Archive for July, 2012

Framers of TS remove signatory list

The editors of SBC Today would like to take this opportunity thank all of those who have supported “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation” with their signatures. Your willingness to publicly affirm the Statement in this way greatly assisted in communicating to the SBC that there is a soteriological point-of-view that needs to be heard and engaged, and this is exactly what has happened. A robust discussion of these matters has ensued, culminating in Dr. Frank Page's commitment to create a special committee to study these issues and bring back a report to the Convention.

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George W. Truett: 1929

As the time of the Memphis Convention (1929) drew near, Dr. Truett was greatly troubled. He knew that above all else it was important that his people be summoned to earnest prayer and to renewed spiritual emphasis. The following prayer of his for the approaching Memphis Convention was printed by the magazine, Home and Foreign Fields, some days before the Convention.

Grant, O God, the consciousness of thine overshadowing power and presence as we meet to seek thy will and to do thy will. Without thee we can do nothing. Except thou be with us all our plans and deliberations will be in vain. With thy help we can do all things.

Help us to gather in such spirit, Our Christ, that thou canst honor thy promise to be in our midst. May all that we say and do be so truly in thy name that thou wilt give to us whatsoever we ask. Take from us all selfishness, all littleness, all pettiness, all self-seeking, all querulousness, all suspicion, all narrowness, all prejudice, all timidity, all faithlessness, all guile. Enable us to come with holy boldness to do business with and for thee, that thy Kingdom may come and thy will be done among men.

Come to our side, O Holy Spirit, to do thine office work –– to comfort us in our distresses, to guide us into the truth, teach us how to pray, to reveal Christ more perfectly to us and in us, to intercede for us with unutterable yearning before the Father’s presence. We know that thou art more willing to give us thine enduement than we are to receive it, and we pray that thou wilt so brood over us during these momentous days that our hearts will open to thee as the flowers to the summer sun.

May we put first things first. May we abide in the shadow of the cross. May the sigh and sob, the heartache and heart-break, of a lost world come to our ears with more insistence than the hum of machinery and the clink of money. May no program devised by men take precedence over the purpose proposed by Christ. May no jangling discords of needless debates drown out the quiet voice of the Master as he says to us afresh, “All authority hath been given unto me. . . . Go ye therefore and make disciples.”

Help us to walk worthily of our Christian calling, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love, giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Make us to realize that we are the light of the world, the salt of the earth, ambassadors of Christ, living epistles known and read of all men. God grant that our light shall not be darkness, that our salt shall not lose its savor, that we shall not be found false witnesses of thee!

Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Jehovah, our Rock and our Redeemer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Why today’s Calvinism concerns me.

Tim Guthrie is Senior Pastor at Arlington Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tenn.

(Ed.’s note. This is a post from Tim Guthrie’s blog [see] and is re-posted here in a slightly edited form. Tim is a frequent commentor at

I have debated writing this post for some time. The reality that anything written can be misconstrued is enough by itself to cause hesitation. The last thing I want to do is leave the wrong impression with anyone. I love Calvinists and I love Traditionalists. I work with both and even some in other groups. So I write the following to voice concerns that I am seeing and hearing. I write to add clarification as to why I signed the Traditional Statement. I write to reveal why this issue is a growing problem. And since I write best by making lists, I will compile a list of my concerns while making it clear that NO priority is given other than the first one on the list.

The list will include specific and generic issues tied to people and promotion. Again, these are my concerns and are questions that I have yet to get consistent answers from (new) Calvinists. The older SBC Calvinists that I have known and respected were totally different.

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Reforming the Deacons (Part 4):
More than 40 Acts of Service


By Joe McKeever, Preacher, Cartoonist, Pastor, and retired Director of Missions at the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans



Today’s post continues a series of articles concerning the ministry of deacons in the local church. To see the earlier articles in this series by Dr. McKeever, click on the following links to access Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

What should deacons do?

If Acts 6:1-7 is to be our example and guide, the work of deacons may be defined as: whatever the congregation decides it needs, as prompted by the leadership, as chosen by the congregation, as solves the situation, and as will enhance the proclamation of the gospel.

We would appreciate additional scriptural examples defining deacons’ activity in the early church; but without such we must follow the few principles we do have, and the leading of the Holy Spirit as best we can perceive it.

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Discussion vs. Debate:
A model for SBCToday commentary, and wherever Christians assemble to talk theology

Norm MillerNorm Miller is the director of communications and marketing at Truett-McConnell College.

Discussion vs. Debate: The title itself invites both its subjects. Honestly, to which are we most prone? There, I did it again: invited either a discussion or debate or both.

Webster defines a discussion as an informal debate, and a formal debate as contentious. The question is whether Christ followers should discuss or debate. Jesus was contentious, even righteously indignant; however, those traits showed when he was dealing with Pharisees, moneychangers, et al.

But was Jesus contentious with the Pharisee Nicodemus? The account reveals that the two had a discussion, not a debate – at least not a formal, contentious debate. Nicodemus had some truth, and Jesus had a distinct divine advantage in that vein. He was(is) the Truth, knew the truth, and was able to discern the hearts and minds of men like no other.

Nonetheless, the exchange between the God-Man and the one who considered himself a man of God provides a rubric for what is writ on the digital pages of  Acknowledging that all analogies eventually break down, consider the following in light of the aforementioned discussion.

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