The Church: A Holy People

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As a college student in the 70’s, I remember hearing retired Southern Baptist missionary to China, Miss Bertha Smith, speak in a number of settings. Miss Bertha, who was in her nineties at the time, took no prisoners when she spoke! Having gone through both the Shantung Revival and the invasion of the Japanese at…



The New Hampshire Confession: Warm Evangelical Calvinism

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  In carrying forth this analysis of the movement in American Christianity toward what Ross Douthat has termed “Bad Religion,” I am seeking to particularize this development in Baptist life. Several lines of thought began to challenge the evangelical Calvinist consensus among Baptists. American Baptist Unity Among American Baptists, a high degree of unity had…



Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? Martin Bucer’s De Regno Christi

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*This post is the latest in a series looking at the Sabbath. Previous posts include:Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians (Part 3), Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? (Part 2), Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? Henry Bullinger on the Sabbath (Part 1),  Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church (Part 3), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church? (Part 2),  Where is the Sabbath in the…



Perseverance of the Saints: An Essential Doctrine?

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I grew skeptical when he called it “an offer you can’t refuse.” Either this man was hiding something about the house he was trying to sell me or his sales technique was deeply influenced by the Godfather movies. The “deal” was a dirt-cheap price on a house in the best part of town in Louisville,…



Preparing for Gathered Worship: Worship Everyday

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In the last several posts I have addressed the question: How can we best prepare for times of gathered worship? How can we be ready, as members of the church family, to take full advantage of the opportunities we have together to serve in the House of God. So far we have considered our need…

 

Healthy Churches

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The conversations tend to go like this: “I like my church. My pastor preaches the Word. There are some wonderful people in the church. But something is wrong. There’s no life together. People don’t seem to really care for each other. Conversations are superficial. I’m not sure that people even know one another in our…



Reflections on the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention

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I will add my voice to others who have positively evaluated the 2014 SBC that met last week in Baltimore. The spirit of the meeting was warm and congenial. There seems to be a widespread implicit agreement that if we are going to live together productively within the network of churches that comprise the SBC…



Last Week to Get the Early Discount for the National Founders Conference: October 16-18, 2014

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    Join us October 16–18 for the 2014 National Southern Baptist Founders Conference. This is the last week to take advantage of our early registration discount. The conference will be held at the historic First Baptist Church, Charleston, SC. The theme will be: Confessional Power and Gospel Advance: The 2LC at Home and Abroad The 2nd London Confession…



What is a Pastoral Preacher?

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There has been a good deal said and written about “expository preaching,” “Christ-centered preaching,” “redemptive-historical preaching,” etc., but very little has been said about “pastoral preaching.” Pastoral preaching is certainly expository, Christ-centered, and it always takes redemptive history into account, but it goes much further. Pastoral preaching is intensely personal and directed to a particular…