Author Archive

A Further Explanation about GCR

By Dr. Ted Traylor, Pastor, Olive Baptist Church, Pensacola, FL

Dr. Ted Traylor, Pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida and member of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, shared his perspective about GCR on the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary campus recently in a GCR Pastor’s Conference, an event sponsored by the Leavell Center for Evangelism and Church Health of NOBTS. Traylor made his presentations in 3 one-hour settings, each of which is different in content.  Dr. Traylor’s remarks probably address questions or concerns you might have had about GCR.

Traylor, whose church hosts an NOBTS extension center, also preached an excellent sermon at the NOBTS Missions Commissioning service, as has become a tradition for the last few years.

Some have asked for these videos, and they have been provided by the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, with Dr. Traylor’s permission.  You can see these three presentations and Dr. Traylor’s Missions Commissioning service sermon by clicking the links below.  These are rather large m4 video files, so please be patient while they download.  It may take a minute or more, depending on your connection speed.

Here are the links to the three videos:

The Missions sermon —
GCR Presentation #1 —
GCR Presentation #2 —
GCR Presentation #3 —

Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem

By Nelson Price, former Pastor Emeritus, Roswell Street Baptist Church, Marietta, GA

Our President has advised Israel and the Palestinians to go back to the 1967 borders between the territories where Jews and Arabs dwelt. Don’t plan on it!

What is in those territories now is not what was there before 1967. An example of this is the Golan Heights in Northeast Israel. Before 1967 it was a vast undeveloped area other than as a military buffer. When I went to Israel first in 1969 at night the lights of one small settlement could be seen at night from Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. Now the entire range is aglow with villages.

The vast expanse of the Heights was basically a mine field left over from Syrian occupation. Sitting in those fields were rusty burned out Syrian vehicles all facing toward Damascus to which they were retreating when destroyed. Today they are lush orchards, vineyards, and highly productive agricultural land. Recently developed Israeli villages dot the area.

Before 1967 Jerusalem was a divided city. An idea of how developed the two sections were is illustrated by traffic lights. The Arab section was so lacking in modernization they had no traffic lights. When the border went down young Arab boys would stand on the street corner in the Jewish section and applaud the traffic lights when they would change. Last week while there I marveled that a rapid commuter rail line was being tested along much of the route of the former border.

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The Top Blog Posts of the Week

This is a list of recent blog posts which we found interesting. That we found them interesting doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with or endorse the ideas presented in the posts, but that we found them to be intriguing and thought-provoking. (They are listed in no particular order of interest). Please post your comments to discuss  any article that strikes your interest. If you have recent blog posts to nominate, please send the link to

About the SBC

What Makes Us ‘Southern Baptist’?” by Brad Whitt on his blog, identifying three major cornerstones of what he deems to be essential to a Southern Baptist identity.

A Rose by Any Other Name:  It’s Time to Drop the Name ‘Southern” from the SBC Name,” by Dave Miller in the SBC Impact blog, with Miller’s arguments for changing the name of the SBC.

The One World Missions Ministry: IMB and NAMB Officially Joined in Marriage or Just Engaged?” by Peter Lumpkins in the SBC Tomorrow blog, expressing concerns about rewording the IMB and NAMB mission statements such that both are assigned to missions in North America.

Minor Adjustments Leading to Major Changes?” by Tim Rogers in A Southern Baptist in North Carolina blog, expressing concerns about the possibility of an IMB/NAMB merger, particularly in light of “Myth #8” from the GCR presentation.

The New NAMB:  Bad Precedents and Unanswered Questions,” by Howell Scott in the From Law to Grace blog, expressing concerns about the trajectory of NAMB and about whether these changes will diminish financial support for NAMB from churches.

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Thursday is for Theological Terminology:
The Study of Specialized Words relating to Theology


Thursday is for Theological Terminology:
The Study of Specialized Words relating to Theology

by Ron F. Hale, Minister of Missions, West Jackson Baptist Church, Jackson, TN

Heilsgeschichte (Holy History)

My seminary class was just after lunch and I was already suffering from sleep deprivation due to late nights of study and long days of labor.  As my professor articulated this German theological term my eyes and mind awakened to the realization this was probably the first time in history that anyone in my line of descent had ever heard such an utterance.

I immediately underlined the word in my textbook entitled Introduction to the New Testament, written by Dr. Everett F. Harrison, Senior Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. After 28 years, I have remembered the term and have uttered it in a few conversations wishing more to impress than impart wisdom.

Dr. Harrison’s use of the word goes as follows:

The theme of salvation gives ample scope for the development of Heilsgeschichte (history of salvation, or the sweep of the divine purpose down through the ages as set forth in Scripture).”

Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 1971, rev.ed.), 312.

He mentions this term while writing about the book of Romans and how the Apostle Paul deals with creation (chapter 1) and other unfolding events in God’s salvation history.

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A Model for Theological Dialogue

By Steve Lemke, Provost of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

What does constructive theological dialogue look like?  Unfortunately, there are fewer
models today than might have been the case.  On the one hand, the Balkanization of the SBC has led to many speaking to each other within in-groups but not really addressing the larger SBC fellowship.  These discussions tend to produce a sense that everyone agrees that this perspective is right and everyone else is wrong. On the other hand, when other perspectives do interact with others, many blog and Facebook posts regarding theological issues are guilty of “flaming,” reducing to ad hominem insults, reducio ad absurdum stereotypes, and “straw man” arguments.

It doesn’t have to be that way. I have shared below (with permission from the participants) a discussion which took place on my Facebook page (in which it is not unusual to have discussions with 50 or more posts on some issue). I cite this discussion thread for two reasons: (a) it expresses the diversity of views even within the Calvinist, Arminian, and Baptist perspectives, and (b) it models theologians from different theological perspectives discussing an important belief by expressing real differences of belief with substantive content in a respectful spirit.  To do so within the innate space limits of Facebook is quite an achievement!

The principal participants are Gary Shultz, Jr. (author of the book review, pastor of First Baptist Church in Fulton, Missouri, whom I described as a “Calvinist” and he later qualified himself as a “moderate Calvinist”), Tony Byrne (a four point Calvinist who is a graduate of Criswell College and writes in the Theological Meditations blog), and James Leonard (a Cambridge scholar doing research at the Center for New Testament Textual Study at NOBTS, and a member of the Society of Evangelical Arminians).

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