Books Of Value for Church Libraries

Questions Answered by Lipscomb & Sewell, M. C. Kurfees, Editor

David R. Kenney

This book is a compilation of questions and answers during the editorial tenure of David Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell for the Gospel Advocate. The book was edited in 1920 by M. C. Kurfees who was described by Guy N. Woods as "one of the most scholarly men ever to write for the Advocate." As mentioned in reference to Guy N. Woods' two volumes of Questions & Answers, effort was made not to overlap the work completed in Questions Answered that makes this volume a complementary addition for the church library.

This book covers an estimated 600 subjects which are indexed in the back of the book; however, it does not have a scriptural index, which makes referencing the work a little more challenging. Some subjects are dealt with twice, which appears on the surface to be redundant; however, the editor actually gives us the answers from both writers since these men wrote answers to the same question on more than one occasion. So, the research may have the answer on a subject from both David Lipscomb and E.G. Sewell rather than just one of the men.

Some of the questions asked and answered include:

If God sees the end from the beginning and knows all that will come to pass, how can men change that order or be responsible?

Were the men who gave us the Authorized (or King James) translation of the Scriptures immersionistsall or any great number of them?

Is there any authority for Sunday School in the Bible?

Are there witches, magicians, and such like, who can call up familiar spirits and talk with them?

When was the Sabbath changed to the first day of the week?

David Lipscomb (1831-1917) served as editor for the Gospel Advocate for more than fifty years. Speaking of David Lipscomb in the 125th anniversary issue of the Gospel Advocate, Guy N. Woods stated "...he did more than any other person of his day to preserve primitive New Testament Christianity in Tennessee and the southland. Wherever the Gospel Advocate was read in those days the church was sound and true to the Book." In 1891, James A. Harding and David Lipscomb founded Nashville Bible School, which evolved into David Lipscomb University.

In 1870, E. G. Sewell (1830-1924) became the co-editor of the Gospel Advocate - also known as "Old Reliable" - with David Lipscomb. They worked together for fifty years (in which the questions were originally answered). It is reported that the relationship between Lipscomb and Sewell was that of David and Jonathan. What a great example for fellow gospel preachers!

Some of the questions asked involve controversies that largely have been forgotten about today. These questions and answers are interesting to students of church history; however, these answers should be interesting to all of us. Just because an issue has "died down" for now does not mean it will not "heat up" in the future. When this occurs, it makes the writings of those who experienced the controversy in its "hey day" all the more valuable. This volume is over 750 pages and is a great storehouse of information that will enrich our study of the Bible. -29 Flora Drive, Bedford, OH 44146-2011 For previous book reviews, visit


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