Since early 2020, Kerry Duke has had a lot of conversations – conversations with Christians reaching out in fear, frustration and discouragement regarding COVID-19 and church assembly.
Those concerns motivated him to write a book, “Church, State and Disease ‒ In Light of Scripture and Common Sense,” which will be available in January.
“It is serious when congregations stop congregating,” said Duke, who ministers at West End Church of Christ in addition to his duties as vice president at Tennessee Bible College. “It is even more serious when a government orders churches not to assemble for worship. The power of the media and the overreach of government authority should be far more alarming to Christians than a virus.”
Duke noted that while there are many legal, political and medical discussions of COVID and its impact, there are not many biblical treatments of the disease.
“Christians need help understanding questions about assembling for worship, the role of government and what to do when the law of the state and the law of God are in conflict,” he said. “This book is written both to inform and to encourage Christians in this time of change and trial. There are probably far more principles in the Bible that relate to this crisis than some realize.”
What else can readers gain from the book?
“Some will already agree with its basic premises, and I hope they will be encouraged,” Duke said. “Others may not know some of the facts about the crisis, and my hope is that they will see that it is not merely about a disease. I hope they see the legal and geopolitical ramifications of the pandemic and the precedents that have been set by the way that churches as well as governments have handled it.”
Duke added that the book would not be possible without assistance from fellow TBC staff members – Joy Wheeler, for typesetting and proofreading, and Lois Irby and Wanda Maxwell, proofreading.
Proceeds from book sales will go to LeAnn’s Hope, a fund established in memory of Duke’s late wife, which has been used for TBC scholarships for preachers in Africa and Nigeria, food for orphans in Zimbabwe, tickets for children to visit the Noah’s Ark exhibit in Kentucky, and other needs.
For more information, call 931-526-2616 or visit www.tn-biblecollege.edu.
-Amy Davis, TBC Correspondent