Books Of Value For Church Libraries

Restoration Principles and Personalities and Medley of the Restoration, Dabney Phillips


David R. Kenney

When selecting books to review, I generally refrain from referencing a location from which the books may be purchased unless there is a compelling reason to do so. This is one of those compelling reasons. Sam Hester, owner of Hester Publications, reprints books in paperback and makes them readily available for distribution. Brother Hester is a Bible Professor at Freed-Hardeman University. We share similar interestsbooks and Restoration History. In fact, he conducts the Restoration Tour in Henderson, TN, during the FHU Bible Lectureship (which I highly recommend). Feel free to contact him for a list of books he has reprinted at or 1-731-989-5872. The two books reviewed in this column are two that Hester Publications has reprinted. These two books are combined into one review for a few reasons. First, we desire to call attention to books available from Hester Publications. Second, the books are written on the same topic and are complementary. Third, Medley of the Restoration is smaller in size, so I recommend ordering them both at the same time.

When I recently guided a tour to Alexander Campbell's home in Bethany, WV, I was looking for some stories about some of the Restoration Pioneers to pique interest in others to read further of those who did so much to call us away from denominationalism and back to, using a Campbell term, "New Testament-ism." Restoration Principles and Personalities contains stories about Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone, "Raccoon" John Smith, Walter Scott, Moses Lard, J. W. McGarvey, and others. It also discusses prominent schools and periodicals of the period. Be sure to read other works on Restoration History because historians are fallible and, sometimes, unintentionally, leave mistaken impressions. One I found in this book relates to the drowning of Alexander Campbell's son. The book states he drowned in a pond on the farm; however, other sources state he drowned in Buffalo Creek that had flooded and created what is sometimes called a mill pond. Reading additional works provides other worthwhile perspectives. In fact, Medley of Restoration records the death being in Buffalo Creek.

Medley of Restoration includes more anecdotes of restoration leaders which are intriguing to read. The book includes humorous events as well as tragic ones. Some of the wives are discussed in this book. The book also provides brief stories about blacks and the Restoration Movement. The book truly is a medley of topics relating to the Restoration Movement.

One of the preachers I always enjoy hearing on Restoration History is Basil Overton. Speaking in Martinsburg, WV on the WVC Lectureship, he impressed upon the audience that the pioneers were not perfect so Restoration History is filled with mistakes made along the way. But, brother Overton would go on to say the restoration plea of going back to the Bible for our sole authority is perfect. There are those among us who are using/twisting the writings of some of the pioneers to take us away from the aim of that perfect plea.

Dabney Phillips taught at David Lipscomb. He also taught Restoration History at Faulkner University for several years prior to his death. He attended David Lipscomb College, Harding Graduate School, and other colleges. -29 Flora Dr., Bedford, OH 44146-2011 For previous book reviews, visit


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