Skip to main content

Alexander Campbell

Introduction to the Restoration Ideal #14

The third restoration movement founder profile Marshall Leggett shares is the profile on Alexander Campbell. Leggett makes the correct point in writing: “Alexander Campbell would emerge as the leader of the restoration movement” (p. 53). You can read a summary of the life of Alexander Campbell here.

The emphasis that Leggett gives to Alexander Campbell’s life is the call to return to the “ancient order of things.” This was a plea to restore the original practices of the church: weekly observance of communion, simple order of public worship, and independence of local church families under the guidance of a group of elders and deacons (p. 56).

I thought this story from Alexander Campbell’s life was interesting:
“However, his most famous debate came against an atheist, Robert Owen, who had called Christianity ‘an opiate of the masses.’ He had attempted to found utopian, communal societies, the most famous one being at New Harmony, Indiana. Owen sought to show Christianity as a scandal based on ignorance, and he expected Campbell to defend the established churches. However, Campbell rested his case upon the simple revelation of the New Testament. He asked and answered three questions, ‘What is man? Whence came he? Whither does he go?’ Another rout ensued. Owen turned over to Campbell the last part of the time allotted to say what he wished, and Campbell addressed the audience for twelve hours. At the end of it, he asked all those who believed in Christianity to stand. Almost everyone present arose. Then he asked all those who did not believe in the truth of the Christian religion to rise, and only three persons stood. The debate gave Campbell great exposure to and confidence from the religious world.” (p. 58)


He spoke for twelve hours! It is amazing that people stand around for all that. What is even more amazing is that he had in his head twelve hours worth of material. While it is true that people 200-150 years ago were ignorant of many of the things we know today, that by no means they were unintelligent or uneducated. I think you could make the case that in some aspects our ancestors were better educated than we are today. It boggles my mind that he went on to speak for twelve hours. Wow!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…