Document Type

Finding Aid

Publication Date


Inclusive Dates--Span


Inclusive Dates--Bulk


Scope and Content Note

The collection contains several manuscripts concerning debates, the deaconate, Christianity before and after modernism, the views of divorce in the Old and New Testament, and sermon outlines. One of the debates included here was between Bales and Burton Barber where they examine whether instrumental music ought to be used as an aid in worship or not. The second was conducted between Bales and Woolsey Teller, concerning the existence of God. Correspondence requesting clarification and additional information for future debates has also been kept. The collection also contains a notebook from Bales with notes on biographical psychology. Finally, the collection includes an edited manuscript of Bales's "The Scope of the Covenants" and 35mm slides concerning his research and speaking on communism. An accrual included a group photograph from the Twenty-Second Annual Air War College National Security Forum; two gospel meeting posters; bulletins from the College Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas; two folders containing some of Dr. Bales’ correspondence; articles on evolution; and additional photographs and negatives.

Biographical Note

James David Bales was born in Tacoma, Washington, on November 5, 1915 and passed in Searcy, Arkansas, on August 16, 1995. Bales obtained his BA at Harding College, his masters at George Peabody College, and his doctorate at University of California at Berkeley. After he completed his studies Bales returned to Harding College and taught Bible classes. He went on to become well known at the college where he became the National Education Program chief researcher. Bales was also part of various debates concerning atheism, communism, and evolution. He retired in 1981.

Donor Note

Acquired by McGarvey Ice in stages from about 2007-2022 from a private collector. Contained among Bales' papers was correspondence from George S. Benson, which has been separated into MS #81.


The processors retained the original order as received. The material in each box has kept the authors’ original order and is in alphabetical order.

Content List

See PDF finding aid for inventory.



Extent of Collection

4.5 linear feet (3 boxes)

Manuscript Number

Center for Restoration Studies Manuscripts #82

Physical Location

Center for Restoration Studies

Use Restrictions

Open to researchers. Contact Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives to make an appointment.

Processing Status


Finding Aid created by

Natali Gonzalez, Audrey Schaffner, Brady Cox, Troy Wade, Kayla Sanderson, Mac Ice, Amanda Dietz, and Avery Reinoehl

Subjects--Personal Names

Bales, James D., 1915-1995; Benson, George S., 1898-1991; Teller, Woolsey; Barber, Burton W.; Deaver, Roy


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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