Southern Baptist

The posts below offer commentary on issues concerning the Southern Baptist Convention and her members.

Thumbnail image for 3 Sacred Cows in Preaching that Need to Be Tipped by Jared Moore

3 Sacred Cows in Preaching that Need to Be Tipped by Jared Moore

Guest blogger Jared Moore is the pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Below is an excerpt from his book 10 Sacred Cows in Christianity That Need to be Tipped which is currently free on Amazon Kindle – get it while it’s free! A ‘sacred cow’ in the church is a tradition that has been exalted to a position of normalcy without Biblical warrant. It’s time for some cow tipping in the local church. Here are three sacred cows in preaching that need to be tipped. . . Sacred Cow #1 Entertaining Sermons There is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 2 Reasons the SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians was Rejected

2 Reasons the SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians was Rejected

Below is a follow-up article by Tom Buck, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Lindale, explaining the results of the submission of his SBC resolution on Christians suing fellow Christians.  Last month I submitted a resolution to be considered at the SBC Annual Meeting in Baltimore concerning Christians suing fellow Christians. My motivation for addressing this issue was directly related to multiple lawsuits occurring between members of the SBC. I believed the infighting that was overflowing into the public court system was bringing shame upon the church and was a direct violation of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. This precipitated a considerable …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians

SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians

My fellow Christians, have you ever been sued? Have you ever sued anyone? A “yes” to either of those questions would not be surprising since there are millions of lawsuits filed every year in the United States. But there is a more important question. Have you ever sued a fellow Christian? Despite the fact that 1 Corinthians 6 has strong language against Christians taking other Christians to court, many do so anyway. Unfortunately, we Southern Baptists are not strangers to lawsuits. For example, in recent years a seminary professor sued the Baptist seminary where she once worked.1 More recently, a former Baptist college VP …keep reading »

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Congregationalism is one of the areas of church government Southern Baptists have debated in recent years. Many arguments over congregationalism tend to reduce to disagreements over being led by a single vs. that of a plurality of pastors. The debate further reduces to pastor/elder-led vs. pastor/elder-ruled. As you might imagine, there is much disagreement in this areas. In my estimation, the arguments are framed in light of the roles of church offices while ignoring the actual functions those offices carry out. For example, some argue for single, pastor-led congregationalism against a congregation led by a plurality of pastors/elders claiming such a church …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Video: Eric Hankins Discusses Southern Baptist Doctrine and Theology

Video: Eric Hankins Discusses Southern Baptist Doctrine and Theology

Video description: “Dr. Blake Newsom, Dean of Chapel at NOBTS, sits down with Dr. Eric Hankins, Pastor of FBC Oxford, MS, to discuss the issue of doctrine and theology in Southern Baptist churches.”

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Thumbnail image for Not THAT Blogger!

Not THAT Blogger!

Note: I previously stated that “if Brewton-Parker states on record that Dr. Caner is not being considered for president in any fashion, this post will be removed.” Just to be clear, I did not receive that on record statement. I have other reasons, which are below, for taking down the post. After much prayer and some counsel, I took down today’s post on Brewton-Parker’s potential presidential consideration. It served its purpose. Though Georgia Baptists still do not have clear answers, Brewton-Parker will make its decision soon enough. Let’s pray for all parties involved for God’s wisdom, guidance, and discernment. Furthermore, …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Video: Robby Gallaty Teaching on Discipleship

Video: Robby Gallaty Teaching on Discipleship

Robby Gallaty’s book on discipleship just released this week which has the foreword by David Platt. The book is available on Amazon and is titled Growing Up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples. He is also offering from freebies on his website for those who order the book before November 15 and for certain bulk orders. Robby recently spoke on discipleship at First Baptist Woodstock. His teaching was titled, “The comma that has put the church in a coma.” Check out the video below (he starts around 17:00) and consider getting your own copy of Growing Up: How to Be …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Warren Cole Smith and Pete Kaliner Discuss Steven Furtick’s $1.7 Million Mansion

Warren Cole Smith and Pete Kaliner Discuss Steven Furtick’s $1.7 Million Mansion

Warren Cole Smith was on the Pete Kaliner Show discussing the recent controversy over N.C. Pastor Steven Furtick, of Elevation Church, spending $1.7 million to build his new 16,000 square-foot mansion. Smith and Kaliner begin the show talking about pastors’ salaries in light of accountability, transparency, and living sacrificially. Kaliner brings up Furtick’s answer to critics that he makes his money from book sales and conferences. And that Furtick and his board of advisers speak at each other’s conferences and events promoting each other.Smith argues that the church is what gave pastors like Furtick their platform for success. He then points to …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for My Podcast Appearance on Faith, Etc.

My Podcast Appearance on Faith, Etc.

Friend and fellow Christian blogger Joshua Breland has started a podcast called Faith, Etc. For some reason he asked me to be his first guest. Then, for some reason – I said yes. Actually, I was honored to say yes. Joshua asked me some questions about my RLDS background and life leading up to becoming a Christian. Much more could have been said, but I tried to touch on the heart of the issues in the time available. I pray the podcast edifies some in the body of Christ. If you care – or dare – to listen click the …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Why Calvinist Al Mohler Wrote the Preface for Paige Patterson’s Anabaptist Festschrift

Why Calvinist Al Mohler Wrote the Preface for Paige Patterson’s Anabaptist Festschrift

Sometime last year was a report that B&H Academic was going to publish a festschrift in honor of Paige Patterson. The festschrift is now available. Edited by Malcolm Yarnell, professor of systematic theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the book is entitled, The Anabaptists and Contemporary Baptists: Restoring New Testament Christianity, Essays in Honor of Paige Patterson. Some may wonder who would endorse such a book given the eternal theological in-fighting among Southern Baptists – I know I did! Well, inside the cover you will find endorsements from Calvinist Michael Haykin to the Calvinstic Daniel Akin and Russell Moore to Mennonites John Rempel and John …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Why are Southern Baptist Churches Hemorrhaging?

Why are Southern Baptist Churches Hemorrhaging?

Guest blogger Jared Moore is the pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. He is the author of 10 Sacred Cows in Christianity That Need to be Tipped and The Harry Potter Bible Study. You can stalk find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Why are Southern Baptist churches hemorrhaging? Let’s begin by asking a couple of pertinent questions. Should Southern Baptist churches seek to be entertaining? Should churches add entertainment to their worship services as a form of pragmatism in the name of attracting lost souls? I imagine many Evangelicals would shout an emphatic “yes!” But, from Scripture, there is no evidence that …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Why Invite Unbelievers to Church?

Why Invite Unbelievers to Church?

Asking why a Christian would invite an unbeliever to church may strike some as provocative. Yet, it is a valid question. Consider a if a Muslim asked you, Christian, to come worship with him at the mosque. Wouldn’t you wonder why he thought you would consider worshiping Allah? When the church gathers for Sunday morning worship the primary audience is professing Christians. The very definition of the word church is the “called out ones” who are believers. Technically, no believers equals no church. Yet, we know there will be unbelievers in the pews on Sunday morning. Unbelievers should be welcomed …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for My Sermons on Philippians

My Sermons on Philippians

The 2nd VP of the Southern Baptist Convention, Jared Moore, asked me to preach at the church he pastors, New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY, at the end of this past June. I don’t get the opportunity to preach often so I was grateful for the opportunity. (And I hope these sermons don’t give me even less opportunities to preach!) I accepted Jared’s invitation even though time was short. The Lord helped me put these sermons together in about two weeks. The folks at New Salem were wonderful hosts to my wife and I. I pray these sermons are …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Infant Salvation in the Baptist Faith & Message

Infant Salvation in the Baptist Faith & Message

Some Southern Baptists have been disagreeing (imagine that!) over what the Bible teaches about infant salvation. Actually, some Southern Baptists don’t like what other Southern Baptists believe or might believe (imagine that!) about infant salvation. My point is not to take sides or even express a position, but to quote below exactly what the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 – the Southern Baptist confession of faith – states about infant salvation. –         – Here I blog… Mark

Thumbnail image for The Alabama Baptist and the Wrath of God

The Alabama Baptist and the Wrath of God

Bob Terry, president and editor of The Alabama Baptist, has responded to the PCUSA’s rejection of the hymn In Christ Alone, over a lyric that sung of God’s wrath. I am going to briefly address a few items in Terry’s article Why Disagree About the Words of a Hymn? as they relate to the Holman Bible Dictionary (HBD). Note that the HBD, published in 1991, was replaced in 2003 by the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (HIBD). Both books have the section “Expiation, Propitiation” from which Terry quotes. The HIBD more clearly explains the relationship between God’s anger and wrath, propitiation, …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Baptists, Boy Scouts, & Homosexuality

Baptists, Boy Scouts, & Homosexuality

Many Southern Baptists have decided to cut ties with the Boy Scouts of American since the Boy Scouts have officially welcomed openly homosexual scouts beginning 2014. Cutting ties over homosexuality is understandable, but ignores the larger, overlooked gospel issue of pluralism. Southern Baptists (I am one) passed a resolution in 1992 supporting the Boy Scouts for their “refusal to allow homosexuals as Scout leaders and its commitment to maintain references to God within its oath and literature.” As far as I know, these are still the Boy Scouts’ positions. Of course, they folded on allowing openly gay scouts (not leaders) …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Duck Dynasty: Some Clarity on Baptism

Duck Dynasty: Some Clarity on Baptism

I wrote A Few More Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty when I found out these fellows belonged to a Church of Christ – White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ. That post documents a ministry from White’s Ferry, that trains people in evangelism, explaining that people should be re-baptized for salvation who claim, “I am already saved; I was saved when I believed in Jesus” or “Were baptized to show [they] had already been saved.” I have had several conversations – online and off – on this topic. Several of my fellow Southern Baptists have concerns since the Duck …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Ethics: Traditionalist Baptist Seeks Pastorate of Calvinist Church

Ethics: Traditionalist Baptist Seeks Pastorate of Calvinist Church

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s post is especially for Southern Baptists as we think through how to get along as Calvinists and non-Calvinists working together for the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are some of us who believe Calvinists and non-Calvinists can serve together in a local church under the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. There are others who don’t believe such unity is, or should be, possible. Let’s think about Southern Baptist unity in terms of today’s scenario. You have a pastor friend who affirms the recent Southern Baptist Traditionalist Statement. This statement goes somewhat beyond the current …keep reading »


Chapel Sermon by Aubrey Sequeira, Clyde T. Francisco Preaching Award Winner

Aubrey Sequeira won the 2013 Clyde T. Francisco Preaching Award at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The Baptist Press covered his story – Indian student wins SBTS preaching award. Sequeira preached the final chapel message at SBTS with his sermon entitled, “Following in the Footsteps of a foot-washing King – John 13:1-17.” Russell Moore is quoted in the Baptist Press article about the sermon: The best preachers in the world have preached in SBTS chapel. But I have never heard such a Gospel-powerful sermon as Aubrey Sequeira today. Watch Sequeira preach the final chapel sermon below. Congratulations to brother Aubrey Sequeira! …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference Day 2

Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference Day 2

I had previously announced the upcoming Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference with the theme – What Makes a Godly Woman?  Proverbs 31. Yesterday, I blogged day one and today is day two of the conference – the final day. I also want to mention that worship music was lead by Shelly Johnson. Below is the second day’s recap of the conference – in rough draft. First presentation: Andy Andrews He begins talking about speaking and listening using kids as an example. We begin encouraging them when they are young and slowly slide away from encouragement as they age with humor mixed through …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference Day 1

Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference Day 1

I had previously announced the upcoming Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference with the theme – What Makes a Godly Woman?  Proverbs 31. Below is the first day’s recap of the conference. The notes are in rough draft form. First presentation: Pastor Johnny Hunt Johnny starts talking women who win. We need men to be the prophets, priests, and kings in the home that God has called them to be. But often the women are an important part, foundational, of their leadership. Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint. (Proverbs 29:18a ESV) It’s now how we start, but how …keep reading »


Tom Schreiner, Romans 5 and Original Sin

Dr. Terrance Tiessen, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Providence Theological Seminary, in Manitoba, Canada reflects on Dr. Tom Schreiner’s paper “Original Sin and Original Death:Romans 5:12-19” which was presented at the 2012 Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting. Tiessen compares the 1925, 1963, and 2000 versions of the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM) finding tension between Schreiner’s position on Rom. 5:12-19 and the latest BFM. Keep in mind that Tiessen is Baptist, but not Southern Baptist. He would like to better understand the tension between Schereiner and the BFM. Tiessen begins the article considering Schreiner’s proposal. Romans 5:12-14 …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Coming up: Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference!

Coming up: Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference!

Join me at the up coming Johnny Hunt Womens Conference! I’m not a woman – I know. But since I live blogged the men’s conference I was asked back. Plus, my wife will be there. So, let’s see then…. The theme:  What Makes a Godly Woman?  Proverbs 31 Who? The speakers are Johnny Hunt, Janet Hunt, Andy Andrews, Anita Renfroe, Francesca Battistelli, and Shelly Johnson. When? Friday Evening, May 3 and Saturday Morning, May 4. Where? First Baptist Woodstock. How much? Purchase online for $50-$60. The schedule? Friday Evening, May 3 2:00 PM Doors Open 4:30 –  6:30 – Dinner …keep reading »

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Video: Pastor Jeffress Speaks on Tim Tebow Controversy

Toward the end of the video Pastor Jeffress names several Evangelicals who have supported him during the controversy of Tim Tebow’s scheduled speaking appearance and abrupt cancellation. He then comments about those men who stood with him. “I am grateful for men of God like these who are willing to stand up and act like men rather than wimping out when it gets a little controversial and an inconvenient thing to stand for the truth. God bless men like that.” Now, there are some people who would say, “Well, God’s given me a different ministry. God has calle me to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Thoughts on FBC Dallas and Welcome Back Tim Tebow

Thoughts on FBC Dallas and Welcome Back Tim Tebow

Yesterday, I wrote Farewell Tim Tebow? in response to Tebow canceling his appearance at First Baptist Church of Dallas. Today I want to say welcome back – I think. I also want to briefly address some of the charges leveled against the theology of FBC Dallas showing that the church fits into generally held Southern Baptist positions. FBC Dallas released a statement in response to Tebow’s cancellation. In part, the church wrote: Mr. Tebow called Dr. Jeffress Wednesday evening saying that for personal and professional reasons he needed to avoid controversy at this time but would like to come to …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Farewell Tim Tebow?

Farewell Tim Tebow?

A few days ago I wrote about some who called on Tim Tebow to cancel his upcoming appearance at First Baptist Dallas. The post was – In Light of Tim Tebow Invitation Baptist Church Answers Anti-Gay, Anti-Semitic Charges. Not once did I think Tebow would give in to the critics. Apparently, I was wrong. Tebow shared his reasons for canceling in four tweets. Hat tip to Denny Burk for putting those tweets together. While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic First Baptist Church of Dallas …keep reading »


Different Gospel Presentations: Who Gets Saved?

The following hypothetical conversations take place when evangelist A shares Jesus with unbeliever A while evangelist B shares with unbeliever B. The reason for this exercise are the recent assertions that Calvinists and non-Calvinists are promoting different gospels. Let’s see…. A B Evangelist A (EA) and Unbeliever A (A):EA: A, I’m glad we could meet today so I can share Jesus with you and explain how to be saved – how to be right with God. A: I told you I would listen to what you have to say about Jesus so here I am! EA: First, I want you …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for In Light of Tim Tebow Invitation Baptist Church Answers Anti-Gay, Anti-Semitic Charges

In Light of Tim Tebow Invitation Baptist Church Answers Anti-Gay, Anti-Semitic Charges

Todd Starnes at Fox News documents anti-Christian attitudes against First Baptist Dallas in light of Tim Tebow’s upcoming appearance in his article Southern Baptists Defend Church Smeared by NBC. Starnes gives details about First Baptist Dallas being labeled as anti-gay and anti-Semitic. Because of these improper anti labels some have called on Tebow to cancel his appearance. Starnes also published the church’s response which I’ve quoted below. Recent media reports regarding an appearance by New York Jets’ Quarterback Tim Tebow at First Baptist Church of Dallas have grossly misrepresented past comments made by First Baptist’s pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, specifically …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for JHMC: Session 3 – Walking Out of Our Prisons

JHMC: Session 3 – Walking Out of Our Prisons

This is a live blog of the Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference. You can find the conference on twitter @JHMensConf_FBCW and follow the official twitter hashtag here: #JHMC2013. The conference topic is: “ESCAPE PLAN: SIN IS A PRISON; LET’S BREAK OUT!” Session 3: Unspoken: I can’t Forgive Myself (Walking Out of Our Prisons) 1 JOHN 1:8-10 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for JHMC: Session 2 – Truth that Keeps Us Free

JHMC: Session 2 – Truth that Keeps Us Free

This is a live blog of the Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference. You can find the conference on twitter @JHMensConf_FBCW and follow the official twitter hashtag here: #JHMC2013. The conference topic is: “ESCAPE PLAN: SIN IS A PRISON; LET’S BREAK OUT!“ Session 2: “Power to Walk Free” (Truth that Keeps Us Free) Gal 5:16-18, 22-24 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep …keep reading »


JHMC: Session 1 – Truth that Frees

This is a live blog of the Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference. You can find the conference on twitter @JHMensConf_FBCW and follow the official twitter hashtag here: #JHMC2013. The conference topic is: “ESCAPE PLAN: SIN IS A PRISON; LET’S BREAK OUT!“ Session 1: “Bible Engagement/Bible Reflection” (Truth that Frees) Psalm 19:7-14 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for What if You Say the Sinner’s Prayer and Mean It?

What if You Say the Sinner’s Prayer and Mean It?

There is a lot of disagreement among Christians over the use of the sinner’s prayer. Some are quick to point out abuse of the sinner’s prayer and all together dismiss it. Others seem quick to overlook its abuse and to point out its usefulness. Personally, I have witnessed its abuse. Yet, I often wonder if we will ever find a common ground on the sinner’s prayer. But yesterday’s ethics post about the sinner’s prayer raised a question in my mind. What if someone says the sinner’s prayer and means it? Of course, then questions about the question begin. People will …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Book Review: The Spiritual Condition of Infants by Adam Harwood

Book Review: The Spiritual Condition of Infants by Adam Harwood

Southern Baptist Pastor and fellow blogger Chris Roberts did a very thorough book review of The Spiritual Condition of Infants: A Biblical-Historical Survey and Systematic Proposal by Dr. Adam Harwood. The review is worth a read so I wanted to highlight it. A Review of The Spiritual Condition of Infants – Harwood’s stance becomes clear early in the book, though he waits until the end to give a “declarative statement on the spiritual condition of infants” and to “speculate how God might deal with people who die in their infancy”. He concludes that although people are born with a sin …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for This Week: Join Me at the 2013 Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference

This Week: Join Me at the 2013 Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference

Join me this week at the 2013 Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference! “Escape Plan: Sin is a prison; let’s break out!” Register now for the dates below. Conference 2 February 8-9, 2013 (Contact me if cost is keeping you from registering.) I will be live blogging conference 2 this coming weekend. Check out the break out sessions at: 2013 Breakout Speakers. Johnny Hunt will be delivering the following three keynotes. KEYNOTE 1: “Bible Engagement/Bible Reflection” (Truth that Frees) Ps 19:7-14 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; …keep reading »


On Theological Fighting: Proclaim Christ Instead of Grinding Out Your Theology

During the recent G3 Conference I live blogged there was a panel discussion Q&A. Questions were submitted months in advance of the conference. The first question was for Paul Washer. The question was on substitutionary atonement pitting limited atonement against general atonement. Washer’s answer modeled a great way to think in terms of Christian unity through all of our internal, and often public, theological battles. Brother Paul gave a wise answer. The submitted question. If substitutionary atonement is the true biblical doctrine, does it provide any room for a universal or general atonement as many Free-Will Baptists believe – that Jesus …keep reading »

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Video: Baptist History Rap

HT: Nathan Finn. This is one of Dr. Finn’s students, Ashley Unzicker.


R.I.P. Zig Ziglar: Zig Talks About Coming to Jesus at Age 45

Christian and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar has gone home to be with the Lord at 86 years old. Zig was a Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Texas. In 1985-86, he even as first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Zig is famously known for motivational speaking. He has helped many people throughout the years in their business and their personal lives. I started listening to Zig’s motivational tapes in the mid-90’s through the encouragement of a co-worker. I still occasionally listen today. In the video below Zig shares with talk show host Philippe Matthews …keep reading »

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New LifeWay Study on Selflessness and Spiritual Maturity

LifeWay Research has released a new study noted in the article below that links spiritual maturity and serving others. Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research is quoted below stating, “Growth leads to service and serving leads to growth – it’s deeply connected.” Stetzer’s statement is a great summary sentence correlating Christian service and growth. Of course, there are different types of growth and service. I’m not sure exactly what kind of spiritual growth the study measured that is taking place through serving others. Maybe the areas in which spiritual growth is taking place would be worth considering if LifeWay has …keep reading »


Did Mike Huckabee Warn that Voting for Obama Will Send You to Hell?

The following video narrated by Mike Huckabee is called “Test of Fire.” The video challenges Christian voters in the 2012 Presidential election. Some are claiming that Huckabee is assigning those who vote for Obama to hell. What did Huckabee just say? Again, at about 42 seconds he states: Christians across the nation will have an opportunity to shape the future for our generation and generations to come. Many issues are at stake, but some issues are not negotiable: The right to life from conception to natural death. Marriage should be reinforced, not redefined. It is an egregious violation of our …keep reading »


Matt Chandler Responds to Criticism of ‘David, Goliath and the Gospel’

In the video below Matt Chandler attempts to explain how the gospel runs through the David and Goliath story in a mere 3.5 minutes. Dr. Eric Hankins raised concerns about Chandler’s interpretive approach in the video in his recent critique of ‘Christ-centered homiletics’.1 However, back in January Mike Riccardi, using Chandler’s explanation in the video as an example, wrote a very thorough and gracious explanation of the problems with such an interpretation.2 Chandler was contacted for a response to Riccardi’s article and he replied. “Thanks for your encouragement and email.  I read Mike’s critique and agree with most of it.  The …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for 9Marks Workshop in Atlanta: Register Today!

9Marks Workshop in Atlanta: Register Today!

9Marks is bringing a conference about the church and for the church to Atlanta, GA. The following topics will be covered: theological vision, preaching & biblical theology, gospel, conversion & evangelism, membership, discipline & discipleship, leadership, covenanting together. Each session ends with a Q&A. More info and registration below. When? Monday, October 29, 2012, 9 am – Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 12 pm. Who is speaking? – Mark Dever – Matt Schmucker – Aaron Menikoff – Zach Schlegel How much? – General Registration: $45 – Student Registration: $35 Where? Mount Vernon Baptist 850 Mt Vernon Hwy NW Atlanta, GA 30327 …keep reading »


Why Do People Go To Hell?

One answer given on twitter (HT: Ben Simpson): People go to hell not because God predestined them to go there, but because we as Christians don’t share the Gospel with them. — Steve Gaines (@bellevuepastor) October 8, 2012 While it is essential that Christians share the gospel; a few Scriptural proof-texts give another answer to the question of why people go to hell. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 ESV) Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born …keep reading »


How the Southern Baptist Convention Works

Check out the slideshow from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary explaining how the Southern Baptist Convention works. Find a few more files at the NOBTS website.


Will the Southern Baptist Convention Dissipate in the Smoke of Reformed Theology?

“Shall the Southern Baptist Convention which was born in the fires of evangelism dissipate in the smoke of Reformed Theology?” Southern Baptist Pastor Steve Brumbelow asks.1 This question was stated in an letter sent to discourage Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) trustees from approving presidential candidate Dr. Jason Allen. However, Brumbelow’s assuming question is historically inaccurate. Union University president David Dockery notes the strong presence of Calvinistic (Reformed) theology at the birth of the Southern Baptist Convention. At the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention in May 1845, it would have been difficult to find leaders who were not Calvinistic in their …keep reading »


Why Every Head Bowed, Every Eye Closed?

Why, when and on what biblical basis did preachers begin altar calls with ‘every head bowed, every eye closed’? Whenever I have heard an altar call being with ‘every head bowed, every eye closed’ I always wonder why? I wonder what purpose it serves to ask everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. Is the preacher trying not to embarrass someone who may respond to the gospel? Would not the person who just believed the gospel be over joyed with their new life in Christ that they would have no shame so that bowed heads and closed eyes …keep reading »


Does Dr. Jason Allen Meet Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Presidential Profile?

The Baptist Press reported that Dr. Jason K. Allen was chosen as the nominee to be Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s next president,1 but does he meet their ‘Presidential Profile’? While questions have been raised about Allen’s qualifications, questions have also been raised about Allen’s theology and the Midwestern Trustees’ silence on their vetting process. Below I will briefly comment on the Presidential Profile, trustee silence and Allen’s theology. The Presidential Profile Midwestern’s website lists the “Key Responsibilities of the Next President” with the following major points which conclude with their ‘Desired Qualifications’.2 Spiritual Leadership Institutional Leadership Fundraising/Enrollment Leadership Academic and …keep reading »


LifeWay surveys Lord’s Supper practices of SBC churches By Carol Pipes

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The majority of Southern Baptist churches permit anyone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ to participate in the Lord’s Supper, according to a recent survey by LifeWay Research. The survey also revealed that 57 percent of SBC churches observe the Lord’s Supper quarterly. “Denominational distinctives are often evident in how the Lord’s Supper is observed,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “We sought to measure two attributes of Southern Baptists’ remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection: who may participate in the Lord’s Supper– with five distinct options listed– and the frequency it is observed.” The …keep reading »


One Million Porn Free Christian Men?

Southern Baptist Pastor Jay Dennis has started a movement to address the problem of pornography in the church. The movement and website is called One Million Men Porn Free. Christian counselor Harry Schaumburg comments show the seriousness of the church’s pornography problem. For the last twenty years thousands of men from across America struggling with sexual sin have come to our intensive counseling workshop. Over half were pastors and missionaries. I wish our experience was unique. Several years ago a seminary professor told me: “We no longer ask our entering students if they are struggling with pornography, we assume every …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Help The Harry Potter Bible Study Be a #1 Free Kindle Book!

Help The Harry Potter Bible Study Be a #1 Free Kindle Book!

Help my friend Jared Moore move his book, The Harry Potter Bible Study: Enjoying God Through the Final Four Harry Potter Movies, to the #1 spot on Amazon as in the Kindle Non-fiction, religious book category. I know – a Harry Potter Bible Study book sounds crazy, right? It’s actually gotten some pretty good reviews. Right now, Jared’s book is currently free on Kindle. (Download it here!) In the U.S. it is the 12th most popular free Non-Fiction religious book on Kindle today, and the 6th most popular free Non-Fiction Christian book on Kindle in the U.K. market. What does that …keep reading »


Dear Southern Baptists, the Calvinistic Roots of Dispensationalism

Warning shots against Calvinistic influence in Southern Baptist churches is all the rage today. While some anti-Calvinist Southern Baptists have been involved in end times conferences promoting Dispensationalism, they do not seem to fear its Calvinistic roots. To be fair, many Southern Baptists may not know the Calvinistic history of Dispensationalism. Dr. Thomas Ice of Liberty University (hardly a pro-Calvinist institution) is here to help with his article – The Calvinistic Heritage of Dispensationalism. Dr. Ice explains the systematization, history and growth of Dispensationalism. He begins: If systematic Dispensationalism is rightly understood it logically makes sense only within a theocentric …keep reading »


SBC Plodder Featured in Forbes on Clergy Housing Allowance

Forbes contributor Peter J. Reilly enlists the writings of retired Southern Baptist pastor and blogger William Thornton, a.k.a. SBC Plodder, in his article Southern Baptists Against Clergy Tax Abuse. Reilly begins: Southern Baptists Against Clergy Tax Abuse (SBACTA)  is not a real organization.  I just made it up.  There is no question, though, that if it did exist who its spokesman would be.  The Reverend William Thornton who blogs on Southern Baptist Convention issues under the title SBC Plodder is the man.  I have been following his blog for sometime now.  He has gotten me hooked on the conflict in the …keep reading »


Ralph Reed: Republicans Don’t Need Southern Baptists

Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, had a chat with Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Political Insider, blogger Jim Galloway. Reed spoke about bigotry against Mormons coming from the left. When chatting about “anti-Mormon prejudice” Southern Baptists came up. It’s okay – Southern Baptists don’t matter much anyway. Galloway noted Reed’s position that, “Not that Southern Baptists have changed their mind, Reed said. But politically, they don’t matter as much:” ”Remember, if you’ve got a grandma sitting in the third row of an independent Baptist , white sideboard church who can’t bring herself to vote for a Mormon because …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Wisdom from Francis Schaeffer for Baptist Infighting

Wisdom from Francis Schaeffer for Baptist Infighting

Some Southern Baptists are heavy weight champs at theological infighting. Maybe it’s time for Baptists to step outside the ring and consider another way to disagree. A quote from Francis Schaeffer below offers wisdom on how Baptists might better engage each other. In 1845, at the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention, most leaders were Calvinistic while the laity were less so.1 Today, most Southern Baptists are not Calvinists though there is a rise in Calvinistic theology in leadership and laity. Southern Baptists have worked together with Calvinist leaders and with non-Calvinist leaders. If Calvinistic Baptists were instrumental in forming …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Decline in SBC Baptisms: Three Critical Invitation Factors?

Decline in SBC Baptisms: Three Critical Invitation Factors?

One of the books assigned to read for one of my classes is Pastor’s Handbook by John R. Bisagno which offers a lot of practical advice. The advice is mostly pragmatic seemingly from a consequentialist perspective. That is, Bisagno writes from experience with little Scriptural support for his advice. Bisagno’s advice is not intrinsically good or bad, right or wrong, but at times questions arise when experience seems to be his authority. Previously, I commented on Bisagno’s perspective on extending the gospel invitation during corporate worship.1 Below I will comment on the three reasons he offers a partially contributing to …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Register Today: 9Marks Workshop in Atlanta!

Register Today: 9Marks Workshop in Atlanta!

9Marks  is bringing a conference about the church and for the church to Atlanta, GA. The following topics will be covered: theological vision, preaching & biblical theology,  gospel, conversion & evangelism, membership, discipline & discipleship, leadership, covenanting together. Each session ends with a Q&A. More info and registration below. When? Monday, October 29, 2012, 9 am – Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 12 pm. Who is speaking? – Mark Dever – Matt Schmucker – Aaron Menikoff – Zach Schlegel How much? – General Registration: $45 – Student Registration: $35 Where? Mount Vernon Baptist 850 Mt Vernon Hwy NW Atlanta, GA 30327 …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Are SBC Resolutions Only Valid for One Year?

Are SBC Resolutions Only Valid for One Year?

While citing the Southern Baptist Convention website on resolutions for yesterday’s applied ethics post1 I noticed a interesting statement about resolutions. Note the following from the SBC website [emphasis added]. 21. How do I find out the official SBC stance on various issues? The Southern Baptist Convention makes official statements regarding specific issues by means of resolutions passed at our annual gatherings each June.  Southern Baptist polity views these resolutions as expressions of opinions or concern which are representative of the messengers attending the meeting, but are not binding upon any individual church or successive Convention.  Generally speaking, resolutions are …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Fred Luter on Race Relations in America

Fred Luter on Race Relations in America

Pastor Fred Luter, who will probably be the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention, spoke to PBS recently on race relations in America. Below is an excerpt of the interview. Watch Rev. Fred Luter on Race in America on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. I have not heard the whole interview, but will offer some thoughts on the above excerpt. I agree with brother Luter that America still has a long way to go in race relations. However, he has couched his insight into the need for racial reconciliation based on the way President Obama …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for ‘The Exchange’ with Ed Stetzer Live Today on this Blog

‘The Exchange’ with Ed Stetzer Live Today on this Blog

I will be hosting Dr. Ed Stetzer’s (President of LifeWay Research) webcast “The Exchange” as part of a test syndication. Tune in today! Today on “The Exchange” Pete Wilson, pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, discusses his newest book Empty Promises: The Truth about You, Your Desires, and the Lies You’re Believing. Philip Nation, Director of Ministry Development at LifeWay Christian Resources, will be guest-hosting. Click the image below to start the webcast at 2pm cst/3 pm est!

Thumbnail image for Subjectivity in Modern Preaching

Subjectivity in Modern Preaching

I was recently listening to a pastor preach on the importance of prayer in pastoral ministry. Prayer is certainly important in the life of a pastor (or any Christian). The context was that this pastor was teaching future pastors. Giving his time to such teaching is a great service. However, the text he used to make his point was Acts 1:13-14 and a few things just did not sit right with me. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Bisagno On Extending the Gospel Invitation

Bisagno On Extending the Gospel Invitation

One of the books assigned to read for one of my classes is Pastor’s Handbook by John R. Bisagno which offers a lot of practical advice. The advice is mostly pragmatic seemingly from a consequentialist perspective. That is, Bisagno writes from experience with little Scriptural support for his advice. Bisagno’s advice is not intrinsically good or bad, right or wrong, but at times questions arise when experience seems to be his authority. Bisagno offered an interesting perspective on extending the gospel invitation during corporate worship. I am not convinced the reasoning in the advice given about extending the invitation is …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for The Gospel Project: Free Downloads

The Gospel Project: Free Downloads

At the start of this year, LifeWay introduced a major new Bible study initiative for all ages called The Gospel Project, which will launch in Fall 2012. The resource takes a Christ-centered approach to Bible study by examining the grand narrative of Scripture and how the gospel transforms the lives of those it touches. The three-year plan of study immerses participants—adults, students, and kids—in the gospel through each story, theological concept, and call to missions from Genesis to Revelation. The editorial team of Ed Stetzer and Trevin Wax began work on The Gospel Project to meet a specific need in …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Whither the Baptist Faith and Message?

Whither the Baptist Faith and Message?

In recent years, two Southern Baptist Churches in Georgia have been disfellowshipped due to having a female pastor. While some may question disfellowshipping a church over such an issue, having  a female pastor is in direct violation of the statement of faith around which Southern Baptists cooperate in ministry. The action is based on a vote by the convention in November 2000 affirming the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message as the state body’s doctrinal statement. The document includes the phrase, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Letter to the editor of ‘The Christian Index’ by Marty King

Letter to the editor of ‘The Christian Index’ by Marty King

Editorial not worthy of editor or Index Dear Gerald, As a former Georgia Baptist, I appreciate you and your service as Index editor. But, your Feb. 10 editorial was not your best. The level of research, organization, and writing are simply not up to what Georgia Baptists have come to expect. Let me share with you three concerns. 1. The editorial seems intent on fear-mongering, and is poorly sourced and organized. Although you admit in the article that “many great preachers and theologians have embraced Calvinism through the years,” you imply readers should be afraid of Calvinists, as evidenced by …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part II

The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part II

The following is part II of a reply to Gerald Harris recently published the article “The Calvinists are here.” The article was published in The Christian Index, the Georgia Southern Baptist newspaper, of which Harris is the editor. If you have not read part I, follow this link to do so: The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part I. Part II begins below by interacting with Harris’ article where part I ended. The average Baptist who sits in a Sunday School class or a small Bible study group has depended on LifeWay to provide Bible study materials that are …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part I

The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part I

Gerald Harris, editor of the The Christian Index, the Georgia Southern Baptist newspaper, recently published the article “The Calvinists are here.”1 There have been two immediate responses to Harris’ piece including one by former Calvinist William Birch2 and an article in the Baptist Press in which some of the people mentioned by Harris answered his concerns.3 Harris’ article seems to be pieced together without a thesis. The article seems strung together by insinuations built upon a connect-the-dots type of guilt by association. In short, there is a lot to untangle in Harris’ article. In the following response, which has been …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Does “Southern” Give Southern Baptists a Bad Image?

Does “Southern” Give Southern Baptists a Bad Image?

The above wordle was created in 2009 by Thom Rainer, President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. The wordle is composed of the 140 character replies to Rainer’s twitter question – “What do you think when you hear ‘Southern Baptist’?” Thom Rainer’s son, Sam, categorized the unscientific twitter results stating, “About 60% of the respondents gave a negative association. Another 30% were positive, and 10% were neutral or unclear.”1 Some thoughts were shared on this site too.2 Fast forward to today where SBC President Bryant Wright has assigned a task force to investigate changing the the name of the Southern Baptist …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Why Bryant Wright Will Succeed in Changing the SBC Brand

Why Bryant Wright Will Succeed in Changing the SBC Brand

The following is a guest post by Nathan Creitz. Nathan is originally from the South but now lives with his wife and two children as a missionary in New England. Nathan makes disciples and teaches New England churches and ministries how to fulfill the Great Commission in their town. He blogs about making disciples in a post-Christian context at Bryant Wright is making a bold move in his second term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. According to the Baptist Press, Wright announced yesterday that he has formed a task force to study a name change for the …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Southern Baptists: Racial Relations and Spiritual Worth

Southern Baptists: Racial Relations and Spiritual Worth

Victor Irvine Masters, D.D. (1867-1954) while Superintendent of Publicity of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention was asked to write a mission study book at the 1914 Southern Baptist Covention. The Home Mission Board published the book in 1915. I recently shared Masters’ perspective from this publication in two areas: 1) Southern Baptist doctrinal conditions1 and 2) Calvinistic Methodist influence on early American Baptists.2 In chapter 12, “The Past and the Future” Masters offers some harsh words for the way some Southern Baptists have treated black people. Sadly, it was not until June 1995, 80 years after …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Calvinistic Methodist Influence on Early American Baptists

Calvinistic Methodist Influence on Early American Baptists

I recently shared an excerpt on Southern Baptist doctrinal conditions from a book by Victor Irvine Masters, D.D. (1867-1954).1 Masters was a past Superintendent of Publicity of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In the last sentence of the section on doctrinal conditions Masters states, “The Baptists of 1815 in the South, barring certain minor sects, were everywhere Regular Baptists.” He then directs the reader “See Appendix A.” What follows is Appendix A where Masters points out some of the theological differences among early American Baptists including praise for two Calvinistic Methodists. One of those Methodists is …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for A 1915 Perspective on Southern Baptist Doctrinal Conditions

A 1915 Perspective on Southern Baptist Doctrinal Conditions

Victor Irvine Masters, D.D.  (1867-1954) was the Superintendent of Publicity of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1914 at the Southern Baptist Convention, Masters was asked by the Corresponding Secretaries of the State Boards to write a mission study book.1 He offered an interesting observation about Southern Baptists and their history in the foreword of his study book. It is often asserted that Southern Baptists will not read their own history, that they have been too busy making history to read it. It would be truer to say that they have been most influentially busy making …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for A Rough Seminary Semester, Part II

A Rough Seminary Semester, Part II

In part I, I shared about some of the issues my family and I faced during the 2011 spring semester which ran from January – May. God taught me a lot during that time. Some of what He taught me I’m still digesting while other lessons He taught me I’m not sure exactly how to put into words. In this post I will share some of what I am able to express that I believe God taught me through this time as well as some of the activities He lead me through. Running over the potholes of life describe in …keep reading »


A Rough Seminary Semester, Part I

Thumbnail image for A Rough Seminary Semester, Part I

This past 2011 spring semester (January – May) was rough. A lot happened in that five month span. I knew it was going to be busy since I was taking four classes in addition to my family, job, deacon duties, my daughter’s high school graduation and a teaching assignment at church. I began to feel the weight of the semester at the beginning when I found out how much reading and writing two of the classes required (these were week long intensive classes). Not long after being home from the one week intensives a friend’s father committed suicide. In light …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Alcohol: Of Greeks and Barbarians

Alcohol: Of Greeks and Barbarians

There has been enough talk about alcohol on Christians blogs lately to make readers drunk with words. While alcohol is always a favorite topic on Southern Baptist blogs1 one of the well-esteemed pastors of our day, John MacArthur, also felt the need to address the topic2. MacArthur was answered by the accused, Erik Raymond3 and Spencer Nix4 (who happens to be a friend) which resulted in another reply from MacArthur’s ministry5. In discussions like these two items always seem to come up. Item one, a point which MacArthur makes, is that the wine in biblical times was not like that …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Surry Baptist Association-Flat Rock Baptist Timeline

Surry Baptist Association-Flat Rock Baptist Timeline

Flat Rock Baptist Church (FRBC) was recently removed from fellowship in the Surry Baptist Association (SBA) for calling a female to the pastorate. Some have disagreed with the way SBA removed them seemingly so quickly1 while others disagree with the removal at all2. The background of the situation may be found in those posts or a more direct story may be found at the Associated Baptist Press.3 I have been in contact with SBA. I wasn’t sure what or how much to say about the issue after doing some reading. After reading about the issue from Mount Airy pastor Alex …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for IMB Missionary Interview for

IMB Missionary Interview for

The International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention recently launched a website to encourage Christians reach out to their Muslim neighbors. The website is and the timing of the launch was no mistake as the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 approaches. I had the privilege to send a few question to the person behind the vision for the website. That person is, Lil Brooks, the IMB Project Coordinator for Loving Muslims. Lil Brooks may be reached via the email linked here. I pray the interview is helpful and the website useful to help Christians reach their Muslim …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Discipleship Through Judgement

Discipleship Through Judgement

Look at the word discipleship. There within it is the word disciple, which is obviously related to the word discipline. In view of the next section on corrective church discipline, I would point out that discipleship is the other side of the coin—it is formative church discipline. These words, discipleship/discipline/ disciple, all connote ideas of training, and all training sometimes feels like punishment (cf. Heb. 12:7–11). The training in view here involves being taught to obey everything Jesus commanded. The commands of Jesus 4 often go against our instincts, impulses, inclinations, and desires. Sometimes they seem to make no sense. …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Jim Wallis and Richard Land Debate Morality and the Deficit

Jim Wallis and Richard Land Debate Morality and the Deficit

The video topics break down as follows: Why the budget is a moral document (02:34) What’s the real cause of the deficit? (05:04) Debating taxes for the wealthy and entitlements (08:14) Jim: The poorest shouldn’t bear the brunt of balancing the budget (03:03) Does baby boomer retirement make means-testing necessary? (05:11) The parable of the British piano tuner (06:44) Land and Wallis begin agreeing that debt is a moral issue. Wallis says that the spending on the poor is not the cause of the deficit and wants the faith community to provide a “circle of protection around the poorest and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A Response: Patriotism and Christian Worship

A Response: Patriotism and Christian Worship

Pastor David Brumbelow recently posted Patriotism and Christian Worship at SBC Voices. I will admit upfront that I disagree with Brumbelow on this topic. I’ve even written about patriotic worship in the past on more than on occasion. Christians will probably continue to disagree about this topic this side of heaven. Make no mistake that even though I disagree with Brumbelow on patriotic worship, I am not anti-American. I love America and am very thankful that I was born here. I will say the Pledge and sing patriotic songs with a warm heart. I just won’t do so during corporate …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Transcript and Commentary: Al Mohler On Homosexuality at the SBC

Transcript and Commentary: Al Mohler On Homosexuality at the SBC

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Seminary, recently answered a question from Dr. Peter Lumpkins concerning alleged comments he made about Evangelicals and homosexuality. The question was answered from the floor of the 2011 Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting during his report on Southern Seminary. Dr. Mohler confirmed that the statements in question were his and further expressed some of his views on the topic of Evangelicals and homosexuality. His answer has attracted much attention in parts of the internet world. For example, Al Mohler’s Response to Peter Lumpkins: The Complete Video at SBC Voices received over 350 comments …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for More Photos of Alabama Tornado Damage

More Photos of Alabama Tornado Damage

I recently posted about an area in Alabama that did not get much media coverage and is in need of help. (See: Help Needed for Overlooked Alabama Tornado Victims) The folks mention in that post can still use your help. I’m thankful and encouraged by the responses to help so far. I’ve been sent some more pictures from the same area which are shared below.

Thumbnail image for Help Needed for Overlooked Alabama Tornado Victims

Help Needed for Overlooked Alabama Tornado Victims

The recent tornadoes that ripped through Alabama left several devastated victims. Unfortunately, over 200 of those victims died and most of the survivors are now rebuilding their lives. As far as I know many of the tornado hit areas received national or regional news coverage. I am writing today about an area that did not receive much news coverage. There is an area in Alabama named Clifton Corners which is around the Fort Payne and Rainsville areas. The above picture was taken minutes before Clifton Corners was hit. As I understand it the area got some local news coverage, but …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for The Southern Baptist Phantom Menace

The Southern Baptist Phantom Menace

Imagine for a moment that a church friend comes to you and expresses his frustration over another member of the church. Your friend mentions that he is tired of Sunday School at various times. He does not like the way things are taught sometimes or some of the methods used in the lessons. In his frustration he mentions that he may just stop tithing for a while and maybe stop attending Sunday School too. Realizing that you are in the same Sunday School class and that you sometimes teach, you think to yourself, “Who or what exactly is he talking …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Southern Baptist Church Offices, Elders et al. (Update)

Southern Baptist Church Offices, Elders et al. (Update)

Update below. A simple Google search will yield discussions concerning Southern Baptists and the subject of having a plurality of elders/pastors in place in the local church. It is understandable that there are biblical interpretive disagreements on how a church ought to fill its offices, on congregational involvement, etc. Hopefully, all local congregations seek to be biblical in setting up a church government. Various denominations have various guidelines stemming from their theological convictions. What about Southern Baptists? The official website of the Southern Baptist Convention has some faqs under the ‘About Us’ section. Question 14 asks,” What is the SBC’s …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Is T.D. Jakes Now Trinitarian?

Is T.D. Jakes Now Trinitarian?

In light of the recent concerns over Modalism and the SBC Pastors’ Conference, it has been said that T.D. Jakes no longer holds to a form of Modalism or to a Onesness Pentecostal view of God. There are plenty of resources (I don’t have time to note them here) online and in books that document and examine the evidence for the claim that T.D. Jakes holds to a modalistic view of God rather than the Christian view of God as Trinity. But has Jakes changed his position on his doctrine of God? A quick, curious search for T.D. Jakes on …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Open Email: SBC Pastors’ Conference 2011 Doctrinal Concern

Open Email: SBC Pastors’ Conference 2011 Doctrinal Concern

Please note: Mr. Jones’ name and the link to the Potter’s House website have been removed from the Pastor’s Conference website. On Feb. 17th I sent an email to Vance Pitman, President of the 2011 Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference about a doctrinal concern. The email is posted below and contains within it the first email that I sent on Feb. 16th to Jamal Jones who serves under T.D. Jakes at The Potter’s House. Jones is set to participate in this year’s SBC Pastors’ Conference. My concerns may be understood by reading the emails below. I thought I’d post this for …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for A Grinch Alert?

A Grinch Alert?

I’m convinced that the celebration of Christmas is always going to be a point of contention somewhere. Whether it’s from anti-Christian secularists, Christians who are convicted that it is not a holiday to be celebrated or corporations that embrace the holiday season in general simply as a means for revenue. Scripture gives Christians no direct command to celebrate or not to celebrate Christmas, or the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ if you will. So why not take advantage of the holiday as Christians? People will always attempt to steal Christmas here in the U.S. It is a Federal …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Is Your Church White?

Is Your Church White?

Is your church white? That is the disturbing question what was email to a church in Apex, NC. Ken Keathley recently shared this inquiry over at Between the Times in his post A Shocking Question. The context of this disturbing question was: We know the Lord loves all of us, but we believe in honoring the Culture the Lord gave us, so we are seeking a traditionally ‘White’ church as opposed to Multi-cultural. Is your church White? Read the whole post to find out how the pastor answered this disturbing question. A question that I’m mostly surprised about, but not …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for 9Marks at Southeastern Seminary Audio Available

9Marks at Southeastern Seminary Audio Available

On September 10-11, 2010 Southeastern Seminary held it’s annual conference in partnership with 9Marks ministries. The theme this year was biblical theology. The presenters were Mark Dever, Thabiti Anyabwile, Danny Akin, Matt Chandler and David Platt. If you’re like me, you wanted to attend, but could not. Thankfully, the audio is now available for download. I’ve linked the MP3’s below. Video is also available at the above link.

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Thumbnail image for On Altar Calls And Gospel Proclamation

On Altar Calls And Gospel Proclamation

Recently, brother Les Puryear posted an article on the issue of altar calls – Differences Between Reformed and Southern Baptist Churches: Altar Calls vs No Altar Calls. Please not that Les calls himself a Calvinist, but not Reformed which is a fair position. As one might imagine from the title some debate took place in the comment section. I like Les. I’ve met him and talked to him a few times over the past couple of years. Though I want to point out that he has made a very unhelpful and inaccurate comment in concluding the above referenced article.

Thumbnail image for Quote on Southern Baptist Cooperation

Quote on Southern Baptist Cooperation

Matt over at SBCVoices wrote an interesting post called Arminio and Calvinito: Best Friends? In light of the recent Great Commission Resurgence, he lays out where some unnecessary Southern Baptist infighting takes place. Of course, the ultimate solution is the gospel. I was reminded of a quote that grabbed my attention from a book I recently read. Baptists have certainly held differing views on the nature of salvation, with some holding more of a conviction that God is sovereign in salvation while others gave greater emphasis to man’s role in the process. But when they have been at their best,

Thumbnail image for Open letter to Miley Cyrus

Open letter to Miley Cyrus

I was recently directed to an interview with Miley Cyrus in Parade. The interview reveals some thoughts on her move away from a young star branded as Hanna Montana into maturity and a more private life. More revealing is the fact that she was baptized in a Southern Baptist church in 2005 and gives some insight into how she sees her Christian faith. As a Southern Baptist, or more importantly, as a Christian I am concerned about Miley’s statements on Christianity. I have this observation about American Christianity summed up with this statement – American Christians have freedom to their …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for Don’t vote for Pedro!

Don’t vote for Pedro!

Vote for me! Please? Join in the Southern Baptist blogger fun – click here: SBC Blog Madness 2010 and go to the West Division and vote for Here I Blog! I will really appreciate your help as I’ve got some tough competition. If you vote for me, all of your wildest dreams will come true. ~Pedro

Thumbnail image for March Devotion MP3

March Devotion MP3

This is a devotion I gave at our evening service on March 7. The first 1.5 minutes did not get recorded so I added it myself. The change in audio can be heard on the recording. It is interesting how different it was trying to recreate this short intro sitting at my computer versus being in the pulpit. Again, I want to acknowledge the appreciation I have for those who preach weekly. It is not an easy task and it is not a light task to handle the word of God as such. As always, critiques welcome.

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Thumbnail image for August Devotion MP3

August Devotion MP3

I gave this devotional for our Sunday evening service on August 16. My previous devotion was the evening of April 5 if you’d like to listen. My text for this devotion was Isaiah 24:23 The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously. (NIV) I hope this is edifying to those who listen. I would love to hear any feedback whether encouraging or constructive.

Thumbnail image for Alcholism Vs Legalism

Alcholism Vs Legalism

If you’ve read my testimony you’ll see that I grew up in a legalistic religion.  I could never be good enough.  I was the on the receiving end of the the never ending road of legalism.  Whether it was a cuss word or a beer, I was done. 

Thumbnail image for Advance09 Day One

Advance09 Day One

I’m having a great time at the Advance09 Conference.  A great time of learning and conviction.  I’m rooming with a brother named Kris from NC who also put some notes up. I’m going to give you today’s line-up and some highlights from my notes.  You can go over to and download The First Three Advance09 Messages. The Line-Up Mark Driscoll – What is the Church? Tyler Jones – Decline and Resurge Bryan Chapell – Communicating the Gospel Through Preaching Matt Chandler – Preaching the Gospel to the De-Churched Q&A Panel

Thumbnail image for Memorial Day 2009 Worship Service

Memorial Day 2009 Worship Service

It was a mostly normal Sunday morning.  My wife and I left for church wondering if it would happen.  It did.  The Pledge of Allegiance was said.  The National Anthem was sung.  Everyone stood.  We sat.  It was uncomfortable, I admit.

Thumbnail image for Wanna Be A Christian Blogger?

Wanna Be A Christian Blogger?

Well, do ya? Fellow blogger Matt Svoboda, and soon to be co-blogger (sshh!), is looking for some folks to contribute to two blogs. The first is SBC Voices where Matt just took over as editor. (Congratulations!)  SBC Voices is looking for theologically conservative Southern Baptist contributors. Second, is Evangelical Village which is a community blog that Matt founded.  The applicants may be theologically conservative Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc. I can’t guarantee that you will get the position just because you apply.  However, you have a much better chance if you do apply. I’m not sure how Matt wants to be …keep reading »


When I Hear Southern Baptist

What do you think when you hear “Southern Baptist”?  This was the question from Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, that came across Twitter last week.  My answer in Twitter fashion was: @ThomRainer ‘Southern Baptist’? 1-my church.Then sad-easy believism, weak Gospel overshadowed by “conservative” politics but much potential. Dr. Rainer weighed in on his son Sam’s blog breaking down the Twitter replies at When You Hear Southern Baptist, You Think… and Tony Kummer also gathered some additional replies at Southern Baptist Branding.  Below are the replies Wordled by Thom Rainer. Apparently, my answers weren’t as popular as …keep reading »

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Proposition What? Rick Warren Did Not Lie

If  you watch this video: News & Views 10/23/2008 Part 3 (Prop 8 ) at about the 30 second mark you will hear the following. “We support Proposition 8 and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8.” If you read this transcript Interview with Pastor Rick Warren (Aired April 6, 2009) you read: PASTOR RICK WARREN, DELIVERED PRAYER AT OBAMA’S INAUGURATION: Yes, you know, Larry, there was a story within a story that never got told. In the first place, I am not an anti-gay or anti-gay marriage activist. I never have …keep reading »


Financial Omniscience

Below is a great quote by Ben Stein on knowing the future, especially, the future of financial and economic markets. I am bemused because I have long noticed that almost all economic pundits and soothsayers – whether on television, in newspapers, or at brokerage firms and conferences, are asked to tell the future. And most of them agree to try to do so, and the really successful ones actually say they can do it – and they say it with extreme conviction. Some of them are stunningly well paid for their efforts, even though they are wrong decade after decade. …keep reading »

Thumbnail image for April Devotion MP3

April Devotion MP3

My pastor said something I found funny while introducing me.  He mentioned that I was a blogger.  I was still too nervous at that point to comment. Below is a recording of the devotion I gave that I wrote about yesterday.  I hope it’s edifying.  If not, then shoot the messenger (me) because the message of the Gospel was clearly given to us. Any feedback whether positive or constructive is appreciated.


Wisdom From A Teenager On Youth Ministry

A teenager, named Erica, was recently given an assignment to write an editorial on the subject of her choice. Her topic? Youth ministry.  Below is the editorial exactly as sent to a fellow blogger who is also a family friend of Erica.  Did I mention that she is only 15? Wow! ——————————————————— A new phenomena is going on in churches these days. Picture this: You enter into the youth group of a church on a Sunday or Wednesday night. You see at least fifty kids around. Some are off talking or playing a game, but most are in a circle …keep reading »


9 Marks Journal: Young Pastors

Church members: read these articles to help see where you may be a problem and how you may help with the solution for your pastor and the health of your local church. The latest 9Marks eJournal is out.  The topic is young pastors and it looks very good.  It’s good for the church to understand what pastor’s go through in their own lives in the pastoral role.  It’s nice to see my pastor writing for 9Marks again.  A portion of the editor’s note. “Clear vision but little depth perception.” That’s how I’ve heard Mark Dever characterize young pastors. Young pastors see their doctrine …keep reading »


Apostle Paul Shunned By Christians

A while back I wrote Could Jesus be a student at Liberty University? I took a look at some of the reprimands and fines for certain activities of Liberty students.  I ran across something along the same lines over at The Sacred Sandwich site which is a brilliantly accurate portrayal of today’s Christianity. If Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians was Published in Christianity Today Below are some snippets from the “letters to the editor.” …I have to say how appalled I am by the unchristian tone…How arrogant…it is very Pharisaical…I’ve seen other dubious articles by Paul Apostle…Certainly I commend him…the …keep reading »


LifeWay Reads With Discernment

Update: The Baptist Standard reported that LifeWay backs off ‘read with discernment’ label for books. Apparently the label was irrelevant to their customers. So all of the links below have been removed since they were dead. LifeWay, the Christian bookstore of the Southern Baptist Convention, has a new warning label out. It’s called Read With Discernment.  You can read more about it at their Read With Discernment page where they explain what they’re doing. Our Challenge to be Discerning We want you to know that the authors of books marked Read with Discernment may have espoused thoughts, ideas, or concepts …keep reading »


Spiritual Warfare Sunday School

This past Sunday I got to substitute teach in Sunday School.  I was jumping in the middle of teaching on spiritual warfare.  The topic I was to cover was spiritual warfare and church leaders.  I was asked if I would share my notes here so I will.  I wasn’t sure at first, but someone may find something helpful. Approach Given the time constraints I decided to do an overview will the intention of spurring conversation. Since we’ve all ready covered the general aspects of spiritual warfare from the Christian perspective I wanted to look at the same issues considering pastors/leaders.  …keep reading »


Spurgeon: Liberal or Landmarker?

Does who you serve the Lord’s Supper with make you either a Landmarker or a liberal?  I suppose it depends on who you ask.  Maybe the answer would be more along the lines that one might lean one way or the other without actually being either.  In other words, if, as a Southern Baptist, you have no trouble serving communion to a Presbyterian you have liberal leanings.  Or, if you think that only those baptized by immersion should be served communion you have Landmark leanings.  If we use the slippery slope argument then we should probably abandon both practices.  Of …keep reading »


John 3:16 Conference, Together for the Gospel and Poor Arguments

One of the concerns raised by Steve Lemke at the John 3:16 Conference (J316C) is the current trend of baptists organizing conferences with Presbyterians.  As I lived blogged, Dr. Lemke mentioned that when baptists team up with Presbyterians is causes confusion.  As Lemke explained in an email to Ed Stetzer one aim of this conference was to respond to the Building BRidges conference and the Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference.  My understanding is that the remark about baptists and Presbyterians working together and causing confusion is a reference to T4G.  Lemke’s remark about confusion over who is baptist vs. …keep reading »


Ten Indictments Against the American Church by Paul Washer

A practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture. An ignorance of God. A failure to address man’s malady. An ignorance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. An ignorance of the doctrine of regeneration.* An unbiblical gospel invitation. Ignorance regarding the nature of the Church. A lack of loving and compassionate Church discipline. A silence on separation. Lack of children being taught in the home. Praise God for men like Paul Washer who aren’t afraid to preach such truths attacking the elephants in the room. Mark *Mr. Washer said “fourth” twice so I am re-numbering them accordingly. 🙂


A Calvinist Helping Missions?

Dear Readers, I still need your help in being sponsored and this is the last week! This Friday, November 21st, I will be joining 30 other men to help raise money for the Sandy Springs Mission in Atlanta, GA.  I found out last week that this mission will most likely run out of money in March 2009. What this mission does Sandy Springs Mission ministers to children in our community by: after-school programs (designed to help increase the literacy rate among low-income families) helping these young people learn to – read – write – communicate effectively (to help them thrive …keep reading »


A Calvinist Missionary and Other Notables

When it comes to missions and evangelism in the Southern Baptist Convention today’s hot button is Calvinism and it’s resurgence among younger Southern Baptists.  Is the concern that Calvinism does and will stifle missions and evangelism in the SBC valid?  The answer seems to depend on who you ask.  Regardless of theology, it’s a Gospel issue and  a sin problem.  One of my dead horses is a concern of pelagianism which I’ve mention recently. So what does a Calvinist missionary say ON BEING A SBC CALVINIST (& MISSIONARY)? Patterson gave me Calvinism When I entered The Criswell College in 1990, …keep reading »


A Seminary Student’s Thoughts on the John 3:16 Conference-Update

Update: Todd Burus shares a great letter written prior to the conference. Read it: Calvinism in the SBC- An Open Letter to Johnny Hunt and Jerry Vines One of the people I was at the John 3:16 Conference with is a seminary student working towards an M.Div.  He attends an SBC seminary and was asked to give his thoughts on the conference for one of his classes.  He’s allowed me to post his brief thoughts below. Note: Thanks to Peter for influencing me to make this clarification.  The paragraphs below are a brief overview of my friend’s initial thoughts that …keep reading »


Southern Baptist Pastors: A Must Read Letter

Open Letter to All Pastors of Churches in the SBC Dear Pastor, Let me first clarify that this letter is for Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) pastors in general. I am well aware that what you are about to read does not include all pastors – at least not in totality. …What is really so remarkable about the question of SBC decline is not the decline itself, but rather the simple answer that is so obvious no one will talk about with any seriousness openly in the SBC. Read the whole thing!


John 3:16 Conference 60 minute Q&A

John 3:16 Conference live blogging links in order Welcome Part 1 Part 2 (T) Part 3 (U) Part 4 (L) Part 5 (I) Part 6 (P) Part 7 And the downloadable handout from Dr. Allen with updated cleaner charts thanks to Tony Byrne. UPDATE: James White and Phil Johnson have answered David Allen concerning the charge that James White is a hyper-Calvinist according to Phil Johnson’s definition. —————————————————————————- Paige Patterson had to leave early so Malcom Yarnell is sitting in for him on the panel. The format is one question for TULIP from a Calvinist and a non-Calvinist. 1. Total …keep reading »


John 3:16 Conference Charles Stanley – John 3:16 to the World

Dr. Stanley starts telling that he grew up in a pentecostal holiness church.  He wasn’t raised with the belief that we can have assurance of salvation.  He then came to understand in the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. Stanley doesn’t like this new move of talking about raising up “leaders” and such.  Instead we need to grow godly men.  He tells the story of his salvation and that he just loved Jesus.  He didn’t have a theological description.  He asks, how can you be saved and be lost?  Referencing those who don’t believe in eternal security. The world is looking for …keep reading »


John 3:16 Conference Ken Keathley – Perseverance of the Saints

Quote from I.H Marshall – 2 Tim. 1:12 – Two components – One is presently saved – you can know that you are saved – One who in a state of grace will remain in the state of grace –>This is the perseverance What is the basis for assurance? Asahel Nettleton says “I think it possible I may get to heaven.” – Quotes D.A. Carson WTJ. 54. 21. – “Arminianism and Calvinism meet in strange and sad ways.” Three views on knowing if we are genuinely saved? Roman Catholic: Assurance is not possible; Canon 15 at the Council of Trent; …keep reading »


John 3:16 Conference Steve Lemke – Irresistible Grace

Desires to go forward in unity. Those these discussions are appropriate. References Dordt and it being a response to the Remonstrance. Reads some long quotes of God’s grace that man has not saving grace within himself, etc. that we can’t do anything that is good. All good deeds must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ.  Then, tells everyone that this was the Remonstrance and what the Calvinists were reacting against. We should not confuse hyper-Calvinists and Calvinists just as we should not call Arminians pelagian.  We should all do better with these labels. SBCer’s are not Pelagians …keep reading »


John 3:16 Conference David Allen – Limited Atonement

Dr. Allen starts with John 3:16.  He plans on quoting only Calvinsts to prove his case against limited atonement.  Calvinists are going to be “shocked.” What two things to these men have in common – Calvin, Bunyan, Bullinger, Watts, Brainerd, Hodge, Edwards, Shedd, Barnes, Strong, etc. etc.? (I couldn’t get them all)  Dr. Allen wants to be firm but fair.  Answering the questions of must a Calvinist hold to the L, did they all hold to it and does Scripture teach it. He mentions Tony Byrne at  who is a four-point Calvinist.  Dr. Allen gave a six page hand-out.  …keep reading »


John 3:16 Conference Richard Land-Unconditional Election

Dr. Vines starts the morning explaining that disagreeing is not a bad thing. He has many Calvinist friends with whom he disagrees. He claims man can still make a choice and that though depraved not so much to as to say our capacity to chose is ruined. He does not mention God’s grace and how He acts in our “choice” in salvation.  (He mentions that Ergun Caner might be here.) Dr. Land Congruent Election: Understanding Salvation from An Eternal Now Perspective We believe in an infallible word of God that does not contradict itself. We must seek knowledge and insight …keep reading »


John 3:16 Conference Paige Patterson-Total Depravity

The most hated doctrine in the world today is the exclusivity of Christ.  The second is total depravity. He says thank God that our Calvinistic brethren for preaching the word of God. We have so much total depravity in our churches today because the word of God is neglected in preaching today. Dr. Patterson starts with reading Romans 1 through 3:26.  He says you won’t hear this preached in this post-modern world. What does depravity mean? There is not a single human being on the face of the earth that is right with God.  None, not one regardless of religion …keep reading »


John 3:16 Conference Jerry Vines-John 3:16

Dr. Vines, as far as I can tell, is preaching the same message on John 3:16 that he preached at SBTS chapel earlier this year.  You can listen here: “The Inexhaustible Love of God” (John 3:16).  Since you can go and listen I may not say too much on this.  We’ll see.  From what I remember there is nothing contrary to what a Calvinist would believe in Dr. Vines sermon. God’s love is global.  If you’ve not heard this sermon Vines goes through the greek and some historical understandings of love, world, God, etc. He does mention that some hyper-Calvinists …keep reading »


John 3:16 Conference Welcome Message by Johnny Hunt

As I blog through the John 3:16 Conference I will try to follow the schedule. Jerry Vines introduces the conference and Johnny Hunt.  He says this conference is designed to be a biblical and theological response to five point Calvinism. Johnny Hunt gets a show of hands and about 90% of the attendance are pastors and the rest lay people.  He starts with reading Psalm 119:33-40.  He emphasizes the “teach me” and “make me” in the verses.  We come to hear and obey the word of God.  Not intellectually, but to learn and apply it.  God grants the content and …keep reading »


John 3:16 Conference Questions

As many of you know (or maybe not) I will be attending the John 3:16 Conference this week.  The very last item on the schedule is a 60 minute Q&A. So… I’d love to hear from blogdom out there as to what questions you’d like answered.  Maybe, just maybe I could get to ask or submit some of them for you.  I don’t know the set-up for everything yet so we’ll see. I may also get the chance to live blog the conference. Hopefully, this conference will build rather than tear down. Mark p.s. I recently reviewed a sermon from …keep reading »


Deeper Conference, First Baptist Woodstock: Paul Washer

In a previous post I blogged about the Deeper Conference.  I didn’t get to attend as I’d hope, but below is one of Paul Washer’s presentations that is quickly becoming very popular. Play the audio above or download MP3 here. Enjoy! Mark


And If Obama Is Elected

Change! Change is what we keep hearing about that Obama will bring if elected president. I’m hoping for change too. I hope I at least to get a little change back from my income taxes due to the poor Congressional policies, unethical business practices and irresponsible consumers that led to this huge bailout. And what will happen if Obama is elected?  Steve Hays has given the correct answer below.  It’s just too good of a line to let go without honorable mention.  Especially, since Triablogue moves so fast.  To hear some people talk you might think this isn’t too far …keep reading »


Southern Baptist Double-Standard?

David Waters post Southern Baptists and their Gender Double-Standard over at On Faith claims that Southern Baptists have a double-standard when it comes to the new republican VP pick.  His claim is basically that Southern Baptists shouldn’t promote and vote for Sarah Palin, a woman, since we wouldn’t let her pastor a church.  So what’s his argument and objection? Now that Southern Baptist leaders are embracing the idea of a woman leading this nation, will they rethink their rejection of the idea of a woman leading their congregations? Probably not. Since Baptist Faith and Message 2000 states the position that …keep reading »


Roman Catholic Baptist?

Peter Smith of the courier-journal out of Louisville gives us an interesting story morning Married, ex-Baptist minister to become Catholic priest.  Sad, but interesting story about former baptist pastor David Harris converting to Catholicism.  So why the question “Roman Catholic Baptist?”  Smith’s story begins. David Harris never considered his conversion to Catholicism six years ago to be a rejection of the Baptist faith that nourished him from childhood in Eastern Kentucky. How does a man with an M. Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary  come to this conclusion?  I understand that there are areas in our seminaries that need improvement, but …keep reading »


Views on homosexuality

LifeWay has just released research on views of homosexuality from a telephone survey.  The groups included in the survey were Americans in general, Roman Catholics, Protestants and another called “born-again, evangelical or fundamentalist Protestants.”  I’m not quite sure of the distinction of the last group from the Protestants. A quote from the article by friend and Research Director, Ed Stetzer. “Almost a third of Americans and almost half of those who do not attend a place of worship – the people we are trying to reach – say our view of sexual morality would negatively impact their decision to visit …keep reading »


Southern Baptist Convention: on tips and alcohol

I just wanted to relay this true story from a good friend of mine.  He was a messenger at this years annual Southern Baptist Convention.  He tells me this story about eating dinner in Indianapolis. He goes to have dinner at a restaurant.  He asks the server if she has been busy due to all of the Southern Baptists (SBs) in town.  She said they’ve noticed a little more business, but nothing overwhelming. He asks how tipping has been with the visiting patrons.  Her answer is that they’ve not been too great and that a co-worker had just been given …keep reading »


SBC Membership Resolution Passes

My good friend John Jordan called me this morning from the Convention floor to tell me that the resolution on regenerate church membership passed.  He said it was just wonderful to be there and watch the support for the resolution as the amendments were initially not being fully supported. As resolutions go, whatever it ends up meaning and however it ends up working it passed. On Regenerate Church Membership and Church Member Restoration WHEREAS, The ideal of a regenerate church membership has long been and remains a cherished Baptist principle, with Article VI of the Baptist Faith and Message describing …keep reading »

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The Assembly Interview: A Pastor with a Church in Need

I met a couple of pastors, Charlie Scalf and Adam Fann, at the Southern Baptist Building Bridges Conference a few weeks ago. They pastor a church called The Assembly Baptist Church in downtown Johnson City, TN. I met them through my good friends John and Shannon Jordan who I have known for several years. I also got to meet the Jordans’ pastor, Reggie, who you will read about below. Reggie was nice enough to buy us all Tom Schreiner’s newest book on baptism. After spending a few days with sitting with and eating with these guys I got to know …keep reading »



The WWJD acronym took Christian marketing by storm, had it’s 15 minutes of fame and still lingers and reappears at times. In my experience, most of the time when “WWJD” is brought up it’s in the context of being kinder, gentler and nicer to those around us. Or to a certain situation currently being dealt with. It’s not necessarily a bad question to ask, but is it the right one? The title “WDJD” isn’t a misprint, but a new acronym for “What did Jesus do?” Why the new question? I believe it’s needed because that is what Scripture is focused …keep reading »

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Southern Baptists and a Great Commission Resurgence?

Beyond Calvinism This post will refer to cleaning our house beyond Calvinism though it stems from talks from Calvinism. Last week I attended the Southern Baptist Building Bridges Conference and Dr. Danny Akin in his presentation said we need a Great Commission Resurgence. Tim Rogers who I had the pleasure of meeting at the conference has a good summary of Dr. Akin’s position. I think Denny Burk summarized the main point very well and we we should all take heed. If you care at all about the future of Southern Baptist cooperation, you must not miss this message. It was …keep reading »


The Final Apologetic

At the recent Southern Baptist Building Bridges Conference I sat and listened to Tom Ascol deliver one of the closing sermons. He mentioned Schaeffer’s “Final Apologetic” in reference to those of us of different theological perspectives should love and treat each other. He is part of this topic by Schaeffer to reflect on. The Final Apologetic But there is something even more sober. And to understand it we must look at John 17:21, a verse out of the midst of Christ’s high priestly prayer. Jesus prays, “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me …keep reading »


Southern Baptists Building Bridges: Reflections

The Building Bridges Conference was a great experience. By now most people probably know that the audio is online at and presentations are available at Ed Stetzer’s blog. I would have gotten to this sooner, but I could not get my friends router to connect with my wireless card. I decided not to try to live blog once I found out the audio would be available online. I am thankful for this since I could not do justice to the actual presentations. Not to mention the limited space that I needed to keep my laptop plugged in. I know …keep reading »


Southern Baptist Building Bridges Pic of the Week

I just want to give a quick update since I am back home and about to go to church. I will hopefully have a larger post sharing some thoughts on the conference. I talked to Ed Stetzer just before I left and he said he had all ready posted this pic, but that’s okay. He also asked why I didn’t blog the event. I had some computer and space issues. So on the back of a pick-up truck of one of the attendees who is from Texas was the picture below. I was actually driving behind this truck for several …keep reading »


Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism

I’d just like to answer Nathan Finn’s question about who is going to the National Founders Conference. Lord willing, I will begin my drive tomorrow morning. As to the other part of Nathan’s question I’m not sure what my attire will be. The edgy Calvinist look, traditional SBC CR 1970’s look, my regular business casual or the meanie Calvinist highlander attire. 🙂 Hopefully, many of us bloggers and have some edifying fellowship. Ciao, Mark

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Georgia Baptist Blogging Resolution

Last week in Augusta, GA I was a messenger to the Georgia Baptist Convention. Two resolutions passed one on appreciation and another on blogging. Fellow Georgia Baptist blogger Roger Ferrell recently commented on this resolution over at sbc IMPACT! I pretty much agree with his observations. I also appreciate that Timmy Brister has chimed in as well. The resolution on blogging is below. Resolution on Blogging Submitted by Rev. Wayne Bray and Rev. William Harrell Beulah Baptist Church, Douglasville, GA WHEREAS, the American people have the distinct privilege of freedom of speech as provided by our United States Constitution, and …keep reading »


MO Southern Baptists: Towards an Unbiblical Position

The annual Missouri Baptist Convention just wrapped up.  Tim Townsend of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that there was talk and debate about the topic of, what else, alcohol.  Now I don’t know if alcohol was taking over the Missouri Baptists, but apparently, Rodney Albert of Hallsville Baptist Church has a great quote that made the article. “2007 was the year Missouri Baptists became soft on alcohol abstention,” he thundered to loud applause. “We must fight the alcohol fight and keep it out of the convention.” Boy, that’ll preach!  It sounds good and probably got the emotions flowing, but is …keep reading »


Southern Baptists, Investing and Morality

The ChristianNewsWire has an interesting story Investments In and Profits from Abortion and Pornography Loom Large for Protestants/Catholics Alike that reveals investments in companies that are somehow involved in immorality. The world’s two largest “ultra-conservative” denominations currently invest hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars in companies that profit from and/or promote what their own doctrines describe as two major sins – abortion and pornography. As Southern Baptists, should we be concerned? Take a look at GuideStone’s portfolio holdings and sort through them if you wish. You will find companies like Johnson & Johnson that are named in the …keep reading »

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Habits resulting in death?

We all have habits both good, bad and indifferent.  One of my habits that may fit into any of those catergories on any given night is that while channel surfing I see someone like Joel Osteen “preaching” so I stop and listen.  I did this last night and just in time to hear Joel’s “This is my Bible..” confession.  So I got to hear about how people are basically good and it’s just our bad habits that we need to change. Osteen mentioned a list of “habits” that most Christians would normally understand to be “sins” as my wife reminded …keep reading »


Southern Baptists and the Weight of Gluttony

As the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting draws near a resolution on gluttony may be proposed and I hope it is.  This resolution is written in the spirit of and response to last years Resolution 5 on alcohol.  There have been various responses around the blogging world and then some which you can easily search and find. If it is appropriate to go beyond Scripture and bind the conscience of people by prohibiting even a glass of alcohol then sure we can address the real problem of gluttony and obesity in the Convention.  Our missionaries must meet certain body mass …keep reading »


Rick Warren Vs. John Piper on the Gospel

First, I think Godtube is cool and I hope WordPress will allow their videos to be posted. I went there to see Dr. White’s videos he posted. And I also wanted to see the site after hearing about it in a news report today. I got to browse around a little. Then, I read centuri0n’s post on Rick Warren. He got the material from Adrian Warnock who also posted on Warren. Which brings me back to browsing around Godtube and this comparison. In this video, John Piper talks about the Gospel for about six minutes. In this video, Rick Warren …keep reading »


What if the Super Pastor left?

I ran into an old friend the other day.  We caught up a little bit about our churches and some of the churches in the metro Atlanta area.  He brought up a certain church that has three campuses in addition to its main church location.  The campuses will play videos of sermons from the main church pastor.  My friend thought that he might be tempted to stay home and watch a sermon on TV as a good alternative to attending one of the campuses. Then, he asked two interesting question, “What if the pastor left?  What would happen to those …keep reading »


An Idol Called Evangelism booklet now out

Last year I learned of a sermon from James White’s blog called An Idol Called Evangelism.  This sermon is by Pastor Roy Hargrave of Riverbend Church.  A few folks blogged about it including Jeff Fuller and friend Howard Fisher. Well, now the  talked about booklet is out and can be ordered online.  Here is the description of the book. Dr. Hargrave contends that many current evangelism methods have become manipulative, man-centered, and are rapidly producing false converts.  In fact, these unbiblical, modern-day evangelism methods have seemingly become more important than the gospel itself.  They have become more important than the …keep reading »

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The Altar Question: Southern Baptists and Others?

I have mostly heard and seen this in Southern Baptist churches. I am not talking about altar calls where unbelievers are being called forward which is another topic for another time. I am talking about going forward to pray and/or renew your commitment to Christ. I have asked about this practice before on this and other blogs with no real answer. Emotionally, I can understand the purpose this may serve. This practice can really get one emotionally charged up and feel like really doing better this time. This is my observation through watching as well as hearing from others. Often, …keep reading »


Pro-abortion: Honoring Christ’s Teachings or Obama’s?

In many news and blog articles Rick Warren is being criticized for having Senator Barack Obama speak at Saddleback’s AIDS Conference.  The controversy involves Obama’s pro-abortion position which is in opposition to Warren’s position and, of course, against the biblical position.  I want to take a look at a brief response by Obama from an article reporting Rick Warren’s defense of having him speak at Saddleback’s AIDS conference. “Many people of faith have strong views about abortion, and I deeply respect their beliefs,” Obama said in a statement. “While we will never see eye-to-eye on all issues, surely we can come together …keep reading »


Calvinists are Evangelical

Below is a response I sent to The Christian Index in reply to a reader’s recent submission entitled Evangelical Calvinism is an oxymoron. Let’s see if it gets published. Calvinists are Evangelical I can’t believe some who professes to be Protestant know all that the original Protestants professed. If Southern Baptists wish to continue to call themselves Protestant and embrace the five solas shouldn’t they embrace infant baptism? No, and this is not a good position from which to argue. Much the same approach was used in a previous letter from Nelson Price arguing that Calvinists don’t know all John …keep reading »


Church Fundraising: How?

I have given a few passing thoughts lately to church fundraising. I know there are times when churches need money just to meet their normal budget since the congregation doesn’t normally give well. However, I am speaking more of raising money for extra projects like new building additions, rennovations or a new multi-million dollar sanctuary with two escalators. Okay, maybe the escalator comment is too much…maybe not if it’s true.  Okay, I’m not telling any church how they should spend their money.  I am just making a few observations.  It seems that there are some modern day Tetzel’s selling new …keep reading »

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Jesse Mercer’s Eternal Concerns of a Slave

In Nathan Finn’s recent post 19th Century Baptists, Slavery, and Christian Civility: Some Lessons from the Past in he tells of a new book he is about to publish entitled Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution.  Read his post for more information.  It’s looks to be an interesting read and will shed some light on two opposing positions from the past.  I agree with Nathan that such a form of slavery in the early U.S. was sinful, much like the kind that continues today in places like Sudan. Upon reading Nathan’s post I thought about a book I recently …keep reading »


Being More Holy: Forward to the Altar Steps

Is there something more spiritual about going forward, kneeling down and praying on the steps around the pulpit (sometimes called the altar)?  It sure seems like there is.  My wife and I recently experienced this call.  After a very sharp appeal to the emotions in reference to serving God and prayer there was a strong persuading for all to come forward, kneel and pray.   Now my wife, having grown up in Baptist churches, was very familiar this type of appeal.  Her observation was that visiting evangelists do this type of thing so that people remember him.  It can later be …keep reading »


Southern Baptists the coffins are here and Voddie’s got the hammer!

Do you want to here the straight truth about what’s going on in the SBC? Inflated baptismal numbers? Unregenerate members? Actually preaching the Gospel? Church discipline? Want to hear about “the dance”? You can hear about all of these things and more at this years Eastern Evangelism Conference in Hampton Voddie Baucham brings it. My buddy Frank turned me onto Voddie’s sermon on The Centrality of the Home which is also excellent. To make it easy here is the link to Voddie’s sermon. Not only does Voddie drive the final nail in the coffin, but he drives it in with …keep reading »


Blog bites: Voddie Baucham at the Piper Conference

First, listen to all of the conference: Desiring God Conference 2006. I am working my way through and am listening to Voddie this morning. He said something that we should think about as Christians. He was address the question of “Why are we here?” It will make us reflect on God’s grace and love and just make you wonder. Voddie said But I’m not going to answer the question until you ask it correctly….You’re not asking the question properly….How do I ask it properly?…Here’s how you ask that question properly…You look me in my eyes and you ask me this …keep reading »

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Worshiping with Ed Stetzer

This past Sunday my best man at my wedding, Russ, and his wife were in town. I was also his best man at his wedding. Neat, huh? We met and worshiped with Ed Stetzer at his church plant Lake Ridge Church which is about a year old. I found out the people was very welcoming. Ed greeted my family and me as we walked in a few minutes late and found our friends. I could refer to him as Dr. Stetzer, but after meeting him I think he’d say “Ed” is just fine. I could be wrong though. He was …keep reading »


Blog bites: Warrenism Splits Church

Yes, that’s Warrenism named after Rick Warren. I wondered if anyone had used that term before so just Google it and see. When I say Warrenism splits church I am referring to a story by Suzanne Sataline in the Wall Street Journal entitled A Popular Strategy For Church Growth Splits Congregants. It was only a matter of time that the seeker driven methods get critiqued in the media, but I would not have guess that it would make the Wall Street Journal. I don’t even know if the evil theology of Calvinism has made it that big. My favorite quote …keep reading »


Southern Baptists & the Alcohol Resolution: How?

There have been numerous bloggers writing on Resolution No. 5 On Alcohol Use in America from this years Southern Baptist Convention. The first “RESOVLED” of this resolution says, “RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, express our total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing, and consuming of alcoholic beverages;” My question is how is total opposition to alcohol to be expressed as said above aside from urging that “no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any entity or committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that …keep reading »


Frank Page and Alcohol Use: Heart of the Disagreement

First, I don’t believe anyone has been clearer nor dealt as exegetically with the issues in this debate in the SBC of alcohol abstinence vs. moderation than the material by ConcernedSBCer. This issue has been dealt with on this blog without using the iron fist in the lace glove technique. Brad Reynolds has quoted an article by new SBC President, Frank Page. Read the article for yourself. I don’t believe there is really anything new in it. One comment did stand out to me as I read Dr. Page’s article. I have bolded the part below. Personally, I believe that …keep reading »


The SBC, Alcohol, Patterson and MacArthur

It’s been several months since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been busy with my new family and studying for the CFP. I appreciate my concerned brothers who checked up on me to make sure I was well. Thanks a bunch. I also appreciate my friends who were going to take me off their blog roll if I didn’t post soon yet didn’t. Thanks, you’ve saved my 10 readers. I’ve been reading around the blog-o-sphere about the Convention in Greensboro and the resolution on alcohol. It’s been beaten to death, but obviously not sufficiently enough since there are still brothers who agree …keep reading »

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Moore, Pearce, Camp and a Lecture

I read through Steve Camp’s The Top Ten Turkey Awards of 2005 and his post Double standards. Number eight on the list is Russell Moore (the Henry Institute and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) for having Roman Catholic Joseph Pearce speak at the Gheens Lectures. Dr. Moore is, however, a very solid theologian. These lectures are not tough to track down so you can listen to them. Russell Moore actually posted about the whole event here. Dr. Moore makes no bones about Joseph Pearce being a professor at Ave Maria University is in the blog post. So he isn’t trying to …keep reading »


Dr. Rogers, say hello to Jesus for us.

According to the Baptist Press Dr. Adrian P. Rogers went to be with our Lord today. I used to listen to Dr. Rogers on the radio off and on a few years ago. While we had certain theological differences we certainly have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in common. Dr. Rogers was a great brother in the Lord and a champion for conservative theology in the SBC. Prayers go out to his family and friends. I just want to highlight a few quotes from the Baptist Press article. “I look back on my life and there are a lot of …keep reading »


SBTS, Mohler & Moore: Alcohol &

First, I want to thank my good friend Russ for pointing me to this issue over at Steve McCoy’s blog. And thank you, Steve and all the others for the good and brotherly insight and engagment on this issue. Dr. Russ Moore opens with a wonderful prayer and thanks all for being there and being part of the forum. He talks about the importance of the issue with which I agree. He starts off positioning the issue from the cultural perspective and questioning how we should best handle alcohol. He touches on the effects alcohol has on today’s culture and …keep reading »


Age of accountability? A question

Many feel comfort in holding to an age of accountability in that they believe any child below that age is totally free from God’s wrath due to their innocence. Usually it’s brought up against those mean ole Calvinists because many say that if a child dies it is God’s electing grace that saves the child not because of any “innocence” of the child. None are innocent. Then usually a strawman is built and the anti-Calvinist says that we say child who die go to hell. However, if these anti-Calvinists would ever actually listen maybe they would stop this nonsense. So …keep reading »


40 Days of a new Reformation?

During Rick Warren’s recent appearance on the Today Show he made the following statement. “I believe that we are possibly on the verge of a New Reformation in Christianity and another Great Awakening in our nation,” said Warren. “The signs are everywhere, including the popularity of this book.” Interesting that the popularity of Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life (PDL) is our gauging of whether or not a “new Reformation” is coming. I would prefer a resurgence of something like an increase Bible sales and theology books if we were to use books to gauge a new Reformation. I guess since …keep reading »