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Lifeway’s Gospel Project Returned
Interview with Ralph Green, Senior Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church, Bel Air, Md.

Finally, it’s here – SBCToday’s interview with Ralph Green, the Maryland pastor who returned Lifeway’s Gospel Project Sunday school curriculum because he deemed it too Calvinistic for consumption by church members.

While I recognize how much time has passed since we promised the publication of this interview, suffice it to say that two successive trips to my former state of residence regarding personal business significantly preempted the interview’s posting. Add to that the responsibilities associated with a new fall semester at a college that God has blessed yet again with record enrollment, and it becomes clear where my time necessarily has been invested.

Add to this the heavenly home-going of my mother-in-law and the requisite travel of nearly 1,500 miles and more than a week in ministry to family, then it becomes clearer still why the interview has been delayed.

Whereas I’ve been told of some who speculated as to why the interview was not yet forthcoming, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the others who conversely offered grace and the benefit of the doubt in such a trying time for my family and me. Thank you ever so much.

Deus Caritas Est,

Norm Miller, editor

NOTE: Pastor Green will not be available for comment.

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The Lord and His People

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.


Psalm 111:1-10

Introduction

The Lord and His people comprise the focus of Psalm 111.  Someone might point out this psalm specifically refers to Jehovah and the Jews, His chosen people.  While that is correct, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

Psalm 111 is an alphabetical or acrostic Psalm.  There are several others such as, Psalm 9, 10, 24, 34, 37, 112, 119, and 145.  Dr. William Theophilus Davison (1846-1935), Tutor in Systematic Theology, Handsworth College, Birmingham, England, explains, “The principle of the Acrostic is well known, but few English readers recognise how freely it is used in the Hebrew Psalter.  The example of the 119th Psalm, in which are twenty-two stanzas, each with eight verses beginning with the same Hebrew letter, is familiar.  But a similar arrangement is more or less observed in Psalms ix.  and x., in which two verses occur to each letter, but the plan is imperfectly carried out; also in xxv., with one verse to each letter, xxxiv., xxxvii, cxi., and cxii.  (in the last two cases only half a verse to a letter), and cxlv.  Psalm cxi.  has been thus arranged in English ¹, in order to exhibit the structure. . .”  Dr. Davison cites a few lines of the Acrostic from the work of Dr. William Binnie (1823-1886), Professor of Church History and Pastoral Theology, Free Church College, Aberdeen, titled Psalms, their History, Teachings, and Use.[1] While Dr. Binnie wrote an Acrostic for Psalm 111 and 112, allow me to share Dr. Binnie’s Acrostic for Psalm 111:

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Rite of Passage Parenting:
Yes, Jesus Loves Me

By Walker Moore

For someone who isn’t a writer, coming up with an article each week is a daunting task. One of the problems I face is that I have only one mind, 10 ten fingers and 26 letters to work with. I sometimes think if we just had a few more letters in our alphabet, my job would be much easier. The Germans have 30 letters, the Armenians have 38; and when I lived in Budapest, Hungary, I was jealous because they have 44 letters in their alphabet. Oh, what could I do with 44 letters.

I still feel a little slighted that I don’t have as much to work with as the Hungarians. Sometimes I think if I can’t have more letters in the alphabet, a couple more fingers would help. But I have a hard time getting the 10 I have to cooperate; and the older they get, the less they want to act like team players.

I have to admit, the mind I have is not normal. It runs at 100 miles an hour with gusts up to 200. Trying to get my thoughts through a set of lips with a governor that keeps them from going over 40 miles per hour can be interesting. So with a hundred mile an hour brain, 40 mile an hour lips, three mile an hour fingers and only 26 letters to work with, you can see the challenges I face each week.

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President’s Address

DR. RICHARD FULLER

Known as the “Prince of Preachers,” Richard Fuller (1804-1876) was elected SBC president in 1859-60. He baptized such people as Annie Armstrong and Joshua Levering. During the Civil War, he assisted foreign missionaries separated from the SBC Foreign Mission Board in Richmond by the fighting.

Born in Beaufort, South Carolina,  Fuller enrolled at age 16 at Harvard in 1820, where he excelled until tuberculosis forced him to leave school after little more than two years of study. His academic accomplishments caused the faculty to confer a degree anyway.

 

Message delivered May 10, 1861

Beloved Brethren: You require from me no expression of gratitude for the honor thus conferred upon me the second time. Were it proper, I could say much, for my burdened heart would, I know, be cheered by your sympathies. But there are times for brief speeches and vigorous action, and as I wish to impress the truth upon you, I will set the example.

Let me but utter this reflection: that, as we are in the midst of most exasperating time, so ought we to give the more earnest heed to ourselves, lest in any moment we forget the Spirit of Jesus, which ought to breathe in all our actions, and words, and feelings.

If any minor differences have unhappily insinuated themselves into this body, let the present strife and hostilities around us calm and heal these discrepancies and bind us more closely together. The world has never seen—Heaven has never wept over—a more mournful phenomenon than that now exhibited (I grieve to say it) at the North, where not only politicians and bad men, but Christian editors, and pastors, and churches are breathing out slaughter inciting to fury passions already terribly inflamed and seemingly thirsting for fratricidal carnage. Let us watch and pray, lest we forget the example and Spirit of Him who taught us to ‘bless them that curse us and ‘do good to them that hate us and despitefully use us.  As we hear the ministers and churches of the Prince of Peace crying out for food, let us exclaim, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do'; let us say, ‘Into their secret, my soul, enter not thou; into their assemblies, mine honor, be thou not united.’

Above all, let these alarms and perturbation elevate our thoughts to that other world whither we are hastening, and with which we have more to do than with this present evil world; let me inspire us with more earnest aspiration for that rest which remains for the people of God, and into which we shall soon enter.