Ted W. Wright, Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Monroe, NC; adjunct professor of apologetics at Southern Evangelical Bible College, Matthews, NC.
Among Christians it is common knowledge that humans are made in the “image of God” (Genesis 1:26-27). In recent days, however, there have been an increasing number of Christians who are embracing an evolutionary origin of man. One of the leading proponents of this view is Dr. Francis Collins, who is famous for his groundbreaking work mapping the human genome. Collins published his belief in Theism in his 2006 book titled, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. In 2009 Collins started an organization titled BioLogos which explores the relationship between science, faith and the Bible. Collins fully embraces Darwinian evolution as the mechanism for the creation of humans. He now serves as the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda Maryland and remains very influential to many Christians and their belief about human origins.
I don’t question at all Dr. Collin’s faith nor do I wish to impugn a fellow Christian brother’s character. However, I do wish to fully and openly disagree with his view on human origins through Theistic evolution. Theistic evolution not only entails a low view of human nature but also does not take into account solid evidence that humans are and have remained unique throughout earth’s history. Our uniqueness stems from the fact that at the very beginning humans were made in God’s image and likeness, with all that it entails. Of course God is a spirit (John 4:23) and His image in humans is a spiritual image. As such, mankind is valuable and greatly loved by God (John 3:16-21). When David served as a shepherd he looked up into the Milky-Way galaxy at night and pondered one of the deepest philosophical questions humans have ever asked, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:4-5).
Bob Williford, Cooperative Program Missionary for the Arkansas Baptist Convention
So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph.5:17).
The very first thing that a believer MUST NOT allow is the attitudes, functions, styles, morals, etc. of the culture to define what life is…..NO MATTER the COST. If the Believer is to understand and follow the Christ there must be no influence of the world in daily life. If this is an issue for the Believer, that person will not be able to follow God. Period……and may not be following the Christ.
Paul writes in Eph 1:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God……walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us” If this is to happen, we must be willing to walk away from all that we are doing. Just as the fishermen in Mark 1:1-20. “‘Follow Me,’ Jesus told them, ‘and I will make you fish for people!’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in their boat mending their nets. Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him.”
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Steve Lemke, Provost, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
I would like to tell a couple of stories that I hope might be an encouragement to young ministers seeking their first church, or to ministers who (for whatever reason) are seeking another church after they find themselves out of a church position. . . .
While we were in Dallas last weekend as my son attended some college recruitment events, we visited Prestonwood Baptist Church. It was a great worship experience, but driving there reminded me of a challenging time in my own life. In fact, my route in driving to Prestonwood took us by two churches which had interviewed me but decided not to call me, both within a fairly short period of time.
The first church that “rejected” me was Prestonwood itself, (or at least its sponsoring church, Northway Baptist Church at the location on Walnut Hill, where Billy Weber served as pastor, and from which Weber later initiated Prestonwood as a second location or church plant from Northway). I was being interviewed by the pastor and another staff member for a staff position focused on college and single adults. When they chose not to call me, I was disappointed but not that surprised. I had some experience in this area of ministry, but I probably wasn’t exactly what the church was looking for. I’ve never been a person who was intellectually brilliant, good-looking, athletic, dynamic, or charismatic. The things that I have achieved have come not by brilliance, but by dogged determinism and persistence. I’m more of a plodder than a “star.” In short, I’m a singles hitter, not a home run hitter (though I would love to be a home run hitter!). Billy Weber was a pretty good judge of talent, and I think he sensed that although I could do the job, that I was not a great “fit” with the type person the church was looking for. So, although I wasn’t pleased not to be chosen, I could understand the judgment of the church that I was not the best “fit” for their position or their expectations.
Dr. Thomas Douglas, Pastor, Parkway Baptist Church, Kansas City, KS
His watch read 12:05 a.m. as Brother Bob pulled into his driveway. Having just gotten home from the regional hospital where Miss B. was admitted for chest pains, he knows 5 a.m. comes early in the morning when he will get out of bed and head to his “secular” job at the milk processing plant. Bro. Bob groans as he thinks that it’s already Friday. Where has the week gone? Where did the time go that he had dedicated to be focused on sermon prep? After a Sunday morning and evening service, Bro. Bob, who works 45-50 hours a week at the plant, spent Monday evening at the church for deacon’s meeting, Tuesday evening out on visitation to a new family that attended worship on Sunday, Wednesday night at church for prayer meeting, and Thursday night at the hospital with Miss B.
At a recent evangelism conference, a well-known preacher rebuked those who “stole” their sermons from someone else or subscribed to an online sermon center. He called into question a man’s calling and his integrity if he dared to enter the pulpit without his own study of the Scriptures and his own sermon outline. The well-known preacher spoke of his commitment to setting aside 15 hours a week to prepare for his Sunday morning sermon, and that he told the church to just “deal with it” if they didn’t like how little he visited members in the hospital or participated in outreach visitation. The preacher extolled the primary calling of the pastor as the “Preacher of the Word,” and then proceeded to give all the things necessary for a sermon that was well-pleasing to God.