I’m pleased to announce an online conversatoin among myself, Todd Deaver, Phil Sanders, and Greg Tidwell about grace. It’ll take place starting in week or so.

I’m the author of The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace: God’s Antidotes for Division in the Churches of Christ, and I operate a blog at I’m an elder at the University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and I practice law for a living.

Todd, of course, is the author of Facing Our Failure and has his own blog at Bridging the Grace Divide. Todd is a fellow progressive. Todd is the minister for the Oliver Springs Church of Christ.

Phil and Greg are regular columnists with the Gospel Advocate. It’s fair, I think, to refer to them as “conservatives.” They are not what some would call “ultra-conservatives.”

Phil operates the popular Philanswers blog and has recently joined In Search of the Lord’s Way, a ministry that produces a widely syndicated television broadcast. Before making this transition, Phil was the longtime minister for the Concord Road Church of Christ on the south side of Nashville.

Greg also writes regularly for Church of Christ-affiliated publications, including several articles posted online at the Forthright Magazine website. Greg has been the pulpit minster at the church of Christ which meets at Fishinger and Kenny Roads, Columbus, Ohio for 25 years. Their building is situated next to the Ohio State campus, and they operate a campus ministry there. (I’m a big fan of campus ministry.)

The conversation will begin with a statement of agreed principles. Phil and Greg will then take up the question of when does a Christian lose his soul — the apostasy question. Closely related, of course, is the question of fellowship.

The site will permit comments, and there will be no moderation unless someone unduly tests our patience. We expect all commenters to follow the same rule that applies to the four of us —

(2 Tim 2:24-25) And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth … .

I’m hoping for lots of comments, and we may well not have the time to respond to all of them — or even most of them. We really need to focus on the main conversation. However, please don’t let that discourage you from commenting, as I’m sure all participants will feel as I do: I need all the help I can get. All thoughts will be most appreciated.

Please be in prayer that this conversation brings glory to God and helps to heal the division that so affects the Churches of Christ.

Jay Guin

Explore posts in the same categories: Administrative material

21 Comments on “Announcing”

  1. Robert Baty Says:

    What, me first!

    I look forward to the statement of agreed principles and the ensuing discussion.

    I would just hope that the discussion will be framed in such a way that us “laymen” can follow it.

    Robert Baty

  2. Looking forward to reading

  3. Royce Says:

    I am eager to see the discussion. The very first topic will be very interesting. I will have some questions I’m sure, of both sides.

    Thanks Jay for taking the lead on this initiative.


  4. Matt Clifton Says:


    Good deal. I look forward to reading along.

    One suggestion. Perhaps your statement of this being a conversation between the conservative and progressive “branches” of the church should be reworded. The current reading may give some the impression that denominationalism is implied.

    May God bless you all in this study.

    Matt Clifton

  5. Mark Littleton Says:

    Wonderful idea! Thanks to all involved…

  6. Zach Cox Says:

    Perhaps denominationalism is implied 🙂

  7. Jay Guin Says:


    How does my language imply denominationalism? I must really be out of touch, because I’m completely at a loss.

  8. Matt Clifton Says:


    If there are “branches” of the church, we are dividing where God has not divided. Different “branches” of the church implies separation and sectarianism.

    Just a thought.

  9. I’d be interested in suggested synonyms for “branches” that would imply denominationalism less.

    Personally, I like “branches.” As in, “I am the vine …”

  10. Matt Clifton Says:

    Why does there have to be a label at all? In John 15, Jesus was referring to individuals, not “sects” of the church. Sectarianism is against God’s will. 🙂

  11. benoverby Says:

    looking forward to the discussion

  12. Matt Clifton Says:

    Phil is also the author of Adrift: Postmodernism in the Church, which is available from Gospel Advocate and other sources. I think this book would be a good one to read for those following this subject.

  13. Matt,
    By definition (in any number of dictionaries), a denomination includes a unified administrative organization. You might more correctly point out that “branches” suggests “sectarianism” which, in it’s simplest form, refers to a subset of a larger religious group.

  14. I am excited about the possibilities that exist in this discussion. I held for many years to the conservative mindset. I have held both views. I am anxious to see these things discussed. May God bless these efforts.

  15. Alan Says:

    I’m looking forward to the conversation. May God grant that all who participate will clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Col 3:12.

  16. don di maulo Says:

    Amen and in total agreement with Alan!
    May the talks focus on grace, pleasing God, and unity!

  17. answeringchurchofchrist Says:

    Very cool idea. I look forward to reading along, and perhaps making a comment from time to time.

  18. H. Clay McCool jr Says:

    Yes, please keep it on a level that “ALL” can follow.

    God bless ye all.

  19. Matt Says:

    I’m really looking forward to following the conversation. Thank you all for taking this on.

  20. […] Announcing […]

  21. Adam Says:

    Thank you for starting this “conversation.”

    I love the format, and hope those of us who comment will keep things positive and informative.

    May God bless those who seek His truth.

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