The following articles are related to the topic of ALTAR

The Silence of the Scriptures: Permissive or Prohibitive?

One of the controversies that has raged in the world of "Christendom" for centuries is the matter of whether or not the "silence" of the Scriptures must be respected or ignored. Some allege that whatever is not expressly forbidden is allowed in religious practice; others contend that anything not authorized is not permitted. The dispute surfaced early in the post-apostolic ... read more »

Baby Dedication Ceremonies: Expediency or Innovation?

The "infant dedication" service is a new practice that has evolved within some churches of Christ in recent years. Apparently it is becoming increasingly popular, as a search-engine check of "Baby Dedication-Church of Christ" on the world wide web will reveal. Is this practice merely an innocent expediency? Many respectable brethren believe that this exercise reflects a very unhealthy trend ... read more »

Is Man a Naked Ape?

In 1967, Desmond Morris, an English zoologist and curator of mammals at the London Zoological Society, authored a book titled The Naked Ape. It became an overnight best-seller. The book was excerpted by Life magazine, condensed by Reader's Digest, and sold half a million copies in a few short months. Morris's book began in the following fashion: There are one ... read more »

Hebrews 2:1 – Giving Heed to the Gospel

The writer of Hebrews contends that Christians ought to earnestly give heed to the things that were spoken (i.e., gospel principles), lest they drift away from them (Hebrews 2:1). Of special interest in this passage is the verb "give heed" (Grk. prosecho), which derives from pros (facing, towards) and echo (to have, hold). The etymology thus suggests turning one's attention ... read more »

What About Jephthah’s Vow?

"In the Old Testament there is the record of 'Jephthah's vow' unto the Lord. There is a difference of opinion as to whether he actually carried out the literal vow to sacrifice his daughter. Can you please give me your opinion on this?" One of the more troubling passages of the Old Testament has to do with a vow made ... read more »

What Was the Nature of Cain’s Sin?

We were discussing Cain's sacrifice in Genesis 4 in class recently, and some suggested that Cain's "vegetable" offering was what God wanted, but Cain just did not give his "best." My answer was that he and Abel should have offered the same thing (i.e., an animal sacrifice); however, I cannot prove that to be so. Though there is no explicit ... read more »

Do the Psalms Authorize Instrumental Music in Worship?

"I realize that the law of Moses, which replaced the Patriarchal law, was annulled by Jesus' death on the cross. I further understand that we have the law of Christ today. A favorite argument, however, of those desiring to use musical instruments in worship is to refer to Psalms. Since the Jews referred to the Old Testament in three areas ... read more »

Leviticus 5:17 – Ignorance and Accountability

Does God really hold people accountable for their conduct, even when they are unaware of the fact that they are violating His law? Some allege that He does not. They contend, at least in a practical way, that "ignorance is bliss." The Scriptures do not support this notion. Leviticus 5:17 deals with this principle. Read it carefully. "And if any ... read more »

Ishmael or Isaac? The Koran or the Bible?

The Islamic holiday, Qurbani Id (or Id Al-Adha), is known as the "Sacrifice Festival." Muslims celebrate this "great feast of sacrifice" on the tenth day of the last month of the Muslim year. According to their doctrinal scheme, this day celebrates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son by Hagar, Ishmael. If you remember the Old Testament account, you ... read more »

Manufacturing “Slave Babies”

In a 2004, The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity issued a press release noting that the Journal of the American Medical Association had reported on experiments being carried out by Chicago's Reproductive Genetics Institute. The report had to do with genetic procedures crafted to engineer "designer children" for the purpose of providing blood and/or tissue for potential use on ... read more »