After Mark Hamilton and Jeff Childers approached me about co-editing a book that would honor Doug Foster’s life and work, we quickly landed on the book’s angle of exploration. We asked authors to explore the intersection of American Christian history, race relations, and unity or division in the church. These topics are at the center of Doug’s life and work in the academy and church. So we proposed chapter topics that focused on specific eras of American history, all with one central question: how did race relations in that era affect unity or division among Christians?
R&R makes a compelling case that the theological distinctives of Churches of Christ put them in an unusual position vis-à-vis contemporary Christian groups, sometimes allowing them to push the boundaries of segregated society in productive ways, while at other times inhibiting more substantial efforts towards racial justice and, later, reconciliation.
This post was originally a comment made on the original post, which is reproduced here with permission from Greg for the sake of greater visibility I like that you’re starting with a methodological question. Though belaboring method is somewhat out of vogue, and jumping right into specific theological loci has its benefits, this is an…
I argue that, while Paul may be the first theologian, he was a pastor most of all. His central concern was the moral formation of his communities, and his persuasive task was to shape communities into the image of Christ. He had basic theological convictions, but he articulated these for persuasive effect.
The title of this site carries an implicit ambiguity. Are we talking about a theological method that draws from premises unique to Churches of Christ? Is (a) Church of Christ theology simply the theological product of people formed by and/or concerned with Churches of Christ? How would ‘Churches of Christ’ or ‘theology’ be defined in the first place? Is the concept of (a) Church of Christ theology even coherent given especially our autonomous, if not fractured, ecclesiological state?
Overall, the work is impressive. Young is charitable, fair, and yet critical of his own faith tradition. Visions of Restoration would make for a great participant guide or companion to more comprehensive works.
I was always struck by the persistent claims of Alexander Campbell’s seminal role in shaping the ethos of the churches of the Stone-Campbell Restoration movement. I didn’t doubt the claims—I made them too. But I was a little troubled that it didn’t seem anyone had thoroughly examined and analyzed Campbell’s complex personality at multiple levels. There almost seemed to be a “protective aura” around him, and previous biographies tended more toward hagiographical chronicling than critical analysis.
When I began writing this commentary, two sets of issues had been on my mind for a long time. First, my doctoral dissertation (Yale, 1998) had focused on the rhetoric of youth in the Pastoral Epistles. In that study I had explored ancient stereotypes of youth and philosophical programs for training youth and had applied insights to a few key passages in the letters. So in the commentary, I wanted to apply insights from that study to a reading of the letters in toto.
The function of this site is to exhibit informed and academically-engaged thought by people associated with the Churches of Christ or the Stone-Campbell/Restoration movement. Behind that function is the attempt to reorient and raise the bar on popular discourse within our ecclesial spheres and beyond.This site plays host to three kinds of content: short book…