24).
  • I feel so blessed to be part of a church family that shares a common faith, hope, and love.
  • I love being part of the family of God, learning God’s will, hearing God’s voice in Scripture, and praising God from the heart.
  • I am thankful that God has not left us without a witness but has given us His Son Jesus so that we may know Him (John 1:1-3, 14-18; 14:6-10; Heb. 1:1-3).
In Christian love,