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Articles by Kenneth Hemphill

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Empowering Kingdom Growth
No one doubts the value of good vision. Those who want to be pilots have to pass a strict vision test to qualify. Athletes understand the value of vision. Peripheral vision is critical to most sports. If your view of that which is happening around you is limited, your ability to play well is severely hampered. If your vision is blurred, you have trouble seeing the ball or puck quickly enough. Modern technology has enabled us to cure many of our vision problems. In the past, we had to rely on glasses or contacts, but today we have numerous surgical procedures that can restore vision.

I am writing this article on the day before Christmas. As I have reflected on what I should say concerning our Empowering Kingdom Growth emphasis to begin the year 2004, I was overwhelmed by the meaning and message of this season. By the time you read this, Christmas 2003 may already be fading into your memory. Unfortunately, as the season fades we too easily forget about the incarnation of the sovereign King of the universe.

We can't begin to comprehend the sacrifice that was made when the King stepped down from His royal throne and took upon Himself human flesh. Perhaps no one has described this self-emptying better than the Apostle Paul when he wrote: Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the for...

Am I a Kingdom person? Dr. Morris H. Chapman has been challenging Southern Baptists to ask themselves this question. I think we would agree that it is a penetrating and challenging question that will help to ensure that we are focusing on those things that are on the heart of our Father.

As I have been studying the concept of the Kingdom of God in Scripture, I have isolated three primary issues that are at the heart of Kingdom thinking. God is looking for a people that will embody His name, embrace His mission to the nations, and obey His Word. Let's focus together on what it means to embody His name.

In His great high priestly prayer, Jesus declared: "I manifested Thy name to the men Thou gavest me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy wor...

Empowering Kingdom Growth

Empowering Kingdom Growth has become the defining emphasis on spiritual renewal within and throughout the Southern Baptist Convention, but it has not taken root and begun to grow in a theological or historical vacuum. It logically follows the denomination's theological reformation and missiological reorganization of recent years.

Southern Baptists have clearly stated that we are a people of The Book. Over the last twenty-five years, we have definitively demonstrated our commitment to having seminaries and agencies whose leaders gladly affirm the Bible as the inerrant and infallible guide for faith and practice. This theological anchor has been — and remains — a foundational element in the reanimation of Baptist life.

In 1995, Convention messengers launched t...

And what one nation on the earth is like Thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself .... ~ 2 Samuel 7:23

God redeemed the nation of Israel so that through Israel He might make a name for Himself. In other words, God redeemed and blessed the people of Israel with a singular purpose — to reveal Himself, His character. By revealing His character through an insignificant tribe of people, He would draw all the nations to Himself. God's eternal purpose involves the redemption of people from every nation on earth.

Empowering Kingdom Growth has been birthed in Southern Baptist life with the prayer that we will be one of God's Kingdom instruments through which He will make Himself known to all the peoples of the earth. ...