- The Sword of the Lord
"The Sword of the Lord" is a
Christian fundamentalistpublisher, based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It publishes a newspaper of the same name as well as religious books, pamphlets, and tracts.
"The Sword of the Lord" was first published on September 28, 1934 in Dallas, Texas by
John R. Rice, who edited the publication until his death on December 29, 1980. At first it was simply the paper of Fundamentalist (later, Galilean) Baptist Church of Dallas. The paper was handed out on the street where the church was located, and the Rice daughters and other Sunday School children delivered it door-to-door. [Fred Barlow, "A Brief Biography of Dr. John R. Rice: Giant of Evangelism," "Sword of the Lord" (September 22, 2006), 14.]
The name of the newspaper was taken from a phrase in Judges 7:20, "And they cried, The Sword of the Lord, and of Gideon." The verse is featured in the banner, as is the newspaper's stated purpose, to be "An Independent Christian Publication, Standing for the Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, His Blood Atonement, Salvation by Faith, New Testament Soul Winning and the Premillennial Return of Christ; Opposing Modernism, Worldliness and Formalism."
The "Sword of the Lord" moved with the Rice family to Wheaton,
Illinoisin 1940, and then to its present location in Murfreesboro, Tennesseein 1963. For 15 years, John R. Rice co-edited the paper with his brother Bill Rice(1912-1978). When Bill Rice died, Curtis Hutsonreplaced him as co-editor. Two years later John R. Rice died, and Hutson became the sole editor. Hutson died in 1995, and editorship passed to Shelton Smith, former pastor of the Church of the Open Door/ Carroll Christian Schools, Westminster, Maryland.
"The Sword of the Lord" emphasizes soul-winning, the belief that Christians should actively seek to convert others to a belief in Jesus Christ. It promotes fulfilling the
Great Commissionby publishing books and materials on the topic as well as sponsoring annual "School of the Prophets" seminars.
King James Bible
Especially under the leadership of Hutson and Smith, "The Sword of the Lord" became closely associated with Independent Baptists and the
King-James-Only Movement. The Sword of the Lord accepts the Textus Receptusas the perfectly preserved Word of God and the King James Version as the most accurate translation of that text. However, it actively opposes more radical King-James-Only views, such as those of Peter Ruckman.
For many years the "Sword of the Lord" has published sermons of contemporary Baptist preachers who are part of its circle. It also publishes sermons from a wider spectrum of evangelicals of past generations, including
Hyman Appelman, Harry A. Ironside, Bob Jones, Sr., Robert G. Lee, Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, T. DeWitt Talmadge, and George Truett. Although the paper is militantly anti- Calvinist, an exception is made for edited sermons of C. H. Spurgeon. [In 1950, John R. Rice wrote of his editing practices, "If there are paragraphs which are not acceptable doctrinally, I indicate that they are to be left out." "The Sword of the Lord", (September 22, 1950), 1. A scholarly study by Howard Moore discovered that Rice had deleted passages in many sermons, including those of Charles Finney, Talmage, and even Jonathan Edwards', " Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." But, said Moore, "No other ancient worthy seems to have suffered as much from Rice's editorial license...as Charles H. Spurgeon." Howard Edgar Moore, "The Emergence of Moderate Fundamentalism: John R. Rice and 'The Sword of the Lord,'" Ph.D. dissertation, George Washington University, 1990, 502-10.] The paper also usually includes a column by the editor; a section of "Noteworthy News Notes" with editorial commentary; a column by Viola Walden (d. 2007), who was first employed by the paper in 1934; and several pages of advertisements for Bible colleges and fundamentalist Baptist churches. (Virtually all the church advertisements feature photos of their senior pastors.)
But to bring a sword
* [http://www.swordofthelord.com The Sword of the Lord]
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