Studying the History of Fallible Religious Leaders

Restoration Movement Leaders

Besides studying the Bible, the topic I enjoy learning about the most is religious history – particularly the history of the Restoration Movement (sometimes called the Stone-Campbell Movement). This was a period in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States in which many were troubled by the divisions they saw in the religious world and endeavored to correct this by striving to simply go back to the Bible and follow it alone as their only rule of faith and practice.

Some of the more influential figures in this movement were Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone, and Walter Scott. Usually when people think of this history today, these are the men who come to mind. As we begin to study this history, we learn of others who played a significant role in the direction of this movement – men like Moses Lard, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Sommer, and David Lipscomb. Going deeper into the study of this history, we can learn about the contributions of others like David Purviance, Pardee Butler, Samuel Robert Cassius, and more – men who may have been largely forgotten, but can provide us with some valuable lessons.*Continue Reading

Road Trip (Part 1): The Road to Jericho

To begin this series, we are going to visit one who was traveling the road to Jericho. As we make this journey, we will learn about loving our neighbor.

Jesus replied and said, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

‘But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.”

‘Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?’ And he said, ‘The one who showed mercy toward him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do the same’” (Luke 10:30-37).

This is one of the more well-known parables of Jesus. Most people have at least heard of the “good Samaritan.” Let us consider some lessons from it.Continue Reading

Book Review: Growing Up in the 2020s

Growing Up in the 2020s (cover)There have always been challenges for young people, especially for those who are trying to be faithful to the Lord. However, it seems like the present may be especially difficult. Not only are young people needing to overcome the temptations prevalent in the culture, but those who are trying to help them – parents, grandparents, Bible teachers, etc. – may not know quite how to address certain topics because they truly seem unique to our modern society.

Growing Up in the 2020s: A Bible Study Workbook for Teens by Trevor Brailey is a workbook that is designed to help young people navigate the current cultural landscape. In addition to being a preacher, the author also works as a substitute teacher, giving him additional insight about what teenagers are facing.Continue Reading

Road Trip: Introduction

Road Trip

When we hear the phrase “road trip,” we probably have a certain picture that comes to mind – one that involves an escape from everyday life, traveling to a new place, and encountering all sorts of exciting unknowns along the way. In other words, it is an adventure. Many of us enjoy these excursions and will be looking forward to the next one.

However, most of the traveling that we do pertains to our regular responsibilities in life. We will go to work, go to worship services, go to visit family and friends, go to the grocery store, and so on. Our lives are filled with routine trips like these. And while we do not think of them in the same way as we do a vacation, there are times when we encounter the unexpected on these regular outings.

Ever since mankind has been scattered over the earth, there have been travelers going from one place to another. Occasionally these are purely for enjoyment like the vacation-type of “road trip” that we might imagine when we hear that phrase; but most journeys were for mundane reasons. Yet sometimes it is during the otherwise unremarkable affairs of life that one experiences some significant event or learns some vital lesson.Continue Reading

New Every Morning

Sunrise

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him’” (Lamentations 3:21-23).

We sometimes hear it said that each day is a gift. This is certainly true, yet we need to know why this is true. It is about more than the simple fact that we are still alive. Each day is a gift because of God and what He provides for us each day.

In the passage above, Jeremiah reflected upon the goodness of God even as he and the nation were going through severe suffering (hence the name of the book Lamentations). There was still evidence of God’s care for them and a reason to have hope if they would focus on Him more than their present troubles.Continue Reading

17th Year of Plain Bible Teaching

Bible open outdoors

Well, here we are again after another year…

Plain Bible Teaching began its first year back on August 1, 2005. That means that yesterday we completed 16 full years. Today begins year number seventeen!

A big “THANK YOU” to all of you who have been reading, commenting, and sharing these materials with others. I know that some of you have been following Plain Bible Teaching since the beginning. Others of you have just recently discovered the site. Regardless of how long you’ve been following, I’m glad you’re here and hope you continue to find the material being published here to be beneficial.

The goal from the beginning has been to publish materials that can accurately be described as “plain Bible teaching” in order to help others learn or be reminded of what the word of God teaches so that they might be encouraged to live in a way that will be pleasing to the Lord. I am sincerely thankful that I’ve been able to do this for this long and, Lord willing, I plan to continue this work for many years to come.Continue Reading

Stand Your Ground

Man standing on mountain

Now after him was Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered into a troop where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, defended it and struck the Philistines; and the Lord brought about a great victory” (2 Samuel 23:11-12).

The passage above describes the valiant efforts of Shammah, one of King David’s “mighty men” (2 Samuel 23:8).* The notable event recorded about him was his defense of a piece of farmland. He “took his stand” and refused to back down, even though he had to fight alone. Of course, he was not truly alone even though “the people fled.” The text makes it clear that “the Lord brought about a great victory” on that day, but he had to be willing to stand his ground and fight.

What is interesting about this passage is that there is no indication given as to the location of this plot of ground. There is no mention of who owned it, what city was nearby, or the region in which it was located. The only information that is given about this land, besides what was grown there, was the fact that the Philistines had gathered in that place to fight. Because the enemy was there, that was the place where Shammah took his stand to fight.Continue Reading