The Spiritual Sword 1969 – 2000 on CD, Thomas B. Warren & Alan Highers, Editors
In October 1969 the Getwell Church of Christ launched one of the more effective journals to combat various forms of liberalism with Thomas B. Warren serving as the editor. Some may not realize this, but brother Warren had actually begun the The Spiritual Sword back in 1958 to combat the rising tide of anti-ism. Unfortunately the paper lasted just over a year before it was discontinued largely over health issues of brother Warren. Brother Warren’s health would return and provide him the basis to complete advanced degrees and have significant debates. Brother Warren’s growing popularity provided a great catalyst for the return of The Spiritual Sword in October 1969. Ironically, Rubel Shelley was the preacher at Getwell Church of Christ and approached brother Warren with the proposition of publishing The Spiritual Sword with the Getwell Church of Christ as its publisher. Over the next twenty years brother Warren and the congregation in Getwell, TN published excellent articles on a quarterly basis on a common theme including certain false religions or systems. In 1989 brother Warren edited his final issue of The Spiritual Sword, seeking to free his schedule to devote more time to writing books. Brother Alan Highers was wisely chosen to sit in the editor’s chair and has done so for nearly 20 years. The brotherhood has been blessed with a periodical that is highly esteemed by those seeking to “walk in the old paths” with balance rather than radicalism on the right or progressivism on the left. Back issues have been made available for several years; however, the continuing demand of the journal has led to several of these issues becoming out of print. Fortunately, a CD is now available with issues in PDF format which makes the material more easily searchable and preserves the legacy of this excellent journal for future generations. Brother Warren also established The Spiritual Sword Lectureship which published some of the finest material on various subjects. Indeed, the materials published by Getwell should be read by every member of the church, especially deacons, elders and preachers. The issues we are facing today with postmodernism and its fruits such as “The Emerging Church Movement” could have been avoided if more read the works published by The Spiritual Sword.
Brother Highers took the helm of The Spiritual Sword with the October 1989 issue. Building on a solid foundation by brother Warren, Highers built a solid structure of periodicals that answers various errors and their adherents. Scholarly treatments on various facets of an overall theme are covered in each issue with documentation provided so a researcher may explore a given subject further. While The Spiritual Sword cites specific examples of digression (including names and places), it seeks to do so with a “matter-of-fact” approach rather than exhibiting a caustic mean-spirited attitude. Some may argue that point, but their objections stem mainly from the inability to refute the material.
The April 2009 issue of The Spiritual Sword is devoted to the theme “What Is Happening to Us?” The church has always been assailed by an array of foes. In this issue one can read about the major areas that are troubling the churches. Ironically, many of today’s battles are not unlike the battles of years ago. Too many mistakenly thought the battles over baptism, instrumental music, objective truth, role of women, immorality, exclusivity of Christ and His church were fought and won. We must always remember that Satan never stops! What is the solution? We must never let the teaching of the fundamentals go out of style. Too many let the fundamentals escape their attention and have been swept into apostasy by later generations who did not have the blessing of fortifying instruction. If congregations are evangelizing successfully, then the need for the fundamentals will be more readily recognized. It would be a wise investment to obtain some of the older materials and re-read them. The CD version of The Spiritual Sword provides an inexpensive way to do some of that reading.
If the congregation where you attend is not reading this journal, it needs to. The church at Getwell offers a “Congregational Subscription Plan” where they will mail the issue to each address supplied by your congregation for $7 per address. The journal is published quarterly on heavy paper stock, which is suitable for later reference. This is an excellent method for elders to ensure the flock has fortifying materials in their homes. Perhaps a class period (or more) could be utilized to discuss the content of the most recent issue. This would encourage people to read the journal. The April 2009 issue would make an excellent starting point for such a plan. The brotherhood continually needs the religious writing of the highest caliber. The Spiritual Sword has fulfilled that level of service for over 40 years, and we pray for many more to come.