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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

(From the Appendix of Prepared To Answer, by Gordon Ferguson) NOTE: This article was originally written long before the newest version of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible was published. I have substituted the 2011 version for the older version that...

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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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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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FACEBOOK FEED

Well, I woke up this morning as a 75 year old man! That shocking fact motivates me to do something worthwhile today, and so I posted a new article on my blogsite (blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com). Please read it and encourage others to do the same, and also make good use of my regular teaching website (gordonferguson.org). If you will do all of that, I will count it as a good birthday present! The main part of the blog post was written by an elder of a church we recently visited, and he wrote it for the leadership team of their congregation. Here is what I wrote to introduce their article:

In early September (2017), Theresa and I had the privilege of conducting a Marriage Retreat with the couples of the Atlanta Church of Christ in Gwinnett. As the following article from their leadership team indicates, they have a diverse membership. They have more members of color than white members, as a matter of fact. The retreat was held at a beautiful retreat center outside of Atlanta and the group was very warm, loving and flat-out fun!

As I told them near the end of the retreat, I expect this was our last such event to teach as a couple. Theresa loved every moment of it, but it showed us both that her physical condition made it wise to conclude our retreat teaching with that one. Although crossing such events off of our list for the future is difficult, we both felt good that this beloved part of our ministry concluded with such a wonderful group as this one. (I do pray that we can continue to teach about marriage through my book, “Fairy Tales Do Come True” -- from Illuminations Publishers, IPI.)

Prior to the retreat, I met with the three elders and also had a great mealtime with their evangelist and his family. The elders wanted to discuss racial issues and share what they were doing in that regard. I was impressed with their hearts, their plans and what they had already done. Like my Dallas home church, they are ahead of the curve when compared to most congregations in addressing the need for more teaching from the leadership and more honest sharing between church members. I asked them to write an account of what they had done, which follows below. I was very impressed, as I expect you will be also. They were proactive, Bible-based in providing answers, and very thorough in the study provided to the church. May their direct and biblical approach in addressing this timely subject encourage many, many more churches to follow similar paths. Enjoy the read!
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3 weeks ago  ·  

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OK -- Senior moment! I meant October 15 for my mother's birthday, not September 15! ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago  ·  

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My mother died in 2004, but today (September 15) was her birthday. Therefore it is a special day to me and my family. I think it quite appropriate to post another of my blog articles on racial issues on her birthday. She no doubt would approve, given her deep love for all people. This post is the fifth in a series about white church leaders listening and focuses once again on my home church -- the Dallas/Fort Worth Church. I think you will find it very informative and entertaining. It has a number of photos in it, so that alone should help some of my readers! Please read, post it to your friends list and ask your friends not on Facebook to read my blog. See blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com -- Thanking you in advance... ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago  ·  

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I just posted the fourth article in a series on my blogsite dealing with racial issues. The title of the series is "Some White Church Leaders Are Listening." In this current article, I describe a Diversity Workshop held this past Saturday in Dallas by my local church (the Dallas/Fort Worth Church). To whet your appetite for reading, here are the first and last paragraphs in that blog post:

As mentioned in my previous blog post, the DFW church conducted their third Diversity Workshop last Saturday as a part of an ongoing series. The first was for the ministry staff; the second was for the singles ministry; and the third was for all small group leaders (plus some others). As expected, we had at least 200 in attendance at this most recent one. From here, the workshop will be taken to the membership as a whole. Since I am including details as a way of encouraging other congregations to offer similar workshops, I will simply walk you through what we experienced Saturday.

One thing is for certain. We are living in some tense times regarding racial and other differences. Our society has all but lost the ability to disagree without becoming disagreeable. The subject of politics alone illustrates this loss all too well. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right; hateful reactions when it is practiced are Satan’s delight. (Hey, that rhymes!) In God’s plan, diversity is to a beautiful thing. In man’s fallen condition without Christ, it is just the opposite. More and more respected members of our society are speaking up about these issues and encouraging unity and love as the solution. We in the family of God can do no less, certainly within our congregational families. Let’s do it!

Please read the article and pass it on. Help me increase the readership of my blog! Thanking you in advance...
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2 months ago  ·  

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I just posted a new article on my teaching website (gordonferguson.org) entitled, "When is a Person Ready to be Baptized?" In it I examine all of the conversion accounts in Acts (or nearly so), and also address the question whether we need to use a series of studies, and if yes, when? Here is a paragraph from the article to hopefully prick your interest:
I have found that using a series is helpful in most cases, since many of those with whom we study are fairly illiterate biblically and often confused with the myriad of false teachings in our American society. Along with this, many are reluctant to make Jesus the Lord of their lives quickly, once they understand what this actually means in their lives. Thus, the answer to this question depends on the person with whom we are studying, their understanding and their heart openness. As we deal more and more with the younger generations, we will discover that their questions, concerns and possible obstacles are going to be different than those we dealt with in the past. We need to continue to re-examine our approaches and adapt to sharing the gospel in ways that will be most effective.
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2 months ago  ·  

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