Posts Tagged ‘SBC’
As the IMB purposes to exalt Christ among the nations, we must subsequently work to mobilize Christians for the nations. With more than 2.8 billion people in the world who still lack access to the gospel, the IMB cannot settle for anything less than aggressive calls for all Christians to pray passionately, give sacrificially, and go intentionally for the glory of Christ among all peoples. Read more
Southern Baptists, perhaps more than most denominations, have touted their convictions about the importance of evangelism. We rightly call ourselves a Great Commission denomination. For certain, the International Mission Board is the major international mission agency in the world. Even with the recent financial challenges of the IMB, the mission efforts of Southern Baptists have few peers. Read more
Novelist William Faulkner once famously told students at the University of Virginia that the southern evangelicals so prevalent in his Bible-Belt ecosystem were not religious. Surprised, the students asked, “If they’re not religious, then what are they?” Faulkner replied, “Well, they’re Southern Baptist.” What the great man of letters meant was that, in his view, to be a Southern 195 Baptist was a matter of cultural orientation, not a matter of a set of theological precepts or ethical practices or even political stances. For him Southern Baptist identity wasn’t primarily about believer’s baptism or local church congregationalism or the priesthood of all beliers or religious liberty. It wasn’t even about God or Jesus or the Bible. It was primarily about an “emotional condition” that was inseparable from the experience of life in the poor and rural American South. To be a Southern Baptist wasn’t, he argued, to identify with a particular intellectual or liturgical condition but rather to simply be a type of person born in a particular place in a particular time. Read more
Our commitment to regenerate church membership, the baptism of believers only, and our understanding of the nature of the church gives Baptists a unique voice in the face of disappearing cultural Christianity. I honestly believe that in coming years evangelicals will increasingly look to Southern Baptists due to the ecclesiological crises created by the collapse of cultural Christianity. The coming generation will urgently need the wisdom and biblical conviction of Baptists on these issues.
But Baptists will only be prepared for this challenge if we retain our theological integrity and remain faithful to our doctrinal convictions. To that end I will conclude this chapter by posing ten questions for consideration as we reflect on the future of Southern Baptist Convention and Baptist identity in the twenty-first century. Read more
As Southern Baptists gather next week in St. Louis for our annual convention, I pray these dual strengths might once again be celebrated and renewed. Annually, we have occasion to recommit ourselves to a full-throated confessional, witness and to renew our cooperative work. As we do, we will enjoy healthier churches, an increasingly robust and global gospel witness, and a unified, well-funded and vibrant denomination. Read more