Six Ways a Church Should Use a Confession of Faith

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Particular Baptist churches planted in the tumultuous soil of 17th century England grew up and bore fruit under a nasty set of doctrinal and methodological accusations, including that they subscribed to libertarian free will, denied original sin, that their pastors baptized women in the nude, and were opponents of church and crown. Perhaps their most virulent…



Must I Join a Church to be a Christian?

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I have heard many versions of this notion over the years, phrased as both a statement and a declaration. “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian—do I?” More often than not, it’s been put this way: “I love Jesus and the Bible, but I don’t love the church.” Or those more…



Eight Reasons to Study Baptist History

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I always begin church history classes the same way as our dear brother Tom Nettles, with a lecture called “Why Study Church History?” I’m not merely seeking to copycat my mentor; we live in an age in which what C.S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery”—the prioritizing of all things new and the despising of all things…

 

The Regulative Principle – A Baptist Doctrine

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God is being worshiped in new and inventive ways in Baptist churches these days. Years ago, one massive Baptist church installed a baptismal pool in the shape of a fire truck complete with red paint and lights, though it has since been removed. The baptistery was specifically designed for baptizing children who made a profession…



Beware of Your Fictional Church

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His words rang in my ears for days and triggered a few nights of nocturnal unrest. “What were you expecting in the pastorate? You’re not in seminary any more and this church isn’t filled with your seminary buddies. You’re in the real world now, son.” I had been on the job exactly seven days when…

 

7 Reasons to Teach Your Kids Church History

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Ask my four children what their father loves and ranking high on the list after “Jesus, our mom, baseball, and the Georgia Bulldogs,” might just be “dead people.” Why? The fact that I teach church history notwithstanding, I think it is important that my children—beginning at a tender age—understand the richness of the faith I…



Dear Timothy, Part III: “Embrace Your Weakness”

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Several years ago, Founders Ministries published Dear Timothy, an excellent multi-author work. The book was written as a series of letters from the veteran pastor, Paul, to the young upstart pastor, Timothy. In the spirit of that publication, I offer the following letter as part of an occasional series. I have written two previous letters…