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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… Read More

Posted by Mac Ice

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.… Read More

Posted by Mac Ice

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,… Read More

Posted by Mac Ice

The trouble is unnecessary

  E. L. Jorgenson in 1934 was in the throes of controversy surrounding a particular point of Biblical interpretation.  The controversy was deep and acute and touched him personally, as well as those he long worked with in building congregations, preaching, teaching, and writing.  He submitted this to his “Publisher’s Page” in the… Read More

Posted by Mac Ice

Remembering Meta, Part Three, by Frank Bellizzi

Author Frank Bellizzi is a minister and a historian residing in Tulia, Texas. This guest post is the third of a series on Meta Chestnutt Sager (1863-1948), Oklahoma Hall of Fame educator.   Side by Side on the Prairie Meta Chestnutt was adamant: early education is vital, and women should have equal opportunities… Read More

Posted by Carisse Berryhill

That you may give it in due time to others: a brief meditation for congregational historians and others who care about the past and the future

In 1939 Frederick John Foakes Jackson* published A History of Church History: Studies of Some Historians of the Christian Church (W. Heffer & Sons Ltd: Cambridge).  His final book–he published it at age 84–it surveys in fourteen chapters just what its title suggests using biographical and bibliographical lenses. Foakes Jackson studied under Bishop John Lightfoot… Read More

Posted by Mac Ice

An Undoubtedly Very Different Benedict: On Rod Dreher and Four Mistakes to Make with Monasticism

The last several decades have witnessed the flourishing of a certain enchantment with monasticism. Whether it’s the product of some “postmodern” thirst for spirituality, or the idealistic quest of youth that equates radical practice with authenticity, or simply perhaps the perennial appeal of novelty, the literature of Christian spirituality that taps into centuries… Read More

Posted by Brandon Pierce

Remembering Meta, Part Two, by Frank Bellizzi

A Girl and Her Dreams On September 3, 1944, a few days before her eighty-first birthday, Meta Chestnutt Sager looked back on her remarkable life and composed a long letter for her great-niece, Eva Heiliger. “So now to your questions,” she wrote. Responding to some of what Eva had asked about—Heiliger’s letter to… Read More

Posted by Carisse Berryhill

Remembering Meta, Part One, by Frank Bellizzi

Author Frank Bellizzi is a minister and a historian residing in Tulia, Texas. This guest post is the first of a series on Meta Chestnutt Sager (1863-1948), Oklahoma Hall of Fame educator. At Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, a framed photograph with a brief biography hangs in the main hall of the College… Read More

Posted by Carisse Berryhill

Claude Spencer pays tribute to Sarah Lou Bostick, ca. 1948

“No, there were not any rare imprints or beautiful bindings among the things Mrs. Bostick saved; a book dealer wouldn’t have given $1.50 for the lot. There were just the commonplace things, the stuff most of us destroy, but which is so necessary in writing the history of our people, our churches, and… Read More

Posted by Mac Ice

Three Bells by C. S. Bell Still Ring at Freed-Hardeman University

By Tom L. Childers, Henderson, Tennessee There is something very magical and memorable about a school bell. Freed-Hardeman University has three of them, all manufactured by the same foundry. Charles Singleton Bell (1829-1905) apprenticed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to learn the foundry business from his uncle. In 1858, he began his own company called… Read More

Posted by Carisse Berryhill

Three Bells by C. S. Bell Still Ring at Freed-Hardeman University

By Tom L. Childers, Henderson, Tennessee There is something very magical and memorable about a school bell. Freed-Hardeman University has three of them, all manufactured by the same foundry. Charles Singleton Bell (1829-1905) apprenticed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to learn the foundry business from his uncle. In 1858, he began his own company called… Read More

Posted by Carisse Berryhill

Knowing God through Experience: The role of personal testimony in baptismal services among Baptists

Knowing God Through Experience: The role of personal testimony in baptismal services among Baptists. A CHARIS lecture by Dr. Anthony R. Cross, Oxford University. Response from Dr. Everett Ferguson, Abilene Christian University. Originally presented October 12, 2015, Chapel on the Hill, Abilene Christian University. “The personal testimonies of baptismal candidates occupy a key place within the… Read More

Posted by John Weaver

The Sacrament of Baptism among the First Baptists

The Sacrament of Baptism among the First Baptists.  Dr. Anthony R. Cross (Oxford University). With a response by Dr. Doug Foster (Abilene Christian University).  Presented as a CHARIS lecture on October 13, 2015. Abilene Christian University. “Baptismal sacramentalism continues to generate considerable interest, and often polarized views, among Baptists. With reference to the… Read More

Posted by John Weaver

Praying with our Ancestors: A Prayer for Truth

ACU Library hosts a weekly chapel for our students, student workers, faculty and staff. I was asked to pray in last week’s assembly. I chose to draw from the well of our history rather than bring a word of spontaneous prayer. I reflected on what we are trying to do in the library,… Read More

Posted by Mac Ice

From Oklahoma Christian Special Collections: A Special Place for Cordell Memories by J J Compton

  JJ Compton, OC Archivist: When you think of Christian higher education connected to the Stone-Campbell tradition in the state of Oklahoma, my guess is that most people automatically think of Oklahoma Christian University which is located in Oklahoma City, or perhaps OC’s previous name and location, Central Christian College, located in Bartlesville.… Read More

Posted by Carisse Berryhill

CHARIS: Why Should Churches Care?

“My family had nothing to do with shaping how I think and act.  I do what I do because I choose to do it; I believe what I believe because I choose to believe it—it is all my own doing.” If I heard someone say that, my first reaction would be that he… Read More

Posted by Doug Foster

Bumping into Mystery and Lining Out Hymns

Bumping into mystery is only one benefit of learning about our past.  Benefit is probably not the best way to describe this kind of learning.  I prefer ‘blessing’ to ‘benefit.’  Let me explain why. Not long ago I spent some time exploring the various traditions of hymnody within the Stone-Campbell movement.  I was… Read More

Posted by Mac Ice

Christian History Magazine devotes issue to Stone-Campbell Movement

Christian History Magazine last September released an issue devoted to the Stone-Campbell Movement.  Doug Foster and Richard Hughes collaborated as guest editors to assemble the first issue of CHM dedicated to the Restoration Movement.  About 20 years ago Barton Stone and Cane Ridge made an appearance in issue 45 on Camp Meetings & Circuit… Read More

Posted by Mac Ice

About CHARIS

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 @ acu.edu.

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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