Spotlight On "The Spiritual Sword"

David R. Kenney

In October 1969 the Getwell Church of Christ launched one of the most effective journals to combat various forms of religious error with Thomas B. Warren as editor. Brother Warren had begun his own journal, also entitled The Spiritual Sword, in 1958, but his health forced him to cease. Thankfully, Warren’s health rebounded so he pursued advanced degrees and conducted significant public debates. In October 1969, because of Warren’s growing popularity, Rubel Shelley (then preacher at Getwell) approached Warren with the proposition of publishing The Spiritual Sword. Over the next twenty years brother Warren and the congregation in Getwell, TN published the journal quarterly. In 1989, Warren edited his final issue seeking to free his schedule to devote more time to writing books. Brother Alan Highers was wisely chosen to be the next editor and has been editing it for over 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 are largely available; however, a CD is now available with the majority of back issues available in PDF format. This makes the material easily searchable and preserves this excellent journal for future generations. The Spiritual Sword, both the periodical and lectureship books, provides a storehouse of information to answer 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 church has always been assailed by an array of foes. 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 fortified instruction. If congregations are evangelizing successfully, then the need for the fundamentals will be more readily recognized.

I appreciate that the congregation here has supplied a bundle of each issue for the members. You are encouraged to read this excellent journal and retain issues for future reference. -236 West Good Ave., Wadsworth, OH 44281.

(This article, written by David Kenney, was printed in the Wadsworth, Ohio, church of Christ bulletin, June 12, 2011. The Spiritual Sword is published quarterly. [Four copies per year.] Information concerning subscriptions is quoted from their journal. “Subscription Prices $8.00 per year, single copies $2.00 each. Congregational rate [mailed to members’ addresses] $7.00 per member per year. BUNDLES to same address, Per Quarter, 25 copies - $35.00; 50 copies - $60.00; 100 copies - $110.00. Postage and handling will be added.” If you would like to subscribe to the Spiritual Sword, address your mail and inquiries to Spiritual Sword, 1511 Getwell Road, Memphis, TN 38111. – Editor)

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