Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at Theological Matters and is used by permission.
Let me begin by making a claim that many will find rather contentious: Apologetic ministry—the ministry of commending and defending the “faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3)—is a vital and essential part of Gospel-centered, New Testament ministry. To many evangelical laity and non-laity alike, this claim not only lacks the clear ring of truth, but it is much too strong, as it needlessly saddles “ordinary” followers of Christ with the responsibility of being seriously intellectually engaged with ideas. Here, I briefly underscore the Scriptural grounding of apologetic ministry, and why the consistent New Testament witness is that such ministry is an essential component of impactful, Gospel-centered ministry. Continue reading
Dr. Rick Patrick, Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL
Executive Director, Connect 316
The recent SBC Today post entitled Helps For the Baptist Search Committee is already making a significant impact in fostering greater understanding between churches and candidates. This article pointed to a resource entitled Questions For Non-Calvinist SBC Pastor Search Committees. The following is a brief testimony showing how effective this questionnaire can be in preventing yet another theologically-driven church split tragedy.
This article originally appeared in Theological Matters and is used by permission.
“This is a heart message to my brothers in a holy cause, seeking to lay upon their souls Christ’s cry for Gospel recruits. … Will we do our part in calling out … those He has called?”
This is the heartfelt plea of L.R. Scarborough, the second president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, imploring pastors to call out the called. Pastors calling out the called is an action largely missing today. It is becoming extremely rare that Southwestern Seminary receives students who have responded specifically to a pastor calling out the called. I know of a former Alaska pastor who would routinely call out the called from his small congregation and have up to 14 students go to a sister seminary 3,500 miles away to become equipped for ministry. Unfortunately, this scenario has become a rare occurrence—and it should not be. I take the mandate of Matthew 9:38 seriously and am increasingly concerned that young men and women are not generally being encouraged to pray and think about the possibility of God calling them into vocational ministry. Continue reading