Wineskins Archive

December 19, 2013

Family Notes 5/13/2010 (Mar-Jun 2010)

Filed under: — @ 8:32 pm and

by Edward Fudge
May 13, 2010

THE DIVINE RESCUE NOWAVAILABLE — Although the official publication date is not until next month, attendees at the Pepperdine University Bible Lectures snatched up hundreds of copies last week as The Divine Rescue made its debut amidst the physical and spiritual beauty marking that annual event on the Malibu, California campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The new book of 240 pages tells the story of a very good world that fell from grace, and of the Creator who refused to abandon his creation and the people in it. For ordering information, including getting a signed copy, please click here.

HONOR TO WHOM HONOR — Each Tuesday morning for the past 34 years, Dr. Frank Sutton, long-time gracEmail subscriber and Birmingham, Alabama pulmonologist, has risen early and left home for a 6:30 appointment. Not surprising for a physician to getan early start. But Dr. Sutton is not seeing patients. Instead he is meeting 24 other men at an area restaurant for a breakfast Bible study. This ecumenical class includes Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics, as well as men fromthe Church of God and the Churches of Christ. Bibles are the only documents allowed. And, Sutton reports, “because of the kind and deferential attitude these sincere seekers bring to the study and extend to each other, in all our diligent study, only deeper harmony, understanding and spiritual light has resulted.” Beginning the class at 6:30 a.m. “filters out those who are ‘lukewarm’ to the beauty and power of God’s Word,” Sutton explains. “I personally awaken excited to share this time with these brothers of mine.”

NEXT 30 DAYS APPOINTMENTS — God willing, the following are my scheduled appointments for the next 30 days:

May 16 — Houston, Texas, Biblical Literacy Class, Champion Forest Baptist Church, Sunday, 11:00 a.m., “Conversation With Mark Lanier about new book, The Divine Rescue,” and complimentary copies to first 650 class members and guests.
May 18-20 — Angwin, Calif. (Not public) Consultation and filmed interview regarding movie project involving The Fire that Consumes.
May 23 — Houston, Texas. Bering Drive Church of Christ, Dedication prayer for The Divine Rescue. Sunday, 10:15 a.m., book table after service.
May 24-? — Dallas, Texas (Not public) Greet arrival of new grandchild — our fifth, but truly a unique individual made in God’s image!
May 30 — Houston, Texas. Bering Drive Church of Christ. Teaching adult Bible class on subject “Freedom in Christ.” Sunday, 9:00 a.m.
June 3-5 — Nashville, Tennessee. Christian Scholars Conference, Lipscomb University; Moderating panel critiquing “Kabul24” documentary film; responses by director and producer, participation by audience.
June 6 — Franklin, Tennessee, Forest Home Church. Sunday 9:00 a.m., “Jesus Our Great High Priest”; 10:00 a.m., “The Holy Spirit During this Time ‘Until’ “. 1751 Old Natchez Trace, Franklin. Lance Hickerson – Preaching Minister, (H)615-595-8336; (cell) 615-974-2440).

COFFEE WITH PAUL — I have mentioned it before, but Gary D. Collier’s approach to Bible study aimed at both heart and mind deserves another notice. Click here for a 90-second introduction, then enjoy a very enjoyable 11-minute video explanation of the concept. read more>>

BOOK, CHAPTER, AND PARAGRAPH — I first met gracEmail subscriber Wayne Newland in October 2009, when he drove from his home in Maine to Burlington, Massachusetts, where I was preaching. Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to his new book, titled Book, Chapter, and Paragraph — Restoring Context.

We all know, somewhere in the back of our minds, that the biblical authors did not divide their writings by chapters and verses. Paul would be dumbfounded to hear that he wrote “2 Timothy 2:15.” Stephen Langton (1150-1228) first divided the Bible into chapters, and verses were separated by Robert Estienne (1503-1559) three centuries after that. When the new Bible version appeared in 1611, authorized by King James for use in Anglican churches, every verse was indented as if beginning a new paragraph — a peculiarity that continues in many editions of the King James Version today.

With verses that looked like stand-alone jewels, context became an unknown curiosity, and many Bible-quoting preachers used individual verses as if their authors had written them as isolated tidbits of inspired wisdom and instruction. A few hundred years later, the result was massive proof-texting by partisan advocates, whose gullible audiences flattered themselves that they could easily interpret the Bible (written in archaic English) for themselves. Little wonder that doctrinal confusion and religious division became standard fare for many believers.

The subject matter is natural fodder for shrill reformers, but that is not what Wayne I. Newland is all about. Now retired after a career as a professor and school administrator, Newland persuasively leads the reader like the experienced teacher that he is. The book has two major parts. In Part One, Newland details the need for Bible readers to come within “an understanding distance” of the text, a task that begins by absorbing the entire context.

In Part Two, he examines contextually a variety of “proof verses” from his own Restoration Movement (Churches of Christ) heritage. In each case, Newland shows how peculiar doctrines can originate in the misuse of “proof verses” interpreted as if they had no context at all. His illustrative proof verseswill be most familiar to readers from Churches of Christ, but the principles he illustrates are relevant to all Christians regardless of tribe. Unfortunately, there are many people who need to read this book. Fortunately, Book, Chapter, and Paragraph — Restoring Context is now available for them to read. For more details, write the author (

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