The Christian Studies Blog


Return, Restoration, and Renewal in Chronicles and Today

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on October 3, 2017 at 9:30 AM

Last week I explored restoration as a concept in the book of Chronicles and now I'm going to jump into the return, restoration, and renewal in both Chronicles and today.

One of the Chronicler’s main concerns is “all Israel,” north and south, as a unified community. To the Chronicler, Israel was an ideal entity, a twelve tribe whole, in contrast with the fractured remnants which are his reality in the post-exilic age. This concern for the restoration of all Israel and to demonstrate the continuity of the post-exilic community with pre-exilic Israel is demonstrated already in the genealogies of 1 Chron 1-9.

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Topics: Old Testament, Restoration Movement

Restoration in the Book of Chronicles

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on September 28, 2017 at 9:30 AM

It is ironic that those of us in the American Restoration Movement, who have emphasized the restoration of biblical doctrine and practices, the unity of the Spirit, and the life of faith have missed the most obvious model for restoration in the Bible. The Chronicler’s vision of restoration includes Israel as a faithful, worshipping community, a community which seeks to recover scripture, and the unity of God’s people. Nothing could be more pertinent to the ideals of Restorationism.

One of the Chronicler’s main concerns is indeed with the restoration of all Israel—politically, socially, and religiously—in the post-exilic age. The way the Chronicler promotes his concerns is by the re-telling of the biblical story from the death of Saul to the exile of Judah. The story of the kings of Judah is presented much like a medieval painting of the Passion Narrative: the characters are biblical, but their dress and ambience are medieval and out of sync with the era in which they lived. This “contemporizing historiography” served the valuable function of telling the ancient stories through the lens of modern concerns. In light of its concern for return, renewal and restoration, Chronicles should resonate strongly with those of us in the American Restoration tradition.

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Topics: Old Testament, Restoration Movement

Download New Issue of Christian Studies Journal

Posted by Dr. Keith Stanglin on June 22, 2017 at 9:30 AM

From the early days of the Restoration Movement, Churches of Christ and Christian Churches distinguished themselves from their near neighbors on the American frontier with a noticeably robust ecclesiology, reflected in, among other things, the theology and practice of baptism.  Alexander Campbell and Walter Scott’s “high” view of baptism stood out in the context of the Second Great Awakening, wherein salvation often came to be connected to a subjective experience of the Holy Spirit that was externally manifest in ways other than baptism. 

For evangelists like Charles Finney, someone could respond by approaching the “anxious seat.”  All of this took place apart from water baptism.  Campbell’s association of believers’ baptism with salvation was denigrated by most evangelicals as “baptismal regeneration” and seen as a regression to salvation by works.  In the eyes of many evangelicals today, baptism “for the remission of sins” is still regarded as a false teaching that undermines justification by grace through faith.

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Topics: Christian Studies Press, About Austin Grad, Restoration Movement, Baptism, Church History

The Resurgence of Calvinism

Posted by Dr. Keith Stanglin on January 19, 2017 at 9:30 AM

In 2009, Time magazine called “New Calvinism” one of the “10 ideas changing the world right now.”  This resurgence was famously documented in Collin Hansen’s book from 2008, Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists.  The movement has certainly changed the face of evangelicalism.  Take, for example, the largest Protestant denomination in this country, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).   


Pictured: Jonathan Edwards

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Topics: Restoration Movement, Calvinism

Get Your *Free* New Issue of Christian Studies Journal

Posted by Dr. Keith Stanglin on June 21, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Historically, outsiders to Churches of Christ have noticed the great unity and uniformity of faith and practice that characterize our fellowship. As Frank Mead put it, in his classic Handbook of Denominations in the United States, “Since the status of [their] institutions is unofficial, none authorized to speak for the entire church, their conformity in ideas and teachings is all the more remarkable.”  That is, despite the lack of institutional, denominational superstructure or adherence to a written confessional standard, Churches of Christ have traditionally maintained a surprisingly strong sense of identity.

This common identity is exemplified in the common observation that, until the late twentieth century, one could walk into almost any Church of Christ and predict exactly what would be done and said.

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Topics: Church History, Restoration Movement, About Austin Grad

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