Alexander Campbell’s Version of the New Testament and Acts

Alexander Campbell, like all Protestants, believed the Bible was the only authority for Christian teaching and practice. Yet he also believed that the King James Version universally accepted among English speakers had lots of problems—problems that were potential obstacles to his reform. In two Charis lectures Douglas Foster, author of a forthcoming (Eerdmans…

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Author: Adams Center for Teaching and Learning Publish Date: September 13, 2018

What to Say When There Are No Words

It was a long weekend. It started Friday night when a husband and wife decided her cancer had advanced to the point where it was time to meet with hospice. Not what they ever dreamed they would be facing at this time of their life. We agreed to come by and visit with…

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Author: Steve Ridgell Publish Date: September 7, 2018

Faith and Learning

The faculty mission of ACU articulates our desire to equip students to live “integrated, Christ-centered lives of service and leadership.” The mission outlines goals of seeing that students combine Christian faith, professional commitment, and knowledge into a worldview recognizing the connection of God’s universe. The goals are based on Christian values including God,…

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Author: Amy Boone Publish Date: August 16, 2018

The Greatest Gift

As I have worked with and observed people considering ministry, I have noticed that early experiences and parental attitudes can have a positive effect. For example, a love for ministry may be sown at an early age. It could come as a result of a family being involved in a particular type of…

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Author: Anessa Westbrook Publish Date: August 13, 2018

The Word (John 1)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) — We should pay attention to what Jesus has to say. “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God,” he notes of himself in John 3:34. In fact, five times…

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Author: Eric Gentry Publish Date: July 23, 2018

Teaching Women Effectively

Women’s studies have had a reputation of being fluffy. I am not sure exactly where this reputation began, although it may have to do with a preference for meeting “felt needs” rather than “real needs.” A felt needs approach would likely give preference to instruction on something practical that helps women meet every…

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Author: Anessa Westbrook Publish Date: April 18, 2018

“Choose Joy” and Other Ridiculous Things People Say to People in Recovery

Here I am at work in my therapy practice, sitting across from yet another client who is telling me that they can’t understand why they are struggling so much when they “know there are people in the world who have it way worse.” Comparing pain. It’s just what we do. I hear it…

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Author: Celeste Smith Publish Date: April 16, 2018

Shoplifting and Living Forgiven

I am not even sure if I had started school yet. I don’t really remember stealing them, but I do remember what happened next. And it was the beginning of how I learned to live forgiven. Maybe I thought I needed them, or I believed they would work in my toy gun, or…

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Author: Steve Ridgell Publish Date: April 6, 2018

The Sayings of the Fathers on reading Scripture

The nature of water is soft, that of a rock is hard. But if a narrow-necked bottle is hung above a stone, drop by drop the water wears away the rock. So it is with the word of God: it is soft and our heart is hard. But when a person hears the…

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Author: Mac Ice Publish Date: March 27, 2018

He Made a Robot, and Then He Married Her (It?)

Zheng Jiajia is an artificial intelligence expert from Japan. He was evidently unable to find a suitable mate (or could not find love) so he built a humanoid robot. And then married her, or it. Or whatever. His family even attended the ceremony. He programmed his robot to speak some rudimentary sentences and has…

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Author: Steve Ridgell Publish Date: March 6, 2018


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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