Category Archives: Uncategorized

Baptist Press Article: Baptist College “Ground Zero” in Gay Marriage Debate

Originally posted on Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.:

Bapt. college ‘ground zero’ in gay marriage debate

by David Roach, posted Wednesday, March 18, 2015

“For reasons only known in the heavenly realms, American Baptist College has” become “ground zero for this battle over same-sex marriage in the Baptist church,” Dwight McKissic, co-coordinator of the National Baptist Fellowship of Concerned Pastors, said at a March 17 press conference in Nashville.

The fellowship is a coalition of pastors who minister at congregations in cooperation with the National Baptist Convention USA Inc., America’s largest predominantly African American Baptist denomination.

Other pastors present at the press conference alongside McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone…

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A DEFINING MOMENT FOR THE NATION AND THE NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION

Originally posted on Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.:

A DEFINING MOMENT FOR THE NATION AND THE NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION

Ten Reasons Why American Baptist College President Forrest Harris Should Rescind Lesbian Bishop Yvette Flunder’s, Garnett-Nabrit Lecture Invitation

By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

Discussions, deliberations and decisions, regarding the legality and morality of same-sex marriage—have wound their way through courts of justice, halls of Congress, city councils and county governments, local school districts, voting booths and the office of the President of the United States. These discussions have been a part of American families’ table talks for many, many years, because many American families are impacted personally by an immediate or extended family member who is engaged in a same-sex relationship, or contemplating and evaluating their sexual identity.

The Supreme Court of the United States of America is scheduled to debate the legal fate of same-sex marriage in the United States on April 28 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-to-hear-same-sex-marriage-arguments-on-april-28-1425573877).  They are likely to…

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Themelios 39.3 and Review of Preaching the Farewell Discourse by Kellum

UnknownThemelios 39.3 posted today. Kindly they included my review of L. Scott Kellum’s, Preaching the Farewell Discourse: An Expository Walk-Through of John 13:31-17:26 (Broadman and Holman). Scott’s book is worth  reading in its entirety. Themelios has many very good articles and reviews.

Voddie Baucham Heading to Zambia

UnknownFrom the Grace Family Baptist Church site:

During the Semi-Annual business meeting on November 5, 2014, the GfBC Elders announced that Dr. Voddie Baucham will be moving his family to Zambia in the fall of 2015.  Dr. Baucham has been appointed as the President/Head of the Seminary at African Christiian University in Lusaka, Zambia.  Here is an abbreviated portion of the announcement that was made:

In 2007, I traveled to Zambia to preach at the Zambia Reformed Family Conference. It was my first time on the African continent, but I knew, Lord willing, it wouldn’t be my last. I knew I would return to Zambia; I just didn’t know when, how, or in what capacity. The work God was doing in Zambia was compelling, the needs there were overwhelming, and I came to see that I was suited for the work there in unique and obvious ways.

I would return to Zambia four times over the next six years. Over that time, I developed and deepened both my relationships with the Zambian Christian community, and my understanding of the work that needed to be done there. In 2012, I heard the vision for African Christian University (ACU). For the first time, my passion and desire to serve my brothers and sisters in Zambia became a tangible possibility. However, not a word was spoken by me, or by the leaders in Zambia.

This past summer, I returned to Zambia with my wife and our seven youngest children. It was then that Bridget sensed God’s call as well. Subsequently, we began to discuss the matter with my fellow elder, Stephen Bratton and two key Zambian leaders, Conrad Mbewe and Ronald Kalifungwa. There was little doubt that the timing and opportunity seemed right. We committed the matter to prayer, started having conversations with others who could offer wise, biblical counsel, and concluded that this is indeed the Lord’s providential hand at work, and we would do well to follow.

I have been offered the position of President/Head of the Seminary at ACU. The school opens next fall, and our plan is to move to Zambia at the end of next summer. There are, however, several issues that must be addressed between now and then.

In the meantime, I would ask that you would pray for me and my family as we consider what is by far the most challenging act of faith and obedience we have ever considered. Pray for our elders as we work to position GfBC for a healthy transition. Pray for our Zambian brothers and sisters as they trust God to do something beyond their limited resources and ability. Pray for ACU, the Seminary and the ministers who will train there, and for the impact they will have in Zambia, across Africa, and beyond.Please continue to pray for Voddie and his family as well as Grace Family Baptist Church as we begin working toward this transition.  We will continue to post information as it becomes available.

Thank you, Voddie, and the Bauchams, for your humble obedience to the Lord, your example of Christ, and your love for the lost. You are a blessing to the kingdom of Christ. May you, brother Conrad, and fellow believers in Zambia reach all of Zambia and surrounding regions with the Gospel, and may your ministry strengthen the church there, North America, and the world.

Pauline Theology @ Mt. Pleasant Christian Education Institute

It has been my privilege and joy this week to teach the 10-hour course, A Pauline Theology of the Church, for the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Christian Education Institute, Washington, DC. The students are asking great questions and providing challenging responses to the presentations.

As promised to the students, I am posting the resources below for further study beyond the the course text:

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Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology – with a free study guide (Zondervan)

Thomas Schreiner, Paul: Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ (IVP Academic)

Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology (Wm. B. Eerdmans)

Tom Holland, Paul: Contours of a Pauline Theology (Mentor)

I suggest you start with Horton; read with a small group or class. Advance to Schreiner after Horton. Then read Ridderbos and Holland in any order of preference.

Also, as a follow-up to the brief discussion on same-sex marriage, please consider Justin Taylor’s post, “Gay Marriage: Not Just a Social Revolution but a Cosmological One.

 

Spurgeon’s Standards for Conversion and Membership

From the Reformation 21 blog (and I couldn’t agree more):

POSTED BY JEREMY WALKER
I hope that I will be able at some point to provide a review of Tom Nettles’ excellent volume, Living for Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (pastors and preachers, you need this book, and can get it at Amazon.com,Amazon.co.ukWestminster).

In the meantime, there are a couple of threads from the book that it is profitable to weave together. Spurgeon was adamant that the door to the church be well-guarded, and had a carefully-developed system whereby converts applying for membership were graciously but robustly assessed by elders, himself, and the whole congregation. He did not rush people into professions of faith, baptism and church membership (indeed, he had some distaste for the inquiry room as potentially exerting a pressure beyond that of the Holy Spirit’s work on the heart of a sinner).

At two separate points in the book, Nettles shows how – at times of particular evangelistic endeavour, as well as during the more regular procedures of church life – the saints were encouraged to make a thoughtful and scriptural assessment of a man’s standing with God and prospective relationship with the local church.

With regard to conversion,

counselors of inquirers looked for three pivotal evidences of true conversion. One focused on the nature of the individual’s perception of his sin and dependence on the work of Christ. Did the inquirer seem to have a clear and distinct and abiding sense of the seriousness of his offense toward God, a healthy remorse for that sin, a desire to turn from it and cease such offensive behavior toward God; did he also recognize that God was willing to receive him through the atonement made by Christ and through that alone? Second, did the present determination of the person’s soul indicate a clear intention to live for Christ and overcome the opposing forces of the world; did he feel the urgency of seeing others escape from the wrath to come? Three, with a full knowledge of his own unworthiness and his full dependence on God, did the person have some knowledge of the doctrines of grace and that mercy was the fountain from which his salvation flowed? (310-11)

Then, with a great deal of common ground, here is the expectation for church membership:

Arnold Dallimore’s examination of this book [called the Inquirers {sic} Books, in which interviewing elders recorded their comments] showed that the entire interview process centered on the determination of three things. One, is there clear evidence of dependence on Christ for salvation? This involved a clear and felt knowledge of sin and a deep sense of the necessity of the cross. Two, does the candidate exhibit a noticeable change of character including a desire for pleasing God and a desire for others to believe the gospel? Three, is there some understanding of, with a submission to, the doctrines of grace? The only effective antithesis to merit salvation, in Spurgeon’s view, was a knowledge of utter dependence on divine mercy. (248)

Perhaps, in our day, we are not always sure what we should be looking for in the heart and life of men and women who profess faith in the Lord Jesus. Far too many churches, perhaps feeling the pressure of numbers or some other force, are inclined to drop their standards or blur their distinctions, if they have them in the first place. In the face of that, these standards seem to me to be thoroughly biblical, genuinely gracious, and appropriately robust. They combine doctrinal understanding, experimental religion, and principled obedience – a religion of head, heart and hand, if you will. If more congregations embraced a righteous assessment of this sort with regard to professing converts and applicants for membership, I am persuaded that they would be spiritually healthier places than they too often are.

POSTED JANUARY 9, 2014 @ 6:12 AM BY JEREMY WALKER

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Highly recommended additional resources on church membership:

Clinton Arnold, “EARLY CHURCH CATECHESIS AND NEW CHRISTIANS’ CLASSES IN CONTEMPORARY EVANGELICALISM,” JETS 47/1 (March 2004): 39–54.

Jonathan Leeman, The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love (Crossway).

J. I. Packer, Taking God Seriously: Vita Things We Need to Know (Crossway). Packer provides the basics we need to teach to every new member who enters the church. This work is very enjoyable and easy to read. Packer’s small work can take the guesswork out of a New Members course.

 

Tim Keller on Influencing Society as a Servant

“If at the very heart of your worldview is a man dying for his enemies, then the way you’re going to win influence in society is through service rather than power and control.” – Tim Keller, King’s Cross, 149 (Italics added.)

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