Vicki and I have had many, many conversations with one another—and with many of you—about the condition of churches worldwide. We aren’t speaking for all Christians or all the Churches of Christ, but instead focusing on the 100,000-odd members in our wing of the Restoration Movement.
We’ve decided (with your encouragement) to address some scriptures that have consistently been used in some unhealthy ways. Our hope is to:
- Rethink familiar passages
- Encourage the disillusioned, those hoping to learn more Bible, and all who deep down truly want to be called higher
- Suggest alternatives for those seeking change
- Answer your questions (even as we seek answers to our own)
For the introduction to the series, click below.
1. WHY "CONVERSATIONS"?
Next time we will reflect on the past 20 years of our churches (what’s changed, what hasn’t, where is this all leading), and in the following weeks we’ll begin reexamining the scriptures, beginning with Matthew 18:15-17.
To learn more about Douglas & Vicki, you may want to check out their series Grace & Ungrace (esp. talks 2 and 3). Here they share openly about their first few decades as Christians.
2. AN HONEST LOOK AT THE CHURCH—THE LAST 20 YEARS
Background documents (written shortly before and after the collapse of 2003):
- Statistics & Church Growth (2000)
- Church Polity (2002)
- Sisters on Staff (2002)
- Forceful Men (2003)
- Driven Men (2005)
- Unity on Three Levels (2005)
3. THE USE & MISUSE OF MATTHEW 18:15-17
- Matt 18: Further Thoughts (6 min) (2023)
- Church discipline (paper) (1994)
- Touch Not My Anointed Ones? Q&A (2023)
4. SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE (?)
- Good Shepherd, or Hired Hand? (2023)
- Control (3 talks) (2019)
- What know-it-alls don’t know, or the illusion of competence (Kate Felhhaber) (2017).---
5. THE MATTHEW 28 LENS
- One Church, One City? (2021) (login required)
- Overseeing evangelists? (2009)
- And the Shofar Blew (book, 2003)
- Matt 28—NT Chapter Study (2008) (login required)
6. PASTORS & PASTURES
- Ezekiel: Calling Out the People of God (book, 2022)
- iFaith series (146 video sermons, 10-15 mins, 2019-2023)
- "Zoomunions" (Zoom Bible/Communion messages). Click here for the entire series (actually, several series, starting in March 2021). And if you'd like to join us for our Sunday evening chats (7pm UK time, 2pm NY time), here’s the link.
7. WHAT IS "PERSONAL FRUIT"?
- Counting the Cost—the next Conversation. Note: This is premium material. Website login required.
- Q&A 0099—What is Fruit?
- John 15 and Biblical Fruit, by Tom Jones (2003)
8. COUNTING THE COST
9. PURITY CULTURE & SKEWED SEXUAL ATTITUDES
- Interview with Kristin Kobes du Mez on Jesus and John Wayne
- Cloud, Henry, and John Townsend. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017.
- Downie, Alison. "Christian Shame and Religious Trauma": Special Issue of Religion, Spirituality and Health, 2022.
- Hammond, Guy. Caring Beyond the Margins: What Every Christian Needs to Know About Homosexuality. Spring, TX: IPI, 2012.
- McKnight, Scott, and Laura Barringer. A Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2020
- Scandinavian Bishops' Letter on Human Sexuality (2023)
- Tournier, Paul. Guilt and Grace: A Psychological Study. New York, NY: Harper Collins, 1988.
- Wagner, Zachary, Non-Toxic Masculinity: Recovering Healthy Male Sexuality. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2023.
- The first half of Conversation 10 follows on directly from Conversation 9.
10. Q&A ON PURITY CULTURE & SKEWED SEXUAL ATTITUDES
- Purity Culture Myths and Why They Are False Promises (CBE)
- Marriage, divorce, remarriage — biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage (5 talks with notes, 2020).
- Redeemed Sexuality: A Guide to Sexuality for Christian Singles, Campus Students, Teens and Parents (Konzen)
11. [Under Construction]