Apr 26

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Each year the “Oklahoma City School of Biblical Studies” and the Barnes church of Christ has its annual lectures. These lectures take place the last weekend in April. A theme is chosen, then twelve subjects are chosen; finally, twelve speakers are picked to cover the subjects. Sometimes, due to events in the lives of the speakers, changes have to be made; some are unable to speak and this means that other speakers have to be found. Finally, all speakers are committed and outlines are prepared. It is here that the work on the Lectureship Book starts. Each lesson must be arranged, but these outlines/manuscripts do not all come in on time. This means, printing of the book must wait until the last moment. Finally, all outlines/manuscripts are sent in and the printing starts. If you have ever tried to print, you know printing does not always go as planned. Generally, part of the book is printed, followed with other parts until it is all done. Sixty copies are printed, put into a spiral binding and the book is ready for the lectureship. The books are sold at no profit, as the school and the Barnes congregation are not in the money making business!
The “Oklahoma City School of Biblical Studies” and the Barnes congregation are most grateful for each speaker and their willingness to give the time it takes in preparing the outlines/manuscripts and arriving at the Barnes church building and delivering their lessons. The lectureship books through the years, have been used in teaching Bible classes by some congregations. The outlines/manuscripts are also put on the school webpage, and the lessons are also made available so they can be seen. This means these lessons may be read and seen around the world! Work has been done and is still being done, to improve the quality of our recording abilities. This will means that even more will use them!
This year’s theme, “The churches of Christ are not growing at the same rate as in earlier years,” is a reality check! It is a proven fact; the churches of Christ are not growing at the same rate as in earlier years! Reasons for this reality must be identified, and answers given. This year’s lectureship has tried to identify ten reasons the growth rate has declined and how it may be reversed. One of the facts the churches of Christ must face is that the world has changed over the last ten to fifteen years. For many years the people we were teaching, believed in God and the Bible as the word of God. Sadly, this is not the case anymore. More teaching must be done to prove, with evidence that God exists! Then, we must do a lot more teaching proving the Bible is the inspired word of God! This being the case, the tentative theme of next year’s “26th Annual Oklahoma City Lectures” will be: “Can we trust the Bible?” If the Bible is to be seen, as it is in truth, the inspired word of God; then, it appears that some of the lessons must address the subject of proving God exists! Therefore, unless plans are changed, both subjects will be covered in our next lectureship!
It is a fact that the education system of our nation has for many years seen it as part of its requirement in teaching to convince the young of this nation that God does not exist. The Bible has been made nothing more than a subject of laughter! It is the firm opinion of this writer; the churches of Christ have failed to a very large degree, in addressing these two subjects! The number of atheists has grown over the last number of years; the number of agnostics has grown at a faster rate. Agnostics are created when little to no evidence is given proving the existence of God. Though my personal experience is limited in this area, I have seen enough to form the opinion that many agnostics just repeat what they have been taught, or heard. It is not that they have examined these two subjects personally, or to any degree!
As these subjects are addressed, it needs to be understood, many of these people are “egotistic;” in other words, they are stuck on themselves! God and the Bible just get in their way of living according to their dictates! Therefore, more teaching is needed on these two subjects: the existence of God and can we trust the Bible?

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/welcome-to-the-25th-annual-oklahoma-city-lectures/