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I Have Lost My Faith! (in coincidences)

Today, as I begin this article, it is April 8, 2018 – one day after my son Bryan’s 50th birthday. I spoke in a part of the Dallas East Region of the Dallas/Fort Worth Church, a part that has most of our East campus students in it. Our oldest grandson, Bryce Gordon...

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American Slavery and the Bible by Richard Rodriguez

Biographical Sketch I was baptized into Christ at the Crossroads Church of Christ of Gainesville in 1981. There I studied the Bible with Dan Davis out of Reese Neyland’s bible talk and counted the cost with Sam Laing. As God would have it, Sam also performed my...

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The Theological Basis for Discipling Relationships

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...

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Regaining Our First Love

Revelation 2:1-7 1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot...

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Matters of Conscience − A Deeper Look

I wrote this article back in 2007 and included it as an appendix in the second edition of Prepared to Answer. At that particular time, it seemed to be quite in vogue to object to countless issues in our movement of churches, claiming that those things violated one’s...

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Grace, the Holy Spirit and Heaven by Jim McCartney

“But when the goodness and love for man appeared from God our Savior, He saved us – not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit He poured out on us...

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The Fallacies of Popular End-Times Teaching

I was exposed to the now popular futurist teaching as a young person and accepted it as being true for many years. I did not know an alternative was available, and being biblically ignorant, saw no reason to question what I was taught. However, I did not like the...

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When is a Person Ready to be Baptized?

The title reflects a question that people often have, both those who are studying and contemplating being baptized and those who have already been baptized and now are studying with others. Biblical concepts give us direction, along with common sense based on the...

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The Problem of Pain

One of the most popular Christian writers of last century was C.S. Lewis. He wrote a book with the title that I’m using for this article. Pain is a problem. It is a problem physically to be sure, but it is a bigger problem emotionally and spiritually. It can fill up...

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ICOC 3.00 by Jim McCartney

The energy and enthusiasm around the recent ICOC 3.0 initiative are impressive, and I respect and appreciate all the work that is going into it. As a local church Board member, I was able to participate in the New England/New York meeting in Hartford CT and was...

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New Testament Teaching on Women’s Role

NEW NOTE: 25 years ago, I wrote the following article about the women’s role, which I delivered in oral form for the Boston Church of Christ and later included as an appendix of my first full-length book, “Prepared to Answer.” The contents of this article marked a...

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How Important Are Doctrinal Differences?

 Introduction Let us begin by making it clear that doctrine is very important to God. The basic Greek term for doctrine is didaskalia, and is translated in the more modern versions simply as “teaching.” With either translation, the word most often refers to God’s...

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The Mystery Solved!

The Mystery Solved! I first met the group of churches in 1981 that was later to be called the ICOC movement (International Churches of Christ). I was highly impressed with their evangelistic effectiveness and level of commitment, and figured out almost immediately...

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Was Apollos Re-Baptized?

Most Bible readers assume that Apollos was re-baptized as a part of being taught the way of God more adequately by Priscilla and Aquila.  Let’s begin by reading the end of Acts 18 and the beginning of Acts 19. 24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria,...

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The Young Saul: Zeal or Anger?

Introductory Note: This article is actually an excerpt of the first few pages of my book, "The Apostle Paul: Master Imitator of Christ." The book is one of my longest (272 pages) and also one of my most in-depth. Greater spirituality must include greater knowledge,...

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Facebook, Politics and the Bible

Like many readers of Facebook, I have tired of reading about politics long after the last election was held. Each of us has a right to our political views and preferences, and each of has the choice to vote or not vote as American citizens. We are never going to agree...

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The Holy Spirit and Man’s Salvation

The Indwelling Spirit of Promise Ezekiel 36:26-27, in an apparent Messianic prophecy, gives a wonderful promise of the Spirit’s presence in our hearts and lives as Christians.  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart...

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The Big Black Brother’s Club

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-28). Spiritual...

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