Celebrating Our Ninth Anniversary!

Yesterday Susan and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. On June 13, 2013, God answered my prayer and informed me that Susan Fuller was the person I could invite to go with me to the Ambassadors of Harmony concert who would accept my invitation and enjoy the event. The concert was scheduled for Saturday evening, June 15, 2013.

Not only did we both enjoy the music, but when I asked her nine days later, “Will you marry me,” she answered, “Yes, I will!” One of our friends who was also at the concert, P. D. Buford, predicted we would marry before the General Conference of the United Pentecostal Church International that Fall.

He was right!

Our story has been published in the Pentecostal Herald, now known as Pentecostal Life, in a book by Norma Clanton titled Letters from Friends, which consists of stories of the loss of spouses and later expanded with an introduction by Scott Graham as A Light in Darkness: Stories of Grief and Loss. This edition of the book includes accounts not only of the loss of spouses but also parents and children.

The story of our marriage has also been published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Therefore, I will not tell it again here.

In celebration, we spent the evening at the Seven Gables Inn, located in Clayton, Missouri, a historic hotel built in 1926 and restored in 2020.

Today is the first day of our tenth year of marriage, and on October 3 we will be on our way to our next general conference!

Susan struggles a bit to get the ring on Daniel’s finger!

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God Chose a Day of Rest

I am scheduled to teach the Adult Bible Class at The Sanctuary UPC, located in Hazelwood, Missouri, this next Sunday, September 18, 2022. Mitchell Bland is our pastor. The class will begin at 10 A.M. and continue until 10:45 A.M. Throughout all classes, we follow the curriculum God’s Word for Life, published by the Pentecostal Publishing House.

Next Sunday’s lesson is included in Series 1: The God of Deliverance, and its focus is on the Ten Commandments.

We will not, of course, be able to discuss all ten commandments thoroughly during our forty-five minutes, and that is why I have posted the article below. I wrote this article, “God Chose a Day of Rest: The Principle of the Sabbath,” and it was published in the January 2018 issue of “Pentecostal Life.” All of the ten commandments are important, but I plan to focus on the prophetic significance of the fourth commandment.

How did the fourth commandment anticipate the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ? The answer to that question is the essence of this article.

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“The New Birth,” Second Session, Purpose Institute

Daniel Segraves, Ph.D.

I am in the process of teaching the course on The New Birth for Purpose Institute. The second session will meet this coming Saturday, September 10, 2022 on the campus of New Life Church in Cabot, Arkansas. It will also be available on Zoom.

The session begins at 10:40 A.M. and concludes at 1:10 P.M. After this Saturday, the class will meet twice more on October 15 and November 5 with the same schedule. I will teach on Zoom, and Larry Gimnich, Associate Pastor of New Life Church, will host the on-campus presence of Purpose Institute. He can be reached by email at lgimnich@newlife.com.

I have taught courses for Purpose Institute for quite a few years, including The New Birth, and I look forward to the opportunity to present material I have not offered before.[archive]

Finally, the thesis.

On July 18, 2022, my post was titled “My Journey from Theory to Thesis.” It was the story of my development of a theory concerning the identity of “that which is perfect” (I Corinthians 13:10). If you have not read that post, I encourage you to do so before reading further in this one.

My original plan was to share my M.A. in Exegetical Theology thesis online in short sections, but I have changed my mind. Instead, I will post the approval page here, followed by the full thesis.

The thesis, titled “That Which is Perfect (I Corinthians 13:10): A Non-Eschatological Approach,” is a seventy-nine page document I wrote as my final project in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Exegetical Theology after three and one-half years of study at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, now known as Western Seminary (Portland, Oregon). The degree was granted on June 26, 1993.

At the request of M. James Sawyer, Ph.D., one of the faculty members who read and approved the thesis, I presented a forty-nine page condensed version of the thesis at the West Coast meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Here is the approval page:

And here is the thesis:

If you would like to purchase a hard copy of this thesis, you may do so at pentecostalpublishing.com. [archive]

The Encyclopedia Britannica and Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ

It is quite well known that the eleventh edition of The Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1910, includes an excellent article on baptism by Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare, M.A., D.Th. Conybeare was a Fellow of the British Academy. He was also Formerly Fellow of University College, Oxford as well as the author of The Ancient Armenian Texts of Aristotle.

The article runs to six pages, including a section titled “The Baptismal Formula,” wherein Coneybeare refers to the Teaching of the Apostles (i.e., the Didache) as follows: “The Teaching of the Apostles, indeed, prescribes baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but on the next page speaks of those who have been baptized into the name of the Lord — the normal formula of the New Testament. In the 3rd century baptism in the name of Christ was still so widespread that Pope Stephen, in opposition to Cyprian of Carthage, declared it to be valid.” This is not the only reference in the article to baptism in the name of Jesus. Coneybeare points out that in the apostolic age “the normal use … seems to have been ‘into Christ Jesus’ or ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,’ or ‘of Jesus Christ’ simply, or ‘of the Lord Jesus Christ.'”

A copy of this article has resided in my Baker’s Textual and Topical Filing System for years, but I had the occasion today to look at it again. I decided to copy the article and post it here for those who may not have a copy. I have highlighted sections relating to baptism in the name of Jesus Christ so you can find them quickly.

“The New Birth” offered by Purpose Institute

Beginning this Saturday, August 13, 2022, I will teach the Purpose Institute course The New Birth. The course will be offered both on the campus of New Life Church in Cabot, Arkansas, and by Zoom, beginning at 10:40 a.m. and concluding at 1:10 p.m on the following dates:

  • August 13, 2022
  • September 10, 2022
  • October 15, 2022
  • November 5, 2022

I will be teaching on Zoom, and Larry Gimnich, Associate Pastor of New Life Church will host the on-campus presence of Purpose Institute. He can be reached by email at lgimnich@newlifecabot.com.

I have been teaching courses for Purpose Institute for quite a few years, including The New Birth course, and I look forward to this, which will include some new material I have not presented previously.

Daniel L. Segraves, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Urshan Graduate School of Theology

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The Addiction of Sin: Lesson 13

In Lesson 12 of our series of lessons on The Addiction of Sin, we began to consider Keith Miller’s proposed adaption of the Twelve-step Program. Here is Step One:

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our Sin — that our lives had become unmanageable. (Compare with Romans 7:15-25.)

To see why we recommended Romans 7:15-25 to provide insight on Step One, I recommend going back and reading Lesson 12 again.

Now, let’s look at Step Two:

Step Two: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (Consider Lamentations 5:21.)

I selected Lamentations 5:21 here because the “Power” greater than ourselves is not merely an impersonal “power” that is greater than us. Lamentations identifies the One greater than ourselves who can restore us as the LORD (Yahweh) (Lamentations 1:5). The next to last verse of the book reads: “Turn us back to You, O LORD, and we will be restored; Renew our days as of old” (Lamentations 5:21).

We cannot turn ourselves; only our Lord can turn us. Only He can restore us and return us to what we once were. This is not merely a return to sanity. It is a restoration to spiritual wholeness. It is a release from addiction

In Lesson 14, we will look at Keith Miller’s third proposed step in his adaption of the Twelve-Step Program.

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In Lesson 12 of our series of lessons on The Addiction of Sin, we began to consider Keith Miller’s proposed adaption of the Twelve-step Program. Here is Step One:

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our Sin — that our lives had become unmanageable. (Compare with Romans 7:15-25.)

To see why we recommended Romans 7:15-25 to provide insight on Step One, I recommend going back and reading Lesson 12 again.

Now, let’s look at Step Two:

Step Two: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (Consider Lamentations 5:21.)

I selected Lamentations 5:21 here because the “Power” greater than ourselves is not merely an impersonal “power” that is greater than us. Lamentations identifies the One greater than ourselves who can restore us as the LORD (Yahweh) (Lamentations 1:5). The next to last verse of the book reads: “Turn us back to You, O LORD, and we will be restored; Renew our days as of old” (Lamentations 5:21).

We cannot turn ourselves; only our Lord can turn us. Only He can restore us and return us to what we once were. This is not merely a return to sanity. It is a restoration to spiritual wholeness. It is a release from addiction

In Lesson 14, we will look at Keith Miller’s third proposed step in his adaption of the Twelve-Step Program.

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My Journey from Theory to Thesis

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While serving as a pastor, I developed a theory on the identity of “that which is perfect.” Paul wrote, “But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away” (I Corinthians 13:10, NKJV). I knew some interpreters think this refers to the completion of the New Testament canon, which leads them to believe spiritual gifts would cease when the writing of the New Testament was finished.

Others think the perfect thing is some aspect of the last days, placing it in the realm of eschatology. Another notion is that Paul was referring to the maturity into which the church would grow, the maturity into which individual believers grow, to the death of a believer, or the general principle that completeness supersedes incompleteness.

I had a different idea.

I’m a big believer in the interpretive influence of context, and it was obvious to me that the context of I Corinthians 13, from beginning to the end, is about love.

But how could this work with I Corinthians 13:10? I knew there was no way I could prove this point to my satisfaction or write convincingly about it unless I had a sufficient command of the first-century Greek language. And I didn’t have it.

By the way, in later life, I have often told my students to stay away from the original languages of Scripture unless they have received formal training from academically qualified teachers. Otherwise, one is almost certain to misinterpret the text. There is far more to accurate use of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek than the ability to look at numbers in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance or other tools keyed to that number system.

So I waited.

Finally, the day came when I faced the necessity of completing advanced academic requirements. I’ve written about that elsewhere, so I won’t take the time to say more about this now.

In short, I enrolled in the Master of Arts in Exegetical Theology degree program offered by Western Seminary (Portland, Oregon). Over the period of three and one-half years, I completed all requirements for this degree, graduating with highest honors. This included fulfilling all the language requirements (i.e., Hebrew and Greek) that would eventually enable me to enroll in the Ph.D. program Regent University School of Divinity offered. Since the Ph.D. requirements included Theological German, I finished that as well.

Now back to I Corinthians 13:10.

As I neared completion of the M.A.E.T., it was necessary to choose the topic for my thesis. Some students refer to this as the “big paper,” but it is more than that.

Now I had the necessary skill in Koine Greek to tackle the project. Could my theory face the test of the Greek language? It did, and the thesis, titled “That Which is Perfect (I Corinthians 13:10): A Non-Eschatological Approach,” was accepted and passed with an A.

As I sat in the final class session leading to graduation, the professor lectured on I Corinthians, specifically I Corinthians 13. As I listened, I realized he was teaching in a way that harmonized with my understanding of this text.

He looked at me and said, “I am almost completely convinced.”

This post is because I recently decided to share the thesis on this blog in short sections. They will be coming soon, and I hope you enjoy them.

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The Addiction of Sin: Lesson 12

I just wanna speak the name of Jesus
‘Til every dark addiction starts to break
Declaring there is hope and there is freedom
I speak Jesus

These powerful lyrics are from the song “I Speak Jesus.” They were written by a team consisting of Raina Pratt, Kriston Dutton, Charity Gayle, Jesse Reeves, Dustin Smith, Carlene Prince, and Abby Benton. The entire song is found on the album “Endless Praise,” recorded by Charity Gayle and released on September 10, 2021.

I have included this brief excerpt from “I Speak Jesus” in this post for more than one reason. First, I recall the strong spiritual impact of singing the song for the first time during the worship set at our home church, The Sanctuary UPC in Hazelwood, Missouri, where Mitchell Bland is pastor. Second, these lyrics name addiction for what it is: It is a dark, binding force that must be broken. Third, those who suffer from addiction are not left without hope. There is hope and there is freedom! Fourth, the source of this hope and freedom is the name of Jesus.

In Lesson 11 of this series on the addiction of sin, I mentioned that in Lesson 12 we would think about Keith Miller’s proposed adaptation of the Twelve Step program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. We will do that now, but if you have not been following this series, you may want to go back and review the previous eleven posts first.

We will list Miller’s twelve steps individually, which means we will complete our examination of his work in a series of posts. With each point, we will compare Miller’s insight to relevant biblical truth.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our Sin — that our lives had become unmanageable.

This admission immediately calls to mind Paul’s confession recorded in Romans 7:15-25. We have already thought about Paul’s frank acknowledgment of his struggles in this series of posts, and it would be helpful to read his words again.

Some who read Paul’s words find it almost impossible to believe the great apostle could honestly say, “For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do” (Romans 7:15, NKJV). Could he really mean it when he wrote, “I do what I will not to do” (Romans 7:16, NKJV)? But Paul did not back away from this transparent stream of thought. He continued:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice (Romans 7:18-19, NKJV).

This sounds a lot like Miller’s admission of personal powerlessness over sin. It calls for help from another source. And of course, that is where Paul’s struggles took him. As he came to the conclusion of his confession, Paul wrote, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25, NKJV).

Some who read Paul’s words are so surprised, even shocked them, that they insist Paul could only be describing something in his past. Surely Paul could not be referring to anything in the days after his conversion!

But Paul wrote in the present tense. There is no hint that all of this is behind him.

I graduated from Western Apostolic Bible College (now known as Christian Life College) in 1967. When I returned to teach in the school in 1982, one of my delights was to discover that Olive Haney, the widow of the school’s founder, Clyde J. Haney, was still a member of the faculty. Her husband had been one of my teachers, and he had a profound influence on me.

One day Sister Haney brought to me her husband’s handwritten notes on the Book of Romans. I was happy to see that Brother Haney acknowledged the significance of the fact that Paul’s words in Romans 7 were written in the present tense. They do not describe some bygone struggle in Paul’s life. They describe the kind of struggle any person of faith may face. They call for admission of personal powerlessnenss apart from Jesus Christ our Lord. Apart from Him, our lives are unmanageable.


In future posts, we will continue to examine Keith Miller’s proposals from a biblical point of view.

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