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The Executable Outlines Series
The Author's Background
I am sometimes asked...
What is the particular religious persuasion reflected by the studies in The Executable Outlines Series?These studies try to reflect a non-sectarian approach to the Scriptures, with a desire only to let the Bible speak for itself. I can honestly say that they do not reflect any one denominational creed (Catholic, Protestant, etc.) or one particular systematic theology (Calvinism, Arminianism, Pelagianism, etc.). They are simply the results of my own personal studies of God's Word, and are offered with a plea for you to apply "The Berean Test" (Acts 17:11) as you examine the studies.
As for me personally, I am simply a Christian, a disciple of Jesus Christ, and a member of the Lord's body, the church, as described in the New Testament. In view of our Lord's prayer for unity (John 17:20-21), and Paul's condemnation of division (1 Corinthians 1:10-13), I disdain denominational distinctions and all forms of sectarianism.
I have been blessed to serve as a minister of the gospel of Christ for twenty-five years, having worked with churches made up of individuals who are likewise trying to be simply Christians. Using the New Testament as their authority in matters pertaining to the work, worship, and organization of the local church, they are independent, self-governing churches, and totally non-denominational. We have no written creed (other than the Bible), and constantly engage in Bible study (not creed rehearsal), fine-tuning our understanding and practice to what we learn from the Scriptures. Frequently referred to as "churches of Christ" (Romans 16:16), they are not to be confused with any denomination that might be known as the "Church of Christ" (especially those that identify themselves as the "International Church of Christ," or formerly the "Boston Church of Christ"). I presently preach for a small congregation in Kissimmee, Florida, known as the Fortune Road Church of Christ.
With the religiously divided state of our society, I know some may find it hard to believe that you can be "a Christian only". It is not easy, but I believe it is possible and from the Lord's viewpoint, desirable.
Therefore, I often say that I am neither Jewish, Catholic, or Protestant; I am simply a Christian! I am definitely not a Mormon, JW, or member of any cult that believes in latter day revelations. I am persuaded that God has spoken fully and completely through His Son Jesus Christ and His apostles and prophets whose words are contained in the Bible. These studies reflect this belief.
On a more personal note, I am 48 years old (photo), married for 26 years, with three adopted children (twin daughters in college and a son in middle school). I graduated from Beaverton (OR) High School in 1969, and Florida College in 1971. Interests include aviation, bicycling, walking, reading, computers, and traveling.
I hope this helps to answer questions you may have.
In His Service,
Mark A. Copeland
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The Executable Outlines Series, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2000