The Holy Spirit As The Bible Teaches, broadside tract by F. L. Rowe

F. L. Rowe is editor and publisher of Christian Leader out of Cincinnati, Ohio.  This broadside tract is undated, ca. 1910’s-1930’s.   Tract theology is underexplored, especially considering how prevalent they were in past generations.  Given the space constraints of tract (or leaflet or broadside) form, they of neccessity must get at the issue quickly while resolving it efficiently.  Among Churches of Christ and Christian Churches tracts are eminently doctrinal and often polemical.  For these reasons they are a very good starting point for historical and theological inquiry into the shape and content of Restorationist doctrinal discourse.  This one is undated, but since Rowe sold Christian Leader just prior to WW2, it must be pre-War.  It gives us a good, brief snapshot view of a pneumatology urged by a conservative Northern publisher from the turn of the century up to the war. Tolle lege!

5 thoughts on “The Holy Spirit As The Bible Teaches, broadside tract by F. L. Rowe

  1. Post this, please, because the title of Neal’s book disappeared in angular bracketts:

    Thanks for sharing this, Mac. I think you are correct about the importance of studying tract literature for establishing normative theologoumena at a given time. While this is cessationist, ecclesio- and baptismocentric CoC fare, the Rowe family and their publishing is fairly open to new currents and discussion in the early 20th century. They print the first substantive Dispensational PM book by Charles Neal, “Lessons on the Kingdom” (1914) at a time when doors were closing in Nashville at the Gospel Advocate. They also promote Janes’s foreign missions and eventual become the seedbed of a more socially aware New Christian Leader. So, AMONG the spectrum of the CoC theological options, they are not that “conservative.” Yes? No?

    • Good point Hans, and a legitimate point, for it is as you say within the acapella spectrum. I had in mind the larger RM spectrum, on which, I think, Rowe’s CL would be considered conservative.

      One of my many research projects is a list I’m working on of all of Rowe’s publications. KC Ice had a copy of Neal’s booklet on the Kingdom. He read it closely and underlined often, as did his son, my grandfather, MC Ice. I will try to scan the cover and post it to this blog. I see a few things here: that I have not heard or seen before. Do you have his chart on prophecy? There are a couple charts in the book.

  2. Yes I have all of Neal’s publications and many other items, although I only have a copy of his “Lessons on the Kingdom.” Ca. 2000 I visited Neal’s daughter and grandson and copied whatever they had. I also arranged to have either a copy or the original (I don’t remember) of Neal’s heavily annotated copy of the Neal-Wallace debate sent to ACU.

  3. We shall do well to eschew the pejorative label “conservative” as meaningless and misleading. i continue to ask those who equate “Christian” with “conservative” to find the English word “conservative” in any English version of Scripture and then to find the Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic word that it translates. They have not yet done it. “Conservative” is — as the brothers used to say when they cared about the words that they used — “the language of Ashdod.”

    We shall do well to attend more closely to tract and pamphlet literature for the study of American religion and especially of the Churches of Christ. i am grateful that you present this challenge here. i should date the example that you have reproduced to fairly early in the twentieth century, based on its typography and presentation. It is intended as an inexpensive — “50 cents per 100”! — means of mass evangelism. In our collection i find a later, more elaborate, 32-page pamphlet by the same author, Frederick Louis Rowe, “Spirit and Water Baptism.” presented as a letter from “Aquila” to “Apollos.” That tract gets to the heart of the salvation issue that concerns FLR. One can believe and feel the presence of the Spirit, but one must be immersed to avoid burning forever. That pamphlet would cost the distributor five cents — 40 cents for 12. We must always take into account the economics of publishing.

    God’s Peace to you.


  4. Speaking of Neal, While his spearate publications “Charts on Daniel” (n.d.) and “Looking into the Dark: Prophecy: Light in a Dark Place” (1927) can still be obtained through antiquarian booksellers, a relatively voluminous book, posthumously published by the family, is not easily available. It is titled: “First Things: Studies on Genesis, Hebrews, Ecclesiastes, Ephesians” (Lansing, Michigan: Mediation Books, 1982), [xi] + 411 pp.

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