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What About Watchman Nee’s Teaching on Soul and Spirit?

My Introduction To Watchman Nee and Witness Lee In my first ministry job, I was one of several ministers on the staff of a local church. The main pulpit preacher was using terminology and concepts that were strange to my ears, which was significant, since I had just...

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Paradigm Shift Evaluation

Based on Lessons by Jamie Robbins and Douglas Jacoby Evaluation by Gordon Ferguson: a Series of Articles   The Genesis of This Evaluation At a fairly recent staff meeting of the DFW Church, our congregational evangelist, Todd Asaad, asked if I had watched the Paradigm...

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Are We Saved By Faith Alone

Introduction The doctrine of salvation by “faith alone” (Sola fide in Latin, a historically popular usage) has its roots in the Reformation Movement, with men like Martin Luther emphasizing this concept in reaction to certain teachings in the Catholic Church. The...

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Biblical Baptism Explained

BIBLICAL BAPTISM EXPLAINED  The Commonly Accepted Viewpoint The standard approach of Protestant churches (including those who immerse adults) is that a person is saved at the point of faith (their definition of faith) and then baptized at some later point.  Baptism is...

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The Unnatural Leader

At first glance, that is an unusual title, isn’t it? It could bring to mind someone who was pressed into leadership out of pure necessity, although leadership wasn’t his or her gift (Romans 12:8). Sometimes the need does in fact call for such a decision and those who...

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Second Chance Gospel — After Death?

SECOND CHANCE GOSPEL – AFTER DEATH? Will people get a second chance to be saved after they die? Certainly no one contemplates the idea of anyone being lost in eternity with anything but emotional pain. What could be worse than being separated from God and all that’s...

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Protecting Relationships

Through my many years of preaching, I have often asked and answered this question: “What is life really all about?” The answer, of course, is relationships – not surprisingly the very focus of the Bible. God’s Word makes this focus clear as relationships in four key...

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Objective Negativity

(This material was taken from my book, Dynamic Leadership, Appendix 7) We Live in a Negative World! The subject of negativity is a broad one, and although we are going to focus on a certain highly dangerous type of negativity, some general observations will prove...

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The Use of Instrumental Music in Worship

Distinct from other groups in the Restoration Movement, mainline Churches of Christ have been known for years for their stand against the use of instruments in accompaniment to spiritual songs. Historically, this position has not been held as a matter of preference or...

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When Did the Kingdom Come?

(This material was taken from my exposition of Acts, entitled “World Changers,” Appendix 1) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10, King James Version) This brief verse has been used as the basis of songs, poems and quotations...

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Congregational Autonomy

In discussing this subject, I can only attest to my own experiences in the Mainline Church of Christ. Although the Christian Church shares a common ancestry in the Restoration Movement, I don’t know exactly what their beliefs and practices are regarding congregational...

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View of and Use of the Scriptures

Introductory Note:  Back in 2010, some of the teachers in the International Churches of Christ were asked by the editors of a scholarly quarterly periodical published within the Mainline Churches of Christ to write articles for one issue of their publication. I was...

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Surprise, Surprise: Guess Who’s Been Coming To Dinner!

Let me give you one bit of advance notice: this article is not really about an old movie or about the Black history behind it. However, since I love Black history, it seemed a good way to segue into the real subject, which I predict you will find both surprising and...

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Rolan Monje Named New Director of APLA

The Asia-Pacific Leadership Academy was officially begun in early 2008, and has been a resounding success. Many factors have played a part in this success. We started with a wonderful steering committee made up of Koko Enrile, Cesar Lopez, Rolan Monje, Frank Kim,...

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The Government’s Biblical Right of Capital Punishment

Excerpt From Romans – The Heart Set Free, by Gordon Ferguson According to Romans 13:1-4, rulers protect society by punishing wrongdoers and rewarding those who do good (verses 3-4). Notice “bear the sword” in verse 4, which seems to be a reference to capital...

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Where is Your Life Headed?

The way you think determines the daily course of your life. More importantly, it determines your course over the long haul. Character is built one day at a time, which means weak character can be strengthened as we make spiritual choices—and strong character can be...

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Gratitude: a Matter of Focus

Have you ever noticed children who were happily playing until they noticed the one toy that they didn’t have being played with by another child? Suddenly their joy fades, and they become totally focused on the toy that the other kid has. They probably have dozens of...

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Escaping the Performance Trap

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults,...

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Romans 10 — Saved by Faith Without Baptism?

Romans 10:5-15 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them." 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ...

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Is Your Religion a Burden or a Blessing?

The gospel of Christ is good news! In fact, it is great news! And, of course, good news is always worth sharing.  But some may view the good news as bad news, or at least as mediocre news. Then they will not be anxious to share it.  Since many who wear the name of...

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FACEBOOK FEED

I just posted another article on my blogsite (blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com) entitled “Two Sources of Wisdom.” In my recent blog post, “Slavery and the Bible,” I had a few things to say about the inability of political solutions to effectively deal with the problems of society that are rooted in sin, and that includes the sin of racism. My reasoning was that while politics may well produce legislation, it cannot produce love (often quite the contrary). Hate cannot be outlawed, although acts of hate can. Nor can love be demanded by law. Further, since our most basic human emotional needs are all about love, respect and acceptance, politics will always come up short in providing what the human soul most desires.

In that recent article, I used some material written by Michael Burns, adopted and adapted from an email. As I prepared for a trip to the East Coast to teach about racial issues, I spent much time re-reading his book, “Crossing the Line: Culture, Race and Kingdom.” To be honest, my human nature would like to legislate the reading of this book by all disciples of all colors! Of course, that urge is not realistic and not particularly spiritual either. I think it does illustrate the fact that our very strong feelings to make something happen often go in the wrong direction and are not very effective in bringing about the desired results at the heart level. With Michael’s permission once again, I quote fairly extensively from his book in exploring the difference between God’s wisdom and human wisdom. Enjoy the read!
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1 week ago  ·  

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Several weeks ago, I had a very unusual experience. It started with me preaching what turned out to be an emotional sermon for me, and for the audience. After the service was over, I took a long drive in the countryside to talk with God about things stirred up in me by the sermon. I returned home to write for hours about the whole experience, which included a good deal of reminiscing about the early years of my life.

When finished, I felt that what I had written was just journaling between me and God and should be left at that. However, I later started feeling that perhaps I should view this fairly long piece of writing as an article to post on my teaching website (gordonferguson.org). It was in a sense a prequel to what I have written in the first section of “My Three Lives” and to our earliest married days described in “Fairy Tales Do Come True.” Both of these books are among my three most recent ones, having been written in 2016. They contain many details of a personal nature, as this article most certainly does.

I vacillated between keeping the article contents private and publishing it. After a couple of weeks passed, I sent the article to two of my fellow authors and close friends, asking their opinion. Tom Jones had this to say: “Very good piece that makes a vital point. Those who are fans of yours (a considerable number, including me) will especially enjoy more details from your life, and in the process, hear the heart of your message.” Steve Kinnard wrote (while on vacation): “I used my morning of leisure (no theme park today) to read your article. I really enjoyed it. I think you should publish it for a larger audience… People would be inspired by it. I was.”

Since I am tired of vacillating, and trust these brothers who know me well, I just posted the article. Its title is, “I Have Lost My Faith! (in Coincidences)”
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2 weeks ago  ·  

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My most recent blog article on my racial issues blogsite (blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com) was on the subject of slavery and the Bible. Interestingly, one of the members of our Diversity Committee in the ICOC churches is quite the expert on the subject. Richard Rodriguez, a brother in the South Florida Church of Christ, wrote both a thesis for his Master’s degree in History and a dissertation for his PhD on related aspects of American Slavery.

I asked him some time ago to write an article or series of articles about the main themes of his academic studies to use on one of my online sites. The end result was a seven-part series, which was too long for my blogsite, but fine for my teaching website (gordonferguson.org). I am posting a biographical sketch introduction to Richard himself and to his material on my blogsite, and will include it as an introduction to the series, which will be on my teaching website.

I have combined the longer series into one article, which is still longer than the normal article on that website, yet it contains some valuable material, complete with source documentation, for those who desire to dig deeply into a topic that has shaped so much of the American society in ways that we usually don’t realize.

His thesis dealt with the concept of the ideology of Divine retribution for slavery, something that many figures of history saw as a distinct possibility (including Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln). His dissertation delved into our national history of how the Bible was the cornerstone of the abolitionist argument against American slavery – in spite of the fact that the Bible was used also as support for same. Please go to my blogsite and read Richard’s biographical sketch, and then you can decide about reading the much more in-depth synopsis of his graduate research! Thank you, Richard, for your contributions to the world of academia and to our spiritual heritage!
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3 weeks ago  ·  

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I just posted a new article on my blogsite dealing with racial issues and diversity -- blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com (Blog 33). It is entitled "Slavery and the Bible." Since I started my blog, I have known that I needed to address the issue of slavery and the Bible. It is a fact that the Bible does not forbid any and all slavery, but rather regulated it among God’s followers in both Old Testament and New Testament settings. That fact is especially difficult to accept for those who have even a reasonably good understanding of how slavery was practiced in the United States for centuries. It was, with relatively few exceptions, applied in the harshest and most damaging ways imaginable. Further, the Bible was used to justify the institution, no matter how harsh these practices were. Just how are we moderns to view all of this? Please read the article for some very important answers. ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago  ·  

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I just posted another article on my teaching website (gordonferguson.org). It is entitled "The Theological Basis For Discipling Relationships." The first paragraph of introduction I will drop in here, but suffice it to say, it addresses a much needed subject. I would perhaps put it at or near the top of all the articles I've ever written on the subject -- although it was written some years ago as a chapter in a book. Here is that introduction explaining the origin of the material:

Special Note: This material once comprised a chapter in my book entitled Discipling (1997). This longer book was condensed into a shorter version called The Power of Discipling -- now in its second (slightly longer) edition. A number of chapters from the original book were omitted in the shorter one. I added back two of these chapters in a condensed combination (about group discipling and family discipling) in the second edition of the shorter version. Another chapter omitted in the original is this one, now published in a standalone article. It is in some ways “deeper” than the material in other chapters of the book, being more theological in nature. Newer disciples may find it more difficult to understand, but along with more mature disciples, all will find it highly stimulating and challenging if read carefully. In re-reading it now, over twenty years after I wrote it originally, it is hard to believe how relevant it is right now compared to its earlier setting. Our churches and our members need it – badly!
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1 month ago  ·  

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