by Ron Hale
Ron Hale has served as pastor, church planter, strategist (NAMB), director of missions, and associate executive director of evangelism and church planting for a state convention, and now in the fourth quarter of ministry as minister of missions.
At the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers near Knoxville, in East Tennessee, the Tennessee River begins its serpentine course of 652 miles. Its tributaries are too numerous to mention in this short article. In similar fashion, the beginnings of Baptists in Tennessee sprang forth in East Tennessee and flowed westward as two major theological streams mixed, mingled, and merged as the mainstream of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
by Marty Comer, pastor
Sand Ridge Baptist Church
Founded in 1845, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted no confession of faith for it’s first 80 years. Obviously, Southern Baptists during that 80-year period held beliefs that were similar to their neighbors, and there was a body of shared beliefs among Baptists in the South. What were some of those shared beliefs? Were they much like what traditional Southern Baptists believe today?
Baptists have always considered themselves “a people of the book.” The Bible has been our standard for faith and practice. This simple biblicism has led Southern Baptists through the decades, when confronted with a doctrinal question, to ask, “What does the Bible say?”
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Mt. 5.44.
Does God require His children to do something He does not do?
Is it disobedient *not* to love/pray for our enemies?
Is it Christlike to obey this command and to love/pray for our enemies?
Is Matthew 5.44 part of God’s moral law?
If so, can God act contrary to His moral law since it is an expression of His character?
If so, would God be loving His enemies if He refused to save them when He could do so?
(Common grace does not address this question).
So, how can the doctrine of unconditional election be true when it requires God to deny His own character?”
by Walker Moore
Walker Moore is founder and president of AweStar Ministries, and has trained thousands of students to share the Gospel, and then taken them around the world to do so.
For my recent birthday, my youngest son took me to see the movie Gravity. There’s only one way to see that kind of movie: at the IMAX in 3D. You would think that title, the movie would be all about it, but there’s hardly any gravity in the film until the last few minutes. Most of the time, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are floating around space dealing with the lack thereof. The movie gets pretty intense at times, and when it was over, the man next to me got up, walked over to the trash can and threw up. I guess he couldn’t handle weightlessness.