Unity Discussion at FHU

Written by Drew on October 25th, 2006

On October 14, Freed-Hardeman University hosted a “contemporary discussion” regarding the differences between the churches of Christ and the Christian Churches, two groups sharing common roots in what is commonly referred to as the “Stone-Campbell Movement.” This being 2006, the 100-year anniversary of the census recognizing the split that resulted in these two groups, it was a fitting time for such a discussion. The speakers involved were Dr. Ralph Gilmore, professor at Freed-Hardeman University and a member of the a capella church of Christ, and Dr. David Faust, president of Cincinnati Christian University and a member of the Christian Church.

The Christian Chronicle reports,

In a year of high-profile events advocating closer ties between a cappella Churches of Christ and instrumental Christian Churches, speakers from both fellowships again shared the stage Oct. 14.

But the purpose this time was not to tout the common beliefs and heritage of two groups that split 100 years ago. Instead, organizers of a “Contemporary Discussion” on unity at Freed-Hardeman University made it clear their focus would be on what still divides the Restoration Movement churches.

“Now, some have seemed to think, and sincerely so, that it takes nothing but exchanging Bibles and embracing one another” to create unity, moderator Earl Edwards told more than 1,500 people who attended the forum. “It has been, and is, the position of this university that it will take more than that.”

Part debate, part Bible study, the discussion featured Ralph Gilmore, a Bible professor at Freed-Hardeman, and David Faust, president of Cincinnati Christian University, which is associated with independent Christian Churches. The program theme: “What Will It Take to Be Together Again?”

Read the Christian Chronicle article in its entirety. Of particular interest are the points it articulates from both sides.

Many discussions have already been held commemorating the split between the Christian Church and the churches of Christ. However, this one is unique in that it is the only one in which a representative from both sides expresses his views on the crucial subject of instrumental music in worship. Why has this debate been avoided at Abilene Christian University and the Tulsa Workshop? Anybody even remotely familiar with the history of this division knows that instruments of music in worship were the main source of discord.

Freed-Hardeman is to be commended for having the courage to hold this discussion. Will Faust’s school, the Cincinnati Christian University, invite Dr. Gilmore for a similar debate? We’ll wait and see.


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. russ says:

    Is there a transcript to these discussions available? How about tape or CD? I would have loved to have been there….kudos to FHU for this one!

  2. almcfaughn says:


    CDs and (I think) DVDs can be ordered from http://www.fhu.edu

    Adam Faughn

  3. Anonymous says:

    What seems to be a snag in part of the discussion is if the instrument’s use was wrong before these “unity summits/discussions” happened, what suddenly makes its use right? The same for our attitude for the respect of Biblical authority: If it was right before, when did God change His will concerning such?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just testing

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just testing

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