Today’s Meditation from Gary Holloway’s Daily Disciple

One of the treasures I have providenced across these last few years is Gary Holloway’s book Daily Disciple. It has the format Date, Theme, Psalm, Meditation, Scripture, Prayer. The Meditation comes from various writings of earlier leaders (read: guys with newspapers) in what has commonly become called the Restoration Movement by some, the Stone-Campbell or Campbell-Stone movement by others. It was launched by Reformers intending unity of Christians in the new-ish United States of America (they had the European religious wars pretty freshly in mind), not the unity-thru-division and Undenominational Denominations which often resulted later.

I was blessed to spend 4.5 years at the Disciples of Christ Historical Society (when it was located in Nashville before the on-going relocation to Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia [former homestead of Alexander Campbell]) as gopher, quasi-office manager, IT guy, etc. I didn’t realize until latter (of course) how blessed. I had the opportunity to meet several folks who kindled a love of sacred history, religious sociology, ekklesia economics, ecumenism, and the importance of archiving and indexing well; and when possible, digitally. I came with a faint grasp of the occult, comparative world religions, and a drive to “do something” with this world wide web. That drive has not left. But I digress…

I had the privilege for a time of assembling articles, ads, and various content, and then formatting Discipliana, the Society’s journal, as managing editor. I had not then grasped the long tail one’s writing could have; and especially now, the immediate and global “circulation” (see Bev Evans‘ special education resources as case study, amend stats to, by now, 12 million downloads in 258 countries). I was only beginning to grasp the future role of digital audio and video.

One of the “earlies” I have grown fond of thru Gary’s Mediation quotes (and some other writings discovered by way of DCHS board member and Discipliana editorial board suggestions) is Barton Warren Stone.

We are getting to be very fond of co-operating meetings. Can we not appoint one for the express purpose of praying to the Lord to give us his Holy Spirit? Do you not believe that he will give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him? I know you profess it. Such a meeting as this I should rejoice to attend before I die. – Barton W. Stone, Christian Messenger (1843), 272

I think the World Convention Global Gathering slated for India, January, 2017 would have encouraged them both to no end. I suspect both Stone and Campbell would have been amazed at the immediate, global reach that their journals might have had given today’s infostructure. I think also that the ability to convene cyberly, or virtually (Facebook groups, Google Hangouts, Skype, WebRTC, IRC, Slack, Yammer, and in intolerant nations, Tor tools) — and the ability to have “comment discussions” on web-hosted news portals would have captivated their imaginations.

The God Stone worshiped would have providenced the church with these tools to edify one another and to build one another up in the unity of the Spirit. I wonder what that God is doing today?

Some Religious Sociology

Reading Emergence of the “Church of Christ” Denomination by David Edwin Harrell, Jr., Ph.D. about sociology’s view of the “sect to denomination” process as it applies to this American Reformation | Restorationist group and today’s Congregational Consulting Group’s PERSPECTIVES article by Sarai Rice on Denominational Dematurity.

Progression of “sect”, “institutional sect”, “denomination”; and life cycle of churches.

See also Generationally Rethinking Church with Dick Hamm.

Dr. Peter Steinke, Church – Making the Future Work, Siburt Institute for Church Ministry and CitySquare

Dr. Peter Steinke, internationally respected author and church consultant, applies systems theory to developing and maintaining healthy congregations. “Church – Making the Future Work” was a one-day seminar presented by the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry and CitySquare as a part of the “Equipping for Ministry” Series. Published on Jun 16, 2014

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Dr. Carroll D. Osburn on the Future of Restorationism (circa 1992)

The following address was presented by Dr. Carroll D. Osburn, Carmichael Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Abilene Christian University, January 12, 1992 at the ACU faculty pre-session conference.

Dr. Carroll Osburn – part 1 (Philosophical Orientation)
video link

Dr. Carroll Osburn – part 2 (Biblical Orientation)
video link

Dr Carroll Osburn – part 3 (Theological Orientation)
video link

Dr Carroll Osburn – part 4 (Experiential Orientation)
video link

Dr Carroll Osburn – Part 5 (Principles for the Future)
video link

Dr Carroll Osburn – Part 6 (Principles for the Future cont.)
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Dr. Carroll Osburn – Part 7 (Principles for the Future cont.)
video link

Millennial Blogger

By Greg Taylor, Managing Editor of www.wineskins.org

Alexander Campbell used publishing to advance the restoration of the church. Had he lived today, how would he use media to move the restoration? What can we learn from Campbell’s use of media that can be applied to our use of media today as we advance our own understanding of restoration?

<ed.note>[Update: originally posted in 2006.] The remainder here… If you haven’t ever appreciated Campbell’s wonderous “The Third Epistle of Peter” I commend it — and assume he might have thought that Greg would have been safe to add a fifth observation in his article — running along the lines of Glyn Moody’s Presentation on the “Opens“</ed.note>

Resources on the Intersection of the Internet and American Christian Religious Communities

Small-Town America: Finding Community, Shaping the Future Robert Wuthnow

See also Insights With Robert Wuthnow – YouTube

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Virtually Religious: Technology and Internet Use in American Congregations
by Scott Thumma March 2011

A report on Internet and technology use by churches and other faith communities based on the Faith Communities Today 2010 survey results.

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Links to Information on the Internet/Web and Religion [Hartford Institute for Religion Research]