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Showing posts from 2018

Why We Can’t Wait: The SBC and Continual Need to Pursue Racial/Ethnic Diversity In Leadership

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As the MLK50 Conference sponsored by the ERLC and TGC came to an end last night, I was both encouraged and discouraged. I was incredibly encouraged with what was said, the amazing people I met, the hard truths expressed, and the desire of 4000 people to bring racial healing to the church under the blood of Jesus and the Cross of Christ. But, upon reflection I was also a bit discouraged that it has taken so long to get here, and I left concerned that we would easily fall back into our centuries old pattern of “going slow” when it came to all of us coming together in sacrificial love and unity in Christ. We must all excel in intentionally pursuing people from all races and backgrounds with gospel reconciliation, in joining together and submitting to godly leadership of different races, and to caring about the needs and concerns of people who are racially and ethnically different from white majority culture in SBC churches. We must do this with a vision of Revelation 5 and every nation, …

Unanswered Prayers Are Invitations from God

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Of the three most important spiritual disciplines of the Christian life — Bible reading, prayer, and Christian fellowship — prayer is the least exercised. Why do we struggle so much to pray?That question has many answers, and we’ve probably heard most of them. We’re distractible, we’re lazy, we’re busy, we’ve had poor models, we lack a clear plan for how and when to pray, we’re overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people and things to pray for, our Adversary opposes our praying, and the list goes on.But I think a significant reason for many of us is that we find prayer mysterious. We don’t understand how it works — or more accurately, we don’t understand how it doesn’t work. For example, we read promises in Scripture like this one:“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)Then we pray and we don’t see answers to our prayers. We’re left asking, what’s the problem? And we conclude that either our faith is so pi…

Does the Bible Portray Women as Emotional and Men as Rational?

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Audio TranscriptIn a 2001 Gallup poll, respondents were asked to attribute the description “emotional” to one of the two sexes. Was “emotional” truer of men or women? And 90% said “emotional” was truer of women.Surveys like this feed an old stereotype, at least as old as Aristotle, that says the pink brain is more emotional and the blue brain is more rational. But does such a dichotomy hold in Scripture? Today’s question comes from an anonymous woman.“Hello, Pastor John! It seems there’s a constant narrative in our culture here in the West that women are hyperemotional, irrational, crazy, incomprehensible, and almost intrinsically unreasonable. Attributes such as rationality, reasonability, and emotional stability are typically attributed to men. Unfortunately, I hear this same narrative from brothers in my church. I often feel that I cannot speak up as expressing my upset at the destructiveness of this narrative may itself confirm hypersensitivity. Can you help to outline the problem…

Predestination destroys legalism

Predestination destroys legalism. If salvation is by Christ ALONE, it leaves no room for boasting or trusting in ourselves, even a little. It strips us bare and forces us to abandon all hope in our own wisdom, will-power, efforts or rules. The Scripture declares: "It is because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:30-31)This is not to say that Reformed people cannot be legalistic. Unless we daily remind ourselves of the gospel we all tend to invent ways to trust in ourselves, Reformed believers included. It means to say, rather, that if UNDERSTOOD CORRECTLY the doctrine of salvation by Grace ALONE in Christ ALONE will have the real effect of stripping us of all legalism, or trusting in our own (non-existent) righteousness. Again only God's grace can reveal this. When we understand that God "will have mercy on whom …

Prayer and Legalism

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"Since prayer is an aspect of our sanctification, our development or growth in godliness, it too must be understood as the fruit of what Christ has done for us. This is often the missing dimension in books and sermons on prayer...Problems emerge when the task of praying is urged without the motive and pattern of the unique saving role of Jesus. It then becomes a legalistic burden that cannot promote godliness..."If my assessment has been accurate, it follows that many of our problems with prayer stem from a failure to understand the relationship of our praying to the ministry of Jesus, including his praying. A wrong perspective on prayer may well come from thinking of it as playing a part in establishing our acceptance with God. Prayer that is not the grateful response of the justified sinner is likely to degenerate into an attempt to gain acceptance. Then again, if the sole motive to pray is, as I have heard it put in sermons, 'Jesus got up early to pray, so how much mo…

MLK50: Christians must pay price for racial unity

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at https://ift.tt/2Jk1v7Y; NEW - 19 minutes agoMLK50: Christians must pay price for racial unityMEMPHIS, Tenn. (BP) -- Evangelical Christians must be willing to pay the price to gain racial unity, speakers said Wednesday (April 4) at a conference on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.The final day of "MLK50: Gospel Reflections From the Mountaintop" occurred as Memphis and the country remembered King, who was shot down April 4, 1968, in this Mississippi River city. The two-day event -- co-hosted by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and The Gospel Coalition (TGC) -- took place in conjunction with many remembrances of King, including a ceremony at the Lorraine Motel, where he was killed, that conference participants were able t…

Ind. approves abortion center oversight

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at https://ift.tt/2uOJPOV NEW - 43 minutes agoInd. approves abortion center oversightINDIANAPOLIS (BP) -- Indiana now numbers among the majority of states that require annual inspections of abortion centers and classify the murder of an unborn baby as homicide.iStock iStock Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the two pieces of pro-life legislation last week, drawing approval from pro-life advocates and ire from abortion supporters. The first bill expands the state's safe haven law, establishes annual inspections for abortion centers -- something already required in 27 other states -- and mandates all medical doctors report treatment they give women for complications due to abortion, including infections and anxiety.Rep. Sue Errington, a Democrat, criticized the bill: "It seems to me that this is an attempt to make this appea…

Church discipline focus of new survey

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at https://ift.tt/2JocT2D NEW - 2 hours agoChurch discipline focus of new surveyNASHVILLE (BP) -- More than 8 in 10 Protestant senior pastors say their church has not disciplined a member in the past year, says a new study released today (April 5) by LifeWay Research.iStock iStock More than half say they don't know of a case when someone has been disciplined, which can include being asked to leave the church for misconduct, according to the study conducted Aug. 30-Sept. 18."It's one of the topics that churches rarely talk about," said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.Church reprimands few and far betweenTwo Bible passages in particular deal with the question of church discipline and how to respond to misconduct by church members. In Matthew 18, Jesus tells his followers to go to off…

Bible Study: April 8, 2018

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at https://ift.tt/2uOaI5s NEW - 2 hours agoBible Study: April 8, 2018byStaff/LifeWay Christian Resources, postedThursday, April 05, 2018 (2 hours ago) NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.This week's Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.Bible Passage: Psalm 23Discussion Question: When has a guide made an experience more memorable?Food for Thought by Ken HemphillMaps are good to direct you from one place to another, but you need to study them before leaving on a trip. If you don't know the route well, you will need to stop periodically and…

Market volatility addressed at GuideStone summit

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at https://ift.tt/2Jn229p; Market volatility addressed at GuideStone summitDALLAS (BP) -- Recent stock market volatility shouldn't alarm long-term investors, GuideStone Financial Resources Chief Strategic Investment Officer David S. Spika said.iStock iStock The market -- which has seen more than half of this year experience moves of 1 percent or more -- is healthy, and though the headlines can be unnerving, there is no need to make tactical changes to properly invested and diversified portfolios.Spika's comments came during the second annual GuideStone Employee Benefits Summit, a gathering of key ministry decision makers, human resources professionals and financial officers of churches and ministries. The meeting was held March 26–28 in Dallas. This year's event brought 200 attendees from around the country.Spi…

FROM THE SEMINARIES: Russell Moore at SBTS; text-driven preaching conference at SWBTS

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at https://ift.tt/2Jjbr1z FROM THE SEMINARIES: Russell Moore at SBTS; text-driven preaching conference at SWBTSIn today's From the Seminaries:Southern Baptist Theological SeminarySouthwestern Baptist Theological SeminaryMoore, at SBTS, speaks of Christian 'loneliness, weakness'LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Loneliness, weakness and irrelevance have a place in the Christian life, Russell Moore said in drawing from the prophet Elijah during a chapel message at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.Russell Moore, at Southern Seminary, speaks of Christian 'loneliness, weakness.'SBTS photo Russell Moore, at Southern Seminary, speaks of Christian 'loneliness, weakness.'SBTS photo Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, preached from 1 Kings 19:1-1…

EC exec. VP Augie Boto named interim president

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at https://ift.tt/2HbBMhl; EC exec. VP Augie Boto named interim presidentNASHVILLE (BP) -- D. August (Augie) Boto has been named interim president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.D. August (Augie) Boto D. August (Augie) Boto Meeting in Nashville April 4, the EC officers acted according to EC Bylaw 6 in tapping Boto for leadership following the March 27 retirement of former EC President Frank S. Page, who cited a "personal failing" in announcing his immediate departure.The EC's five officers also granted Boto "the option to appoint an interim EC presidential ambassador during this period of transition to assist him in fulfilling the many representative functions that fall to the office of president," EC chairman Stephen Rummage said in a statement to Baptist Press.Boto, an atto…

God’s Covenant Plan

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What is the Bible, where does it come from and what is its purpose? How are Catholics supposed to read the Bible and what story does it have to tell? These are the questions we take up in this “big picture” survey course. Following an introduction to Catholic teaching about divine …

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Climax of the Covenant

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With an eye to recent proposals on Paul's view of the Law and his relation to his first-century context, N. T. Wright looks in detail at passages central to the current debate. Among them are some of the most controversial sections of Paul. From his meticulous exegesis Wright argues that …

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Reformed Expository Commentary: Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi

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To the people of Judah, distressed by changing political realities, it seemed that God had lost control of the situation. Zephaniah warned of imminent judgment and pointed to hope close at hand: God is both Judge and a Refuge from judgment. Haggai declared that God’s struggling people …

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God’s Covenant Plan

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What is the Bible, where does it come from and what is its purpose? How are Catholics supposed to read the Bible and what story does it have to tell? These are the questions we take up in this “big picture” survey course.Following an introduction to Catholic teaching about divine revelation and Bible, we jump right in and begin...

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Climax of the Covenant

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With an eye to recent proposals on Paul's view of the Law and his relation to his first-century context, N. T. Wright looks in detail at passages central to the current debate. Among them are some of the most controversial sections of Paul. From his meticulous exegesis Wright argues that Paul saw the death and resurrection of Jesus as th...

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Reformed Expository Commentary: Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi

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To the people of Judah, distressed by changing political realities, it seemed that God had lost control of the situation. Zephaniah warned of imminent judgment and pointed to hope close at hand: God is both Judge and a Refuge from judgment. Haggai declared that God’s struggling people needed to reorder their priorities and invest in buil...

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Walking the Walk: Oklahoma Baptists serve families, communities amid teacher walkout

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Oklahoma Baptists were there for displaced students amidst the teacher walk-out that made headlines and history beginning April 2 at the Oklahoma State Capitol. As it became clear that schools across the state would close, questions surfaced as to where meals would come for children who depend on school breakfast or lunches.
Another question that arose was what would working parents do for childcare on such short notice?
To answer these questions, Oklahoma Baptists “showed up” in a big way across the Sooner State. From the two metro areas to rural districts, numerous churches answered the call for help.Children that attended the day camp at Edmond, Coffee Creek enjoy playing on the church jungle gym In one metro neighborhood, Edmond, Coffee Creek provided a day camp for students whose parents needed emergency childcare. Drew Swadley, Next Generation pastor at Coffee Creek talked about the desperate situation in which some parents found themselves as late as days before Monday school wo…