Archive for February, 2012

BREAKING NEWS ON THE SBC NAME CHANGE

SBC Convention President Bryant Wright presented Jimmy Draper, chairman of the SBC Name Change Task Force, to the SBC Executive Committee meeting in Nashville this evening (Monday, February 20th). The task force was appointed by President Wright, and thus is making its recommendation to him, who as a member of the Executive Committee could present it to the Executive Committee formally.

The task force recommended that the legal name “Southern Baptist Convention” be retained, because of the legal liabilities, name brand equity, and huge costs of changing the name. At the same time, the task force also recommended that it be supplemented with a non-legal or auxiliary name (or descriptor of our mission) of “Great Commission Baptists.”  Each church could decide which name identity best fits its identity and needs. Task force members Ken Fentress, Pastor of Montrose Baptist Church in Rockville, Maryland, and Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary spoke on behalf of the recommendation.

The task force understands this proposal to be a fairly innoculous change, one that is a “win-win” for both those who want to retain the historic Southern Baptist Convention name, and for those who want a more contemporary and non-regional name. Perhaps this is the best solution for a convention that includes so many diverse perspectives.

The recommendation will go to the administrative subcommittee of the Executive Committee tomorrow, and possibly to the full Executive Committee tomorrow. In order to be presented to the SBC in New Orleans, the SBC Executive Committee will need to approve the proposal (possibly either this evening or tomorrow, but perhaps right before the SBC in June). Since the Convention’s Constitution or Bylaws are not being changed, it would not have to be approved in two consecutive SBC annual meetings, i.e., this year in New Orleans and next year in Houston. Just one vote would be necessary.

Monday Exposition Idea:
Vintage Christianity
(John 15:1-8)

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Monday Exposition Idea:
Vintage Christianity
(John 15:1-8)


By Franklin L. Kirksey, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice.

These expositions by Dr. Kirksey are offered to suggest sermon or Bible study ideas for pastors and other church leaders, both from the exposition and from the illustrative material, or simply for personal devotion.


Introduction

Vintage is an interesting word meaning “characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal; classic.” In the words of the first stanza of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”,

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

 

Our text, John 15:1-8, is the seventh “I am” statement of our Lord Jesus Christ from the Gospel of John, where we read,

1 ”I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 ”I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

 

God the Father is the focus of our message.

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The Top Blog Posts of the Week


by the Contributing Editors of SBC Today

This is a list of recent blog posts which we found interesting.  That we found them interesting doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with or endorse the ideas presented in the posts, but that we found them to be intriguing and thought-provoking.  (They are listed in no particular order of interest). Please post your comments to discuss  any article that strikes your interest. If you have recent blog posts to nominate, please send the link to sbctoday@gmail.com.


About Theology

  • Owen on Sealing,” by Stephen Garrett in the Baptist Gadfly blog, with a citation from John Owen regarding the ordo salutis, affirming that Eph. 1:13-14 and 1 John 3:24 support the notion that regeneration does not precede faith and justification (and thus the sealing of the Holy Spirit is later, a kind of “second blessing”), but is coincident with faith and justification.
  • The Selective Grace of God,” by Hariette Peterson in the Selah V Today blog, about how God’s grace impacts even people who do not recognize it.
  • Compatibilist Middle Knowledge,” by Randy Everist in the Possible Worlds blog, arguing that the “compatibilist middle knowledge” view is incoherent.
  • Lose Your Salvation? The Gift You Did Not Deserve or Earn? No Way!” by Fletcher Law in Fletcher Law and Grace Ministries, answering a question about losing one’s salvation.
  • Understanding and Responding to Franke’s Foundationalism,” by Jared Moore in the SBC Voices blog, evaluating the foundationalism in John Franke’s book The Character of Theology.

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Religious Discrimination at Vanderbilt, Part 4:
Why Is the Vanderbilt Administration
Ignoring Nationwide Appeals to
Reconsider Its Religious Discrimination Policy?

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Religious Discrimination at Vanderbilt, Part 4:
Why Is the Vanderbilt Administration
Ignoring Nationwide Appeals to
Reconsider Its Religious Discrimination Policy?


Dr. Steve Lemke is Provost, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, and McFarland Chair of Theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as Director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, and the Editor of the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry.


This is the fourth of a four-part series on the religious liberty crisis at Vanderbilt University. The previous articles are —

Part 1: Why Is Vanderbilt University Persecuting Its Christian Students

Part 2: Why Is Vanderbilt Violating the Constitutional Rights of Its Students?

Part 3: Is the Vanderbilt University Administration Disseminating Misinformation about ItsPolicies to Repress Christian Organizations on Campus?

Breaking NewsVanderbilt University is now targeting the Baptist Collegiate Ministry on the Vanderbilt campus. The Vanderbilt BCM has been told if they even require that their leaders have “faith,” then it is discriminatory. See the story in Baptist Press. We plead with all Baptists and Christians to stand up against the Vanderbilt administration’s discrimination against Christians.


In the first article of this series, we recounted how Vanderbilt University is denying its students their First Amendment Rights to freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of association by forcing Christian campus organizations off-campus unless they remove from their constitutions all Christian beliefs or requirements for group leaders to hold Christian beliefs. Vanderbilt also denied requirements that leaders of Christian groups be expected to lead in Bible studies, prayer, or worship experiences. Christian groups had to make themselves completely vulnerable to hostile takeovers by anti-Christian groups to retain their registered student group status on the Vanderbilt campus. The second article detailed why these new policies at Vanderbilt violate the First Amendment rights of their students, and the third article enumerated five areas that the Vanderbilt administration has misrepresented these new rules to the public.

The protests of the student groups against this new policy were detailed in each of these articles. What has been the response of Christian leaders around the country? With one voice, Christians from a wide array of denominations and perspectives have protested the new policy at Vanderbilt and called for removing it:

  • Robert Shibley, Senior Vice President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, wrote a scathing letter to Vanderbilt Chancellor Zeppos and other university administrators September 21, 2011, documenting in very specific detail the institution’s interaction with the Christian Legal Society and calling for changes in the new institutional policies.

  • Twenty-three members of Congress wrote the Vanderbilt chancellor a letter of protest October 26, 2011, about the university’s abridgement of its students’ religious liberties, including the following (as reported in Catholic news outlet EWTN):

  • “Religious student groups form around specific beliefs. Selecting leaders that best represent a student organization’s mission is not discrimination; it is common sense. Religious groups must be allowed to select leaders that share the group’s core religious beliefs in order to maintain their religious identities and carry out their primary functions.”

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Breaking News

Vanderbilt University is now targeting the Baptist Collegiate Ministry on the Vanderbilt campus. The Vanderbilt BCM has been told if they even require that their leaders have “faith,” then it is discriminatory. See the story in Baptist Press. We plead with all Baptists and Christians to stand up against the Vanderbilt administration’s discrimination against Christians.