Archive for May, 2011

My blog stats keeps up with words and phrases people type into search engines that ultimately lead to me.  For the longest time it seemed like I only got two or three  a week, but lately there’s been an explosion of stats on search terms.  I thought it might be a little entertaining to see what led people to me.

sugar bowl – The number one search term that has brought people to my blog.   I posted about the Sugar Bowl earlier this year, so obviously college football bowl games are popular.  But then I noticed a little further down the list sugar in a bowl and barista sugar bowl.  Maybe college football isn’t so popular, and people just really like bowls of sugar.

one ring to rule them all – I hope this and all of its variations come from fans of The Lord of the Rings and not from people looking for magic rings that will allow them to conquer the world.  I would hate to think my blog helped facilitate the domination of the world and enslavement of all humankind by evil forces.   Here’s an interesting variation of the one ring search: lord of the rings the unic ring.  I don’t know what that means.

goldilocks alternate ending – Apparently my son isn’t the only one who feels the story of Goldilocks deserves the remake treatment.  Searches for Goldilocks related material is huge apparently including: chairs of the three bears in the story goldilocks and the three bears (does this person believe in a historical Goldilocks, and that somewhere there are three actual chairs, one of which is ‘just right’?), goldilocks and the three pictures (whatever that is), emotional development and the three little bears and goldilocks (I imagine this person being very disappointed when they found my blog), and pic of somebody been sitting in my chair and it broken now (although if you knew that, it seems you could have taken your own picture instead of waiting on someone else to do it for you).  I also noticed goldilockseatingallofthebearsporidge.com, which, yes, I went to, tentatively, because, well, you never know.  It’s not a real site.  Also, man bear story different ending, which probably doesn’t have anything to do with Goldilocks, but makes me very curious.

blogjammin – There are quite a few variations on this, including searches that include my name.  They aren’t really funny, but it does stroke my ego.

horro video games with alot of boos – What?  I’m sure this person just wants to play a game featuring ghosts that jump out at you a lot.


Read Full Post »

I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day.  Spend it doing something besides working.  I’m feeling tired and lazy myself, so I’m going to go ahead and play my random Wikipedia card on Monday.  The subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

Jocelyn Lester.


This is for all of the fans of Australian softball out there.  Some people like their blogs to stick within well-specified boundaries.  I prefer broad appeal.

Read Full Post »

I’m sharing this because A)I’m feeling too lazy to type anything substantial, and B)I would really like to know the answer.  Mac shared this with me earlier:


He saw it on the license plate of a corvette.  So does anyone know what this means?  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

40 Years Liberal

4 Tires Lbr

For Tyrone’s Library


Fort Yarslabber

Although I’m starting to suspect that last one might not be a real place.

What do you think it means?

Read Full Post »

And this should get me caught up.  We didn’t actually finish all of this last night, but we got close enough that I’ll have some more notes to post next week.   Again, here’s a downloadable version since WordPress insists on screwing up my formatting.

Restoration Class Notes – Week Two

Restoration Class

Week Two


I.                    Protestantism in Early America

a.       No dominant religious group

                                                               i.      Had some of each group everywhere.

                                                             ii.      A new form of religious freedom

1.      not religious pluralism – groups that immigrated to escape persecution were not necessarily tolerant of other groups

2.      really a freedom from a church authority

3.      Many Americans wanted a more democratic church

a.       Church decisions made by ordinary members

b.      No Pope, bishop, or council of clergy

c.       This attitude was especially prevalent on the frontier.


b.      Consequences of the ‘Democratic’ Church

                                                               i.      A new type of minister with no formal education

                                                             ii.      An emphasis on common sense instead of tradition

1.      Read the Bible for yourself and don’t trust another’s interpretation.  Sola scriptura became the idea that every Christian had the right to their own interpretation of scripture.

2.      Start to see a distrust of education.

3.      Scripture should be reasonable to the average person.

                                                            iii.      Divisions

1.      freedom to begin new churches

a.       What happens if you disagree with your church on  the meaning of Scripture?

b.      Try to reform from within, but if that didn’t work start a new church.

c.       Why are there five different Churches of Christ?  Several Baptist groups?  Etc.

                                                           iv.      Rise of Religious Demagogues

1.      Persuasive sermons in the language of the common person that appealed to emotion, fear, etc.  became powerful tools

2.      Popular speakers influenced how Scripture was interpreted.

a.       Led to even more divisions

b.      Also led to the rise of religious publications

                                                                                                                                       i.      A newsletter could influence a greater number of people than a revival.

c.       The danger became the same as the Corinthian church in 1 Cor. 1:10-17.  “I follow Paul”, “I follow Apollos”, “I follow Cephas”. 



c.       Why a Restoration?

                                                               i.      Out of all of these churches to choose from, which one is the ‘true’ church?

                                                             ii.      Why are there three or more churches in a town of 100 people?

                                                            iii.      What is the standard for our practices?

                                                           iv.      The Restorationists tried to answer these questions with a call to return to the Bible as our source.


d.      Rejecting Denominations

                                                               i.      James O’Kelly

1.      Methodist preacher

2.      Broke from the Methodist church in 1794 after opposing the appointment of a man to a high ranking position in the church.

3.      started the Republican Methodists which eventually turned into just calling themselves “Christians”.

4.      No creed but the Bible

5.      Six Cardinal Principles of the Christian Church

a.       The Lord Jesus is the only Head of the Church

b.      The name Christian should be used to the exclusion of all party and sectarian names.

c.       The Holy Bible, or Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is our only creed, and a sufficient rule of faith and practice.

d.      Christian character, or vital piety, is the only test of church fellowship and membership.

e.       The right of private judgment and the liberty of conscience are the privilege and duty of all.

f.        The union of all followers of Christ to the end that the world may believe.

6.      Eventually divided into three groups

a.       Some went with the New England Christians

b.      Some went back to Methodists

c.       Some joined the Barton W. Stone Christians

                                                             ii.      Abner Jones and Elias Smith

1.      The New England Christians

2.      Baptists were strongly Calvinistic

a.       Jones and Smith rejected Calvinism

b.      Started churches calling themselves “Christians”

3.      Eventually divided

a.       Some became Unitarians

b.      Some became Adventists

c.       Some joined the O’Kelly Christians and the Stone Movement to form The Christian Connection.


Read Full Post »

As you know if you read this blog, I’ve been teaching a class about Church of Christ history on Wednesday nights.  And if you don’t know, what’s your problem?  Did you already forget?  Do you even pay attention to me anymore?  I remember the days when I first started this blog, you used to hang on my every word.  We were so happy then, but now it feels like I’m doing all the work.

I’m sorry.  It’s my fault.  I’ll try harder.  I can do better this time.

Whew that was close.  Anyway, it’s been requested – and by ‘it’s been requested’ I mean Mac asked me, but since he comments a lot his vote counts a lot – that I put my class notes up here on the blog for everyone to peruse.  Today I’m going to put up week one.  Tomorrow I’ll put up week two, and then I’ll put up each week’s notes, probably on Thursday.  If I skip a week, it probably means we didn’t finish the prior week’s notes so there isn’t anything to post.  In that case, I’ll turn to Wikipedia, which won’t be much of a turn since I’m just reading those articles to the class anyway.

Just kidding.  I have books.  Lots and lots of credible books by credible people.  Here are the notes for week one in downloadable format if you hate the fact that my formatting is all screwed up.

Restoration Class Notes – Week One

Restoration Class

Day One



I.                   The Churches of Christ

a.       Membership

                                                              i.      Approximately 1,300,000 in the U.S.

                                                            ii.      1,000,000 in Africa

                                                          iii.      1,000,000 in India

                                                          iv.      50,000 in Central and South America

                                                            v.      over 3,000,000 worldwide

                                                          vi.      That’s out of over 2.2 Billion claiming Christianity worldwide (counting Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox)

                                                        vii.      Mostly in the South in America

1.      28% of members are in Texas or Tennessee

2.      Total U.S. congregations over 13,000

b.      Congregations

                                                              i.      75% are Mainstream (us)

                                                            ii.      The rest are divided among four groups

1.      Noninstitutional (about 2,055 churches)

2.      Those opposing any division of the congregation, including church classes (about 1,100 congregations)

3.      Those opposing the use of multiple cups in communion (about 550 congregations)

4.      Those who oppose one person doing most of the preaching (about 130 congregations)


II.                Why study our history?

a.       1 Cor. 10:1-12

b.      We always ask “What does the Bible say?”, but it is also important to ask:

                                                              i.      Where did that idea come from?

                                                            ii.      When and why has this issue come up before?

                                                          iii.      How have past Christians dealt with this matter?

c.       Reasons to study our history

                                                              i.      Perspective

             1.      offers a new way of looking at our beliefs

             2.      While something in scripture may be obvious to us, it might not appear so clear to someone in a different Christian group.  Seeing the growth of our beliefs throughout                         history will help us understand their trouble.

                                                            ii.      Problems

             1.      If we can understand what was done correctly and incorrectly in the past, it will help us deal with problems in the present.

             2.      Two major splits in our history.  Understanding why they occurred could help prevent more.

                                                          iii.      Denying our history is Dangerous

             1.      If we deny our history, it’s easy to begin equating our beliefs and traditions with God’s will.

             2.      We become ‘susceptible to the illusion that [we] have escaped the influence of history and culture altogether’.

d.      Understanding where we came from helps us to know who we are and where we are going. 


III.             The Early Church

a.       Even the New Testament church had problems. 

                                                              i.      Divisions in Corinth

                                                            ii.      Judaizers in Galatia

b.      Constantine

                                                              i.      4th Century

                                                            ii.      began the process of making Christianity the official state religion

c.       The next 1000 years

                                                              i.      The Roman Catholic Church is the Christian church. 

                                                            ii.      The elaborate traditions and ceremonies of the catholic church evolve.

d.      The Reformation

                                                              i.      16th Century

                                                            ii.      Martin Luther

            1.      justification by grace

            2.      sola scriptura (scripture alone)

            3.      only intended to reform the church, not start a new one

                                                          iii.      Huldreich Zwingli

           1.      began the “Reformed” tradition in Switzerland

           2.      also believed in the ultimate authority of scripture

           3.      believed that the silence of scripture prohibits

                                                          iv.      Anabaptists

            1.      opposed infant baptism in favor of believer’s baptism

            2.      took a literal view and emphasized the Sermon on the Mount, including pacifism

                                                            v.      Major influence on the leaders of the restoration movement who considered themselves as continuing the work of the Reformation

e.       John Calvin

                                                              i.      Picked up after Zwingli

                                                            ii.      Heavily influenced the Reformed Church in England and Scotland, where most of the original immigrants to the colonies came from – and thus heavily influenced us.

                                                          iii.      Some Notes on his Theology

            1.      ultimate authority of scripture

            2.      depraved and fallen state of humankind

             3.      believed in predestination

            4.      believed in a Trinitarian view of God


f.       The Church in England and Scotland

                                                              i.      Reform began with King Henry VIII splitting from the Roman Catholic church in 1534 to form the Church of England (Anglicans)

                                                            ii.      Anglicans weren’t reformed enough for some leaders (heavily influenced by Calvin)

             1.      Puritans

      a.       Called this because of their attempts to purify the church

      b.      Some decided the church couldn’t be changed from within and split to form their own church

                                                                                                                                      i.      Separatists

                                                                                                                                    ii.      Fled to Holland to flee persecution, and eventually to America

                                                                                                                                  iii.      Original Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation

             2.      Other Separatists

      a.       Some organized themselves under groups of elders (presbyters)

                                                                                                                                      i.      Presbyterians

                                                                                                                                    ii.      Eventually became the official Church of Scotland.

                                                                                                                                  iii.      This is the group that Stone and Campbell came out of.

      b.      Some began to practice believer’s immersion

                                                                                                                                      i.      Baptists

                                                                                                                                    ii.      Outgrowth of the Anabaptists

                                                          iii.      All of these groups immigrated to the British colonies – Anglican, Puritan, Separatists, Presbyterians, and Baptists – and provide the background for our existence


IV.             The Enlightenment

a.       18th Century movement in Western philosophy

b.      Reason is the primary source for authority

c.       “At its core was a critical questioning of traditional institutions, customs, and morals, and a strong belief in rationality and science.”

d.      Enlightenment and Religion

                                                              i.      Some begin to reject religion as unreasonable

                                                            ii.      Some accept a Deistic religion (nothing supernatural)

                                                           iii.      Some argue for a reasonable, supernatural religion

             1.      Christian Evidence movement grew out of this

             2.      Forms a big part of the basis of the Stone-Campbell theology


Read Full Post »

Will there be a better reason to go to the movies this year?  Probably not.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Read Full Post »

The first day back from our post-nonRapture weekend and all I can think to put up here is a random Wikipedia article.   I posted six times last week so I feel I’ve earned the right to coast.  The subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

The Power of Pure Intellect.

When I saw the title I thought this article would be a lot more exciting than just the name of an album from a band I’ve never heard of.

It wasn’t.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »