For the Sake of the Gospel

Homonoia is an ancient Greek concept which means “of one mind.” This concept was largely political in is origins, as classical Greek thinkers and rulers adopted the understanding to create unity among their subjects and states. Phillip II of Macedonia utilized Homonoia around the year 338 BC to unite Greek states and wage…

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Author: Lauren Rutland Hightower Publish Date: February 14, 2018

Basil of Caesarea on reading Scripture

The best way to discover our duty is to study the divinely inspired Scriptures, for in them we find both instructions about conduct and the lives of blessed men, delivered in writing. They are laid before us like having images of the godly life for the imitation of their good works. When we…

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Author: Mac Ice Publish Date: January 27, 2018

Top 5 CHARIS Posts in 2017

As managing editor of our Church channel, I get to work with a team of insightful, gifted writers who think deeply about God, the world, spiritual health, ministry, current events, Scripture, and so much more. As we lean into 2018, I’m pleased to look back on 2017 and share with you these most-read…

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Author: Karissa Herchenroeder Publish Date: January 3, 2018

Origen on reading Scripture

You then, my true son, give primary attention to reading the divine Scriptures. Be attentive: for we must be attentive when reading the things of God, so that we not say or think anything too reckless about them…Being attentive to divine reading, seek correctly and with unwavering faith in God the meaning of…

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Author: Mac Ice Publish Date: December 27, 2017

Do Not Let Baby Jesus Become Jesus Lite

Everybody loves a baby, and baby Jesus is no exception. We are coming into that time of year when our culture is actually aware of Jesus.  You will see manger scenes in yards and on mantles.  Buttons are worn announcing, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Churches make sure you hear about…

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Author: Steve Ridgell Publish Date: December 8, 2017

Going to Church on Christmas

Pope Julius I was not a forward thinking leader.  Instead of fixing Christmas on the 25th of December, he could have set the date of Christmas on the last Thursday of the month.  That’s what Abraham Lincoln did with Thanksgiving, and it is so much easier to schedule worship services and office closings…

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Author: Chris Benjamin Publish Date: November 30, 2017

Theonas on reading Scripture

Let no day pass by without reading–at a suitable time–some portion of the sacred lessons, allowing time for meditation.  And never cast off the practice of reading the sacred Scriptures; for nothing feeds the soul and enriches the mind as much as those sacred lessons do. Theonas was Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt ca.…

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Author: Mac Ice Publish Date: November 27, 2017


Confession: I find Demi Lovato’s song “Sorry Not Sorry” just as catchy as most, and if you aren’t in the category of most I forgive you. However, as a Christian I have no tolerance for any sort of #sorrynotsorry theology or doctrine. Example 1: Recently, a friend of mine was trying to coordinate…

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Author: Chess Cavitt Publish Date: November 16, 2017

Pulling a Tooth and Spiritual Healing

The tooth had been bothering me for a couple of years. My dentist and I had many discussions during my visits about what to do.  Toothaches, abscessed gum, and on good days just a little sensitive.  We tried a crown, a root canal, and smoothing out the chips where it would crack.  I…

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Author: Steve Ridgell Publish Date: November 10, 2017

Lean on virtue’s side: An early-morning reflection on Alexander Campbell

The quote above is from pages 440-441 of Silena Huntington Campbell’s book Home Life and Reminiscences of Alexander Campbell. She is reflecting on her husband’s (Alexander Campbell) personality and disposition and she has some rather wonderful things to say.  Look at him…consistent, calm, just.  She paints a flattering portrait. At the same time,…

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Author: Mac Ice Publish Date: November 9, 2017


The CHARIS website hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. In partnership with the ACU Library and the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), the website is supported and led by the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The Center’s mission is to renew Christian spirituality through engagement of Christian heritage, at Abilene Christian University and beyond. The views expressed on the CHARIS website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU. Questions or comments about the CHARIS website can be directed to charis @

2017-18 CHARIS Editorial Board:
Dr. Carisse Berryhill
Dr. Jason Fikes
Karissa Herchenroeder
Mac Ice
Chai Green
Tammy Marcelain
Molly Scherer
Dr. John Weaver

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