Jay Guin, Change Agent

When you visit Grace Digest you will see a list of blogs on the right side bar that I like and read. One of those is “Jay Guin“. If you move your mouse cursor over his name the caption will appear “A site that values truth over tradition“. I still believe that brief statement is an honest summation of Jay’s blog, OneinJesus.info.

Jay Guin is an elder at University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as an elder and is busy teaching and shepherding the flock. Jay is also an attorney so the bills get paid at home. He has been a speaker at some of the most popular and well-known Church of Christ lectureships and is an author. His book The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace: God’s antidotes for division within the Churches of Christ and at least four others are favorites of many readers.

Jay Guin is best known for his blogging. Oneinjesus.info is a favorite daily stop for hundreds of anxious readers including yours truly. Jay’s blog I am sure gets more hits by far than any other Church of Christ blog. (Edward Fudge and Al Maxey get tons of traffic but they are not in blog format. Both are wonderful but not blogs.)

For lack of a better term to describe Jay’s teaching I’ll say he is “Progressive”. He fearlessly challenges traditional CoC teaching and tradition and expertly defends his positions clearly with Bible texts carefully selected and used in context. (sadly, a rather rare skill among bloggers). While I don’t agree 100% of the time with Jay, I respect and love him 100% of the time, even when he gently chides me for being off topic in my comments on one of his posts.

I lovingly titled this post and labeled my friend, “Change Agent”. Traditionalists in churches of Christ label anyone who challenges the traditional views as a “change agent” and it is not a flattering term. I used that unflattering term to describe this good man because he is indeed a “change agent” for good. In the last few days I read comments from at least two of his readers who stated they had begun to shake of the shackles of legalism and to know and experience the freedom the grace of God is. It is this kind of change I appreciate and applaud.

I first started to pay attention to Jay Guin when he and fellow grace-man Todd Deaver challenged traditionalists to an online dialog. Jay Guin and Todd Deaver on the “Progressive” side and Phil Sanders and Greg Tidwell on the “Conservative” side. (I think “Traditionalist” better describes that position than “Conservative”. It isn’t “conservative” to be wrong.)  Grace Conversation was very interesting reading, both the content and the readers comments.

As I anticipated, Phil Sanders and Greg Tidwell, (and later Todd Deaver’s father Mack Deaver) were unable to defend the main tenets of their positions using the Bible. The traditionalists finally threw in the towel but along the way many, many readers were taught truth by the writing of Jay and Todd and comments by scores.

Jay Guin is some sort of superman! I can’t comprehend how one man can do so much. He posts from 1 to 3 excellent posts every day, teaches up to three times a week at his church, works at a law firm, and has all of the domestic duties of any husband and father. I don’t know how he does it but I am sincerely grateful that he does. A big Christian salute to my friend and the king of CoC bloggers, Jay Guin.




This from fellow blogger, grace filled elder, and Christian thinker Jay Guin. I quote this announcement from his blog:

Announcing GraceConversation.com

I’m pleased to announce an online conversatoin among myself, Todd Deaver, Phil Sanders, and Greg Tidwell about grace. It’ll take place starting in week or so.

I’m the author of The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace: God’s Antidotes for Division in the Churches of Christ, and I operate a blog at OneInJesus.info. I’m an elder at the University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and I practice law for a living.

Todd, of course, is the author of Facing Our Failure and has his own blog at Bridging the Grace Divide. Todd is a fellow progressive. Todd is the minister for the Oliver Springs Church of Christ.

Phil and Greg are regular columnists with the Gospel Advocate. It’s fair, I think, to refer to them as “conservatives.” They are not what some would call “ultra-conservatives.”

Phil operates the popular Philanswers blog and has recently joined In Search of the Lord’s Way, a ministry that produces a widely syndicated television broadcast. Before making this transition, Phil was the longtime minister for the Concord Road Church of Christ on the south side of Nashville.

Greg also writes regularly for Church of Christ-affiliated publications, including several articles posted online at the Forthright Magazine website. Greg has been the pulpit minster at the church of Christ which meets at Fishinger and Kenny Roads, Columbus, Ohio for 25 years. Their building is situated next to the Ohio State campus, and they operate a campus ministry there. (I’m a big fan of campus ministry.)

The conversation will begin with a statement of agreed principles. Phil and Greg will then take up the question of when does a Christian lose his soul — the apostasy question. Closely related, of course, is the question of fellowship.

The site will permit comments, and there will be no moderation unless someone unduly tests our patience. We expect all commenters to follow the same rule that applies to the four of us –

(2 Tim 2:24-25) And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth … .

I’m hoping for lots of comments, and we may well not have the time to respond to all of them — or even most of them. We really need to focus on the main conversation. However, please don’t let that discourage you from commenting, as I’m sure all participants will feel as I do: I need all the help I can get. All thoughts will be most appreciated.

Please be in prayer that this conversation brings glory to God and helps to heal the division that so affects the Churches of Christ.

Jay Guin

Each of these men are well qualified and very able to aptly present the view of those positions they represent. The conversation has begun with Phil Sanders making the first statement and Todd Deaver’s brief reply and challenge.

My hope is that some understanding, some growth, and a more likely climate for Jesus to get glory will be the result. We shall see.