Category: Guest Author

Interpreters for God

Walker-Moore-100

By Walker Moore

As a missionary, I’ve spent half my life using interpreters. One time in China, I had to wait for my words to go through five different dialects before I could continue. I’d say, “Hello” and hear an echo five times in five different tones and sounds. I got so caught up listening to my translators that I forgot my turn. I wondered why all five of them were leaning forward and staring at me. All of a sudden, I realized they were waiting for my next sentence.

Some people have a hard time learning to use an interpreter, but it came naturally to me. In case you ever find yourself in that situation, here are some tips:

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The Third Baptism of Felix Manz

by Ron Hale

He 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 4th quarter of ministry as Minister of Missions.

 


“He who dips shall be dipped” was the cruel catchphrase of the Protestant Reformers of Zurich, as Felix Manz (the Anabaptist) was sentenced to death by drowning.  I write this short essay on the day of his martyrdom, January 5, 1527 – 486 years ago.[i]

Manz and the small group that he associated with referred to themselves as the Swiss Brethren.  However, the Protestant Reformers of Zurich contemptuously called them the Anabaptists or the re-baptizers (“ana” meaning “again”).  The Anabaptists believed that a person is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ with baptism following their profession of faith. They saw infants as incapable of these spiritual conditions unto salvation.

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Soul-Winner Howard Ramsey

PastorDanNelsonby Dan Nelson

For 28 years, Dan Nelson has served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Camarillo, Calif. Pastor Nelson will submit a series of posts to SBCToday about people who influenced him for the sake of evangelism.


Howard Ramsey was my mentor in Portland, Ore., in the Northwest Baptist Convention. For two years I was his associate in the Evangelism Division there. My primary job was to assist him, but to also work with Youth Evangelism in training youth groups to witness. I supervised college students who came out to the Northwest and served on what we called Evangelism teams. They would go into churches and conduct revival meetings. I was also out preaching about every weekend somewhere in the Northwest.

Howard later went to the then Home Mission Board in Atlanta, Ga., where he developed the Continued Witness Training system for Southern Baptist. He was also the Director of Personal Witness Training for about a decade.

I used to go visiting for our church with Howard when we were in town together. We traveled places together, and without fail I always saw him try to go as far as he could with people in sharing he gospel with them. Whether in the home or on a plane or a bus, he would start talking with people, finding out where they were from and what they did.

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It’s a Wonderful Life!

 

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.

Habakkuk 2:4

 


Introduction

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a 1946 American Christmas drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on the short story “The Greatest Gift”, written by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1939, and privately published by the author in 1945.[1]  Someone provides the following synopsis, “An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.”[2]  Contrary to the book or the movie, the Bible does not teach that men become angels or women either, for that matter.  It proclaims a greater miracle, how sinners become saints.

From Habakkuk 2:4 we read, “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.”  Please note we find the phrase, “the just shall live by faith”, repeated three times in the New Testament, namely, Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38.  Citing each of these, allow me to share three things about the Christian life.

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Cremation: Is it a pattern that Christians should follow?

Rogers---Ronnie---Staff-100by Ronnie Rogers

Ronnie Rogers is senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Norman, Okla., a university city cited by the North American Mission Board in 2006 as the most unchurched in the state. Pastor Rogers’ expositional sermons draw large collegiate crowds during the school year as he preaches and teaches (and writes) from a biblical perspective that boldly challenges popular culture.


Throughout history, inhumation (burial) and cremation have been practiced, sometimes simultaneously in the same culture (Roman and Greek). Each have enjoyed various times of prominence and preference within various cultures. However, the Christian era brought with it the practice of inhumation and sought to eliminate cremation, basically reserving that for times of plague or for “heretics,” e.g. Wycliffe.

The trend in America is toward choosing cremation over inhumation (burial). I believe this trend is evidence of the desacralizing of human life and a loss of a Christian cultural conscience. This trend is viewed not only by many non-Christians as a viable alternative, but to many Christians as well. This is not to say that cremation is new to human history or that it is even sin, but rather that it does, historically and biblically speaking, seem to deemphasize the biblical sacredness associated with the body. Consequently, I think Christians need to consider rejecting this trend. We should always ask, are Christians, once again, being naively led by the trends of an ever-increasing secular milieu, is this trend based upon some newfound biblical truth, or is burial a tradition that has no biblical support? I believe it is the first of these for the following reasons:

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