Rare debate now available

The Paton-Williams Debate on Universal Salvation and the Destiny of the Wicked, between John H. Paton and Thomas Williams, is now available for browsing and full-text download.

Paton-Williams Debate on universal Salvation and the Destiny of the Wicked, 1906, front cover

This item, from the Joe Johnson Collection in American Christianity, is the only known copy.  The pamphlet is just a few dozen pages in length and in very good condition. Thomas Williams, editor of The Christadelphian Advocate, represents a Christadelphian position.  The propositions are:

  1. The Bible teaches that all mankind shall finally be saved (Paton affirms; Williams denies)
  2. The Bible teaches that the punishment of the wicked will result in their final destruction (Williams affirms; Paton denies)

The debate may be viewed and downloaded here.  It is the newest addition to the collection of digitized Stone-Campbell Books at DigitalCommons.acu.edu

Mission Journal Digitization Project

Launched in 1967, Mission Journal was a forum for theological reflection on issues such as race, gender, war and peace-making, the place of the church in urban society, the nature and implications of Restorationism and critical Biblical and historical scholarship.

Mission, Volume 1, number 1, July 1967 front cover

Bob Turner, in his preface to this oral history project, describes Mission’s character as “unique—sort of Sojourners meets Village Voice meets MAD Magazine. It was smart enough to provoke a theologian but accessible enough to put on your coffee table; classic enough to attract intellectuals in the 1960s but avante garde enough to get picked up by a college kid a generation later. It was unquestionably the literary counterculture of Church of Christ periodicals for two decades.”

His oral history compiles reflections from some of the key persons involved in Mission from its founding to its closure in 1988: Dwain Evans, Don Haymes, Richard Hughes, Victor Hunter, Warren Lewis, and Thomas Olbricht.

Olbricht provides in this essay, New Journals for the Sixties: Restoration Quarterly and Mission, an extended reflection and assessment of the impact of these journals. Drawing from his deep insider involvement in Mission and from Abe Malherbe’s in Restoration Quarterly, Olbricht situates them within the journalistic, editorial, theological and historical contexts of the 1950s-1970s Churches of Christ.

Greg McKinzie conducted an interview session at the 2017 Christian Scholars’ Conference, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN, dedicated to recording the stories of Dwain Evans, Vic Hunter, and Richard Hughes in the production of Mission Journal. Participants reflected on the motivations, hardships, and successes of publishing thoughtful, courageous content during a tumultuous time for the country and for Churches of Christ. What were the personal costs? How did the journal evolve and why? What would they do differently if they had it to do over? And what is the legacy of Mission for today? Listen here:

Digitization of Mission is underway.  Fully searchable and downloadable PDFs of every issue will be available at http://digitalcommons.acu.edu/missionjournal.  Mission on ACU DigitalCommons will contain the full run of the journal, from volume 1, number 1 issued in July 1967 to the final issue, volume 21, numbers 5-6, issued in December 1987-January 1988. This digital archive will ensure Mission is widely and easily available for historical research and continued reflection on the issues it raised and discussed.

The digitization initiative is led by Greg McKinzie, Executive Editor of Missio Dei Journal and Bob Turner, Librarian at Harding School of Theology in partnership with ACU Special Collections Librarian and Archivist Mac Ice.

For information on how you can contribute to this initiative, please see this page at Missio Dei Journal.

New additions to Stone-Campbell Digital Archive

The latest additions to Stone-Campbell digital archive reflect the diversity of this movement.  A new online home for a 1960s-1980s periodical, rare ephemeral tracts and booklets, along with book-length collections of sermons, a debate, and a historical narrative round out this update.

Mission Journal was a unique voice among Churches of Christ periodicals during its 20-year lifespan.  Established in 1967, Mission provoked discussion about a range of social issues such as the Vietnam war, race, gender and sexuality, poverty, consumerism and how Christian faith intersects the life of the mind and life in both city and suburb.  In partnership with Missio Dei Journal and friends of Mission, we have launched a drive to fund a digitization project that will place the complete run of Mission online in a fully searchable and downloadable form.  For more information about how you can assist with this project, visit Missio Dei Journal.  

Mission, July 1967, Volume 1, Number 1, front cover

R. N. Moody’s 23-page tract is “The Language of Two Ordinances: Reply to a Tract by R. S. Gavin” concerns points of difference between Churches of Christ and Baptists about baptism.  Undated, we estimate this tract appeared in the 1920s.

Front cover, “The Language of the Two Ordinances” by R. N. Moody

At the time Norvel Young delivered his address “The Urgent Need for Christian Education” at the 1952 Abilene Christian College Bible lectures, he was preaching minister at the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas.  ACC President Don Morris prefaced the tract saying “Brother Young’s discussion is presented in a clear, frank, and objective way. Such a far-reaching, timely, and vital subject deserves the prayerful consideration of every Christian.”

Front cover “The Urgent Need for Christian Education” by M. Norvel Young (1952)

Richard Nathaniel Hogan was in 1940 one of the most well-known young evangelists among African-American Churches of Christ.  At the time (1940) his book, Sermons by Hogan, was one of only a handful authored by black preachers in Churches of Christ.  It is a seminal text for the study of African-American preaching in Churches of Christ and we are pleased to make it available now for the first time online.

Cover, “Sermons by Hogan” by R. N. Hogan

 

In 1910 Sherman Sexton of Joelton, Tennessee (just north of Nashville), published a pamphlet of about 36 pages by T. J. Jackson entitled My Mother and I or How “Tommy” Was Converted: Showing How The Holy Spirit Leads in Regeneration.  A scarce item, with only our copy showing on Worldcat, this item will prove useful to anyone studying the Holy Spirit in Restoration thought and history.

Front cover of My Mother and I, or How “Tommy” Was Converted. Showing How the Holy Spirit Leads in Regeneration (1910)

C. P. Roland’s Vanderbilt University MA thesis concentrates on the history of the Disciples in Tennessee to 1850.  Completed in 1931, it is an important early narrative thesis pulling together the early story of the Campbell movement in that state.

Cover, “A History of the Disciples of Christ in Tennessee to 1850” by C. P. Roland

J. N. Cowan of Robstown, Texas and Daniel Sommer, of Indianapolis, Indiana, debated for nearly a week in Sullivan Indiana in November 1926.  Through the lens of this debate, we may explore the disputants’ doctrinal commitments in several areas, especially how they read the Bible and apply its teaching to the life of the church.  An interesting item of ephemera is pasted into the back of this book: a 1941 newspaper clipping describing a terrible accident that claimed Cowan’s life.

Title page, “Debate Between J. N. Cowan and Daniel Sommer”

In about 1914 Ida Withers Harrison compiled and published Forty Years of Service, A History of the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions 1874-1914. This 162-page text describes the work of this missionary society before its incorporation into the United Christian Missionary Society in 1919.

Cover, “Forty Years of Service, A History of the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions 1874-1914” by Ida Withers Harrison

The Stone-Campbell Books section of our online digital archive contains fully searchable and downloadable texts from across the Stone-Campbell movement from the 1790s to the 1970s.  We scanned several dozen new additions over the summer; check back often for further updates.