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November 1998 Issue

A Biblical Treatment

"Vice is a monster of such awful mien, that to be hated needs but to be seen, but seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace."

Our nation is in crisis and as a minister of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, I feel I must address this matter!

We cannot, we dare not, we must not, and we shall not ignore what is happening in America today. Some terrible and shocking accusations have been made against the President of our beloved republic. It is our duty as Americans and as Christians to pray that truth will be revealed and justice administered.

In this article I want to address not so much the crisis at the highest levels of our government, but the bigger and even more disturbing crisis at the level of everyday American life where most of us live. Let me explain what I mean.

Whenever charges are brought against one in high office, as we are witnessing in our nation in these days, there are three basic categori...

Part Two of an Interview with Shaunti Feldhahn

Shaunti Feldhahn is the founder and president of the Joseph Project 2000, a Christian nonprofit organization urging preparedness for the Year 2000 computer problem by churches, businesses, charities, and communities. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree, with a concentration in business, from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School. Prior to founding the Joseph Project 2000, she was a financial analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and founding director of the Pacific Institute for Business Management. Shaunti is the author of the book Y2K: The Millennium Bug - A Balanced Christian Response, scheduled for release this month.

SBC LIFE Describe the goals of the book as you envision them.

Shaunti I have three goals for the book. The first is to generate awareness and preparedness in the Christian community for the Year 2000 problem. The second i...

Watching CP Grow in West Virginia

What motivates a small state convention to dramatically increase the percentage of Cooperative Program funds they send to the Southern Baptist Convention? Executive Director Jere Phillips has reported that West Virginia, a pioneer mission field, has boosted the SBC percentage of its CP receipts from 29.5 percent in 1996 to 35 percent in 1997 and has already recommended further increases to 36 percent for 1999 with more to come!

As the West Virginia convention has increased its giving to worldwide causes through the Southern Baptist Convention, it has experienced a steady growth in Cooperative Program receipts from its 185 local churches and twenty-eight church-type missions.

In 1997, the Cooperative Program gifts received by the state convention were 9.6 percent higher than in 1996. In that same period West Virginia Baptists were able to meet all of their ministry goals, increase the share of CP funds for SBC ministries significantly, and end the year in the black. The current year...

George and JoAnn Carson started attending Calvary Baptist Church as a direct result of the Southern Baptist Convention's adoption of a statement on the family in June in Salt Lake City.

They have since joined the Woodstock, Ill., church, grateful to Southern Baptists for standing up "for what God wants them to do," George Carson said.

Carson, 62, was raised Catholic, and even considered becoming a priest, but never felt comfortable with Catholicism's emphasis on the Virgin Mary.

"It didn't seem right to me," he said. "Somehow, it was the wrong thing."

After a ten-day period of soul-searching at a monastery in Guam when Carson was in the military, he left the Catholic religion altogether.

JoAnn was raised as a Lutheran and when the couple married they attended mainly Lutheran churches, although they were both lost.

About ten years ago, a co-worker of George's led him to Christ. George, in turn, witnessed to JoAnn, who also trusted Christ as Lord and Savior.

Over the next few years, George and his friend read through the New Testament during their lunch...

Like a beacon in the night, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary radiates with the Light of the Gospel along the Eastern Seaboard and throughout the world. Recognized throughout the Southern Baptist Convention for its profound commitment to reaching its arms around the globe for the cause of Christ, Southeastern is a leader in missions emphasis and equipping in the U.S. and abroad.

Founded in 1950 on the campus of Wake Forest College in Wake Forest, N.C., Southeastern Seminary has been training men and women for ministry for nearly fifty years. In fact, the Southeastern campus has Baptist roots that date back to 1832 when the Baptists of North Carolina obtained the property to build a college to educate ministers. In recent years, Southeastern Seminary has taken bold steps to advance God's kingdom at home and around the world.

New Churches

Compelled by a burden to reach the East Coast and the world with the gospel, Southeastern Semin...

President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

SBC LIFE Please tell us about your pilgrimage into Southern Baptist higher education, and specifically, to Southeastern.

Patterson Well, it's a monumental surprise to me to be a part of Christian education. When I made my commitment to the ministry, it was to be an evangelist and a Bible teacher. But even then, I had a strong interest in young preachers.

As a 16-year-old young preacher I always extended a call at the end of the service to those who might commit themselves to the ministry, and I always worked with them.

I received my BA at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, and a Th.M. and Th.D. in Theology at New Orleans Seminary. But I had no intention of being anything other than an evangelist and a Bible teacher.

Then, when I went to my fourth pastorate, I decided I had missed God's calling. I said, "Okay, Lord, I will accept the assignment ...

Hoopla about the next millennium won't derail True Love Waits from its ongoing mission of persuading teens to a commitment of sexual abstinence until marriage.

"The True Love Waits theme for 1999-2000 is Crossing Bridges with Purity," said Richard Ross, TLW spokesman and youth ministry coordinator at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The bridge motif, he said, will symbolize "students who are moving into a new era of history with a strong commitment to moral purity."

The TLW emphasis on sexual abstinence has been credited for a drop in sexual activity among teens. The movement's momentum is reflected in the findings of a new study by the federal government's Centers for Disease Control: Less than half of young people report having engaged in sexual intercourse.

While the 48.4 level is far too high, it is an encouraging decline from the 53.1 percent of young people who previously reported...

In over sixty countries Christians face the reality of massacre, rape, torture, mutilation, family division, harassment, imprisonment, slavery, discrimination in education and employment, and even death according to a 1997 United States State Department report. Paul Marshall states in his book Their Blood Cries Out, "This plague affects over 200 million people, with an additional 400 million suffering from discrimination and legal impediments." Followers of Jesus Christ all over the world are persecuted simply for what they believe.

The following examples provide a mere glimpse of the problem.

Recent Communist Party directives that have been smuggled to the West announce that a special class struggle is being waged against China's unregistered Catholic and Protestant churches. Hundreds of Chinese C...

First Baptist Church of Clewiston, Florida, is reaching people through the Internet, but not the way you might imagine. People are coming to church to learn how to reap the benefits, while avoiding the dangers of the Internet. More importantly, many who attend the eight-week Internet for Families Seminar are unchurched who are introduced to the gospel and the church's ministry.

The seminar uses a combination of teaching lectures, student notes, class discussion, PowerPoint presentations, online demonstrations, and take-home activities. Besides teaching e-mail, browsing, searching, downloading and updating, Internet for Families offers help in protecting oneself and one's family from the dangers of the Internet.

Ken Reaves, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Clewiston, wrote the materials and teaches the seminar. It was Reaves' associate, Terry Willett, who came up with the idea. "Our pastor is known as a computer guru. He has the unique mix of knowi...

A Book Review

In 1995, Robert Funk, former professor at the University of Montana, and Professor Dominic Crossan of DePaul University founded the Jesus Seminar. The seventy-four scholars who participated claimed their purpose was to "... assess the degree of scholarly consensus about the historical authenticity of each saying of Jesus." However, they also admitted that they hoped to "liberate the historical Jesus" from the "mythological Jesus of faith." It came as no surprise when this seminar concluded that Jesus said and did very little of what the gospels attribute to Him.

Scholarly evangelicals did not hesitate to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by the cynics. Two professors from Talbot School of Theology, Michael Wilkins and J.P. Moreland, responded with Jesus Under Fire. Composed of eight articles by respected scholars, it examines the evidence for the historical reality of Jesus and the reliability of the Gospels. Using a style more popular than technical, the w...

Someone once remarked that the worst of all possible moments for an atheist is to feel truly thankful and have no one there to thank. Most Americans are not actual atheists, but they may be practical atheists. An actual atheist has no God to thank. A practical atheist has a God to thank, but never thinks of doing it.

In the Broadway musical Annie, the stock-market-rich have been reduced to poverty by the crash of '29 and the resulting depression. These souls loiter around the streets lamenting their poverty and blaming Herbert Hoover for the depression. They sing their political blasphemy, "We'd like to thank you Herbert Hoover . . . you made us what we are today!" Whether or not Hoover can be blamed for the depression is questionable. But the song points to an interesting truth: We are never most thankful when we are surfeiting in the good times. We usually get serious about thanking God when we have very little. The destitute are typically better at saying grace t...

After career day in kindergarten a little girl came home all excited and told her mother that she wanted to be a nurse. Her mom went ballistic and said, "You don't have to be a nurse, this is America, you can be anything you want to be. You can be a doctor, an orthopedic surgeon - you can even be the director of the whole hospital." She was excited. "I can be anything, anything at all?" As she thought about it, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, "I'll be a horse!"

You can't be anything you want to be, you can only be what God has designed you to be. God has designed everyone with a purpose. He designed an acorn to grow into an oak. Now the acorn can wish to be a maple instead of an oak. Maybe maples are prettier or more in demand. It can even map out a maple strategy. It can buy some possibility tapes and play them over and over - "It's a possibility, I can be a maple." It can even buy some positive thinking tapes - "You positively c...

Travel with the Presidents

The six presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention seminaries invite you to join them and their wives as they lead a thirteen-day study tour of the original sites of the seven churches of Asia Minor, July 17-29, 1999.

Under the guidance of leading evangelical scholars, you have the opportunity to trace the origins of biblical prophecy and eschatology as they visit the ancient sites of the seven churches identified in the Book of Revelation, in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

The tour, offered through Wilcox World Travel and Tours, offers package rates that range from $3,600 to $3,800. Also, an eleven-day tour of Israel and Jordan is scheduled for July 27 - Aug. 6, 1999 at a cost of $3,100.

As part of the tour of Israel and Jordan, participants will travel by plane from New York to Tel Aviv and then drive to Tiberias. During the eleven-day...