Sunday, April 29, 2007

Decoding Culture - Acts 17:16-21

Act 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.

  • His spirit was provoked within – I pray that this will happen to us.
  • We will be aggravated, annoyed, irritated, goaded, forced to deal with the issues at hand, or that we see through believing eyes
  • given over to idols -

Act 17:17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the

  • He reasoned with them. He got in the mix. He rubbed elbows and traded words, he conversed, and like race fans put it- he traded paint.
  • He discussed, disputed and preached to them
  • At times it was logical reasoning and at moments it was hot debate
  • marketplace daily – real ministry is not done behind white clapboards or with red bricks and white columns.
  • Agorah is the Greek term- in the middle of the people
  • Agoraphobia, literally translated as "a fear of the marketplace
  • An agoraphobic does not fear people: he or she rather fears an embarrassing/dangerous situation with no escape.
  • Some people with agoraphobia are comfortable seeing visitors, but only in a defined space they feel in control of.
  • Such people may live for years without leaving their homes, while happily seeing visitors and working, as long as they can stay within their safety zones.
  • We Are Stuck In Our Safety Zones

Act 17:18 Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.

  • Paul was in a place of many philosophies and ideas, not one truth, real truth was lost and what ever was good got you was your personal truth.
  • They found our God foreign, alien, new, & strange.
  • This was a different teaching and the concept of this God was far and distant.
    It is our Goal to be the salt and the light -Mat 5:13-16 "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. (14) "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. (16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
  • How can we do this is we are not around the people
  • If we are not in the marketplace then how can we affect the people that Jesus loves, because Jesus loves the reprobate too?

Act 17:19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak?

  • They wanted to know the who and the what about what Paul have being talking to them about
  • They were hungry to know what he was talking about, Jesus and His Grace have become such a foreign concept that it is becoming new all over again.

Act 17:20-1 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.” (21) For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.

  • There was a time, just a few centuries ago, when nautical maps of Europe had legends that included the location of churches on land and church steeples doubled as navigational tools for ship captains. Churches were typically built on choice real estate in the center of town or atop the highest hill. And in some places, there were ordinances against building anything taller than the church steeple so it would occupy the place closest to heaven. Nothing was more visible on the pre-modern skyline than church steeples. And in a sense, church steeples symbolized the place of the church in culture. There was a day, in the not too distant past, when church was the center of culture. Church was the place to go. Church was the thing to do. Nothing was more visible than the church steeple. Nothing was more audible than the church bells. And it might be a slight exaggeration, but all the pre-modern church had to do was raise a steeple and ring a bell. Is it safe to say that things have changed?
  • The church no longer enjoys a cultural monopoly.
  • We know Scripture, but we're out of touch with the times. We are well studied in Sunday school we don’t know our neighbor
  • The end result is a gap between theology and reality called irrelevance. Things that are ill relevant are insignificant, unimportant, worthless, inconsequential, trival – the Church was not called to be this
  • Eph 5:35 says that he gave his life for it.
  • We're out of touch with the very people we're trying to reach--the unchurched and dechurched. We've got to exegete our culture so we can close the gap. That's what incarnation is all about.
  • The post-Christian church needs a revelation: irrelevance is irreverence!
  • The church has four options when it comes to engaging culture: 1) ignore it, 2) imitate it, 3) condemn it, or 4) create it. And each option leads in polar opposite directions.

    • We can ignore culture, but the byproduct of ignorance is irrelevance. The more we ignore culture the more irrelevant we'll become. And if the church ignores the culture, the culture will ignore the church.
    • We can imitate culture, but imitation is a form of suicide. Originality is sacrificed on the altar of cultural conformity. If we don't shape the culture, the culture will shape us.
    • We can condemn culture, but condemnation is a cop out. Let me just call it what it is: condemnation is spiritual laziness. We've got to stop pointing the finger and start offering better alternatives. If the church condemns the culture, the culture will condemn the church.

  • Those three options will lead the church down a dead-end road to irrelevance, but there is another option--the only option if we're serious about fulfilling the Great Commission and incarnating the gospel. We can compete for culture by creating culture.
  • In the immortal words of the Italian artist and poet, Michelangelo: criticize by creating.
  • At the end of the day, the culture will treat the church the way the church treats the culture. And we're not called to condemn. We're called to redeem.

i woudl liketo say thanks to Mark at Evotional as he was able to put my thoughts on culture into for andhe didn't even know it. drop by his blog and be amazed

Real Kids - Luke 2:39-52

Luke 2:39-40 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. (40) And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

  • We find the “Parental Commission”
  • All adults have this maxim to live out
  • not just Parents,but Grandparents, Aunt, Uncles, adopted aunts and uncles anyone who have a relationship with a child
  • We have a Mimi – you saw her last week she is an adopted aunt. If Denise or I ever die, this is who will inherit our little bundle of joy. She was there when she was born, she care for her, spoils her, weeps for her, disciplines her, and is family as far as I am concerned.

    • We are to help our Children grow and became strong in spirit, be filled with wisdom and the grace of God.
      • This is our thesis -
      • To help our Children grow and became strong in spirit, be filled with wisdom and the grace of God
      • Why are we talking about this … simple … we tend to be focused on the non-eternal goals for our children
        • Academics
        • Sports
        • Dating even
      • These items do have a level of importance, but secondary if not tertiary to what Scripture has listed. They come in a distant second.
      • If our children win every spelling bee, ball game, decathlon, competition, U.I.L. Event, and tournament what does it mean in eternity?
        • There are no trophy cases in Heaven
        • No rewards for ribbons and medallions
      • We concentrate on the here and now and forsake the eternal and ever after. We teach our 2nd graders curveballs and skip the commandments. This has to stop and it must happen today.

Luke 2:41-2 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. (42) And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.

  • We are to raise our children in the ways of the faith just as Jesus’ parents did.
    • Eph 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
    • We must follow the tracing of Christ and show them the way.
    • The Shema – Deut. 6:1-9 “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, (2) that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. (3) Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ (4) “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! (5) You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (6) “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. (7) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (8) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. (9) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
    • If we are not living the faith, the how are they going to see it, and hear it and learn it?
    • I repeat - If we are not living the faith, the how are they going to see it, and hear it and learn it?

    Luke 2:43- 45 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; (44) but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. (45) So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.

    • Jesus did not have a perfect set of parents and he turned out just fine. So you do not have to be perfect
    • But try to not lose your kids at the mall. I have lost a niece or two in my days.
    • I try hard to keep an eye on Remington at the store or out in public.
    • If I care some much about her temporary, physical outer body that will decay in the ground, how much more should I can about her eternal soul that Jesus lost his life and shed his blood for?

Luke 2:46-9 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. (47) And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. (48) So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought You anxiously.” (49) And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

    • Help our children be about the their Heavenly Father’s work
    • 3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
    • No greater joy than children walking in the truth
    • We should delight when our children are walking in the Lord
    • We should pleasure when the kids we are entrusted with live in the truth
    • When they don’t we need to be miserable and on our knees and beg God, grovel if you will, and petition God for your Children
    • Pray for the Kids
    • Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
    • As a church are we doing this?
    • Are we hindering the children from coming to God?

Luke 2:50-2 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them (51) Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.(52) And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

  • Psa 127:3-4 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.(4) Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
    • What heritage do we have if our children are like bruised fruit? Our children become rotten with sin, they are spoiled with transgressions. Are they a reward to you or glorifying to God?
    • Can we say are children fly true like a well made arrow.
    • Are we handing these Children that God has entrusted us with, with the same accuracy of a warrior does an arrow. Or our we helping them to fly straight, to hit the target and become a bull’s eye with their lives

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

thoughts and comments for L.A.

The Gideon members had been taken into custody because they were within 500 feet of a public school.

If 300 feet is a foot ball field is how far some one would have to be from a school, then man more people would have to be arrested. This is not the law. The police we enforcing what then?

“Under the First Amendment, the Gideons have every right to distribute Bibles on a public sidewalk to those who wish to accept them.

When the Gideons do this, the simply stand on the side walk and hold a small New Testament. They make no attempts to evangelize or convert or open discussion. Additionally the sidewalk is a public area. Not privatized land.

There is no legal justification for the continued harassment of peaceful members of the community

This would go against the teachings of Christ as well as Gandhi. This might be acceptable in militant states, but not the United States.

Gray asked one of the police, Office John Perez, why the two were being arrested. He then responded that Gray would know in 48 hours after he received the report.

You have to know what you are charging them for if you are going to arrest them. This is illegal and inappropriate and possibly and abuse of power. He has poised himslef for internal discipline by his supervisors.

He also added that the Gideons had “no right” to be within 500 feet of school property as well as telling his two detainees that they “can pray to Jesus all the way to jail,” according to ADF.

The officer was legally incorrect. Additionally he was acted inappropriately as an officer and was definitely unprofessionally in his comment afterward. It is odd that he came closer to a crime by being religiously intolerant. Some how I feel that if these men had been a Rabbis with copies of the Torah or Imams with copies of the Koran this would have been considered outrageous.

Look what happened at 'Virginia Tech' because no one was protecting the "students"!!!!

I can not fathom where you were going with this. To say that preventing the Gideons from giving out Bibles would have helped is a queer idea. How were they supposed to be protected in this way?

Lucky these guys didn't get accused of stalking little grade-school kids!

It is deeply apparent that you have never worked in law enforcement not understand the law.
There is no possible way that these men met any of the requirements that would allow them for be charged with stalking.

I have no problem with spreading God's word,. but these are minors at this school!

On this subject I’ll let Jesus speak - Matthew 19:14 - But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

There is a time and place for everything under the sun, and you can find that in the Bible too!!

This does not appear in the Bible. Everything is not permissible, so there is not a t time fore everything.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecc 3:1-8)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Redeeming Time Eph 5:15-16

· Eph 5:15-16 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, (16) redeeming
the time, because the days are evil.

o Circumspectly - Diligently, carefully, perfectly, conscientiously, meticulously, Diligently

§ NASB Therefore be careful how you walk

§ ESV Look carefully then how you walk

§ NIV Be very careful, then, how you live

§ NLT So be careful how you live

§ Lamsa Watch therefore, that you live a glorious life

§ MSG So watch your step. Use your head

o Fools –foolishly, stupidly, idiotically, thoughtlessly, unwise, reckless

· 16 - Redeeming the time, because the days are evil

o The only thing we have before we enter into eternity is redeem time

o The song that says “Time is on our sides” is incorrect. Time is against us in this world.

o Making the most of your time – this is almost a four lettered word – Organization,
have a method, have order, the opposite of organization is chaos, we need to stream
line our life for the efficiency of the Gospel. Better techniques. Better methods. Same Message.

o Making the best use of the time – what are we doing with our time.

o If we have 24 hours in a day … and lets say we use 8 for sleep and are awake for 16, of which we spend 8 at work, multiply that by 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year we get 8,736 hours …

o If we take the 1/3rd that we are not working or sleeping we get 2,192 hours or about 121 and 1.2 days. Now tell me what you can not accomplish in 121 days. Now I know that all that time does not have to be devoted to the Lord, but how much are you sing for Him.

o Are we using the time wisely? Are we investing it in anything, or any relationships? Or are we wasting a way in our personal Margaritaville – that is our person pleasures, in this we like, in having fun and worrying only about self.

o Making the most of every opportunity – what opportunities do we have? What is being presented before us? What windows is God opening and what doors are we supposed to bust down. Are we able to honestly say that we are making the most of the opportunities that are being opened up to us? Are we mining all we can out of our prospects? Are we will be crossing the Gateway to Greatness that God has prepared for us and Giving Him the Glory He deserves.
· What is the consequence that we face if we are not making the best use of the time, making the most of our time, making the most of every opportunity? If we fail to invest in our relationships and our community, what is the end result?

Jdg 2:10 When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.

Gal 6:9-10 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (10) Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Real Men - Acts 10:1-2

Real Men Acts 10:1-2

  • Act 10:1
    There was a certain man in Caesarea
    called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,
    • Centurion - 100, then 300 and then 600 men in his charge. Low pay, not often paid, made fortune by ill-gotten gains, plundering and looting. Tough. They were the backbone of the professional army and were the career soldiers who ran the day to day life of the soldiers as well as issuing commands in the field.
    • The Roman centurion was distinguished by his uniform: his armor was silvered, he wore his sword on his left side rather than his right, and the crest of his helmet was turned so that it went sideways across his helmet like a halo. His armor was silvered, he wore greaves on his legs, and the crest of his helmet was distinctively turned perpendicular to the front and they wore chain mail armor. It is believed that he also wore his decorations and awards prominently on his torso in battle, to show his bravery to friend and foe alike. He also carried a short staff (stick) - usually a vine stave, called vÄ«tis - as a symbol of his authority.
    • Centurions were nicknamed "Give me another" because of their habit of breaking there staff across the backs of their men.
    • A man in Roman army who wanted to become a Centurion had to meet many qualifications.
      • First, the man had to have several letters of recommendation from important people. Therefore, it would help if one trying for the position was befriended to several important senators, or even the consuls/emperor themselves/himself (depending on the time period).
      • A man who desired to be a Centurion would have had to have been at least thirty years of age. Therefore, if he had entered the army at age 16, he would have spent almost half his life in the military, giving him the experience he needed so that he would know how to sufficiently command his cohort.
      • As stated above, the aspiring centurion needed good connections to be recommended for the post. These connections might have been easier to achieve if the centurion was of a higher class.
      • One of the tasks of the centurion was to relate his superior officers' written commands to the men in his cohort. Therefore, he had to be able to read and write. In order to do this, he needed at least enough education to be literate. Also, the more educated one was, the better chance he had of becoming centurion.
    • Centurions had the privilege of riding on horseback during marches and, if they had been given permission to marry, to live with their family while in garrison.
    • Hazards - These officers were responsible for their men during battle, and led from the front, fighting alongside their soldiers. Their increased prominence put them at higher risk, and casualty levels for centurions were correspondingly high.
    • Italian Regiment - had to be able to be around the higher class and be well educated. He would have to have be the rough and ready to battle type, yet, Corny would have also have be able to work with in the circles of high society.
  • Act 10:2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.
    • Devout man – a dedicated spiritual man, one who would have been a man of scripture and holing to Godly disciplines, careful to fulfill his Christian duties. The only other time this phrase is used it the Bible is it followed by the with idea of the person having a good testimony.
    • Feared God – loved and revered God, he understood the power and majesty of
      God, held respect to the ultimate degree for his Creator.
      • Exo 18:21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to
        rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
      • Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.
    • All his household – Godly father/husband, family leader, even inspiring to his family, a role model of faith,He brought up his family in a religious way, as every good man should; and which was very remarkable in a Gentile, a soldier, and an officer: He took care to instruct his family in the knowledge which he himself had received; and to establish the worship of God in his house.
    • Gave alms generously to the people – was faithfully practicing Judaism. He was a Jewish proselyte. But a good Jew was a Christian. Additionally, he was not self motivated, cared about others, charitable and compassionate, caring for those who are less fortunate and sharing the blessing they have been giving, this was an uncommon characteristic of a pillaging, merciless solider.
    • Prayed to God always – constantly communicating with God, intense personal relationship, seeking God for strength, wisdom, and help
    • Felt himself a dependent creature; knew he had no good but what he had received; and considered God to be the fountain whence he was to derive all his blessings.
      • He craved contact with his Creator.
      • 1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
      • He prayed to God always and he was ever in the spirit of prayer, and frequently in the act. What an excellent character is this!

Bible Distributors File Lawsuit After Arrests, Police Bullying

Bible Distributors File Lawsuit After Arrest, Police Bullyings
By Doug Huntington
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Apr. 24 2007 01:03 PM ET

Gideons International, an evangelical Christian organization dedicated to distributing copies of the Bible, filed a lawsuit on Friday after members of the organization were arrested for their activities in Florida.
Defending the group is the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) – a legal alliance that defends the right to speak the “Truth” – which is arguing against the unlawful arrests. The Gideon members had been taken into custody because they were within 500 feet of a public school.
“Free speech in America exists even within 500 feet of public school property,” explained ADF senior legal counsel David Cortman in a statement. “Under the First Amendment, the Gideons have every right to distribute Bibles on a public sidewalk to those who wish to accept them. There is no legal justification for the continued harassment of peaceful members of the community who wish to hand out Christian literature.”
The incident took place on Jan. 19 while Thomas Gray, who filed the lawsuit, and other members of the Gideons Key Largo Camp were handing out Bibles outside Key Largo School, located on the southern tip of Florida. The group was on a public sidewalk when two of the Gideons, Mirto and Ernest Simpson, were approached and taken into custody by Monroe County sheriff’s officers.
Gray asked one of the police, Office John Perez, why the two were being arrested. He then responded that Gray would know in 48 hours after he received the report.
He also added that the Gideons had “no right” to be within 500 feet of school property as well as telling his two detainees that they “can pray to Jesus all the way to jail,” according to ADF.
“Officers cannot be permitted to bully law-abiding Christians, or use fear of arrest as a means of silencing them,” added Cortman. “Their actions were fully protected under the First Amendment.”
According to the Gideons Key Largo Camp, they did not step on to school grounds, and they had contacted the Monroe Country Sheriff’s Office beforehand. They also notified school officials on the day of distribution.
According to the group, both parties had said the activity was allowed.
Gray has not returned to the area to distribute Bibles since the arrests, because he is anxious about being taken into custody himself.
“The distribution of Bibles on a public sidewalk is not a criminal offense,” said Cortman in a separate statement. “The attempts by Florida officials to continue pressing for the prosecution of Mr. Mirto and Mr. Simpson is not only blatantly unconstitutional, it borders on religious persecution.”

diversity, confomity, unity and division

I recently ducked out of going to the national meeting for the national work that my Church works with. With health, vehicle and school concerns, not to mention I thought the Church could use the money better toward local outreach, I did not go. Boy howdy, did I miss some interesting things.

At some point during the business sessions, a gentleman from southern state (not Texas) asked for a motion to be entertained. The motion he presented was that "for the sake of unity, all speakers use the Authorized Version only!" "for the sake of unity" is the part that drives me crazy. In his mind, if everyone that uses his preferred translation, we can be unified. in his mind, conformity is unity. It seems to me that in his "unifying" motion he actually was causing division as he making a translation preference a test of fellowship.

For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. (Php 3:18-19 NASB)

Later this same gentleman made an additional motion of the same spirit. This time he asked that only "Baptist" be allowed to present. He apparently had an issue that someone that was brought in to do special music was at Church that did not have "Baptist" in the name. The woman that sang was from a "Baptistic" community church and had been at a Baptist Church, and is Baptist at heart. The woman had only come to celebrate the Sovereignty of Christ and His Glory in Song. I wonder if at any point in her preparing to minister in song did she realize that she would be possible banned for not being “Baptist.”

Not only would this limit those who sing to being Baptist, but also the preaching, leadership conference and breakout sessions. In truth, even the great Charles Spurgeon would not be able to preach at our convention/association because he was never ordained by a Baptist Church (by his choice he was never ordained) nor did he ever pastor a Church with Baptist in the name.

The out come of this all was that wise people saw that these motions were tabled. And we will have to wait till next year when they meet in Waco, Tx to see what will happen.
A few more thoughts ...
Who authorized this Bible? The best reason to use the King James Bible is the precedent that it has be widely and predominately used for 400 years. Yet the KJVO crowd that presses that we must used the Bible that was used back at the 1611 time mark fail to realize that they would be dragging the Apocrypha back into the Church. Additionally, if we must use this Authorized Bible, then should not use the same Hymnody and play the same style of music. Why do we not dress the same, maybe we should bring back the wigs and robes!

One last thought …
When the man who proposed these motions began, he made sure to mention that he knew nothing of the Biblical languages, that he was ignorant of such. Why would you ever begin a charge with telling those you want to persuade to your view point with a statement that basically says “I have no clue what I am talking about?”

Monday, April 16, 2007

More from Dr. Bart or Praisegod Barebones

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Andrew Fuller on Baptist Antiquity
The great preponderance of Baptists living between 1609 and 1950 believed that Baptist history began in the first century and was uninterrupted from then to now. The mechanism of that succession was a matter of debate—whether it was something akin to J. R. Graves's theory of church succession or a looser theory of the succession of Baptist thought. But the prevalent modern idea that Baptists sprang from the Reformation either as a brand-new concept in Christian history or as a resumption after a 1500-year hiatus...a miniscule number in the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s believed such a thing.What I find interesting is the way that Baptist status as a small sect fostered their approach to history. In the following quote you'll read how Andrew Fuller easily imagined Baptists enduring the Middle Ages without leaving behind any historical record. Perhaps our denominational size enables our present view of history?
Yours I received & therewith Mosheim’s 2nd vol. For wh. I thank you. I have found strange feelings in reading the 1st. I have been used to read in the Old Testament numerous Promises & Prophecies of the Glory of the New Testament state. When I took Mosheim in hand I expected to find the history answer the Prophesy—But alas, I found after the first century little else but cartloads of vain traditions, Persecuting Heretics to death, Broils & Contests about Ch. Preferments, in short comprising every evil work! I sat down quite dismayed till one thought relieved me. It was this. Suppose an historian was to write a History of the state of the Church here in England in the 18th Cent. What would he write? Why, if he was popular and in high place (without wh. his history would not reach many centuries forward) he would tell us who filled the Archbishoprics of York & Canterbury, & who the Bishoprics of . . . . . . . The various veerings about for Ch. Power, the sects of the age &c &c. However we could say Blessed be God pure & undefiled, Religion has been upheld tho’ by an obscure people independent of these Church crawlers. So thought I, doubtless Pure Religion in every period has been carried tho’ perhaps by a people so obscure as seemed unworthy the notice of Ancient Historians, from whom we know the Moderns must derive all their materials.-To John Sutcliffe, Olney, England, from Andrew Fuller, Soham, England, 28 January 1781.

From Dr. Bart not me

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

J. R. Graves: Radical Ecumenist?

a must read, though provoking - Chris <><

Sunday, April 15, 2007

preach brother preach

sometimes people say things that are awesomne, and some live them out..

“Church has become a football game that's never played. Imagine the
frustration fans would feel if their favorite football team suits up for the
game, goes into the huddle, gives the pre-game interview but never steps on the
field to actually play,” said the Rev. Senator James T. Meeks in a statement.
"Well that's the current routine of today's church. Members pack the pews, sing
worship songs but never go into the streets to help the people God called on us
to take care of such as the homeless, the sick, the hungry and the

Shaking off the routine of "church," Salem Baptist has kicked off
Vision 2007 – a 26-week community outreach initiative will get churchgoers not
just talking the Christian talk, but walking the walk. Instead of Saturday choir
rehearsals, Salem congregants will head out for a 10 a.m. to noon day of service
– outreach activities that range from feeding the hungry and conducting worship
services in prisons to building houses and tutoring young students. Instead of
Sunday school, church members will engage in "Service School," applying the
Bible's command to serve in their local community.

read the rest here

i think they might have the right ideas

Friday, April 13, 2007


so i came across the blog that put really great ans sometimes more wry than dry humor on index cards you have to see it!

what it is my ace boon coon

"Bodily resurrection is what you get at the intersection point between the lines of God as the good and wise creator and God as the judge who will set everything right at last. Give up either, or both, and what you're left with isn't Christianity."

- Nicholas T. Wright, Jesus Lives or Christianity Dies, (April 4, 2007)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Baptist History Celebration

It is not official yet, but quiet possibly, I will be at the Baptist History Celebration in Charleston, S.C. at the beginning of August. I’ll keep you up to date as this was my wife’s idea and not mine. I truly have the best wife in the world!