Over two years ago I had the privilege to form this blog with friends who were of common mind and interest. Before that I was a rogue :-) blogger on my own, speaking about various issues including topics on the Southern Baptist Convention. So, for over three and a half years I have spent an enormous amount of time interacting with many of you. It has been quite a learning experience and I have benefited from this venture. I thank you all for taking the time out to converse with me over issues we are passionate about. But the time has come for me to break away to pursue other interests, namely leading the church I pastor in reevaluating how we reach others for Christ in our changed culture (from attractional [programs] to incarnational [process]) and producing my dissertation on the Great Commission. To do this will require my focus (outside of God and family which comes first) to be on these two important aspects of my ministry.
Therefore, I am taking a long hiatus from SBCToday. While I will still contribute an article occasionally and show up for a podcast or two, my participation in the day to day management and decision making of this site with the other resource managers has ceased for the foreseeable future.
I thank all the guys here at SBCToday for their friendships and support as we have been a united voice of Baptist Identity and biblical discipleship. There are a lot of things that I reflect upon and stand amazed at how God has used us to affect His work in the SBC. There have also been some learning experiences that have tempered us all. For that I am gratefully humbled. All together Wes, Tim, Scott, and Joe are all fine men and I count it a privilege to have served with them in this blogging adventure.
God bless to all!
Dr. Morris Chapman has written an article for SBC Life describing his vision for his final year at the helm of the Executive Committee for Southern Baptists. There is no doubt that I have disagreed with Dr. Chapman in the past over certain issues, but on this article I raise a loud AMEN! I pray that all the members on the Great Commission Task Force read what he has written here because I believe that Dr. Chapman has got to the heartbeat of our problems in the SBC. Do we pray for “just one more soul?” And after one more soul is delivered are we repeating this prayer? Is this happening in the typical Southern Baptist pastor quiet time? Is this happening in the lives of those who occupy the pews in our churches? While in some instances that may be true, I am fearful that in a majority of cases, that is not true. Yet the bigger question for those of us who are voicing this prayer of burden is whether we are putting feet to our prayers. Below is an excerpt from Dr. Chapman’s article:
I recently received in an email a link to this video about the work of NAMB Chaplain Robert Toney. To access the article click here. There has been a lot of discussion and buzz as of late concerning NAMB. Being a former missionary/church planter with NAMB, I continue to see the vital role this agency plays in Southern Baptist Life. While I do agree that a refocus of purpose and strategy is needed, I can look to the work of people like Bro. Toney and see that our cooperative program dollars are going to great causes where God is doing a tremendous work. Let us all take a minute and thank God for His grace and mercy that He provides through missionaries we support like Chaplain Toney. Let us also remember those Chaplains like Bro. Toney who are going into the darkness of our society and giving these inmates another chance to turn to Christ.
February 1 of 2008 I published a post concerning what was then the inevitability of Dr. Rankin’s retirement and the future search for a replacement at the IMB. It brought some heated discussion. Essentially all I wanted to do was to open the discussion for a proven stateside pastor to be given the possibility of consideration as the next president of the International Mission Board (IMB).
While strategy on the field is important and we need a man who can bring people together as a team to help missionaries with the challenges we face, I still feel the greatest need for the IMB is to reconnect with the local churches who support her. Through this reconnection, shortfalls in funds could be overcome as local church members become better acquainted with the missionary sending endeavors of the SBC. I again reissue this post with some changes to make it current and more articulate of my position.
Dr. Rankin has announced his retirement as President from the IMB. Before I go any further, I want to make a statement concerning Dr. Rankin’s leadership of the International Mission Board (IMB). I appreciate his service and from all accounts that I have heard, he has performed with integrity. I also have had areas of disagreement with some of the directions of the IMB. One particular area has been the much-discussed Camel Method that has been promoted for use among missionaries in Muslim-dominated areas. Even with this, I support Dr. Rankin and wish him many more years of continued service to God’s Kingdom as he concludes his presidency. But Dr. Rankin is not the focus of this post, nor is the Camel Method.
The Foreign Mission Board (FMB), the predecessor of the IMB, was started in 1845 with two missionaries. At that time, James Barnett Taylor was appointed to lead the newly-formed FMB, and did so for twenty-six years until 1871. The executive secretary was appointed to lead the new agency according to the dictates of the Southern Baptist churches that supported it. Below is a list of past executive secretaries/presidents for the FMB/IMB until today.
After graduating from seminary with my MDIVBL in 2002 and was able to immerse myself more into the Bible rather than what other people thought about the Bible, I began a quest to figure out how salvation works. In other words, how does predestination work in salvation, and what is man’s responsibility in being saved? At about mid-2004, I began to embrace what is commonly known as the doctrines of grace, except for limited atonement. It was a thrilling time for me as I discovered those doctrines and began to understand more and more of God’s love. It was at this time I hesitantly accepted the label “Calvinist.” The reason for hesitancy was that I also understood the wide definition of Calvinism and some of the false representations of what Calvinists are. This is where I have stood until recent events have caused me to rethink and reject the label of Calvinist. While doctrinally I still stand where I have been, I refused to be defined by this doctrinal label that has been mischaracterized by many on both sides of the issue.