2015 Lectureship Video Streaming and Recording

Some of you have been asking about how to view our live video stream, or get copies of this year’s lectures as either CD’s or DVD’s. This post is intended to help answer those questions.

First, you can view our live video stream by going to Each lecture in the Karns auditorium will be live-streamed via YouTube. Each session will have its own video player, and each video will be posted to our website at least 10 minutes before the lecture is scheduled to begin. Simply refresh your browser periodically to see the newest post. Alternately, you can visit our YouTube profile and see a list of all upcoming videos here.

Second, all session audio and video will be available for FREE on our website. We have decided this year that in lieu of making CDs and DVDs of each lecture, we will simply offer the videos and MP3 files for free through our website. All auditorium lectures will have a video and MP3 audio file available, and all other sessions will have MP3 audio files available for listening and download.

One other note about the live-stream: We are blessed in the 21st century to be able to enjoy privileges that other generations would have never imagined having—like watching a live-streaming video of a gospel sermon being preached hundreds of miles away from our own homes. But occasionally, there will be problems. We will do our best to make sure that there are as few technical problems as possible, but we can make no guarantees about the stability of our internet connection (or yours for that matter), and the possibility of outages of YouTube’s service. Please be patient with any problems we may have, and always remember that you can come back and listen to archived recordings at a later date.

Thank you so much for participating in our lectureship from a distance! We pray that the lessons you are able to hear will build up your faith, and help you to become a better servant of Jesus Christ.



"That which was from the beginning..."

Some claim that the “perfect” of 1 Corinthians 13:10, although neuter gender, refers to Christ. To support their position they refer to 1 John 1:1 as another example where Jesus is referred to in the neuter gender.

In a long and grammatically complicated sentence, John announces his theme by stating first the object of his proclamation “which was from the beginning” which he later defines as “concerning the word of life.”

Does this refer to Jesus himself, as the living Word (Logos) of God (cf. John 1:14), or to the life-giving message, the “word” (logos) preached about him?

This has puzzled many scholars. F.F. Bruce states that the neuter gender of ‘that which was from the beginning’ points to the gospel rather than to the personal Christ, although indeed the gospel is so completely bound up with the personal Christ that which is primarily true of the one may be said of the other; R.C.H. Lenski proposes the neuter allows not only a reference to Jesus as the Son of God, but also all “he was and is and will ever be for us.” Roy Lanier, Jr. adds, “this unique person compassed both time and eternity, earth and heaven, God and man. The use of “Word” (LOGOS) both here and in the Gospel will have much of the same connotation, a comprehensiveness, an entirety of Jesus’ earth-bound experiences being told by John and his associates.” Finally, Stephen Smalley suggests that, even if John has the person of Jesus at the back of his mind, the stress at the opening of this verse is on the message about Jesus.

No doubt John refers to the Person of the Son of God, much the same as he did in the introduction to the Gospel (John 1:1–3). In 1 John 1:1 John used the neuter gender word (ho – “that which”) four times rather than (he – “who”) which is a masculine word. John Dobbs says that the four relative pronouns are a literary device to attract the attention of the readers. The neuter relative pronoun noun is used instead of the masculine, because at the start John does not want to reveal his subject is a man. Another consideration for using the neuter pronoun is to refer to all that for which Christ stands, hence the neuter for the collective whole.

These are a few possibilities for John’s use of the neuter gender instead of the masculine gender.

Bob Cowles is the Interim Director at Southeast. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Bob teaches New Testament Greek. He is also the preacher for the Norwood Church of Christ in Knoxville, TN.


What Faith is Not

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What Faith is Not


I have had the privilege and pleasure of teaching the Gospel of John this quarter at Southeast. Though there are a host of things I could discuss in connection with this magnificent book of the Bible, I would like to provide some thoughts on faith that arise from a careful study of John’s Gospel. It is often helpful to discuss what something is not in order to clarify our thinking about what something is. Our understanding of faith can be enriched by considering the following four things that faith is not.

Faith is not indefensible. The stated purpose of John’s Gospel is to engender faith in Jesus Christ (John 20:30–31). John’s means of encouraging such faith among people was selecting and recording certain “signs.” In other words, the “signs” that John recorded were intended to serve as the basis or grounds for a person’s belief in Jesus. John did not expect people to believe in Jesus without any reason for doing so. Upon coming to faith in Jesus, people could likewise point to the “signs” as a way of defending their faith in Jesus.

Faith is not invariable. In John 2:23–24, John makes an interesting observation: “Now when [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people.” In other words, the people believed in Jesus, but Jesus did not believe in them. Why? Evidently, the people possessed a superficial faith. While their faith was better than no faith at all, it fell short of what Jesus desired. John’s observation forces us to view faith as something that exists along a continuum between shallow and deep.

Faith is not insubordinate. Though a textual variant does exist in John 3:36 (see NKJV), the ESV arguably reflects the better reading: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” Faith and obedience belong together. To believe in Jesus is to obey Jesus; to obey Jesus is to believe in Jesus. To be disobedient is to be unbelieving so as to incur the wrath of God. John’s Gospel destroys the notion that faith is exclusively cognitive (cf. John 12:44–50).

Faith is not indestructible. In John 6:66, we read, “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” While we may question the level of faith that these “disciples” had, the fact remains that they abandoned whatever measure of faith they did have. The same could be said of the Jews in John 8. They went from believing in Jesus (vs. 31) to picking up stones to throw at Jesus (vs. 59). According to John’s Gospel, faith can regress and even die.

How might the foregoing thoughts about faith or believing in Jesus inform one’s interpretation of John 3:16?

Jacob Evans is the Dean of Academics for Southeast. He is also the preacher for the Greenback Church of Christ, in Greenback, TN. 

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(Almost) All Things Are Made New

We have been working hard on quite a few things lately! We want to take a minute and get you up-to-date on some of the new and exciting parts of our web presence that you might have missed.

Our New Logo and Website

If you haven’t already caught on, you are reading this blog post on our new website, Southeast.Institute. Notice that there’s no “.com” or “.org”—we are taking advantage of the new domain extensions available today. This new website has a lot of handy features, including automatically adjusting itself to be easily viewed on your phone, as well as a store (which will open in the coming months).

Also, check out our new logo and branding:

Along with our new logo and website come a couple of exciting new features…

The Messenger Blog

You are currently reading the very first post on our new blog!

Be sure to subscribe (via feed reader or email) so that you can stay up to date with all of the latests about Southeast, as well as read our weekly posts.

When classes are in session we will post weekly articles written by our staff. These articles will usually relate to something that our staff are currently teaching, so not only do you get a helpful bit of study material, you get a taste of what our students are learning at Southeast.

Please be sure to not only read, but share each week’s post (including this one)!

The Overflow Podcast

 The cover art for our new podcast, "The Overflow."

The cover art for our new podcast, "The Overflow."

We are also very excited to announce the start of our very first podcast, called The Overflow. Every other week, Daniel Howell (our Director of Information Technology) will host a conversation with a different staff member about one of their “overflow” points. The first episode will be available later this week.

It is our hope that through these works we cannot only be of service by training preachers, but that we can help encourage, strengthen, and edify all interested members of Christ’s body.

Don’t forget to share!