There is a conversation that is getting louder in Southern Baptist circles, and it is one that I am very excited about. The SBC website says we are a network of over 45,000 churches with nearly 16 million members, but the reality is that we have a great percentage of churches that are plateaued or declining. I have seen statistics showing between 70 to 80 percent of our Southern Baptist churches are at this point. Any honest observation would admit there are many sick, dying, or even dead-and-just-do-not-realize-it-yet churches. Read More »
The Bible is perfectly clear both that the offer of the Gospel is nondiscriminating and that homosexuality is morally wrong. That is, our Gospel outreach should never be limited in its scope, but there are lifestyles and behaviors that are condemned, and an active homosexual lifestyle is among these. In fact, any sexual activity outside of marriage (clearly understood in the Bible as being exclusively between a man and woman) is condemned, according to the straightforward teaching of Scripture. Now I realize that all of these claims are highly controversial in much of today’s society. However, I won’t in this article be arguing for any of them because I want to say something to those who already hold these as truths. Read More »
“He keeps the grand end in view.” After arriving in India in September 1796, John Fountain used these words to describe his first impressions of William Carey (1761-1834). A missionary pioneer, organizer, catalyst, survivor, and inspiration, Carey lived 73 full years and changed the modern world. J. H. Kane argues that Carey’s missions tract, An Enquiry, was “a landmark in Christian history and deserves a place alongside Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses.” Carey’s nephew attributed much of Carey’s fruitful longevity to “invincible patience in labour, and uninterrupted constancy.” Carey would not agree with these assessments. In his words, if one were to “give me credit for being a plodder, he will describe me justly. Anything beyond this will be too much. I can plod.” Read More »
The Cacophony of Silence: Rising Global neo-Pentecostalism, World Christianity, and the Southern Baptist Convention
It had already been a long journey and I still had a long set of flights out of Nigeria routing back to the United States. During my visit to the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Ogobomso, I met many fine folk. They are indeed doing a tremendous job of engaging lost people with the good news in the midst of horrific conflict posed to the whole nation, and the world, from a violent stream of Islam known as Boko Haram. One of the institution’s administrators accompanied me back to Lagos, Nigeria to fly out. Read More »
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on The Artistic Theologian, the online theological journal of Southwestern Seminary’s School of Church Music.
The Lord Jesus Christ gave the church its commission before he ascended to his Father: Read More »
At the end of a long, arduous overland journey below the Tropic of Capricorn on the island of Madagascar in January 2013; I along with a team of Southwestern Seminary students went out for one more stroll into the streets of Abovombe, in the southwest part of the island, to talk to willing listeners about the Good News of Jesus Christ. We were on our first team trip to find and share with the Antandroy people of Madagascar. The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention challenged the Convention to respond to the call to Embrace the remaining Unreached Unengaged People Groups (UUPG) of the world. Little did I realize how literal that term, Embrace, would become for me at the end of that long day. Read More »
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of Southwestern News magazine, which gives churches and individuals strategies for sharing the Gospel.
Most Christians recognize the importance of evangelism, but they are at a loss when it comes to striking up a conversation with a stranger on a plane, in a grocery line, or at the gas station. The following is an analysis of five common approaches to sharing the Gospel with some additional evangelism tips. Each approach has potential strengths and weaknesses, but not all approaches are created equal. The first two strategies are not recommended as normative approaches for evangelism. Queen recommends a blended use of the final three approaches. Each has its own advantages and usefulness in particular situations. The leading of the Holy Spirit should dictate which approach, or approaches, should be incorporated in any given evangelistic encounter. Read More »
A lady once criticized the evangelism methods used by Dwight L. Moody, famed 19th century American pastor, to win people to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In response Moody replied, “I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?” Moody’s critic answered, “I don’t do it.” Moody quipped, “In that case, I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.” Read More »
The Harvest tells the real-life, inspired story of a family on a North Dakota farm. The short film opens with a father and his three young sons surveying wheat fields stretching as far as the eye can see. The father explains to these would-be farmer boys, “By the end of the summer, the wheat will be ripened and the harvest will be ready to reap. When the harvest is ready, we must be ready, or we’ll lose the whole crop.” Read More »
God has honored, and in many instances has answered, the fervent prayers of believers for the salvation of unbelievers. Concerning his own salvation, L. R. Scarborough, the second president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and inaugural occupant of the first established chair of evangelism in the world (“The Chair of Fire”), recounted: Read More »