Life, Theology & Discipleship with Wes Woodell

Wes, Thank you for sharing so openly. If it counts for …

Comment on A Tremendously Blown Opportunity to Work with Francis Chan by K. Rex Butts.


Thank you for sharing so openly. If it counts for anything, I don’t think of you as a coward but as a brother and colleague in Christ whom I admire.

And thanks for the challenge towards more boldness!

Grace and Peace,


Recent Comments by K. Rex Butts

David Platt: ‘What is a Biblical Response to the Gospel?’ Answer: Calvinism?
Poor Peter; if only he had studied under a Reformed theologian before he preached his Pentecost sermon calling people to “repent and be baptized…”

And I echo the comment that Matt Dabbs made.

What Today’s Jesus Followers Should Learn from the Early Martyrs
Great post!!! The one thing I would suggest is that while Satan does not use the government to attack Christians in the way he does where Christians are physically persecuted by the government, Satan still uses the American (and other nations) government as a tool against us. What I mean is that long before American even gained her independence from England, the leaders that shaped the ethos of what became America did so from the framework of a story that is counter to the biblical/gospel story. That American story borrowed enough religious concepts from Christianity to give it the appearance of being Christian but when the onion is peeled back layer by layer, it is revealed as a different story. The proof is in the pudding or the fruit it produces, for the story has legitimized a wide array of unjust and unethical practices. Added to that, and even more problematic, is the fact that the American story cannot conceive that their is another King to whom all people, powers, and authorities must submit.

Any ways, I don’t know if we will ever face persecution as Christians or not. But one thing I am convinced of is that we, as disciples of Jesus Christ, will never have the courage to be a martyr for Christ if we do not have the conviction of a martyr now.

Grace and Peace,


Why ‘Accepting Jesus into Your Heart’ is Superstitious & Unbiblical, and How Believer’s Baptism Can Be Equally So

Why ‘Accepting Jesus into Your Heart’ is Superstitious & Unbiblical, and How Believer’s Baptism Can Be Equally So
I have a book review of Gordon T. Smith, “Transforming Conversion: Rethinking the Language and Contours of Christian Initiation,” Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010., in the latest issue of Restoration Quarterly. I would highly recommend this book. Smith takes to task the “Sinner’s Prayer” approach, basically exposing it as being unbiblical and unhelpful in the making of disciples. He equates Evangelicalism’s conversion process with simply being interested in saving souls rather than making disciples. In my own more crass terms, his argument is that Evangelicalism’s approach to conversion is simply about getting people their ticket to heaven (eternal salvation).

While the Restoration Movement has insisted upon keeping believer’s baptism connected to the conversion process, it is my judgment that our function of baptism has been nothing more than the same function as the sinner’s prayer. That is, people are taught to be baptized so that they can be assured of having their ticket to heaven; rarely do we hear of baptism being taught for the purpose of disciple making so that baptism becomes a commitment to discipleship whereby it is an act of repentance as it was in Acts.

Any ways, I am glad to see others (such as Chan, Platt, and Smith) within the broader world of Evangelicalism start to speak out about this.

Grace and Peace,


More from Francis Chan on Repentance, Baptism, & The Holy Spirit
How have I judged those who, like myself, worship by choice in a cappella singing congregation? I was only deconstructing the traditional argument that has been put forth in Churches of Christ for a cappella worship. I have no problem with a cappella worship and actually prefer a cappella…perhaps because I was raised in an a cappella congregation but also because as an amateur musician who has played in a few bands, most of the time when I visit an instrumental congregation I find the praise band to be poorly mixed (often the trap-drum set is too loud).

But back to the issue… Does your church literally greet one another with a holy kiss which is commanded in a passage (Rom 16.16) that most CoC’s like to take literally as the reason why their congregation is called “Church of Christ” rather than something like “Community Church”? Does your church have widows who show hospitality by washing feet since Paul mentioned that practice (1 Tim 5.10) which was also commanded by Jesus as well as modeled by him as one of the approved examples (cf. John 13)?

I am just asking to try and see how this hermeneutic of doing what the first church did actually works. It’s not that I have a problem with doing something that the first church did. My problem is that I believe scripture teaches us to be followers of Jesus (cf. Mk 1.17) which is not the same thing as being following some historical period of the church. I am thoroughly convinced that if we are going to faithfully engage in the mission of God in an incarnational, contextualized manner that it is going to mean doing somethings in a different manner than the first church (or any other historical period of the church) did. In short, I believe the church is to be Jesus Christ in the 21st century and not the first century church. That means that I am striving to defend my practice as a Christian not based on whether or not it was done by any other historical period of the church (all though the way I live as a Christian does have many things in common with the way other Christians have lived within history) but whether my practice faithfully embodies the life Jesus Christ lived…and as an obvious, I still fall short in many ways.

Any ways…I am only critical of the traditional hermeneutic employed in the CoC because it, IMHO, has shackled churches/Christians from living out the mission of God. At its worst, it led to arguments over how a church can support orphans rather than just supporting orphans…and that led to a good many divisions. What good is a hermeneutic that enables Christians to miss doing justice for the orphans of this world because they are hung up on the issue of “how” or “what form” is biblically legitimate for helping orphans.

I hope that explains a little more of where I am coming from. Blessings upon your college ministry. May you teach many students to be followers of Jesus!

Grace and Peace,


P.S., Sorry for the long comment Wes.



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