Hugh Pyle's "The Truth About the Church of Christ"

Up until a short time ago I didn't know much about the independent Churches of Christ (founded during the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement of the nineteenth century). In fact, I would have considered them to be most likely just another Christian denomination. However, after a run-in of sorts with some Church of Christ leaders and reading some Church of Christ materials, I quickly began to realize that something was desperately wrong with this supposedly-Christian group which believes in baptismal regeneration, works righteousness and claims to have a direct link to apostolic succession.

Additional research led me to this book written by Hugh Pyle, D.D., a Baptist preacher, evangelist and author. Though the book was published in 1977, it is still just as applicable to the Churches of Christ today as it was when it was first written. Pyle spends most of the book exposing and debunking the Church of Christ belief in baptismal regeneration and he uses a healthy dose of Scripture to back up his research, corroborated by quotes from other authors and even Church of Christ leaders themselves; he also draws on a number of helpful anecdotes to illustrate the errors of the group. Pyle goes on to debunk other claims by the Church of Christ, including their refusal to worship with musical instruments and the demand of some persons that any true Christian must take communion every Sunday.

As far as exposing the unorthodox views of the independent Churches of Christ, Pyle does an excellent job. However, I recommend this book with caution because he approaches the topic from a doctrinal standpoint which spends far too much time focusing on issues such as eternal security. Furthermore, his use of sarcasm, whilst humorous at times, could be considered relatively belligerent and therefore might offend any Church of Christ member who may be researching the errors of his or her own church. (Note: When it is used appropriately, there is nothing wrong with satire in defending the faith). Nonetheless, this is a concise, engaging, expository and affordable work on the subject which accomplishes what it sets out to do.

For more information on this issue, please see my paper on the independent Churches of Christ and the United Church of God, an International Association.

-Nicholas Gausling