The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) met for its annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 14-16, 2012. ETS bills itself as “a professional, academic society of Biblical scholars, teachers, pastors, students, and others involved in evangelical scholarship” (www.etsjets.org). Its membership is currently 4,000 people worldwide. I do not know the breakdown of denominations but it includes a variety of evangelicals, from Lutherans to Presbyterians to Wesleyans to Bible church to interdenominational colleges and seminaries. Their peer-reviewed journal, JETS, is one of the premier conservative, biblical-theological journals in the world.
I have been a member of ETS since 2003, attended some of the meetings, and presented papers at five regional or annual meetings. The annual ETS meeting is a three-day marathon of paper presentations in the areas of biblical studies, biblical archaeology, systematic theology, ethics, and philosophy. In addition to the academic stimulation, it was refreshing to meet some of the people whose writings sit on my shelf in the form of commentaries, biblical studies, and systematic theologies. Like the annual meeting of the SBC, the annual meeting of the ETS is a chance to see old friends, make new friends, and overspend my book budget.
For 28 years, Dan Nelson has served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Camarillo, Calif. Pastor Nelson will submit a series of posts to SBCToday about people who influenced him for the sake of evangelism.
Jim Akins was a strong evangelistic pastor in Missouri and California whom God used to grow churches. He was director of evangelism for the California Southern Baptist Convention in the 90s. Later he worked at the North American Mission Board before returning to the pastorate. Jim was taken from us suddenly through cancer. He didn’t pass into glory, however, without taking many with him to heaven through his witness.
Jim and his wife, Kay, started out well in ministry after he graduated from seminary. However, shortly after that a terrible automobile accident put Kay in a wheel chair for the rest of her life. Kay was a wonderful person who traveled with Jim as much as she could, and she always had a cheerful spirit. The accident never deterred the couple. Jim was one of the most positive people I have ever known. When he became evangelism director, he lifted the spirits of many-a discouraged pastor at state evangelism conferences. You left those conferences knowing God could use you to grow any church through evangelism.
Dr. Bob Rogers has been pastor of First Baptist Church, Rincon, Ga. since 1999.He earned a B.A. from Mississippi College, and an M.Div. and Th.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an avid cyclist and regularly writes blogs at www.bobrogers.me.
The New International Version (NIV) of the Bible was published in 1979, the same year that I became pastor of my first church. Immediately, I liked how it was easy to read, yet more accurate than other popular, easy-to-read Bibles of the time, like The Living Bible and the Good News Bible. The NIV went through a minor revision in 1984, and I have been preaching primarily from the NIV ever since then, although I often quote other translations. However, beginning in the summer of 2012, I will change to the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). Why the change, after all these years? The answer is simple: I’m changing, because the NIV changed.
In 2011, the NIV went through a major revision, and the 1984 edition will no longer be sold in stores. If you buy a new NIV Bible, it will be the 2011 edition. The revision is more accurate in many places, correcting some translation errors of the old edition. However, the 2011 revision also chose to use gender-neutral language when referring to people, following the model of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), a translation that is owned by the liberal National Council of Churches. In some cases, the gender-neutral language is justified, as when the word “man” refers to all of humanity or when Paul addresses the “brothers” but clearly means all believers, “brothers and sisters.” But the 2011 revision of the NIV goes much farther than this, consistently using gender-neutral language even when the context does not necessarily call for it.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” I Thess. 5.18.
On the slim chance that you have pushed away from the table — the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, etc. — and venture onto the blog today or tomorrow, please list three of God’s blessings for which you are thankful. However, there is a catch: your list must be alliterative, like mine.
I’m thankful for my Savior, salvation and spouse.