Vol.XII No.I Pg.2
March 1975

The Year Of History

Robert F. Turner

With this issue we begin volume 12 of Plain Talk, thankful to God for the blessings that have brought us this far. If the Lord wills, we shall continue as a part of the teaching program of Oaks-West church of Christ in Burnet. This publication is free to all who request it. Your many letters and cards are appreciated.

As our nation approaches its bicentennial celebration we felt this volume might be profitably dedicated to the development of a better historic sense among brethren. We are, whether we realize it or not, now making history. We are, to a great extent, products of previous history. And generations yet unborn will be influenced by the historic legacy we leave them. This is not to say we look to history as our authority, nor that human will can not change the course of history. But a proper sense of history and our place in it will help us to better understand the present, and recognize our obligations toward tomorrow. It will sharpen our sense of purpose in this life, as we prepare for the next.

Often church history is little more than a prejudicial selection of events so arranged as to promote some arbitrary conclusion of the writer. On the other hand, the lack of space forces us to select and cut -- and we can only strive for objectivity. We plan to emphasize those events which seem to have peculiar bearing on what is called the Restoration of New Testament Christianity. We are particularly interested in earlier circumstances and concepts which may have prompted (if not caused) our generation to think and act as it does.

Space will forbid giving details of sources in each article. We will lean heavily upon the following histories, and upon many biographies.

History of the Christian Church, by Philip Schaff; Eight Volumes; Eerdmans Publ. Co., Grand Rapids, 1910. Search for the Ancient Order, by Earl West; Two Volumes; Gospel Advocate, Nashville, 1949. The Church, Falling Away, Restoration, by J. W. Shepherd; F. L. Rowe, Publ., Cincinnati, 1929. Disciples on the Western Reserve, by A.S. Hayden; Chase & Hall Publ., Cincinnati, 1875. Disciples in Kentucky, by A. W. Fortune; Publ. By Convention of Christian Churches in Ky., 1932. Biographies of Elder John Smith, Barton W. Stone, Benjamin Franklin, Tolbert Fanning, David Lipscomb, etc.

Our quote page will feature Archibald McLean, Scotch Baptist, and his treatise on the Great Commission. We hope to impress you with the great array of truth seekers of the past, who have helped to make our history.