by Al Maxey

Issue #507 ------- October 18, 2011
I shall try to correct errors when shown
to be errors, and I shall adopt new views so
fast as they shall appear to be true views.

Abraham Lincoln {1809-1865}
Letter to Horace Greeley, Aug. 22, 1862

Wash Away Your Sins
Reflective Study of Acts 22:16

In our effort to better grasp the purpose and place of the rite of baptism in water, as this rite pertains to our eternal salvation, one of the passages that invariably surfaces in any discussion is Acts 22:16. Saul of Tarsus (a promising young student of Gamaliel, who was destined to become the apostle Paul), as he made his way to the city of Damascus, in order to further persecute the disciples of Christ, had an encounter with the Lord Jesus Himself (an event recorded three times in the book of Acts -- 9:1-22; 22:1-16; 26:12-18). Since he'd been blinded by the brilliant light on the road to Damascus, he was led by his traveling companions into the city where he remained in the home of a man by the name of Judas, who lived on Straight Street. "For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything" (Acts 9:9).

During those three long days, this young man (most Bible scholars feel he was likely in his mid-twenties) did a tremendous amount of intense soul-searching and reflection. At some point during those 72 hours he came to the point of personal faith and conviction that Jesus was indeed the long-expected Messiah, the Son of God, and that he needed to alter the course of his life and give himself into service to Jesus and His cause. I believe that it was when God saw this depth of faith within Saul's heart that He instructed Ananias to go to him, restore his sight, urge him to eat and drink, and also to evidence his faith in a manner that would speak both to Saul's heart and to the hearts and minds of those disciples with whom he would now seek to affiliate himself. It was during the course of this dialogue with Saul that Ananias uttered those memorable words, "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16, KJV). This verse, along with Acts 2:38 and 1 Peter 3:21, constitute the holy trinity of proof-texts for the doctrine of baptismal regeneration (although some would throw in John 3:3-5 just for good measure)! I've dealt in previous issues of my Reflections with each of these other passages, but hadn't yet examined in any great depth the Acts 22:16 text. Thus, in response to a number of requests to do so, let's take a closer look at what Ananias said to Saul of Tarsus (as reported by Luke in the second of his three accounts of the conversion experience of Saul/Paul).

One of the several emails I've recently received that have prompted me to produce this present study came from a citizen of Ukraine: a young preacher there who is seeking to share the Gospel of God's Grace with his own people, and who has been receiving my Reflections for several years now. He wrote -- "Dear Brother Al, Greetings from Ukraine. Thank you very much for your Reflections. They continue to be a source of encouragement and fresh air for me. Thank you for your articles of late on baptism!! I have enjoyed them, as I do your other articles! To be frank with you, after teaching and preaching for 15+ years, I am trying to restudy the doctrine of water baptism from a blank slate. Just like you, I no longer believe in 'water regeneration.' On the other hand, Acts 22:16 seems to leave that impression. Would you address this? Thank you again, brother, for your great work, and for helping so many to find true freedom in our Lord Jesus." There is no question but what the statement by Ananias in Acts 22:16, as it is rendered in several English translations and versions, and most certainly as it is interpreted and applied by some disciples, certainly seems to validate the theology of those who view baptism in water as THE point when "alien sinners" are "born again," added to Christ Jesus, washed of all sins, and therefore THE point at which the lost become saved. Indeed, just by way of a rather recent illustration, in the October, 2011 issue of "Old Paths Advocate" (a publication of the One Cup Churches of Christ), Carl M. Johnson spoke in his article of souls being "born-again in the baptistery," and that our journey through life as children of God is "from the baptistery to heaven" [p. 12]. So, is such a doctrine really contained in this statement by Ananias, or are we reading something into the passage (eisegesis) that is not really there?

To be perfectly honest, one's understanding and application of this passage has a lot to do not only with one's theological upbringing within one's religious heritage, but, on an even more basic level, how one chooses to arrange and associate the four parts of this passage. What some may not realize (and what some would like for you not to realize) is that the Greek grammatical construction does indeed allow for some degree of diversity in understanding, which explains why there is such diversity of rendering and interpretation and application not only among translators, but also among commentators and church leaders. The King James Version, by its placement of commas (and remember -- there was no punctuation in the original text, so the placement of such marks is entirely of human origin), shows clearly the four distinct parts of the phrase: [1] "arise," (this is rendered as though it were in the imperative mood; yet, it is actually a participle) [2] "and be baptized," (the word "and" is not in the text, it was added by the translators; further, the word is in the middle voice, not the passive) [3] "and wash away thy sins," [4] "calling on the name of the Lord." Each of the four parts is in the aorist tense. The first and last parts are both participles and are both nominative, masculine, singular. The two middle parts are both in the imperative mood, and both are in the middle voice. There is only one connective ("and"), which appears right in the middle. Thus, if it were to be portrayed in some kind of formulaic pattern, you would see: P-I ... and ... I-P

Participle-Imperative ... and ... Imperative-Participle
(Arising-Baptize ... and ... Cleanse-Calling)

Quite clearly there is an intended association of parts in this statement. The trick, of course, is determining the true nature of that association. Some people see the association as being first of all between #1 & #4, and then second between #2 & #3. In other words, the two aorist participles are connected, as are the two aorist imperatives. Thus, according to this arrangement, we have Ananias encouraging Saul to arise and call upon the Lord, and then commanding him to baptize himself and wash/cleanse himself. By associating the two imperatives, especially, the impression is left that the washing is done by the baptizing, which, of course, lends itself to the doctrine that one's sins are washed away "in the baptistery." Very, very few Bible and Greek scholars believe this to be the arrangement intended, however! It is felt that if it were, then the statement would have been constructed differently. Therefore, you will find very few, if any, translations that suggest such a reading of Ananias' words. Far more common are the following two understandings of how these four parts are associated with one another, and how that association impacts our theology and practice.

Theory One

The first theory has been characterized by some as the "Sandwich" theory, or the "Bookends" theory, as the two pieces of bread (or the two bookends) appear on the outside, but the "real meat" is in the middle. Thus, arising and calling are just directives, whereas the real "meat" of salvation lies in submitting oneself to baptism in water, which is where one's sins are washed away. Thus, in this theory, the two participles are not really that connected, whereas the true association "that saves" is in "the washing of regeneration" that occurs in the water of the baptistery. So what is the "arising"? It is just the call to take action, and to take it quickly ("why do you delay?" After all, what if you died before getting to the water?). What is the "calling upon the name of the Lord"? Well, it is just the "appeal to God for a good conscience" (1 Pet. 3:21 -- NASB), which "appeal," they assert, one makes through one's baptism. Thus, the two slices of bread are important to the sandwich, but it's what lies between them that constitutes the "true meat" of this "meal" -- i.e., the two imperatives: the washing away of sins in the water of the baptistery, to which water one must get himself or herself without delay, for they are the "damned unborn" prior to that plunge beneath its "cleansing, life-giving stream"!!

This is the view with which many of us, who are a little older, were raised in Churches of Christ. One is utterly, irrevocably LOST until such time as they get to the water and "get baptized." No one spent a lot of time checking the eleven year old kid's level of faith, or his repentance; a confession was a simple "yes" when asked if we believed Jesus was the Son of God. But, I can remember men standing at the four corners of the baptistery to make certain every toe, finger and strand of hair got all the way under the water. Why? Because if it wasn't "done right," then you were not saved!! Baptism in water was THE point of salvation. Mistakes could be made anywhere else along the way, but NOT HERE. It had to be precise; one flaw could fling you into the fire! I never heard a sermon in all my years on the need for anyone to "call on the name of the Lord." It just wasn't perceived as being important, much less necessary. Which is why I was somewhat puzzled one day when I read, "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:13). I asked a preacher once about it, and he told me, "Oh, Paul was just quoting the OT. We're no longer under the OT. That verse does not apply to us." Another preacher had a different twist -- "You called on Him when you were baptized. That is the 'appeal' Peter talked about." So, essentially, we've thrown out one of the slices of bread and made an open-faced sandwich. "Arising" was important, because it suggested the need for haste in getting to the water. But, calling on the Lord was/is irrelevant. And besides, "That's what the denominationalists do!"

I guess what really began to concern me quite a few years back, however, was the realization that the emphasis among us seemed to be more on the efficacy of the water within the baptistery, than on the efficacy of the blood of Jesus, to cleanse us from our sins. We are told in Rev. 1:5 that Jesus "loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood" [KJV]. The NASB says that He "released us from our sins by His blood." So, which is it, brethren?! Are our sins removed by baptism or by blood? Of course, the traditional answer is that it requires BOTH. Jesus shed His blood to cleanse us of our sins, but we "contact the blood of Jesus" (if only I had a dollar for every time I have heard that expression) in the baptistery! Thus, faith in His sacrifice on our behalf is not saving. Yes, you can have fullness of faith in God's Son, you can genuinely repent of your sins, you can confess Him as Lord, you can call on His name, etc., etc., but unless and until you get baptized you are bound straight for hell itself. Peter says we are "redeemed with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ" (1 Pet. 1:19). Just a few verses earlier Peter declared that you "obtain as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls" (vs. 9). The very next verse states this is a salvation of grace. Paul stresses that it is "by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8).

Yes, being immersed in water is an important symbol expressing a tremendous spiritual reality. Yes, we have sufficient teaching and examples within the NT writings to show that it serves a vital place in our expression of saving faith. Indeed, it is divinely expected of us (just as circumcision was divinely expected of males under the old covenant). However, just as was true with Abraham (see Romans 4), he was justified in God's sight by faith PRIOR to his circumcision -- a point Paul goes to great lengths to stress, lest justification be perceived to be by works rather than by faith. This is no less true today!! We are justified, redeemed, saved by grace through faith -- but our Lord also expects us to spend our lives showing that reality (and those who willfully REFUSE are in just as much jeopardy as a Jewish male who REFUSED to be circumcised under the Law of Moses). We are loosed/freed from our sins ("washed" -- KJV) by the blood of the Lamb. THAT is our reality -- provided by grace, accepted by faith!! We evidence our FAITH in this reality by a symbolic act in which we reenact His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6). Any person who claims faith in our Lord's sacrifice and His victory over death, but who then refuses to reenact it in this symbolic death, burial and resurrect in water, has just made known his/her utter lack of faith!!

Theory Two

The second view of how Acts 22:16 might be acceptably understood and applied is also grammatically possible, and has the advantage of being far more consistent with the NT doctrine of salvation by grace through faith! This view sees the association of the four parts of the phrase in a different light. The single connective is not there to connect parts #2 and #3 (the two imperatives), but serves instead to connect the two concepts found in the dual associations of parts #1 & #2 and parts #3 & #4 (which has the advantage of being just like the original text was written and arranged, thus requiring no artificial separation by punctuation into a "sandwich" or "bookend" construction, but a simple understanding of two concepts connected by "and"). Therefore, Saul was advised: "Arising - get baptized," just as he was urged to "get washed/cleansed - calling on the name of the Lord." A great many translators of the Greek text understood this to be the preferred understanding, and this is reflected in a large number of translations. Notice just a few:

  1. Amplified Bible -- "Rise and be baptized, and by calling upon His name, wash away your sins."
  2. New Living Translation -- "Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord."
  3. Contemporary English Version -- "Get up! Be baptized, and wash away your sins by praying to the Lord."
  4. Common English Bible -- "Get up, be baptized, and wash away your sins as you call on His name."
  5. God's Word Translation -- "Get up! Be baptized, and have your sins washed away as you call on His name."
  6. Holman Christian Standard Bible -- "Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on His name."
  7. Good News Translation -- "Get up and be baptized and have your sins washed away by praying to Him."
  8. Worldwide English NT -- "Get up and be baptized. Wash away your wrong ways by calling on the name of the Lord."
  9. New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition -- "Be baptized at once and wash away your sins as you call upon His name."
  10. J. B. Phillips' New Testament in Modern English -- "Get up and be baptized! Be clean from your sins as you call on His name."
  11. New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures -- "Rise, get baptized and wash your sins away by calling upon His name."

Obviously, a host of biblical scholars and translators clearly understand that there is indeed another possible way to perceive the intent of this passage; a way that is just as grammatically correct ... AND one that is far more consistent with the theology of salvation by grace through faith! I have to be painfully honest with you here -- in the early days of my ministry (many years ago), I was a very staunch advocate of baptismal regeneration. Thus, I was in the "theory one" camp. I left that camp quite some time back and am now fully convinced that "theory two" best reflects the teaching of Scripture. Sadly, this has caused some disciples, whom I still love and respect dearly, to turn against me, and who have declared that they will do all within their power to destroy my ministry and forever silence me! Although this breaks my heart, I must nevertheless stand firmly in my faith and courageously by my convictions, for my loyalty is ultimately to Him, not to my heritage!

Do I deny the place of baptism or diminish its importance? Of course not ... and neither did Paul, even though he declared to the Corinthian brethren that "Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel" (1 Cor. 1:17). When a person finally figures out the true purpose and place of baptism in water, this statement by Paul becomes perfectly clear!! Paul was calling people to turn from lives of sinful futility and to "call upon the name of the Lord" in simple, trusting FAITH -- to call upon the very One whose blood was shed to cleanse them from their sins (and, by the way, the Greek word in Acts 22:16 [part #4] is apolouo, which means "to cleanse; as in taking a bath"). Water may cleanse the physical body, but it is the shed blood of Christ that cleanses the inner man! When John gazed upon the great multitude before the throne clothed in white robes, he was informed that these blessed ones were those who "have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14). No, this wasn't a reference to baptism in water, it was a reference to being plunged into the "soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb" (a spiritual reality that is figuratively portrayed in the symbolic rite of baptism in water). Consider the words of the following beloved hymn that we've all sung hundreds of times (it was written in 1878 by Elisha A. Hoffman and is titled "Are You Washed In The Blood?"):

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow'r?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless?
Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

THINK about these words!! Are you trusting in His grace? Or, are you trusting in baptism in water? Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Or, have you been to the baptistery? Are you washed in blood? Or, are you washed in water? If you are looking to get baptized in water, then call upon a preacher or an elder or some other disciple. If you are looking for cleansing of sin in the precious blood of the Lamb, then "call upon the name of the Lord." YES, by all means, SHOW the reality of that spiritual "blood bath" by submitting yourself to the symbolic representation of that reality in the waters of the baptistery. But, please do NOT confuse the reality with the representation; they're not the same! One saves you; the other is a public testimony to that salvation by grace through faith. I can't help but think of how Jesus interacted with lepers at this point in our discussion. With most diseases it is said He "healed" them; with lepers we typically find that He is said to have "cleansed" them (leprosy often being linked figuratively with sin, from which we all need to be "cleansed"). In Luke 17 we find the account of ten lepers who "called out in a loud voice" to the Lord (vs. 13). They desired to be "cleansed" of their affliction, therefore they "called out" to Him -- just as the sinner "calls upon the name of the Lord" for his "cleansing/washing" from the leprosy of sin. Verse 19 makes it clear that it was faith that brought about their healing -- their faith connected with our Lord's grace and mercy. However, those whose faith had brought about their cleansing were then charged to go and display themselves to the priests (vs. 14). In Matt. 8:4 we find the explanation for this: "Go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." If they desired to be reinstated into the community from which their leprosy had caused them to be banished, they needed to offer up a visible sacrifice in thanksgiving for that cleansing they had already experienced, and they also needed to do this as a testimony to the priests themselves. Why? Since the priests believed leprosy was the "stroke of God," and that only God could heal one of it, they would be confronted with the fact that these men were now healed, and it was done at the hand of JESUS!! This would be a visible testimony of who He was!

So, why did Ananias instruct Saul of Tarsus to "get with it and get baptized"? Was it because the "smell of hell" was heavy upon him? Was it because he was one of the "great unwashed" -- one of the "damned unborn"? Was Ananias worried that if he didn't get Saul to the water "without delay," and this man should die, he would be cast headlong into the furiously raging fires of hell? No! That's absolute nonsense! Let's lay aside our dogma for just a moment and try to examine this a bit more objectively. Like the lepers discussed above, we're "cleansed/washed" by the blood of Jesus -- He's the one who cleanses us from all of our sins (not some ritual of washing in water). All that being said, we must also quickly concede that our Lord Jesus has instructed us to submit to this "ritual of washing" (if I may employ that descriptive phrase). Just as the lepers needed to offer a sacrifice so that they might be accepted back into the community, so also did Saul of Tarsus need to submit to that which was a visible sign of admittance into the community of believers: baptism in water. This man had been a violent aggressor against the saints; they would have a difficult time accepting the claim he was "one of them." Thus, he needed to waste no time at all in doing all he could to affirm his faith! His immersion would, in part, be a "testimony to them" of that change of heart. It would be an evidentiary act that affirmed not only to the disciples of Christ, but also to Saul himself, that his faith was now sufficient to motivate him to submit himself (thus the middle voice here) to an act that the Jewish legalists, among whom he was advancing, found absolutely abhorrent. By this public testimony of faith, Saul had declared his new allegiance -- a testimony not only to himself and to the saints with whom he would now seek to associate, but also to the religious separatists of the Jews from whom Saul had now severed himself. This was not lost on the latter, by the way, who wasted no time in seeking Saul's death. Baptism is a public testimony in which we make a solemn proclamation of faith in the one who has, by grace, cleansed us! If our faith in Him is genuine, it is not something we will want to put off -- any more than the lepers would want to put off heading for the priests to make their offering. We submit out of love for the one who cleansed us, and as a visible testimony to our fellow believers of our union with them ... and also as a testimony to those who do not believe: a testimony of our willingness to live by faith in Him who saved us!! It is a public profession of an inner commitment; a proclamation no true believer would even consider refusing as an irrelevant, unnecessary act. Indeed, they will hasten to comply. Why wouldn't they?!

Saul of Tarsus in Cilicia was "of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the Law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless" (Philp. 3:5-6). He "persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it," and he "was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers" (Gal. 1:13-14). However, he had an encounter with Jesus the Messiah on the road to Damascus. During the days that followed he looked deeply within himself and came to a conviction of faith that would transform his life. He called upon the Lord, and the Lord embraced this new creation. He arose and submitted himself to baptism in water, proclaiming that newfound faith to all those around him, as well as participating in an act that represented what Christ Jesus had done for him (died, buried, risen -- Rom. 6), and he embarked upon his journey of faith "in Christ." What a marvelous biblical account of God's grace and man's faith; of cleansing and commitment; of devotion and determination; of divine love and human submission to that love. May we all accept this account for what it is, rather than attempting to press it into service as a proof-text for the imposition of further rules and regulations for those free in Christ.

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Readers' Reflections

From Mike Allen in Virginia:

Brother Al, I came across your Reflections recently and thought you might be interested in a book I've written. The book is titled Growing Up Church of Christ, and it is, in part, a collection of thoughts and stories rooted within my background as the son of a preacher (Jimmy Allen), as a Christian school student (1st grade through college), and as a regular ol' church member. It also includes sharings from over 30 other believers who also grew up in the Church of Christ, thus helping the manuscript become less "my" story and more the story of "us." This book is available through outlets like, and you can also check out my blog site: Growing Up Church of Christ. Al, thanks for your continued service to God and His kingdom.

From a Reader in Florida:

Dear Brother Maxey, I respect and value your Reflections articles so much! I would like to order a copy of your first book, Down, But Not Out, and also a copy of your CD: Revelation: A Reflective Study. I have enclosed a check to cover the cost of both. Thank you!

From a Reader in Washington:

Dear Brother Al, Please forward a signed copy of your book Down, But Not Out to me at the enclosed address. My check is attached. Thank you in advance for doing this, and I look forward to reading your book.

From an Elder/Spanish Minister in Florida:

Dear Brother Maxey, I just finished reading your great series: A Study of TULIP Theology. I find it to be an excellent tool for teaching others. Thank you for this wonderful work!! Has it been translated into Spanish yet? If it hasn't, I would like to get your permission to do so.

From a Reader in Alabama:

Brother Al, I believe your reader from Calcutta, India (who was looking for some grace-centered discussion sites on the Internet) would enjoy the blog site: One In Jesus by Jay Guin, an elder in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (and also one of your Reflections supporters). Anyone can comment on his blog site, and all thinking is quite welcome. Jay's a lot like you, brother, and is not stuck in tradition, but is rather a seeker of Truth. Al, your well-thought-out Reflections are looked forward to each week. Keep it up!! Things are certainly changing in the church, and you are leading the way!!

From a Reader in Tennessee:

Dear Brother Al, I'm 78 and have lived in Tennessee all of my life. I have served as a Bible teacher, a deacon in two congregations, and an elder in one. I have been studying the Bible like never before: I mean, really looking at the words!! I am seeing things that simply do not coincide with what I had been taught ... or what I had been teaching. I have read and studied your last several Reflections on the topic of baptism very carefully. Al, you are right on target. I'm sorry for the letter you got from a reader in Tennessee telling you how wrong you are! Unfortunately, we've got some here in this state who are still wrapped up in the old, false teachings of the Church of Christ of years ago. They just cannot seem to shake off those old misconceptions, and I grew tired of that kind of thinking. This is the reason I finally left the Church of Christ. There's just too much Truth in the Bible that is not taught there, and I chose not to be shackled by their legalism and lack of knowledge any longer.

From a Reader in Texas:

Brother Al, Thanks again for another insightful article. It is amazing how many people want to constantly condemn you from the safety of their computers! I wonder just how many of these folks would be like Peter (willing to die ... until he came face-to-face with the opportunity, and then he denied the Lord three times)? They are brave, as long as they are hiding behind their computers attacking you through emails and on Facebook. Keep making us Reflect!!

From a Reader in Georgia:

Dear Brother Al, I can't even imagine the courage it must have taken for this woman of faith -- Abigail Roberts -- to live up to the calling of the Lord on her life!! Her cultural setting was immensely difficult on women in nearly any role. Thanks for sharing her biography with us! I intend to send along a copy of this Reflections to my daughters. It may be 2011, but women still face certain hurdles, especially in the "church."

From a Reader in Tennessee:

Greetings Bro. Al, I have a question for you. Was the sinful woman of Luke 7:36-50 forgiven before or after she washed Jesus' feet with her tears?! Was her crying a sign of her love for Jesus because she had experienced forgiveness, or a sign of her heartfelt repentance? If forgiveness came after her act, would that not suggest that she had merited the forgiveness? What say you?

From a Reader in [Unknown]:

Dear Bro. Al, Thank you very much for your Reflections!! I have been reading them for years, and have gained much insight from you. I'm a former International Church of Christ member. I was involved in that group for 13 years before breaking free of what I now believe was a cult. Since 2004, I have been on a journey trying to find my way to a healthy church family that fosters a biblically correct relationship with our Lord. We have attended several churches during this process. I am happy to say that I am free of the legalism of the ICOC, and I just want you to know that you have been instrumental in this process!

From a Reader in Oklahoma:

Brother Al, I have been giving some presentations to some of our members, at a monthly luncheon, on the history of the Stone-Campbell Movement. This month's discussion was on the twin goals of unity and restoration, with a look at how the focus upon primitive restoration became the primary goal of those who eventually came to be called "Churches of Christ." In doing so, they eventually eliminated the ideas of Barton W. Stone. While going over some of my notes, I discovered your Reflections #272 -- Envisioning the Future: Reflecting on the Road Ahead, from October 27, 2006. In reading it, and seeing the changes in many churches, I see that much of what was recommended by you and your readers in that edition are coming into being!! This made me wonder: are we rediscovering some of the "kingdom living" ideas of Stone that had been buried in our rush to get to "correct" doctrine and pattern?! If so, there may yet be hope that we'll reconnect with the ONE who is the source of our redemption, rather than with "our" version of the process.

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