Would it not be a wonderful thing to not have to deal with controversies among those in the Lord’s church and focus solely on evangelism? Unfortunately, as wonderful as that would be, such is not the case in this life. Controversies exist and how we handle these can have a profound impact on the future of the church. Sometimes controversies come out of nowhere like a car can appear out of our “blind spot”. Having good materials on hand to help someone sort through some of these issues is a valuable way to present material in a way that helps reduce the personal element in dealing with controversy.
One book that is worthwhile to have on hand is Protecting Our “Blind Side” by Earl Edwards. Brother Edwards is the Director of Graduate Studies in Bible at the School of Biblical Studies at Freed-Hardeman University. He has been a teacher at Freed-Hardeman University since 1982. He has been a faithful gospel preacher since 1952. His experience and love for the truth makes a volume of this nature weigh heavily with wisdom that should be given serious consideration.
In this book, brother Edwards deals with such issues as the essentiality of Baptism, divorce & remarriage, bible authority, the new hermeneutic, eternal punishment in hell, the work of the Holy Spirit, the restoration plea, role of women in the church, and instrumental music in worship. He provides things to think about relating to hand clapping and other matters relating to the worship of the church.
I have seen brother Edwards deliver lectures and appreciate his comments at the Open Forum at Freed-Hardeman University. I have seen him introduce someone very graciously at the FHU Bible Lectureship, but not hesitate to take issue with the content of someone’s statement in a lecture in order to make sure the truth is upheld. In order to give you a flavor of the writing that brother Edwards displays, a quotation from his chapter on “Divorce and Remarriage” will be provided. Brother Earl does a fine job describing the background of this subject as it relates to the law of Moses and the Jewish schools of thought about divorce during the days of Jesus’ ministry on the earth. He makes a very salient point that all should keep in mind when discussing this matter. Speaking of Matthew 19:9, he writes:
“Jesus is contrasting the teaching of Moses in verse 8 with what “I say unto you” here in this verse. Were Jesus merely trying to make clear the true meaning of the Seventh Commandment and restore it to its proper place, He would have also made it clear that He was restoring the death penalty for unchastity (Deut. 22:22) rather than suggesting that the guilty woman might be put away without blame. The truth is He is contrasting His own teaching for His coming kingdom with what Moses had taught.”