Thursday, August 30, 2007

Open Wide and I Will Fill It

The faithfulness of God has impressed me once again. I get so discouraged in my situation that I often despair and wonder how God can move...silly and foolish me.
Ps 30.11-12 "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing. you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness that my glory my sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God I will give thanks to you forever.
Ps 54.6-7 "With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you, I will give thanks to your name O Lord, for it is good. For he has delivered me from every trouble.
Jer 31.25 "For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.
These are all verses I have read in the last three days...

Big move is on the way - and soon.

On Tuesday I will pack my ford Taurus and move to Louisville Ky. No, I won't become a UK fan or a Cardinal fan, I'll still pull for my Gators! Whoohoo College football is here!

I will be working at Southern Seminary in the Dean of the Lead School's office, Dr. Randy Stinson. I've read his work and heard all about him, now I get the chance to work for him.

I'll also have the opportunity to continue my schooling while I'm there at an amazing school and do ministry.

Prayer requests:

1. Money to be exactly what I need.

2. Smooth transition for all involved

3. The college ministry at Stetson University

4. A church in Louisville where hopefully I can get plugged into college ministry as well.

5. Traveling mercies (I get to see a dear friend from high school).

Who would have thought that my first visit to Southern's campus 10 days ago would so soon become my new home?

Thanks for the prayers!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I hit 1000 hits on the blog today. What a milestone. Some have tons more in a shorter amount of time, but oh, well. This is fun!
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 20, 2007


I love taking pictures of churches - especially either pretty ones, old ones, fancy ones, different ones, etc. I love seeing church steeples from a distance as I travel by or walk around. I was thinking about this especially on Saturday as I was in Ft. Wayne, In and I saw tons as I walked around the 5 or so blocks of downtown.

I was thinking though of how lost our cities are - there are so many people who don't know Jesus - yet we have so many pretty steeples. There is something wrong with that.

Let us all go and love our cities - not just gaze at pretty steeples.

Friends A Long Way Off

I got to see many friends while I was traveling this week. Chuck and Corrine and kids (Genesis, Ashton, and Gabriel) I hadn't seen in 7 years - wow, that's a long time. Genesis was very little the last time I saw them. I went up to their house in northern IN - thanks Chuck for driving to FtW to pick me up! That evening was such a blessing! Even losing in Trivial Pursuit - oh, well. I can't win all the time!

Brad and Lindsay - thank you so much for your hospitality! You guys are amazing - I love watching your family grow and how you love each other and more importantly - how you serve Jesus! I hadn't met Annie - and we got along just great. I hadn't seen Shep in a while - and we got to play together some before bed time. What a cherished weekend! Can't wait to see you guys again when you swing through Brandon.

Michael Vick

Well, all this in the news about Michael Vick is concerning. Yes, he should be found guilty and spend time in jail for killing those dogs. That was cruel and we need to take care of animals.
But...I read this statement and then asked my Dad a question today. Here is the statement:
The most damning evidence made public against Vick came Friday when co-defendants Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips also pleaded guilty. In their plea, Peace and Phillips admitted to killing eight dogs in April at Vick's property in Virginia and said that Vick participated in the death of the animals. The animals were destroyed because they failed to perform well enough in testing to see if they were "game" enough to be good fighters.
"Every time you read about this story, it makes you want to take a shower," another unnamed general manager said.

My question was "If Michael Vick had made his girlfriend/wife go out and have an abortion - no one would know it and no one would care - right?"

That is truly the demise of our society when dogs matter more than babies.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Crayola and the Bible

Coloring was always fun for me as a kid and as a college student and as a graduate student and as a regular person. I always feel so calm when I'm coloring - like I have no care in the world. That's how you feel when you are first learning to color. The only thing you have to concern yourself with is staying in the lines. Now, you can color outside the lines and people call it art or free thinking! Anyway, this is not a philosophy discussion on coloring.

My friend Karisse blogged a few days ago that she was having fun writing out fave passages of Scripture and then doing different things with colored pens or pencils. I remember how cool it was to do manuscript studies in Intervarsity in college, so I thought that would be a good thing to do when I'm traveling, so all I would have to do is bring pens, a journal, and a Bible.

Tuesday's focus was Ps 34 which is an amazing Psalm. I think I first feel in love with it because Chris Gaynor (rookie dad and worship pastor at the Summit) quoted it a lot in worship or in choir practice (the first three verses). I remember one time in church we said the first three verses and we didn't say them with enough feeling so we had to repeat them a couple times till we actually sounded like we meant the verses.

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!

But, with some of the things I'm facing right now - these verses are very dear to me:

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Today, I stayed in Ps 84 - which sorta has been my focus now since I moved down here and had a long talk with Kathy at Crispers one night in St. Augustine.

Ps 84.8-12

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed! For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!

That passage, especially verse 11, is very hard to hold to when things don't seem to be adding up in your life. NO GOOD THING does He WITHHOLD. There it is, plain and simple. I must TRUST.

So, take some time out, and color - see what God reveals to you in His Word.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ode to a Desk

A Desk!
It can be a powerful piece of furniture. But, I don't have one. I am going to look for one this coming week when I get home. If I intend to write more, I must have a place to do the writing. I can't always be lounging on my bed with the laptop in my lap (even though that is what it was made for). I need a place with a pencil holder, a yellow legal pad, books, quotes, white out, you know - the stuff that makes you look like a writer. Anway, so I think my Mom and I will be off to the thrift stores in search for a desk - one that I can paint, restain, something - but I need something to help with inspiration.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Congrats go out to many people this weekend! :)

Today, as of 12.54am, Hudson Gaynor is here! :) Baby is healthy, Mom and Dad are both tired as it was a long delivery process!

Tomorrow - August 10 - is the birthday of Laura McDougald - Happy Birthday Friend!

Saturday is two marriages:

Mary Sumner and Matt Stephenson and Bruce Ashford and his Lauren. Congrats to all of you!

Hymns and family

My uncle Eddie came down yesterday and we got to sit over there and sing/play together. He is a great piano player and he always asks me to try out new hymn arrangements with him. So, we did "Near the Cross" about 80 times (alright, so really about 5, all 4 verses). My Papa was sitting in the living room - and I know he could hear every word we were singing cause I was singing very loud. I wanted him to hear it. I was hoping every time I hung on the word Cross - that he would hear it and the Spirit would pierce him to know what his life is lacking. So, no miracle conversion happened yesterday, but yet another seed was planted. Pray for him, Papa Hatcher.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Casting Crowns and Shanes

Much anticipated - because I love Lifesong - is the The Altar and the Door album by Casting Crowns due out August 28th. I hopefully will make one of their concerts this fall. They are amazing musicians and songwriters - watch this clip.
Much anticipated because I love all their music - Pages by Shane & Shane. Can't wait. Already heard some of this music and will be going to two concerts this fall. Can't get enough.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Last Breakout Session - Finn and Weaver

Breakout Session – 5

Baptist Devotional and Piety

Much emphasis has been placed on spirituality in the last 25 years or so.

English Baptist – 17th Century to the death of Andrew Fuller (written by Michael Haykin, given by Steve Weaver)
Baptist emerged from different traditions and that will be brought to light in their writings through the century
John Bunyan – open communion Baptist, Pilgrims Progress, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, The Holy War, I Will Pray with the Spirit. Genuine prayer can only be had by the assistant of the Holy Spirit. There is no man or church in the world who can come to God in prayer except for assistance by the Holy Spirit – who can reveal the Father. Sin would drive a man from God, but the Spirit draws the man to God for mercy.
Benjamin Keach (very important guy this week) – He produced many works during his time in London. His writings, while not primarily devotional in nature, are replete with spirituality. Gospel Mysteries Unveiled was sermons he preached during the last 15 years of his life. Wars with the Devils was an analogical work to rival Bunyan’s.
Hercules Collins – a persecuted pastor, furnished the face of affliction – imprisoned for this unconformity. Counsel for the Living - Job 3, A Voice from Prison – Rev 3.11 – the contentedness of the one who has Christ – has everything.
Thomas Wilcox – next to nothing is none, but he was imprisoned for not wanting to give up his beliefs, “sudden death, sudden glory” was on his tombstone. One of his books was taken from one of my fave passages in Psalms 81.16 (honey from the rock).
Samuel Pierce – contemp of Andrew Fuller, whom he called a “man of outstanding spirituality.” A Life of Pierce in which he referred to him as another Brainerd – referring to David Brainerd who also died young, but had a great love for the saving of sinners. Pierce as a model of holy love, christocentrism, missiology was the theme of this book by Fuller.

Baptist Devos in the South – Nathan Finn
19th Century South

Where do Baptists derive their Spirituality (besides the Bible)? They used a number of sources: (books, sermons, letters, periodicals)
Devotional = print or online media that informs us and helps us in our Spirituality. Are devotional writings separate from theological writings? Foster and Smith provide a better definition. The definition used today will be:
“Strengthening and motivating to pious actions”
Books: Basil Manly received Hart’s library including Edwards, Gill, and Fuller. The Doctrine of Prayer; The Way of Salvation, Carpenter’s Son, The Seal of Heaven, Soul Prosperity, biographical works on Carey and the Judsons
Sermons or Tracts: Furman, Brantley, Dagg (John 3.5), Fuller (John 12.32), Manly, The Mirror; The Baptist Library; “The Backslider”;
Circular Letters (brief works in interest to a certain church or association): Mercer address family religion, spiritual nurture of children, punctuality, and proper Sabbath observance. Mercer later addressed Sabbath observance – every Sunday. Cook
Baptist Periodicals: a significant medium for information on missions, missionaries, and theological issues. Baptist state papers played a significant role in education of pastors. The above could all be found in these periodicals. Topics included: family worship (religion), “the family is a theatre of religious piety”, Sabbath observance, 6 in one year in one state paper (GA), how to preach/topics, “The Duty of the Gospel Ministry”, Spurgeon’s sermons were reprinted, “Christian Patience”, “Perfect Through Suffering”; personal holiness and evangelism; “The Moral Power of the Pulpit”; “The Saint’s Everlasting Rest”

You can tell some main things from all these writings:
These Baptists were fundamentally Biblicists – saturated with the Word.
Their theology was basically Calvinistic in nature.
SB Piety was missionary in nature, both to pastors and lay people.
It was experiential, and the goal was to facilitate their spiritual growth.

These papers given by Weaver and Finn give many examples of ways to avoid “chronological snobbery” in our reading. That is what Piper and Lewis consider those who only read books published in one decade or time frame.

Breakout Session 5 - Immigration

Breakout Session 5
Baptist Ethnicity and Immigration
Early on there were Russians (have conferences in ND), Asians (mainly presented on a dissertation by Timothy Tseng: polity, theology, ethnicity), Hispanics (paper by Albert Reyes: large movements in the southern hemisphere), Germans, French, Norwegians, Swedes, Slovaks, Poles and Hungarians, Czechs (John Kejr), Italians (Buffalo, NY). Most immigrant groups were more conservative than their American counterparts. They basically functioned as multi-site churches (all German Baptists in one city, but different locations) till one got big enough to be self-supportive. I guess some people have seen some success in multi-site churches.
There was a scarcity of qualified men to be pastors. That is why I like mission endeavors that go to the other countries, and evangelize and train men to stay there in their respective villages to preach and shepherd their people.
Many different people come to America for freedom of religion – and start churches, but keep their own way of doing some things. That is part of what makes American religion, Christianity, so interesting. With all these different ethnicities – you get such a brighter look into what Heaven will be like. People from every tribe, nation, and tongue – will be around the throne giving praise to the Lamb.
The presenter shared the following verse to begin the session – 1 Kings 8.41-43:
Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people, Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake, (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm) when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you as do your people, Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.” What a great verse. May we – as all Baptists and Christians in general – know that that glory of the name of Jesus is the main thing. May we live, eat, breathe, discuss, talk, evangelize, and do missions – everything for Your Glory!

BHC Breakout Session - Curtis Freeman

Breakout Session 4 – Curtis Freeman (Duke University)
Baptists in Politics
What do Baptists have in common in their politics? What motivates them?
Brooks Hays – The Baptist Way of Life
Jimmy Carter
Jerry Falwell
1. Do we have a stake in the civil order? Most crucial question – figure out your answer to that first when thinking about this subject. John Smyth “Worldly authority or magistry is a necessary ordinance of God, appointed and established for the preservation of the common estate, and of a good, natural political life, for the reward of the good and the punishing of the evil…this office of the worldly authority of the Lord Jesus hath not ordained in his spiritual kingdom, the church of the NT, nor adjoined to the offices of his church.” (1610) – The Philadelphia Confession of 1742 would echo this Smyth quote and one by Helwys.
2. Can the state be Christian? Roger Williams and John Cotton debate. Christenings Make Not Christians (7th Volume in Williams’ works). Contending that the key issue is baptism – infant baptism forces all these people to be “Christians”. “The Garden of the Church and the wilderness of the world.” The Key to the Language of America by Williams in 1643
3. What kind of politics suits our interests? John Leland - A Blow at the Root (1801). The Liberty of Conscience. “Let us then adore that God who has been so favorable to our land, and nation – praise him for all that is past – trust him for all that is to come, and not ascribe that to man which is due to God alone.”
4. When and under what circumstances may Christians disobey (civil disobedience) the law? Re: the Civil Rights Movement (breaking the law when it comes to injustice). MLK Jr – “There comes a time when they cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair.” Should we be allowed to break laws in order to change them? What would Romans 13 have to say about that? What if we take the punishment among ourselves? He wrote the above quote while from a Birmingham jail. It “might awaken our sleeping white brethren.”
5. Can politics reflect the views of the majority and also respect the interests of the minorities? Jerry Falwell, John Winthrop “And why may not Christians have liberty to go and dwell amongst them in their waste lands and woods…as lawfully as Abraham did among the Sodomites?”
What is our witness as Baptists in relation to different races, countries, etc? The “savages”, the heathen (Lottie Moon), the Muslim, the Hindus, the JWs, the people who believe different than us – shouldn’t we love them with the love of Jesus and maybe not always try to get across a certain political agenda? What is more important – democracy or the Word of God and the Salvation that lies only in Jesus Christ? Remember – the main thing is the MAIN THING.
“I am not a Republican, I am not a Democrat. I am a noisy Baptist.” – Falwell

BHC Plenary Session - 4

Profile: Shubal Stearns (John Sparks) – great presentation, costume and singing.
Sandy Creek Tradition for NC Baptists and vital in CT Baptists as well
God uses men like Pastor Stearns to change many lives along the way and to pave the way for many Baptists today. Neat how just 6 years ago I was sitting in Binkley listening to Voddie Baucham during Sandy Creek Revival Week – all because of God using this man and others to come to NC, preach the gospel, and lead the Baptists.

Profile: R H Boyd (David Groves) – Boyd Publishing Co, Nashville, TN
Three biblical reasons to study him:
1. He was a man of purpose – A slave born 2 decades before the War, he overcame and became a Baptist preacher. He found his work to accomplish. Family man and organized associations, pastor of churches in TX, superintendent of NBC TX.
2. He was a religious pioneer. Leading former slaves was a tedious task. Writings out of their experiences were to be more helpful to them both spiritually and economically.
3. He developed partnerships. J M Frost – of the SBC. Publishing relationships, developed own materials, used own writers. National Baptist Publishing Board came out from that partnership and is still in existence.

Birth of Gospel Music – Lucie Campbell and Thomas Dorsey – Charles Walker (got to eat lunch with him yesterday)
Dorsey – “Georgia Tom – blues nickname) his Dad was an itinerate preacher and his mom was a pianist (great mix). Was involved in worldly music early on and had a varied childhood – he sang in a Billy Sunday crusade, but also sang in clubs and bars. Writer of “There Will Be Peace in the Valley” and “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” – two well recorded hymns. This latter song came out of a trial of losing his wife while he was away singing at a revival.
Lucie Campbell – smart educator in the early 20th Century. She was the composer of many songs in the early to mid 1900s; she didn’t have any contact with worldly music, unlike Dorsey. She didn’t quite to courtship to her husband like would be biblical – but it made for a great story. “Something Within”

Bill Carlson – Theological/Social/Economic Response in the 19th Century
Economic: He read Salvation in the Slums early on, and that shaped some of his thinking. There should be some reach with the gospel – salvation – to the poor of our society.
Social - The Great Reversal ­ - What happened to those who championed these issues in the late 19th century who abandoned it after the turn of the century? Baptist history isn’t solely an Anglo-history. Christianity is global.
5 Baptist individuals who addressed three essential questions:
1. How should Baptists assist African Americans and society as a whole after the CW?
2. How should Baptists assist America on the issue of gender (women’s right to vote)?
3. How should Baptists respond to capitalism and financial stress in America?
1. Nanny Burroughs and Sutton Griggs – How do we integrate ourselves and our traditions into a new society (post CW)? How do we deal with reconstruction? (new denomination, new publishing co and educational units, post-south re-segregation and lynching, integrate into culture). The Leopard’s Spots was written by Briggs in response to some of these questions as well as The Imperial.
3. Helen Montgomery – Women’s Suffrage movement. The only way to move from an alcohol-ridden society was to allow women to vote and preach. She spent most of her life in NY and was significant in doing: published a translation of the NT to counter the KJV, a major player in attempt to reconcile the NBC, and developed a friendship with Susan B Anthony (and argued Suffrage).
4. Walter Rauschenbusch – Christianity and a Social Gospel - the Bible for the social gospel, written in 1907 (100 years ago).
5. Russell Conwell – moderately supportive of the Success Theology.
They all were attempting to know how the church should respond to culture – the same question applies to the social issues facing our society even today.

Application for today:
1. Love all different kinds of music. Variation does the ears good!
2. Know your culture. The gospel resounds to hurting people. Jesus loves them.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

BHC Plenary 3

Profile: Obadiah Holmes (Jeff Faggart – the best speaker so far at the conference, as far as voice and diction/style goes)
He suffered and endured grief for conscience’s sake. He was persecuted in America for his Baptist’s belief. “Free man” – he got voice and vote as a citizen. They were arrested during one of their preaching trips, fined, and then whipped (because he didn’t pay the fine). He was beat in Boston – paying for his beliefs. Sounds very similar to many of the martyrs of the earlier times of Christianity – but you wouldn’t think it would be suffered in America (well, the American before 1776 and our Bill of Rights). He did live and had many children – one in relation to Abraham Lincoln. If he was going to suffer (which he did), he wanted to make sure it was for the pleasing of Jesus and not for men. “Ye have beaten me with roses.” He greatly influenced many of the people influential in the starting of the three oldest associations.

Profile: David Jones (George T. Rogers)
He was a Welsh Baptist Minister from Delaware who was Benjamin Franklin’s chaplain. He was a true renaissance man. He was a soldier chaplain, a physician, a missionary, a friend to Presidents, a farmer, and many other things. He was friends with Samuel Jones, Hezekiah Smith, and other rather influential people. He started his military career and endured many conflicts, starting in the French and Indian War. Neh 4.14 – “Be not afraid of them, remember the Lord…” He was a missionary to the Indians. He was hyper-active, not to be settled. He loved being the old soldier.

Baptist Hymnody: Baptists Practice Their Confessions: David Gregory – Southern (2 Southern boys right in a row)
Come Holy Spirit, Dove Divine (by Adoniram Judson, and I just picked up To the Golden Shore – a book I’ve been meaning to read since the summer of the first Institute trip to the Pacific Rim)
How Firm a Foundation – what great words, especially for people who are going through trials – remember that Jesus is firm and steady and eternal.
A holy ordinance of Christ – article 23 out of the confession (added to the 2nd London Confession to make up the Philadelphia Confession). It is not just a moral duty – but is it on par with the Lord’s Supper and Baptism (2 Baptist ordinances – at least of SBC)? Singing of songs and hymns are to be done to the obedience of God. Benjamin Keach wrote in 1697 word for word what was to be eventually written in the Philadelphia Confession. He was the champion of hymn singing.

Tom Nettles: (so glad he is better to be with us as he has been sick for some portion of the summer. In 7 years, I’ve never heard anything but great admiration for this man who teaches at Southern and has connections with the Founders Organization as well. I’ve wanted to hear him for several years and this is my first opportunity) Great person of knowledge and “fame” to speak on the Philadelphia Confession: Its Significance and Importance to all Baptists.
Authors - Benjamin Keach’s son was one of the authors of this great Confession that leads so many of the Baptist associations and denominations in religious circles today. It is a rendition of the 2nd London Confession. It was officially adopted in 1742.

Association – the first Philadelphia Baptist Association met in 1707 (hence this 300th anniversary of it and this conference). “The eternal Sonship of Jesus Christ our Lord,” and other similar thoughts were great concerns for the association.

After 1798 – important themes were still brought up to incite us to Christian virtue. We need to always be thinking and questioning – never accepting without thinking and putting our creeds (or confessions) against the Word. This was a big discussion at this year’s SBC in TX: whether the BF&M 2000 was a creed, a confession, a statement – or whatever you want to call it. Truly, I don’t care what you want to call it – as long as you don’t call it inerrant, infallible, or inspired by God – because then we would be placing it on par with Scripture.

It’s Influence – They (the minutes of the association) were first published in the mid 1800s. Philadelphia was at the helm of Baptist influence for all these years, both in the North and South. Hart and Furman (Furman University fame) were two preachers from this church who were greatly influenced in the early days of the Philadelphia Association and Confession. Furman took special interest in the teaching of the young children. Even with no Sunday School, the Baptist teachings were taught regularly to the children of Furman’s congregation.

Nettles continued to tell of its similar influence on the young churches in the states of Virginia, Mississippi, and Georgia. They held confession as well - but with room for caution – the Holy Spirit must still lead under the headship of Jesus Christ (Eph 5 – Christ is the head of the body of the church). It had great effect also on the forming of Southern Seminary (of course, where Nettles has been Baptist history professor for many years) and Southeastern Seminary (my alma mater).

The prayer of the church should be unity in the correct matters of Scripture – as they are laid out in the Word – not necessarily in our traditions. Tomorrow is the last day of the conference. More on the history of Baptists and what we can stand on – unified for the glory of God. Let’s pray to that end.

Breakout Session 3 - Primitive Baptists

Brief History of Primitive Baptists

Lasserre Bradley, Jr
Main stream primitive Baptists – rejecting modern conveniences (haha), anti-missionism, original Baptist faith
Mostly it is for those who hold to salvation by grace alone – and yes, they do have bathrooms and air conditioned in their church buildings. I was raised Primitive Baptists, but I am not still in that tradition.
“If you show me what is wrong, then hopefully I’ll do something about it.” – this is what Brother Bradley prayed as he sought out direction from preaching in a SBC church.
The doctrines of grace are also found in the SBC – they are found outside of the Primitive Baptists. The doctrines of grace are found in many other denominations – and it is what I wholeheartedly believe because it is biblical. Grace is biblical – as I’ve been reading Eph 2. It is all mercy and grace. But, I consider myself to be a southern Baptist, not a Primitive Baptist. It can happen! J
They stood against the changes in theology among the SBC who went against the election and sovereignty of God and the total depravity of man. They definitely should have done that. But, that doesn’t mean that all SBCers are that way today. The doctrines of grace are not limited to people who are in the PB denomination.

Controversy of the Absolute Predestination of All Things – Mike Stewart
First introduced in 1832
This brought confusion among Baptists when this word “predestination” was used for both salvation and evil. Was God’s disposition toward holiness and sin the same? By no means! This lead to the split in the early 1900s.

Controversy of the Usage of Musical Instruments in Worship Services - Jamey Tucker
Old liners – many of our churches have them, sound, and only use of instruments in the helping of singing of them. This division should cause a departure. An organ usage is enough to cause division.
Progressive – not an innovation that is significant enough to cause division.
Can you be sound in doctrine and use musical instruments – by all means, yes! On the other hand, can you be obedient to all of Scripture and not use Scriptures – can someone show me how you can be?
I mean seriously – if we are going to debate something – let’s debate something that is of eternal significance.

Growth occurred between 1955-1970s. Most are around 50 in number, but during this time some went up to around 200s. Simplicity of worship and doctrines of grace.
PB as a people both support evangelical works with prayers and giving. There is a great work being done in the Philippines and India, with many other trips worldwide. There is no mission board or headquarters – just ones who go when they feel the impression of the Spirit to go. Family worship and tutelage under the local pastor (instead of seminaries) are the way they do things.

Breakout Session 2 - Thom South

Baptist Preachers and Their Sermons – Thom South

Besides all the technical difficulties, it was pretty good. Basically, we heard sermons preached by these men who have paved the way for many of our good preachers today

18th Century
Shubal Stearns – sound judgment and self-taught
Daniel Marshall – helper to Stearns and his ministry ranged from New England to Georgia.

19th Century
J R Graves
John Jasper – a freed slave “this Book is enough for me, and I can’t get far from it”
B H Carroll – of early SBC fame

20th Century
W A Criswell (of Criswell College fame, and the person I associate with Paige Patterson
Billy Graham – distinct voice and “America’s pastor” – simple in context and style to reach more people
S M Lockridge – “He’s My King” preached in Detroit, MI. Sounds much like Fred Luter – same style.

Breakout Sessions 1 - Dr. Keith Harper

Possibilities of Missions MovementDr. Keith Harper
(On a personal note: very conversational and real. He knew his stuff – he didn’t quote it from looking down at a paper hardly looking up from the podium. Thanks for getting me in the newspaper and not being boring Dr. Harper! “Not even one minute were you boring!” Dr. Akin would be proud! Thank you for setting the bar!)

Theology and what we believe vs what we’ve done and how we have done it.


Faith and practice come together. It has to.

Pertinent Issues in Building Community
We need to examine missions and their authority. But, how did they do missions – from one changing culture (starting in 1845) to another culture you don’t know anything about on the field. What about family life, courtship, child rearing, conflict resolution, grocery shopping – all these interesting things that happen on the field just like they happen here in America – but just slightly different.
The professionalization of missionaries. This isn’t a vocation but a God-given calling. Missionaries’ lives change as they live among the people. Ecumenism even in a foreign society. They way they do ecumenism impacts the way the local church does ecumenism. The sending of single women as missionaries – you know who you are – are serious about their call. But this also occurred before the 1920s. “Take up the white man’s burden.” They are not being pushed out of one culture – but they are being pulled into another.

Speaking at lunch with Nathan Finn, he said that the IMB helps lots of genealogical researchers (even lay researchers) find information about their family due to these archives. You can go to the Board in Richmond to read some of these letters, journals, and articles from missionaries on the field. Some are online from Lottie Moon, but most are still being transcribed. These will provide for great reading and biographical study.
Taking Christianity to China - Flynt
"Living in the Lives of Men" (Auburn, 1998) - a dissertation that was mentioned
Our Ordered Lives Confessed

BHC Plenary 2

Excited this morning about hearing about missionary (and wife of Adoniram Judson), Ann Judson, seeing people I know (Nathan Finn and Dr. Keith Harper of SEBTS), and I just enjoyed a walk to the battery here in Charleston – beautiful in the peaceful morning hours before the sun gets too hot.

Our first hymn of the day is Am I a Soldier of the Cross by Isaac Watts, one of the hymnists we heard about last night.

Profile – Ann Judson (by Rosalie Hunt) – a great character profile
The Woman of the Century in 19th Century America

To be disposed of as He pleases: her cry to God shortly after she accepted Christ. From
Rom 12.1 - a living sacrifice. One thing she would learn of greatly during her short lived life. This marriage to Adoniram would cost her her family in America but she said “God’s service is my delight”. They were America’s first missionaries – congregational missionaries – but on the ship as they traveled they learned more about baptism (immersion) by reading the NT in the original Greek – and were baptized properly in Calcutta. They finally (through many other countries) got to where their heart was, Burma. It took 6 years for them to see their first convert – what perseverance! The hardship of losing her children, loneliness without her family, imprisonment of her husband, sickness she endured – comes back to “present your bodies a living sacrifice”. Ann Judson (whom I am currently reading about as well, I love biographies) was truly a soldier of the cross. I wonder if she knew this hymn, since it was written before her time. How do you measure your service – holy and acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service?

Profile – Lott Carey – Leroy Fitts
The Father of West African Missions

True greatness has its own way of being resurrected. He was born into slavery in Virginia – his father was a member of a local Baptist church. His grandmother instilled in him African heritage.
He started preaching to fellow slaves in Virginia, but even without much formal education – he developed into one of the finest preachers in his day.
He saw many converts during his ministry in Liberia. He proved himself a worthy leader through the years – perseverance and commitment. He died from injuries sustained in an explosion. He was a political leader, a spiritual leader, and a world leader.

Baptist Hymnody: Southern Ante-Bellum Baptists (some about Stearns and Sandy Creek familiar with Southeastern’s history in North Carolina)
Irvin Murrell

This was much about hymnody and tune books, different hymnals that churches have used through the years and other “stuff” like that.
He had pictures on the handout of Sandy Creek Baptist Church near Asheboro, the grave marker of Shubael Stearns that we replicated one year at Southeastern to give to donors at our Board of Visitors meeting, and the tombstone of Pastor Stearns.
There were different traditions:
The Charleston Tradition (Richard Furman, who was pastor of this church)
The Sandy Creek Tradition
The Georgia Tradition
The Tennessee Tradition

One of the hymns he spotlighted was God Moves in a Mysterious Way written by William Cowper – who Piper highlighted as one of the biographies in his Swans series.
Hymns are the voice of the people of God – this is a great testimony hymn.

We can learn from the many traditions in the hymnody world that have come before us. But, I would also have to say that some of our modern hymns and choruses (not all of course) will be sung 300 years from now, if the Lord tarries. I think of “In Christ Alone” as a great example.

Understanding Our Global Witness – Bill Leonard (reminds me of Dr. Little and Dr. Heimbach with his bowtie). – Dean of WF Divinity School

He said the missionary movement is reversed now – more of the people we have witnessed to in the past are now turning and doing the very act of missions.

Evangelism and Civilization - would conversion result in a change of Indian Culture William Carey, Andrew Fuller – called to evangelize the heathen. How has missions changed? Now we talk of contextualization and reaching the heathen to take the gospel back to their own societies. The natives are going to be the ones reaching their family members with the gospel (going back to the first statement he made).

Role of women in missions – (Ann Judson whom we heard about already this morning)
Lottie Moon, and then even today: Sarah, Tonya, Melissa, Delly. This is how history has shaped the world of missions today. I’m grateful for people like Lottie Moon and Ann Judson and Amy Carmichael and Elisabeth Elliot…paving the way for my friends and me to go and share the gospel.

One last way: Technology and globalism. (I think of the missions center at Southeastern directed by Dr. Bruce Ashford – who gets married in a week). There are so many ways we can now reach the world with a push of a button. They are a phone call away, but going is still going – meeting them where they are. God has blessed Southeastern with many ways to reach the nations without leaving Wake Forest, but they still send out missionaries every semester to go into the uttermost parts of the earth with the news about Jesus.

Application for Today:
What would people say about your life if they were doing a “character profile” over 100 years after your death? Whatever you want them to say about you (and the God you serve) has to be lived today.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Baptist History Celebration - Plenary 1

I love walking into old churches like this one. This church was established in 1682 - the “Mother Church” of the SBC. The pews have doors on them (the pastor – Marshall Blalock – joked that they went “seeker friendly” and took the latches off the door). It is from back in the day when people bought their pews. It sounds very similar to typical Baptist churches today – when visitors come in for the first time. They sit down just to find out later they are sitting in “so and so’s” pew. How dare they? May we ever be mindful of guests in our churches – not be so hung up on where we sit and who sits next to us. The gospel and the lost should be more important.

Profile: John Gill

“A man of great importance to all of us” – D. Martin Lloyd-Jones.

Fame by way of many books: commentaries, theological works, and expository works. He had a keen recognition of learning and insatiable craving for learning. He had a substantial library (I think he could have passed Patterson’s “law” that you had to graduate SEBTS with 1500 volumes). He was also a pious man. This was the fruit of his study of – “his name would carry little weight”. The more people study God – the less they should become. Learning Christ should make us more humble in our state – knowing that we are but sinners saved by grace. “It should be experientially transforming. Where there is no transformation, there is no real study of theology.”

Profile: John Gano

The words of Christ’s mercy hung on his very being – until he was enabled to rejoice in Christ. He was called to a “sacred trust” – to preach the gospel. George Washington had two requests of him – of which he complied:
He baptized the above future President.
He dismissed the armies with a prayer of thanksgiving – at the close of the Revolutionary War.

Baptist Hymnody: 17th Century British Baptist Influence on Baptists in the New WorldBenjamin Keach – one of the highlighted hymnists
A reformed Baptist pastor in London for many years – a church that later became the Metropolitan under Spurgeon. He was driven by the conviction that change was needed to bring life into a lifeless congregation. He wanted to sing hymns; thus he was the first proponent of congregational hymn singing. He published a book of hymns and a really long-titled book about singing hymns being an ordinance. Many of his hymns were so “in your face” that they never made it into modern hymnbooks. (Lest we be convicted when we sing songs!)
Joachim Neander – “If with his love He befriend thee.” – what a great line out of Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.
Paul Gerhardt Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me – what an amazing true hymn (I’ve never sung) dealing with idolatry – or the want of none in our lives.

Now, the main speaker: William Brackney: professor at Acadia Seminary in Canada.
Organizational History of the Baptists
Three main thoughts: (remember theology is usually somewhat shaped by social issues at the time – so think of what is going on in these regions during these years).
Diverse theological beginnings over seas in 17th Century. Two main sects (but with some smaller): Generals (keen on relationship with dissenters and Church of England) and Particulars (holding to reformed thought and these showed up in the confessionals of that day).

Diverse in American colonies in 17th Century (thinking of course of many coming to this country to gain religious freedom – thinking for themselves but no doubt bringing with them traditions they held in England). Baptists or Anabaptists: individuals, missionaries, and congregations. No American regional confessions from the 17th century – these come later in the institionalization.
18th Century – diversity became institutionalized. Mainly the Philadelphia Convention – influential in the region. Doctrine and church order – followed the example of Keach in London. (This meeting is being held in honor of the 300th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Association).

Application for today:
Be welcoming to outsiders (guests as Danny Franks would call them). Don’t “buy your pew”.
Don’t neglect the theologically true hymns. Yes, just like some of our choruses today, there are some “bad” ones – but let the Word be the measure of the truth found in the songs you sing (on the radio, off the iPod, and in the church). I’m so thankful for great hymns that we sing – I don’t think we sing them enough – but I love modern hymns and choruses, too.
Let Scripture form your theology more than society. Society may bring to light some issues you may not have had to consider before – but always let the inerrant Word of God be your guide.

Baptist History Celebration

In Charleston, SC, this week is the above conference held at First Baptist Church.
Even though the church does not have wireless, I will be "live-blogging" this event starting tonight and then posting them when I get back to the hotel. Technology or the lack there of. Gotta love it.
This is a celebration of all Baptists - coming from many denominations. There will be Primitive Baptists, American Baptists, Southern Baptists, etc. All coming together on unity of our calling to Love God and Love others - I hope. It is neat how many different types of people will be here. Not all of us will affirm the BF&M 2000 or the Philadelphia Confession of 1742. But, I pray there will be very little disagreement this week and more heard about the issues on which we can agree.
My Dad is probably most excited about hearing Lassarre Bradley of the Primitive Baptists - because they have been friends many years.
I, on the other hand, am most excited about hearing the biography profile on Ann Judson (first wife of Adoniram Judson, missionary) and the breakout session on the last day on Spurgeon (JD Greear just suggested a great book on him that I must get, they may even have it here).
Anyway, please check back. You can also find a link to this blog on Tim Challies' blog - thanks Tim. I will be missing the final plenary session on Friday night due to traveling, but everything else will be here. This is for those of you especially into Baptist History and Unity among Believers.