Stone-Campbell Journal Conference
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Volume 16 Issue 1

One of the major concerns of Stone-Campbell Journal and its related activities of the annual SCJ conference and the now-forming Stone-Campbell Scholars Community is the development of scholars and scholarship in the Stone-Campbell Movement, and especially among those associated with Christian Churches (independent). An article I published in SCJ 10.2 (Fall, 2007), entitled “Coming Full Circle: Biblical Scholarship in Christian Churches” documents the rising tide of scholarship in Christian Churches. This trend continues as more bright students head off to Ph.D. programs. This positive result has created new challenges for institutions of higher learning among Christian Churches as they try to manage the new higher expectations of these young scholars they are hiring. The March 23, 2013, issue of Christian Standard, once a weekly but now a monthly magazine that reaches the hands of 25,000 ministers, elders, and other leaders in Christian churches, published in their annual college issues an opinion article containing my views on ways to move forward in the relationship between young professor-scholars and their institutions. This is reproduced below, with permission of Christian Standard. Should you like to make it available to others, please connect them to the link at: for-the-future/.

Though this was not planned, three articles in this issue draw attention to women as leaders. Doug Foster provides biographies of two African-American women among the four African-American leaders he highlights in his article on African-Americans in the Stone-Campbell Movement. Lisa Barnett offers insight on the life of Elizabeth B. Grannis, a leader of civil social reform among the Disciples of Christ. Alisha Paddock applies what is known about honor culture to the interpretation of 1 Cor 11:17-34. Also featured are insightful thoughts on the Lord’s Supper from Shaun Brown, comment and interpretation regarding the early church based on the fascinating archaeological finds at Decapolis Abila from Cheryl Eaton, plus an enthusiastic advocacy for the value of Patristic sources in considering the synoptic problem by Shawn Smith.

William R. Baker, Editor


Higher Education in the colleges, universities, and seminaries supported by Christian Churches has come to a critical juncture. Efforts to improve service to the church and students have led to hiring highly qualified professors with terminal degrees in their fields (Ph.D.; Th.D.; D.Min.). This corps of bright, young scholars feels a personal responsibility not only to become excellent teachers but also to address the larger academy in their fields of expertise. This is not for ego or fame but is just recognized as part of what God has called them to do. They have the talent and training to help advance understanding of unsolved puzzles in their fields that in the long run serves Christ in the wider church and in the world.

Many of these talented scholar-professors have been nurtured for decades by their own professors who saw their intelligence and drive to go deeper than their peers to know and understand God’s word. We encouraged them to go to seminary, where they continued to excel and be nurtured, and then go on to their doctoral programs, and now are professors. Observing them active in the world of academics and also publishing important articles and books is rewarding.

We come now to the aforementioned critical juncture, however. Professors like these are writing and publishing in growing numbers. We may initially be proud of their accomplishments and see this as a plus for the image of the school and our movement. However, what do we do when not everyone agrees with or understands what a professor publishes? Confusion, hot tempers, threats, and accusations that damage the school can run rampant. What might we do to prepare for this scenario so that these things don’t happen or at least are minimized? At the same time, how can we keep from disheartening our bright, young faculty?

Discipling young students with great academic potential (as well as faculty who just need encouragement to work in their fields) has been part of my ministry as editor of SCJ and director of the SCJ conference. I have also been a professor who has tried to publish while also serving in our schools and have learned a few things the hard way. I direct some thoughts—both to schools (mainly provosts and deans) and their scholar professors—about how to move forward through this present juncture into a better future. Some of what I write may serve simply to reinforce what is already occurring, but maybe some may nurture further thought.

To provosts and deans, first, that motivation to hire promising faculty members with terminal degrees should not be seen as simply a matter of enhancing accreditation (though it does do that). It should be seen as a long-range investment in developing a person to his or her full potential, both in the classroom and in the chosen field of study. The school has a responsibility here. Opportunity for the young hires to develop their academic interest by presenting research at conferences and publishing should be encouraged. Down the road, this may result in publications that enhance the school’s reputation, but certainly, it will make for a better informed, more confident, better connected, and happy teacher too.

Second, talk to your scholar professors about their projects. Take an interest. Believe me, they will want to talk about it. This will help provide clear communication with your faculty member so you will know in advance if something might stir up a storm. Be prepared to ask them to consider ways of reducing opposition for the sake of the school at times.

Third, give your scholar-professors the opportunity to have course load reductions, especially when a big writing project is in their laps. They value time more than anything, especially in large chunks, like a responsibility-free day that you have provided them through reduced SCJ 16 (Spring, 2013): 1–4 2 load or creative scheduling. It takes time to get focused and refocused on a project in order to advance.

Fourth, create a faculty forum for scholar-professors to unveil their work and get valuable feedback. Encourage an atmosphere of trust, integrity, and respect, while expecting and encouraging tough questions. One of the things we need to instill in our professor corps is how to present disagreements with civility, respect, and poise, even in the midst of sharp disagreement. Deal immediately—either at once publicly or one-on-one—with faculty who infect the air with hostility, mean-spiritedness, personal insults, and questioning the faith of others. Civility in questioning is in fact what scholar-professors see modeled over and over at academic conferences—over much more widely diverse opinions than at your school. Young professor- scholars are often shocked and disheartened that the important problem they are trying to solve for the benefit of the church can be viewed with such suspicion and anger among their faculty peers or others.

Fifth, surprise your scholar-professors with modest bonuses when their articles or books are published—maybe $50 or $100 with a note of encouragement and appreciation. With no tenure in our schools, institutional incentive to write is almost nonexistent. So, something even little would go a long way toward building up the confidence of your publishing professors. Perhaps, you could also provide them additional financial assistance beyond what others might be receiving from the faculty development fund if they are presenting a paper at a conference. Your scholar- professors need to know you are proud they are taking so much of their own time to represent the school positively along with sharing research with their peers.

Sixth, be sure you and the president are well aware of the content of books and articles published by faculty members1. The last thing you want to happen is for someone to voice complaint about a faculty publication that you and the president know nothing about. Mostly, presidents just don’t want to be blindsided. If their role is going to be to defend the scholar-professor’s publication, then they need to be alerted about that publication well in advance. Potential problems can be identified, perhaps corrected, or at least prepared for in discussion with the dean, the professor, and maybe other faculty. Consider establishing a faculty publishing committee with representatives from the various disciplines that review beforehand faculty publications with an eye to public relations opportunities and potential trouble. This could be done during the long editing process that takes place with publishers anyway.

Seventh, create policy right now in collaboration with faculty for procedures to follow should a faculty publication lead to trouble. Do not allow faculty or staff to circumvent the process with impunity.

Eighth, overall, create an atmosphere that encourages your faculty to talk together about their projects, to be supportive of one another in this aspect of their calling. Perhaps they will find ways to team up for certain projects, perhaps even write a textbook together, even further enhancing the school’s reputation. Most of all, they may understand one another better when differences arise.

Now, to scholar-professors, first, along with being dedicated to your teaching, honor your research, your degree, and those who have nurtured you by recognizing your responsibility to continue to advance your field. Do what you have to do to move forward, regardless of lagging institutional support, if that is the case.

Second, attend the conferences pertinent to your field every year and determine to present Editor’s Preface 3 1 For instance, this article will be viewed by my dean at Hope IU before it is published, as are Editor’s Preface columns that begin each issue of Stone-Campbell Journal. something. The conferences are where ideas percolate and stimulation recharges you to work on a new writing project for the year. Join the relevant study group; connect with colleagues who also work in your area; follow up immediately on invitations to participate in projects. Talk to publishing editors about projects. They are all at these conferences to find great authors.

Third, pal up with colleagues at your school who also are driven to research and write, even if they are not in your field. You need the mutual support and conversation, even figuring how to express your idea to someone who is able to understand. Schedule regular lunches to talk about your projects and what you are reading. If there is no one, connect with someone at another school.

Fourth, keep in touch with your dean about your projects. Hopefully, the dean will be glad to know about your ongoing work, especially as it moves to publication. Be prepared to figure out how to rewrite things that might lead to trouble. Often these things focus on one sentence that is misunderstood or taken out of context. Usually, you can fix this by rewriting or providing more explanation in a footnote. Cover yourself. The audience you have in view for reading your work may not be the only ones who read it. Don’t think every word you write is untouchable. After editing 30 issues of SCJ, I have discovered that every article can be improved by multiple pairs of knowing eyes reading it.

Fifth, if you run into trouble about something you have published or are working on, cooperate with the process. Keep your cool. Demonstrate respect and civility. Try to understand where they are coming from. Often they just don’t understand that you are writing to a different audience and that writing to scholar peers requires a certain approach to be heard at all. Sometimes, especially if they are from a previous generation, they may be coming out of great fear of the past repeating itself, when liberal scholarship took over the schools. You have to convince them that this is not so in your case. They can trust in your faithfulness and that what you are trying to do is a positive effort to further the church’s understanding of God and the Bible.

For years, I have watched young scholars develop by providing for them an opportunity to publish reviews or articles in SCJ or present their work at the SCJ conference. I have seen their numbers explode in the last decade. A still-growing corps of young scholars are waiting in the wings, currently buried in books and research, preparing to serve. They wonder what our schools will do at this present juncture.

We will advance the cause of the Lord by figuring out how to make room for our best and our brightest young minds to serve with distinction in our classrooms, the church, and in the academic world at large.

Abilene Christian University


Focusing on Preston Taylor, Samuel R. Cassius, Sara Lue Bostick, and Annie Tuggle, Foster provides a glimpse into the complexities of race, culture, and theology experienced by these black leaders from the time of American slavery to the civil rights movement. The paper was drawn from material written by Lawrence A. Q. Burnley, Edward Robinson, and Douglas A. Foster and published in The Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History (Chalice, 2013).

Texas Christian University


Elizabeth Bartlett Grannis (1840 – 1926) was an editor, social reformer, humanitarian, and pioneer woman suffragist, as well as an active member of the First Church, Disciples of Christ (New York City). Later controversy in the church would overshadow her work in parachurch activities and organizations. Grannis's important contributions to social reform and trailblazing efforts to advance the role of women in society necessitate the need to recover her story and preserve it within the history of the Stone-Campbell Movement

Central Holston Christian Church, Bristol, TN


In 1 Cor 11:26, Paul argues that the Lord’s Supper proclaims the Lord’s death. This essay will argue that Ludwig Wittgenstein and his understanding of “showing” can help contemporary Christians, and in particular churches in the Stone-Campbell Movement, better understand the ways in which symbols and symbolic practices, like the Eucharist, proclaim the gospel message.

Mare Institute for Biblical and Archaeological Studies Covenant Theological Seminary; Lincoln Christian Seminar


Processional liturgy may help explain the concentration of churches operating simultaneously at Abila of the Decapolis and at other cities and villages in the Byzantine Transjordan. Assembly for worship at different churches on different days and procession from church to church were among liturgical practices that spread from major urban centers to smaller cities across the Byzantine Empire. This essay offers a preliminary examination of evidence that such practices were a factor in the use of five Late Byzantine churches at Abila

Lincoln Christian University


Scholars doing Synoptic Problem research commonly prefer the internal evidence of the Gospel texts only to ignore or dismiss the external evidence offered by patristic sources. A closer examination of objections to the use of the fathers challenges this prejudice

Manhattan Christian College


The application of 1 Corinthians 11 to the modern, Western church has long been debated. Examining honor-shame conventions of the first-century GrecoRoman culture can illuminate the role head coverings played in ancient Christian worship and help the twenty-first-century American church determine how best to separate the demonstration of proper worship from anachronistic trappings

Download book reviews for this issue.


Jerome Dean Mahaffey, The Accidental Revolutionary: George Whitefield & the Creation of America (James L. Gorman,

Baylor University)

George C. Rable, God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War (James L. Gorman, Baylor


Steven K. Green, The Second Disestablishment: Church and State in Nineteenth Century America (Joe Riehle, Cincinnati

Christian University)

Paul F. Bradshaw, Reconstructing Early Christian Worship (Bruce Shields, Emmanuel School of Religion)

Ronald J. Sider, ed., The Early Church on Killing: A Comprehensive Sourcebook on War, Abortion, and Capital Punishment (B.

Lee Blackburn, Jr., Milligan College)

Walter Brueggemann, Journey to the Common Good (David W. Wead, Monteagle, Tennessee)

Joel B. Green, ed., Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics (Robert J. Turner, Harding School of Theology)

David Brown, Divine Humanity: Kenosis and the Construction of a Christian Theology (Wm. Curtis Holtzen, Hope

International University)

Daniel A. Rodriguez, A Future for the Latino Church: Models for Multilingual, Multigenerational Hispanic Congregations

(Mark S. Krause, Nebraska Christian College)

Richard Bauckham, Living with Other Creatures: Green Exegesis and Theology (J. David Stark, Madison, Tennessee)

A. Scott Moreau, Contextualization in World Missions: Mapping and Assessing Evangelical Models (Garrett Matthew East,

Abilene Christian University)

James S. Currie, The Kingdom of God Is Like . . . Baseball: A Metaphor for Jesus’s Kingdom Parables (William R. Baker, Hope

International University)

David A. Horner, Mind Your Faith: A Student’s Guide to Thinking and Living Well (Les Hardin, Florida Christian College)

Stanley E. Porter and Jason C. Robinson, Hermeneutics: An Introduction to Interpretive Theory (James E. Sedlacek, Cincinnati

Christian Schools)

David Lyle Jeffrey, ed., The King James Bible and the World It Made (Mark S. Krause, Nebraska Christian College)

John Goldingay, Key Questions about Christian Faith: Old Testament Answers (Gary Hall, Lincoln Christian Seminary)

David T. Lamb, God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist? (John C. Nugent, Great Lakes

Christian Collge)

John Goldingay, Key Questions about Biblical Interpretation (Don Sanders, Harvester Christian Church)

Peter T. Vogt, Interpreting the Pentateuch: An Exegetical Handbook (J. Blair Wilgus, Hope International University)

Francesca Aran Murphy, 1 Samuel (John T. Willis, Abilene Christian University)

R. Mark Shipp, ed., Timeless: Ancient Psalms for the Church Today. Volume One: In the Day of Distress (Psalms 1-41) (Ken

E. Read, Cincinnati Christian University)

Allen P. Ross, A Commentary On The Psalms, Volume 1 (1-41) (Walter D. Zorn, Lincoln Christian University)

Peter Enns, Ecclesiastes (Joseph Ryan Kelly, Southern Seminary)

Robert F. Hull, Jr., The Story of the New Testament Text: Movers, Materials, Motives, Methods, and Models (Walter D. Zorn,

Lincoln Christian University)

Barclay M. Newman and Florian Voss, eds., The UBS Greek New Testament: Reader’s Edition with Textual Notes (James E.

Sedlacek, Cincinnati Christian Schools)

Daniel B. Wallace, ed., Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence (Robert

F. Hull, Jr., Emmanuel Christian Seminary)

James A. Hewett, C. Michael Robbins, and Steven R. Johnson, New Testament Greek: A Beginning and Intermediate Grammar.

Revised Edition with CD (Michael Halcomb, Asbury Theological Seminary)

Steven E. Runge, Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis (Michael

Halcomb, Asbury Theological Seminary)

Holger Strutwolf and Klaus Wachtel, eds., Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior: Parallel Pericopes: Special

Volume Regarding the Synoptic Gospels (James E. Sedlacek, Cincinnati Christian Schools)

Sean P. Kealy, A History of the Interpretation of the Gospel of Mark: Volume II–The Twentieth Century, Books I & II (Michael

Halcomb, Asbury Theological Seminary)

Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary (Michael Halcomb, Asbury Theological Seminary)

David Lyle Jeffrey, Luke (Heather Gorman, Baylor University)

Craig S. Keener, Acts: An Exegetical Commentary—Introduction and Acts 1:1–2:47 (vol. 1) (Peter H. Rice, Baylor University)

J. R. Daniel Kirk, Jesus Have I Loved, But Paul? A Narrative Approach to the Problem of Pauline Christianity (Carl N. Toney,

Hope International University)

David Wenham, Did St. Paul Get Jesus Right? The Gospel according to Paul (Lori Nicholson, Hope International University)

James W. Thompson, Moral Formation according to Paul: The Context and

James W. Thompson, Moral Formation according to Paul: The Context and Coherence of Pauline Ethics (William R. Baker,

Hope International University)

Karen H. Jobes, Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles (William R. Baker, Hope International


Steve Moyise, The Later New Testament Writings and Scripture: The Old Testament in Acts, Hebrews, the Catholic Epistles, and

Revelation (Thomas Scott Caulley, Kentucky Christian University)

SCJ 16.1 Quotables

Chosen by Dawn Gentry

Emmanuel Christian Seminary

“… Marshall Keeble asked her [Annie Tuggle] to intervene with the leadership of the white congregation sponsoring his gospel meeting when they wanted to end it due to opposition by local troublemakers. She was astounded, she said, that Keeble would ask, in light of her race and gender. But she went, and the white leaders listened.”

Douglas A. Foster, “What I Learned about African-Americans” (SCJ 16.1:15) 

“Christ came to establish the church universal, and there can be no justification for any division, branch, or denomination of the church. It should ever hold the banner of unity aloft and should work individually and collectively to make visible the oneness of the church of Christ throughout the world.”

Lisa Barnett, quoting Elizabeth B. Grannis, “‘Disturber of the Peace:’ The Life and Work of Elizabeth B. Grannis” (SCJ 16.1:20)

“Grannis was a much-publicized figure in the press. Her important contributions to the church, social reform efforts and her trailblazing work to advance the role of women in society necessitate the need to rediscover and listen to her story.”

Lisa Barnett, “‘Disturber of the Peace:’ The Life and Work of Elizabeth B. Grannis” (SCJ 16.1:31)

“While those in the Stone-Campbell Movement debate whether or not they are part of evangelicalism, they have been influenced by Protestant and evangelical worship, especially in the ‘tendency to give preaching special prominence in Sunday worship.’ This emphasis upon verbal communication “resulted in the loss of the sacraments as ‘visual words.’ These churches must take the time to consider the ways in which they celebrate the Lord’s Supper and what they symbolically communicate.”

Shaun C. Brown, “Paul and Wittgenstein on the Eucharist as Proclamation” (SCJ 16.1:45)

“While no texts have been found that detail the worship practices of Abila, the architecturally blended style of its churches, the features of the churches themselves, and other findings at the site, coupled with the textual witness to liturgical practices elsewhere, support the possibility that stational and other processional liturgy were practiced there.”

Cheryl Eaton, “Byzantine Church in Procession: Stational Liturgy Evidenced at Decapolis Abila” (SCJ 16.1:54)

“Today, students of the Bible can be blinded by the methodologies inherited from professors and colleagues, the lack of information in the Gospel texts, culture, personal preferences and agendas, chronological snobbery, and the desire to follow current scholarly conclusions. The patristic resources available can help keep those influences in check.”

Shawn C. Smith, “A Defense of Using Patristic Sources in Synoptic Problem Research” (SCJ 16.1:83)

“As churches today struggle to interpret and apply 1 Corinthians 11, believers must remember Paul was striving to create a believing community that would be honorable to him, to God, to one another, and to outsiders.”

Alisha Paddock, “First Corinthians 11 in a Post-Honor Culture” (SCJ 16.1:

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