Journal of Discipliana

Document Type



Alexander Campbell attracted both ardent admirers and determined foes during his lifetime, yet in the century and a half since his death he became largely unknown or misunderstood, especially outside of the religious movement he helped establish. Inside, descriptions were almost universally admiring, depicting him as an unparalleled preacher, writer, theologian, educator, and one of the most learned men in America.

Since publishing A Life of Alexander Campbell, I have sometimes felt compelled to start my lectures about him with the statement, “I assure you that I do not hate Alexander Campbell.” I truly don’t. Quite the contrary, I admire him immensely, for his ideals of simple Christianity and unity among all followers of Christ, and his relentless pursuit of his understanding of the kingdom of God.

Author Bio

Douglas A. Foster serves as Scholar in Residence in the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University. He served as a General Editor for The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement and The Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History. He is also the author of A Life of Alexander Campbell (Eerdmans, 2020). His current research focuses on the history of race and racism in universities affiliated with Churches of Christ.