GOSPEL (WHAT) AND THEORY (HOW)

THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY OF NOVEMBER IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. A gracEmail subscriber asks: "What is penal substitutionary atonement? is it the same thing as the gospel? Do you see any problems with it? * * * The New Testament word "gospel" means "good news." Specifically, the gospel is the good news that by the doing, dying, and rising again of Jesus of Nazareth, God … [Read more...]

PERSPECTIVE

THE FIFTH DAY OF JULY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. In London, a historical marker identifies the longtime residence of Benedict Arnold, a name we Americans associate with perfidy and betrayal. But the U.K. takes a different look at the same circunstances and reaches its own conclusion. There, the historic marker reminds us, Benedict Arnold is remembered as a "British … [Read more...]

TRIBUTE TO MY MOM

THE TENTH DAY OF MAY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN Sybil Belle Short Fudge Dewhirst -- or "Mother," as my five siblings and I are privileged to call her -- always was up to most any challenge. Perhaps it had something to do with her beginnings; born in 1923 to missionary parents in the interior of Africa, raised in general isolation 50 miles in the bush from "modern … [Read more...]

SPIRIT SPOTLIGHTS JESUS, NOT US (2)

THE THIRD DAY OF MAY, IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN Evangelism that is Spirit-powered and Spirit-led testifies to what Jesus did and what he suffered--the perfect doing and dying that set us right with God--instead of what we do in response to that work. We see more evidence today in Acts chapters 8-20. The gospel message goes beyond the Jews through Philip, whom Luke says … [Read more...]

SPIRIT SPOTLIGHTS JESUS, NOT US (1)

THE TWENTY-SIXTH DAY OF APRIL, IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN In his Gospel, Luke relates Jesus' teachings and doings while in person on earth. In Acts, his second volume, Luke describes Jesus' work accomplished from heaven and performed through his Spirit on earth (Acts 1:5). The word "Spirit" appears 70 times in Acts, almost twice as many as in the New Testament book with … [Read more...]

EVANGELISM WITHOUT EVANGEL IS AN ISM

THE NINETEENTH DAY OF APRIL IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN My late friend J. D. Clanton faithfully attended the opening Sunday morning service of his congregation's annual "Gospel Meeting," but he also held them to their advertising. Each year the visiting "gospel preacher" decried the evils of sin, the horrors of hell, and the list of things an "alien sinner" must do to be … [Read more...]

IS THIS EVANGELISM?

THE TWELFTH DAY OF APRIL IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN Today we are accustomed to hearing the gospel presented as if it were addressed to one person at a time, assuring him or her of God’s provision for sin through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and urging that person to make a decision for Christ, to profess faith in him, to be baptized and begin to live as a disciple of … [Read more...]

HE IS RISEN INDEED!

THE FIFTH DAY OF APRIL IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN The acknowledgement came slowly and with much hesitation, but the sequestered disciples finally said it: “The Lord is risen." Indeed (Lk. 24:34). This from Jesus’ hardcore survivors. Roughly ten dozen of them--if anyone is counting. Unlike other rabbinic clusters, this one includes women right alongside the men. To Jesus … [Read more...]

Prophet of Christian Unity

Today, May 25, 2014, marks the 25th anniversary of the passing of W. Carl Ketcherside of St. Louis, Missouri at the age of 81. I knew him for a few years in person as an adult, but I "met" him through his writings a quarter-century before that, as a young man about 14, growing up in Limestone County in North Alabama. My father, Bennie Lee Fudge, regularly received a wide variety of religious … [Read more...]

much thanks for many moms

Today is "Mother's Day" in the United States, and on this day I honor and give thanks to God for my mother--Sybil Short Fudge Dewhirst. Now 91, she surveys nearly a century, "rich in memories, friends and family." Hers is a life marked by strong faith, quiet strength, and great courage; a life in which she has outlived two husbands, raised six birth-children, claimed two equally-beloved … [Read more...]