“Raccoon” John Smith: Alexander Campbell Was a Fool

"Raccoon" John Smith and Alexander Campbell

“Raccoon” John Smith (1784-1868) was one of many preachers in the 19th century who saw the division in the religious world and the departures from the New Testament that had occurred. As a result, he became associated with an effort to restore the doctrines and practices of the New Testament.

Smith was also known for his quick wit and colorful statements. One example of this was in a conversation with a certain Baptist preacher who wanted to discredit another well-known preacher associated with the Restoration Movement – Alexander Campbell – by exposing an inconsistency in his teaching. He planned to point this out to Smith and boasted to his brethren that Smith would never be able to answer it.

“‘How does it come to pass,’ observed Elder F—, addressing Bro. Smith, ‘that Alexander Campbell in his debate with McCalla took the ground that Paul was really pardoned when he believed, but formally pardoned when he was baptized, and in his debate with Mr. Rice affirms, in substance, that no man is really pardoned until baptized? Here is a glaring contradiction—an irreconcilable inconsistency. What will you do with it, my brother?’

“Bro. Smith looked the Elder full in the face, and instantly replied: ‘When Alexander Campbell said that Paul was really pardoned when he believed and formally pardoned when baptized, he was then debating with Wm. L. McCalla in the year of our Lord 1823, was a member of the Baptist Church, and just about as big a fool as you are. Now, sir, any further contradictions? If so, I am ready to reconcile them.’

“The Baptist brethren roared with laughter, and Elder F— proposed no further puzzling questions on that occasion.” (Recollections of Men of Faith)

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Progressive Christianity and the Inspiration of the Bible (03.11.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

This week, we’re talking about “progressive Christianity” and why it must, by necessity reject the inspiration of the Bible. Sadly there are some “churches” that promote this ideology that is rooted in our secular and godless culture. We need to understand why progressivism is dangerous. In this episode, we’ll discuss seven reasons why we must guard against it.

STORY – “Progressive” Church in Nashville Says Bible Isn’t “the Word of God…Inerrant or Infallible”

“A so-called progressive ‘church’ in Nashville is drawing opposition after posting a message on social media stating that the Bible isn’t ‘the Word of God … inerrant or infallible.’

“The organization, calling itself ‘GracePointe Church,’ led by false teacher Josh Scott posted the disturbing message on Facebook on Sunday, February 7. The post related to a message he delivered on YouTube called ‘What Is Progressive Christianity?’ as a part of GracePointe’s online service.

“‘As Progressive Christians, we’re open to the tensions and inconsistencies in the Bible. We know that it can’t live up to impossible, modern standards. We strive to more clearly articulate what Scripture is and isn’t,’ the organization posted before citing what they claim the Bible isn’t and is.

“‘The Bible isn’t: the Word of God, self-interpreting, a science book, an answer/rule book, inerrant or infallible,’ it listed. ‘The Bible is: a product of community, a library of texts, multi-vocal, a human response to God, living and dynamic,’ it continued.” (Christian News)

Another report on this:

“When interviewed about the controversy, the church’s pastor, Josh Scott, argued that the Bible is at times inconsistent with the ‘character of God.’” (Disrn)

Related material:

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Abortion Deaths, Bible Sales, and a Revamped PBT Podcast (01.07.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

Today’s episode of the Plain Bible Teaching Podcast marks another “relaunch.” Though this was not previously announced, it has been something I’ve been thinking about doing for quite some time. The podcast will now focus on discussing current events from a Biblical perspective. Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about the new format.

STORY #1 – Abortion Is the Leading Cause of Death in 2020

“Data provided by Worldmeter revealed that as of December 31, there were 42.7 million unborn babies killed by abortion in 2020. […] Worldwide, abortion caused more deaths than cancer, smoking, alcohol, HIV/AIDS, malaria, automobile accidents, and COVID-19 combined.” (Disrn)

Related material:

STORY #2 – Bible Purchases Increase Significantly Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

“Despite the coronavirus outbreak, according to Lifeway Christian Resources, Bible sales increased across the globe this year. Lifeway Christian Resources…noted in a new report that Bible sales between April and June increased significantly.” (Christian Headlines)

Related material:

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Resolutions from the Last Will and Testament

Mutual forbearance

On June 28, 1804, Barton W. Stone (1772-1844) and five other men signed the Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery. This document was one of the most significant of the Restoration Movement. It expressed a desire to dissolve their recently-formed body (the Springfield Presbytery) as they recognized that all such denominational bodies and creeds were inherently divisive. The Last Will and Testament also encouraged the members of other such bodies to do the same and unite together simply upon the teachings of the Bible.

“We will, that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the Body of Christ at large; for there is but one Body, and one Spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling.”

“We will, that the people henceforth take the Bible as the only sure guide to heaven; and as many as are offended with other books, which stand in competition with it, may cast them into the fire if they choose; for it is better to enter into life having one book, than having many to be cast into hell.”

“Finally, we will that all our sister bodies read their Bibles carefully, that they may see their fate there determined, and prepare for death before it is too late.”

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Faith, Hope, Love

1 Corinthians 13:13

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

This is a familiar and favorite Bible verse for many people. Yet do we understand what it means? This is an important verse, but we need to consider it in its context so that we can learn the lessons we ought to take from it. So let us consider this passage and see how we should understand it.Continue Reading

Thankful (Part 1): Thankful for God’s Word

Thankful

Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous ordinances” (Psalm 119:164).

We have many different reasons to praise God and give thanks to Him. In the passage above, the psalmist mentioned God’s “righteous ordinances” as a reason to praise Him. He was referring to the word that God revealed to man (the entire psalm is dedicated to His word). Not only is this something for which we should be thankful, but it also reveals to us many other reasons for us to give thanks to God. So we will consider it in the first part of this series.Continue Reading

Tolbert Fanning’s Seven Rules for Studying the Bible

Tolbert Fanning: Study upon the Proper Plan

Most religiously-minded people will affirm that reading the Bible is vital. Many of these would also say that studying the Scriptures is important. Yet among those who read and study the Bible, there is usually a wide range of beliefs and practices that often conflict with and contradict one another. Is this to be expected and accepted? Or is that a sign that we should re-evaluate our approach in studying the Bible?

Tolbert Fanning (1810-1874) was a preacher from Tennessee who had a strong influence among brethren in the South. In his book The True Method of Searching the Scriptures, he outlined seven rules for studying the Bible. As we consider these rules, we will see that these are not just one man’s opinion; instead, these are some basic principles we need to apply if we are to understand God’s word in the way He intended us to understand it.

So let us briefly consider these seven rules for studying the Bible.Continue Reading