ENDANGERED HERITAGE, An Examination of Church of Christ Doctrine, by Walt Yancey. Hardbound, 272 pages. Price not known; nor how to order it. The second part of the title (above) gives an idea of what the book is all about. Yancey finds some faults and failures with the Church of Christ in his "Assessing The Situation" section. He is well on target with many of them. It is a challenging book in some ways. Part II deals with "Major Elements of Both 19th and 20th Century Traditions: Baptism and The Lord's Supper," primarily. In Part III , Yancey discusses the problem of instrumental music; "The Church of Christ Is Not A Denomination" position; and the view that "Only Church of Christ Members Can Go To Heaven."
A lot of the book has to do with the so-called "Restoration Movement," a subject and history that has no relevance whatever for me. I cant figure out how it can be of any real value to anyone, save perhaps some historian who wants to write about it and those who think that their sect of the "Restoration Movement" is the legal heir of such; the one true CofC Church based upon its identification with such a "Movement." As far as I am concerned, spending a lot of time in a study of the "Restoration Movement" has no more value than spending the same time with the History of the Lutheran Movement; or any other Church "Movement". What is the value in such? My being a child of God, a Christian and an "heir of God" has absolutely nothing to do with being a part of any such "Movement".
While this is an interesting book that can "shake up" many dyed-in-the-wool believers in the one "true Church of Christ Church", I am not interested in studying any of these questions in the light of any "Heritage", endangered or not. All the time, study, and claims regarding which Church or sect of Churches is the rightful heir of the "Restoration Movement" has nothing to do with one's relationship to the Father. "The seed of the kingdom" is still "the word of God," and that is where it's all at!
THE BLEATING SHEEP, by Robert W. Blackshear, P0 Box 1941, Stephenville, TX 76401. $5 postage paid. The title comes from the idea that "the bleating sheep" (God's people) need able and true shepherds, which the author calls "elders". No question but that the need for able and true shepherds is everywhere. The author offers his view of "the solution - Chapters deal with "Qualifications of the Elders" (as if there are indeed such "qualifications"!); covering such long-disputed questions as "Must Elders Be Married?" and "Elders and Children". He discusses "The Work of an Evangelist" (as if we have such today!); "The Christian Fellowship", "An Admonition to Bible Colleges", and "A Way To Lead." There are some interesting things in the book.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL AND THE PECULIAR INSTITUTION, by Robert Tibbs Maxey, Jr., who is Professor of Missions, El Paso, TX, School of Missions. 332 pages. Flex cover. This is an interesting book. "The Peculiar Institution" under consideration was the institution or practice of Slavery. This is a unique study of the subject. Very interesting and informative. I am sorry, but I do not know the price of the book nor a definite address for ordering it. If the author or someone can send the information I will publish it.
ONE WIDE RIVER is the title of another book by the same author. Hardbound. 212 pages. Price: $4. This is an interesting book dealing somewhat with the above subject, but largely with personal experiences and views. It contains some historical matters of interest and also touches on slavery and the black race as equal persons. Written with genuine love for the Negro people.
THE SCARRED SERVANT- The Truth About Gods Bisexual Man, by William N. Odom. Jr. 254 pages. Flex cover. I do nor know the price. This is one of the most unusual books I have ever read. Odom is of Church of Christ background and has struggled with his homosexuality since his youth, especially as far as other people are concerned. He presents his views and labors to justify the approval of God for a homosexual, bi-sexual lifestyle. In fact, he tries to prove that such a man is indeed God's man to be a leader and correct all the wrong and error in this regard. He thinks of himself as a man who "has appeared on the religious scene in the last several decades" who says he believes in God and wants to be accepted in the churches which exist today. This is a man engaging in physical and sexual acts with other men. This man is not "new to the world." Also he writes: "This man is not buying the religious world's insistence that he is a sinful creature when engaging in such acts."
Odom labors hard and at length to justify these sins that God has condemned in every age of the world. They are "sins against nature." The brothers assumptions, reasoning. and arguments are outrageously wrong. It is a desperate effort of one determined to have his way of life and wrests the Scriptures and perverts reason to justify himself. My heart goes out to him, but he appears to be beyond recovery from his sins. I love him even though I don't know him: and would gladly help if I could. It is indeed a very unusual book.
LORDS OR SERVANTS- "A study of the authority and role of elders and deacons in the church," is the title and scope of a relatively new book by Jim Reeves. 124 pages, flex binding. $5 per copy postage included. Reeves believes that there is a "Crisis confronting the people of God. In his view it is the lack of leadership and he discusses this. One chapter is "Who Rules The Church?" That is followed by "Authority, Use It Or Lose It!" Then follows a chapter on "Not So Among You", dealing with the statement of Jesus in Matt. 20:25-28 regarding "lords" and "ruling" the people of God. In a larger chapter he discusses "Qualifications or Characteristics." He says: "The question today is not who qualifies to be appointed, rather who qualifies to be followed," which is a good point. The book may be ordered from: Willowbrook Publishing. P.O. Box 690105. Houston. TX 77269-0105. -- CAH