January 12, 2006

Nothing Good Can Come of This

So they've done it.

THEY being a majority of the trustees of the IMB of the Southern Baptist Convention.

IT being booting Wade Burleson.

Of course, they can't just end his service as trustee -- that can only be done in Greensboro this year, at the annual Convention, by a majority of messengers. But they've effectively silenced him.

If you're looking for the "official" reports, here are the links: Baptist Press, Associated Baptist Press. If you want Wade's side of things, read his blog. Marty Durden at the SBC Outpost has also been covering this for the blogosphere.

Wade Burleson is under attack because people don't like the message he's sending to the SBC. I've read no slander, no gossip, no breach of confidence in anything he's written. He's mentioned only two names of people who disagree with him, and has presented their views in a very fair manner. When he's noted potential imporprieties, he has never mentioned names. He has never revealed anything that happened in an Executive Session.

We need people who are willing to expose problems. We need Wade Burleson as an IMB trustee.

I'll be in Greensboro for the Convention. I'll be supporting Wade Burleson. When we start censoring those who reveal problems in our organizations, we have a major problem. The last thing we need -- the last thing we should want -- is a trustee board filled with Yes Men who won't dare stand up for what they really believe, for fear of being run out of town on a rail. This is not a good way to deal with dissent.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 01:19 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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January 11, 2006

Validation

So there are validators to see if your HTML, XHTML, and CSS are compliant (and I don't have to check -- I'm pretty sure mine isn't right now. That's one thing the new template will address).

Now there's a validator for your Christology. Are You Chalcedonian Compliant?

(And just so you know, I am. 100%.)

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 01:54 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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January 09, 2006

Biblical Authority -- The 'B' in Baptist

{I promised a series on 'Baptist Distinctives' some time ago, and this is the first in that series.}

I have a folder in my RSS reader marked "Potential Topics." As I read through articles in my RSS feeds, I copy items of interest and note to that folder, on the assumption I will one day write something about the topic of that post. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that I totally forget about what I've put there until I decide it's time to clean it out. By that time, I've forgotten whatever pearls of wisdom I had to contribute to the discussion.

This is a topic, though, that really has no "window of opportunity." The Bible as our ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice. The 1689 London Baptist Confession puts it this way, right at the very beginning: "The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience ..."

Biblical authority is important to practical Christianity. If this book we read called the Bible has no authority over our lives, if it isn't the rule we follow, then why read it? It's not a simple book to read and understand (some Bible translators' opinions to the contrary). There are plenty of self-help books out there that claim to work, and many people lead what seem to be pretty happy lives following the precepts of Tony Robbins and folks like him. The Bible makes demands on people, it gives us rules to follow, it cramps our style. If it's just another book, then why bother?
more...

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January 08, 2006

Interesting Post on Baptism and Churches

I've been thinking a lot about the whole Bethlehem Baptist Church paedo/credobaptist controversy, especially now that the controversial measure has been withdrawn by the elders. I read the new position statement that's on the church's site, and was especially drawn to this paragraph:

“The elders realize that the issue cannot be dropped because the majority of the elders still favor the motion, including almost all the pastoral staff, and because that conviction puts most of the elders and staff in conflict with at lease [sic] one literal reading of the Bethlehem Affirmation of Faith. Our Affirmation of Faith defines the local church as follows: ‘We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work, and fellowship.’ In the most narrow reading, this definition would mean that a Gospel-preaching Presbyterian Church, for example, is not a church. Most of us do not believe that. So at least there are explicit clarifications that we believe we should make in the present Affirmation of Faith. In view of these things, we will be praying and thinking and discussing various ways to move forward together as a church.”
(emphasis added)

Interesting -- especially the part I emphasized. I have friends who are Presbyterian -- can I consider them members of Biblical churches? If not, what are they? Apostate?
more...

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January 07, 2006

Honesty!!

Cruising through my RSS feeds this morning (that list is getting bigger every day!), I found something great (as usual) at Tim Ellsworth's blog.

Baptistlife.com has a listing of Baptist "seminaries, divinity schools, and houses of study." Included in the list is the CBF's answer to Southern -- Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. The description reads

Baptist Seminary of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky)
Affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship and CBF. Offering Masters degrees. Providing theological education "committed to spiritual death, intellectual honesty, and moral integrity."
(emphasis added, of course)
I figure it won't be long until the description is changed, but Tim has a screenshot. Check it out.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 01:39 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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January 05, 2006

Jesus On Trial

{So, has anyone else noticed that in spite of my resolution to post proactively, everything I've done so far has been reactive?}

Luigi Cascioli, a retired agronomist and atheist, is taking the Roman Catholic Church to court for "abusing popular credibility" by teaching that Jesus existed. A Catholic priest, Father Enrico Righi, is the immediate defendant, but the precedent that the case could set is clear -- if Father Righi is found guilty, the rest of the Catholic Church will also be guilty of breaking that same law. more...

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Shut Up Pat!!

Pat Robertson has done it again. According to Pat, Ariel Sharon's stroke is punishment from God for giving away Israeli land.

Face it, though -- we all knew this was coming. After all, we've had people talking about God electrocuting a pastor in Texas because he was part of the "emerging church" movement. And who better to say it than Pat Robertson? Seriously -- how many people are actually taking this guy seriously anymore?

Yes, his cable TV show has a ton of viewers. I'd wager that many of those viewers are people waiting for the next idiotic thing to come out of Robertson's mouth. I know I used to watch Bob Tilton all the time for the pure entertainment value of a grown man claiming he got "ink poisoning" from laying on the prayer requests that people had sent to him as he prayed over them. And I used to do a great Ernest Angley impersonation.

My point is that viewers does NOT equal influence. But Pat provides the perfect target for people who want to believe that all evangelicals are complete blithering idiots like Robertson. One of these days, maybe folks will figure out that Christians don't like Robertson any more than anyone else does.

{UPDATE: Found a quote, thanks to Aaman Lamba at Blogcritics. Added it to the story above.}

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January 04, 2006

Twelve Hours! Let the Finger Pointing Begin

It took twelve hours, but someone has finally been able to tie to corrupt Bush Nazi administration (did I leave an epithet out?) to the mine tragedy in West Virginia.

The president of the United Mine Workers said on CNN that the administration was keeping the MSHA from doing its job. He also said that the tragedy wouldn't have happened in a union mine, because union mines are safer.

I've been waiting for this. I told my wife this morning that it would end up being Bush's fault that the mine collapsed.

We have to find someone to blame. Accident's don't just happen -- they happen becasue the government -- excuse me, I mean the Government -- doesn't take care of us. The Government is our shepherd, we should never want.

Bad things happen, folks. It's a part of the fallen world we live in. Blaming people after the fact won't bring back the dead. Let's find out what went wrong, and try to make sure it doesn't happen again. And please don't start turning this into a political issue. Don't insult the memory of those who died by using their deaths as an opportunity to make political points.

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January 03, 2006

Happy New Year

OK, I'm a few days late. The main reason for this post is to actually have something on the page when it loads -- my other stuff is old enough that it's shuffled back into archives, aparantly.

A few of my resolutions this year:

1. Looking back over the past few months, I feel like I've been slacking off a bit. I've got a few series ideas that I started and left hanging in limbo, the Mark study is stalled, and I haven't done This Week in Church History since the first week of December. That will change. More substantive posts, more proactive posting (where I write something rather than just react and respond to what someone else has written).

2. I'm plotting a template change. I apologize to all the Internet Explorer users out there who really don't see the right sidebar. I had it fixed (actually had someone else help me with it, even), but it messed it up in Firefox. I'm reading a couple books right now that cover CSS pretty well, so maybe that will help me. The colors will probably stay the same (though if you have any feedback on that, let me know!).

3. More consistant podcasting. I know that many of you probably don't listen to the podcast (not everyone likes that type of music), but I'm going to try to set a schedule for myself and stick to it for both podcasts that I produce (many of you would enjoy Sunday at First Baptist).

4. Work on the book. Some of you have heard of it -- I'm working on a book. A sort of "how-to, why-should-I" book on podcasting for churches. The more podcasting I do, the more I see this medium as an untapped 'market'. Small churches with no radio or TV budget can podcast, and they need to be. The book will help them do it.

5. Return of the Blogroll Cruise.

6. Get back to the Christian Carnival and the Best of Me Symphony. I still get emails reminding me of those things, and I've not participated in too long. I'm going to start participating again.

Those are just a few. I'm also renewing my resolution to lose weight (one of these years I might actually do it!), and I have resolved to no longer celebrate birthdays. I am going to follow in my father's footsteps, so this year will mark the celebration of the ninth anniversary of my 29th birthday. Yes, some of you math people will be able to figure out how old I am from that (or you could just look at this post and add a year).

But most of all I resolve to enjoy this year, no matter what it brings me. After all, when life gives you lemons, sell 'em on eBay. (The funny thing is, I had already decided to say that, knowing nothing of the book or anything. Then I Googled it, and found that site. Who knew?!)

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