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June 2013 Issue

Calvinism Advisory Group Presents Report to EC’s Frank S. Page

A nineteen-member advisory team on Calvinism has concluded its work and issued a seven-page report called “Truth, Trust, and Testimony in a Time of Tension."

The advisory team—not an official committee of the Convention—was assembled by Frank S. Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee in August 2012 to advise him on developing “a strategy whereby people of various theological persuasions can purposely work together in missions and evangelism.”1

A HISTORICAL MOMENT
In the weeks leading up to the 2012 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in New Orleans, LifeWay Research released a study that showed nearly equal numbers of pastors in the SBC consider their churches Calvinist/Reformed as Arminian/Wesleyan, and that more than 60 percent of pastors were somewhat or strongly concerned about the effect of Calvinism in the Southern Baptist family.

During his presidential address, then SBC President Bryant Wright called the tension between “traditiona...

CRAIG REYNOLDS
Talk to Craig Reynolds and you will only find out that he is a former Major League Baseball player if you know that biographical detail coming into the conversation. For Reynolds, who played in the big leagues for fifteen seasons and now serves as pastor of preaching and teaching for the North Campus of Second Baptist Church of Houston, walking with Christ and serving as a minister of the Gospel is the self-defining reality.

When it comes to Reynolds’ baseball career, there is much to talk about. A first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates out of Houston’s Regan High School in 1971, Reynolds played in 1,491 big-league games and was a two-time all-star who played in some of baseball’s most memorable games in the 1980s as a member of the Houston Astros.

Still, Christ, his family, and the ministry loom far larger on the overall landscape of his life. Reynolds has served on staff at Second Houston for the past nineteen years. The past three years he has been the main preaching ...

Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting can stay up to date with a smartphone app, which includes more than a dozen features, including schedules, maps, alerts, speakers, news feeds, the Book of Reports, the Daily Bulletin, and much more.

The free app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry users and can be downloaded by visiting http://m.core-apps.com/sbc2013am from a smartphone or by typing in “SBC Annual Meeting 2013” in the smartphone’s app store.

Developed by Core-Apps, the app will include:

  • Push alerts that give users up-to-date news, such as changes in the meeting schedule should the posted schedule change.
  • The programs for the SBC Pastors’ Conference and the annual meeting.
  • An alphabetized list of Pastors’ Conference and annual meeting speakers, including their scheduled speaking times.
  • A news feed of Baptist Press news stories...
A Statement from the Calvinism Advisory Committee

Southern Baptists are Great Commission people. We are also a doctrinal people, and those doctrinal convictions undergird our Great Commission vision and passion. We are a confessional people, who stand together upon the doctrines most vital to us all, confessed together in The Baptist Faith and Message.

Within this common confession, we sometimes disagree over certain theological issues that should not threaten our Great Commission cooperation. We recognize that significant theological disagreement on such issues has occurred with respect to Calvinism. It is, therefore, our responsibility to come together with open hearts and minds in order to speak truthfully, honestly, and respectfully about these theological and doctrinal issues that concern us, threaten to divide us, and compel us into conversation. Such engagement is appropriate at every level of Southern Baptist life including local congregations, associations, state conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

This spirit of conversation has been the hallmark of the m...

Charles Spurgeon was once accosted by an agnostic who challenged his Christian beliefs. In response, the great Baptist preacher contrasted the failure of unbelievers to mount a sustained program of aid to the needy with the myriad ways Christians helped the weak and defenseless. Then, playing off the prophet Elijah’s challenge to the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he said, “The God who answereth by orphanages, let Him be God.”

More than a century after Spurgeon’s death, twenty-three Baptist children’s homes affiliated with twenty state Baptist conventions stand as a continued testimony to the truth of his observation. In contrast to much of the world’s failure to help needy children, 530,000 children and family members received some type of assistance from Southern Baptists through state convention and regionally sponsored Baptist children’s homes in 2012. More than 9,260 children found a safe refuge in residential care facilities. This—combined with more than eight thousand decisions for Christ ...

A seminary looking for a home campus and a church looking to minister joined forces to provide a full campus for master’s level studies in theology in the greater Houston area.

For nearly forty years, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Havard School for Theological Studies (formerly Southwestern in Houston) has equipped students for ministry and engaged this vibrant, international city with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With a population of more than two million, Houston is the nation’s fourth largest city.

Wanting to train students seeking theological preparation who were unable to relocate to the main campus in Fort Worth, Southwestern began offering theological education in Houston in 1975 with extension courses on the campus of Houston Baptist University.

A quarter of a century later, Park Place Baptist Church, true to its well-known heritage of faith, deeded its facilities to Southwestern Seminary in 2002. The seminary began transforming the property into a state-of-the-art campus. A generous gift...

Representatives of the six SBC seminaries, a Baptist university, and the director of seminary extension recently met with representatives from African American, Asian, and Hispanic advisory councils in an educational summit to discuss course offerings designed to prepare individuals called to ministry from our many non-Anglo congregations.

The fast-growing Texas city of Houston has more than 220 spoken languages and countless people groups, presenting a challenge in reaching the city with the Gospel.

“We’re the most ethnically, culturally diverse metropolitan area in the United States,” said Tom Billings, executive director of the Union Baptist Association (UBA), which helps mobilize Houston churches to impact the city for Christ.

CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS
One of the key ways UBA does this is by helping churches understand the area’s changing demographics. A burgeoning Hispanic population, combined with influxes of immigrants and refugees from far-flung countries like Pakistan and Sudan, means that churches must be prepared for people with vast cultural differences.

“We believe pretty strongly that in order to communicate the Gospel in a way that will be heard, [the] message has to be contextual,” said Josh Ellis, UBA’s senior church consultant.

One of Ellis’s chief roles with UBA is t...

When Southern Baptists at every level cooperate to reach people for Christ, it’s always effective, said Darrell Robinson, a former pastor and evangelist from Texas.

Continuing the tradition of evangelizing the host city of the SBC annual meeting, the pre-convention “Crossover Houston” effort provides opportunities for intentionally sharing the Gospel through block parties and door-to-door evangelism.

“The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is working with the North American Mission Board to provide a more traditional Crossover experience,” said Nathan Lorick, the SBTC’s evangelism director. “This includes working with seminary students Monday through Friday, June 3–7, on going door-to-door with the Gospel. On Saturday (June 8), churches will be hosting block parties” across the city.

NAMB is also working with Union Baptist Association in Houston to help kick off “Loving Houston,” a three-year program featuring projects like home renovation, clean-up, demolit...

Southern Baptist Convention mission work will be on display through interviews with international and North American missionaries and missions leaders at the Cooperative Program booth in the exhibit hall during this year’s annual meeting in Houston.

Other interviews will feature collegiate ministry, ministerial training through our seminaries, new Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore, plus a host of pastors and state convention leaders.

The booth will also include interviews and panel discussions on such issues as the Calvinism advisory committee report, IMB’s report on Reaching the Nations, and NAMB’s Send North America and Send Cities initiative. It will feature conversations with Beth Moore and Greg Laurie about reaching cities and nations through SBC missions and ministries on Ed Stetzer’s online talk show, “The Exchange.”

The booth will be anchored by two high-definition video screens displaying the interviews and a live Twitter board for online participants....

Not only did five leading pastors in North Carolina agree together to each encourage their churches to accept Frank Page’s 1% Cooperative Program Challenge, they went around the state, encouraging dozens of other pastors to do the same.

Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, at last summer’s SBC’s annual meeting challenged churches to increase their giving by 1 percent through the Cooperative Program—the way churches work together to support the missions and ministries of the state conventions and the SBC as a whole.

MARK HARRIS
“We were aware of the 1% Challenge,” said Mark Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church of Charlotte and president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. “Our executive director [Milton Hollifield Jr.] is a strong proponent of leading our convention to increasing our giving through the Cooperative Program.

“Because we had that commitment, we began asking the question: ‘How c...

The Palouse is a fertile belt of land stretching sixty by one hundred twenty miles in the southeast corner of Washington and western Idaho.

It is without question, the highest yielding, non-irrigated farmland in North America, and it happens to be one of the richest soils for collegiate church planting in the nation.

Nestled in a hilly landscape much like J. R. R. Tolkien’s Shire from the The Lord of the Rings, Pullman, Washington, is home to Washington State University (WSU) and Resonate Church (@resonate_church), an early innovator in the broadening collegiate church movement.

RESONATE CHURCH
The idea of Resonate began as Keith Wieser (@keithwieser) asked the question, “How can our Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) reach this whole campus?”

Keith and his wife Paige met and married through the Baptist collegiate work at Stephen F. Austin Univ...

Click here to download updated schedules for conferences and ministry events ancillary to the 2013 SBC Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas.

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Romans 1 describes widespread acceptance of homosexual behavior as a tipping point in a nation’s story. Using a threefold refrain, Scripture outlines God’s release of a nation to the consequences of its rebellion against Him:

Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.

This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. The males in the same way also left natural relations with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error.

And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, G...

Talk about embarrassing! IT WAS EMBARRASSING! “Come on!” I thought. “Don’t these people know this elevator makes more than one trip per day—that it and the three other elevators will come back up if they miss this one?”

Our girls were with their grandparents. Waylon and I were staying in a fifty-story high-rise downtown hotel at the SBC annual meeting. Our room was on the thirty-somethingth floor.

We got in the elevator and headed down to breakfast before jetting off to the convention. It was comfortably filled when we entered, but after stopping on what seemed like every floor, it quickly became very uncomfortable. I grew tired of standing like a penguin with my arms pinned to my side, so I carefully slipped my arm up and placed my hand on my husband Waylon’s shoulder. Though we were packed in like sardines, it was still good to be away together, just the two of us.

We moved to the next floor picking up more passengers. By this time I had checked the weight capacity of the elevator t...

July 2013

LoveLoud Sunday (July 21)

August 2013

Environmental Stewardship (August 4)
Student Evangelism Day (August 11)
Worship Music Week (August 18-24)

September 2013

Single Adult Sunday (September 1)
Anti-Gambling Sunday (September 15)
Discipleship Rally (September 16)

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