Thursday, August 31, 2006

Should you close your eyes while singing in worship?

One more note about music in Deliberate Church.

At one point the authors discourage closing your eyes while singing in worship. They note:

"Many musical worship leaders encourage members (by either word or deed) to close their eyes in pursuit of private emotional intimacy with God in the context of the corporate gathering. Now, no one in their [sic] right mind would argue that closing one’s eyes in corporate worship is categorically wrong. And many close their eyes in the corporate gathering simply to take in the sound of the singing more fully. But we would be wrong to encourage people to think of corporate worship in terms of shutting out the rest of the congregation to have a privatized emotional experience with God" (117-18).

I was struck by that because I sometimes close my eyes while singing in corporate worship and had never considered whether or not this contributed to making worship a more "private" experience. The authors anticipated my first thought in objection—namely that we typically pray with our eyes closed—in a footnote: "We close our eyes for corporate prayers too, but this is an act of reverence as we bow our heads, not an effort to forget about the people around us" (p. 209, n. 6). We might respond that closing one’s eyes while singing might also be an act of reverence (and a part of prayer as well).

I am glad the authors made me think about this. It is a good corrective to some of the hyper-individualism of contemporary worship, but I was not completely convinced by their argument.

Are choirs Biblical?

More reflections on Deliberate Church.

In the chapter on music, Dever and Alexander argue against choirs, since "we have no example of a church choir in the New Testament—the Bible never represents first century believers entering into musical worship vicariously, through the singing of another group or individual. Rather, the musical worship is participatory—the whole congregation corporately participates in worshipping God with one heart and voice" (116).

1 Corinthians 14:26 might pose a challenge to this argument, since Paul says of worship at Corinth: "Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm…. Let all things be done for edification." If the "psalm" was a musical offering in worship (cf. Col 3:16), then this might be evidence of individual singing as part of the NT worship experience.

We might also point to choirs in OT worship. It seems that a group of Levites were tasked with special singing (not just leading the entire congregation in musical worship) [see 1 Chron 15:15-22; 16:4-6; 25:6-8; Neh 12:8]. The antiphonal refrain, "For his mercy endures forever," in Psalm 136 also seems to argue for a choir (cf. 2 Chron 5:13; 7:6).

We might also mention the various groups that sing in the heavenly worship recorded in Revelation (the four living creatures, the 24 elders, the angels, and all creatures).

Still, Deliberate Church’s point about the need for corporate musical worship is well taken, if not overstated. Musical worship should not be about a performance but the corporate service of God’s people. It should be God-centered and not man-centered. In fact, the authors point out that Capitol Hill BC uses a small group (choir?) of four people to lead congregational singing.


My friend Travis Hilton recently "tagged" me in his blog to answer a few questions:

1. One book that changed your life: The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Though I am not now a fan of DB, reading this book the summer after my first year in college made me think more seriously about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe.
4. One book that made you laugh: Lectures to My Students, C. H. Spurgeon.
5. One book that made you cry [or feel really sad]: A Generous Orthodoxy, Brian D. McLaren [truly awful].
6. One book that you wish had been written: Everything You Wanted to Know About Being a Pastor But Were Afraid to Ask.
7. One book that you wish had never been written: A Generous Orthodoxy, Brian D. McLaren [Have I mentioned that I did not really care for this book?].
8. One book you’re currently reading: Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle.
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: Fifty Years Among the Baptists, David Benedict.
10. Now tag five people: Given that Travis tagged just about everyone I know who might respond to this in a blog, I reserve the right not to tag anyone else.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

On parachurch people who do not belong to local churches

Over the summer I had a conversation with a man who is very involved in a local parachurch mission agency. He is very passionate about supporting indigenous missionaries in other countries, and we were in a place to hear one such worker speak.

As we talked I asked him: "So, which local church do you belong to here in Charlottesville?" His reply: "Well, we mostly attend ______ (a large evangelical church in the area), but we’re not members anywhere."

Now, this man has lived in Charlottesville for years. He is passionate about supporting missions. He is a professed believer. How is it then that he thinks he can operate as a freelance Christian without a serious, covenanted connection to a local body of believers? Why is the doctrine of the local church so lacking in his practical theology?

I have found some parachurch persons to have this same attitude. They love to talk about the work of the church universal, but they have not taken the time to become connected as a body part to the church local (see I Corinthians 12). Part of the issue, I think, is a lack of accountability. If you belong to a local church, people will actually expect you to faithfully attend services (even if it might not fit your schedule), to give your money to its work (rather than your select mission causes), to inspect your doctrine (holding your personal beliefs accountable to Biblical orthodoxy), and to serve the needs of the body (in ways you may or may not particularly enjoy).

At the "Together for the Gospel" Conference this past year, the conference leaders issued a set of Affirmations and Denials. Article XIV reads:

We affirm that the shape of Christian discipleship is congregational, and that God's purpose is evident in faithful Gospel congregations, each displaying God's glory in the marks of authentic ecclesiology.

We deny that any Christian can truly be a faithful disciple apart from the teaching, discipline, fellowship, and accountability of a congregation of fellow disciples, organized as a Gospel church. We further deny that the Lord's Supper can faithfully be administered apart from the right practice of church discipline.

When I was a missionary in Hungary, I even found that some of my fellow missionaries never got connected with a local church. They talked a lot about witnessing to students and neighbors, but if they ever had one of these persons comes to Christ what would they do with them? How would they be discipled? You cannot do ministry apart from the local church! Remember, Jesus did not say, "I will build my parachurch group or my ministry or my mission organization," but "I will build my CHURCH (ecclesia-the local congregation)" (Matthew 16:18).

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

World Congress of Hungarian Baptists

I ran across this news item about the recent "World Congress of Hungarian Baptists" that drew over 5,000 people (that is truly amazing in itself) in Debrecen, Hungary.
Thankfully, according to the report, the Hungarians affirmed a statement declaring:
“We believe that the only solution for mankind living in ever more complicated social circumstances is our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Amen! But it apparently went on to declare the Treaty of Trianon (in which Hungary's borders were diminished after WWI) in 1920 as unjust! Do you think Eastern Europeans have long memories?
It also seems that Baptist World Alliance officials were heavily involved.
One of the speakers was Dr. Kalman Meszaros. I taught with his father (who shares the same name) at the seminary in Budapest from 1990-92 and once interpreted his Dad's preaching into English for the International Baptist Church that met in the seminary.
Pray for God to move among Hungarian peoples and draw many to Himself in Christ and to give them a vision beyond their own ethnic group.

Why do you homeschool?

The other day I went to visit a very sweet, elderly, home-bound woman in our church. She is not a "Food Lion shut-in" as my pastor friend Paul Beith used to say—a "Food Lion shut-in" according to Paul is someone who is able to make it out to do their grocery shopping at Food Lion on Saturday but who is too "sick" to come to church on Sunday. This is a dear lady who loved to be in the Lord’s house when in good health, but who is now confined to home with legitimate physical infirmities.

Anyhow, we were catching up on church and family happenings. She asked how my family was doing and I mentioned that we had started school last week and that I am teaching the children on Fridays, my day off. Then, with real bewilderment, she asked, "Why do you keep your children at home for school?" It is truly hard for her to understand why we are doing this.

Having been asked this a time or two before I gave her my three standard reasons why we decided to do home education:

1. Family closeness. Homeschooling has allowed our family to spend lots of time together. We are not operating according to the local school system’s (or even a private school’s) calendar or daily schedule. Our children are able to spend a lot of time with us, and they are also able to spend a lot of time with each other.

2. Protecting our children from harmful influences and positively shaping their worldview. Home education gives us a great opportunity to shape what our children read, listen to, and think about. Biblical studies is part of our curriculum and informal theological/spiritual conversations are part of the weekly routine.

3. Academics. Finally, we think we have been able to give our children a more challenging academic environment. The teacher to child ratio is low, and we can focus on their immediate needs.

My friend likely still thinks our decision is sort of odd, but perhaps she understands a little better.


Monday, August 28, 2006

"That mean old preacher" and great sermon titles

One of the featured sermons last week on sermon audio was Doyle Cooper's "That Mean Old Preacher." I listened to part of the message, but was most taken with the title.
That got me thinking about some of my other favorite sermon titles I've seen on sermon audio. How about Rolfe Barnard's classic "The God of the Bible Kills People"?
Or Charles Spurgeon's "Rubbish"?
Don't those titles make you want to listen?
Of course, my message yesterday morning was the highly imaginative "The Parable of the Talents" and in the evening "Malachi 4."


Thursday, August 24, 2006

How should a church hire staff?

More reflections from Dever and Alexander’s The Deliberate Church (Crossway, 2005):
In the chapter on staffing, the authors discourage the typical contemporary practice of hiring ministry specialists (youth minister, music minister, etc.). The alternative is to hire generalists to serve as pastoral assistants involved in the "all-around ministry" of the church.
They list four pitfalls of the specialist staffing approach:

1. Professionalization. This approach comes from the niche-marketing driven corporate world and not from the Bible.

2. Fragmentation. This approach tends to divide ministers, members, and ministry into "their own ministry cubicles" (163).

Youth ministry is given as an example. Here’s a longer quote:

"Simply by specializing the youth, we’re separating them from the adults. But aren’t we trying to train them to be adults? So why are we trying to take them away from the very source of influence that can help them grow up? We’re doing it, often, because we’ve professionally specialized our ministries to make them look more marketable to our ‘target audience.’ And so adults pass teenagers in the hallways like ships in the night, never dreaming that each could build up the other" (164).

3. Territoritality. This is an offshoot of #2 above.

4. Program drivenness. This approach makes the church dependent on various programs for success and not on the corporate witness of the body.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ben Parziale Fan Club

With the college football season approaching I would like to announce the launching of the Jefferson Park Baptist Church chapter of the Ben Parziale fan club.
Ben wears number 47 for UVA and plays safety. He was a standout quarterback in high school in Forest, VA and a recruited walk-on at UVA who has earned a scholarship this year. Check out his player profile.
Why am I a Ben Parziale fan?
Despite the stern faced picture above, Ben is a kind and thoughtful young Christian man. He comes from a believing family and grew up in a small independent Baptist church near Lynchburg where he was well grounded in the fundamentals of the faith. He started coming to JPBC during his first year on Grounds and has demonstrated serious consistency in his walk with the Lord during the past three years in Charlottesville. Not only does he faithfully attend Sunday School and morning worship, but he also is usually there for Sunday evening worship and our Wednesday mid-week Bible Study. That is unusual for a college student--not to mention one who has the extra burden of training and competing on a NCAA division one football team. Ben is also a religious studies major at UVA. Being around Ben you get the sense that this is what a student athlete is supposed to be.
We are proud of Ben and will be cheering him on from the stands in 2006!

Do SBC Moderates Really Believe Women Should Serve as Pastors?

Steve Hills sent me a link to this article on Al Mohler's new site addressing events in the SBC. Check out the archive for other interesting posts on SBC life.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Where are the other generations?

Third Avenue Baptist Church (or 3ABC) is a downtown church in Louisville, KY that a group of young Mark Dever proteges have joined and are reforming (Capitol Hill BC Midwest?). One of the elders, Bruce Keisling, offered this post about their lack of middle aged and senior adults:

Where are the other generations?
By Bruce Keisling August 8, 2006
Last week we had some visitors come to one of our services and in talking with them afterward they asked me a question that is frequently asked. They asked, "Where are the other generations?" By that they mean where are the middle-aged and senior citizens. They also observed that this same phenomenon is true in some other Southern Baptist churches that are kindred spirits to us here in Louisville.
There are two primary reasons for the present situation. The first is that most of these churches didn’t have many people when folks like me first came to them. In 1999 when I first came to 3ABC, there were about 50 in attendance and 1,100 on the rolls. The people who were here then have mostly died or are no longer able to attend. Seven years is a long time for those who are in their 80’s.
So then, are there no middle-aged people going to church in Louisville? Yes, there are, but most of the middle-aged people who grew up in churches like 3ABC stopped going to church, or they took their children to churches like Southeast Christian. How do you think Southeast grew to have 20,000 members? Most of the children and grandchildren of those who were coming to 3ABC when I first came either didn’t go to church or went somewhere like Highview, 9th and O or Southeast.I would love to have it other than it is, but in God’s providence this is the lot that has come to us and other churches like us. As the sands of time sink, we’ll take care of having some older members. My gray hair is coming in nicely. Thanks for asking.

I also get similar questions about our lack of "middle aged" members from folk who visit JPBC (though unlike 3ABC we do have a strong senior member contingent). We are, however, largely lacking "baby boomers" (people in the 45-65 age range). Our folk tend to be in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 70s. The children and grandchildren of our senior members also do not, in general, attend our church, even if they still live in the area.

See also his follow up post: What 3ABC Could Be Today?


Monday, August 21, 2006

Isaac Backus on Death and Dying

Isaac Backus (1724-1806) was happily married to his wife Susannah for over 50 years. Among his wife’s final words recorded by Backus in his journal was a conversation she had with an Elder Rathbun while she lay on her death bed. When he asked her what he should pray for, she replied: "I am not so much concerned about living or dying, as to have my will swallowed up in the will of God."

The union of Isaac and Susannah yielded nine children (their names: Hannah, Nathan, Isaac, Eunice, Susannah, Lois, Lucy, Simon, and Sibel).

The youngest daughter, Sibel, died in her 20th year after a long illness. Backus’ journal entry of March 20, 1788 recording her death reveals his fatherly concern for her spiritual well being, his grief at her apparent lack of a conversion experience, and a firm trust in God’s sovereignty over her life:

She wasted away very fast with, with ulcers in the stomach, which caused much pain; yet we never heard a murmuring word from her mouth. She had a very deep sense of sin upon her mind, and distressing fears that she had not true convictions, because her heart was so vile and hard. She once requested that we might have a clear sight of God’s righteousness, as to give up her all into his hands. At another time, I asked her if she had such a view of a righteous and gracious God, as to be willing to give up her soul and her all into his hands? Her answer was: ‘I think I have.’ And she gave a like answer to a like question, a few hours before her death, March 23rd at half-past four o’clock, P. M. I preached twice, and then came and saw my dear daughter pass through the dark valley without such a manifestation of light as I longed for; which grieved my heart. But God is wise and righteous, and hath done us no wrong. So far from it, he hath given us, for twenty years, her life, and for the most part of that time, her useful labors, in such an obedient manner as scarce ever to need a reproof from us.

Source: Alvah Hovey, The Life and Times of Isaac Backus, pp. 308-10.

Can you imagine a father today writing such an account of the death of his 20 year old daughter? Can you imagine a father attempting honestly to evaluate the spiritual condition of his child in such circumstances and feeding himself no false hope of her conversion? Can you imagine a father in such circumstances who does not rail against the goodness of God (a la Malachi 2:17: "Where is the God of justice?") but confesses, "But God is wise and righteous, and hath done us no wrong"?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bring in the Clowns!

Tom Ascol had this picture posted at his Founder's blog and I could not resist sharing it.

I know what you JPBC-ers are thinking: "We have this almost every week at JPBC...."

Seriously though folks, have things gotten so bad in the church that we have to bring in the clowns!

I am writing from the Atlanta Bread Company in Florence, SC where I have spent the day visiting with my mother (for those who do not know she has Altzheimer's). Actually, she is doing better than when last I saw her. I leave in a minute to drive back to Topsail. We come back to C-ville on Friday.

Friday, August 11, 2006

How Long Should a Sermon Be?

Spurgeon's Lectures to his students were delivered to the young men studying for pastoral ministry at his church's training school.
One issue Spurgeon takes on in the chapter titled “Attention!” is how long a sermon should be.
In our day, sermons are far too short. I would say the average sermon in an evangelical church is c. 20-25 minutes. Sermon-ettes produced Christian-ettes. Add shorter sermons to fewer occasions for people to hear preaching (with the shutting down of Sunday evening and mid-week worship due to lack of interest) and many people get very little preaching.

The problem in Spurgeon’s day may well have been over-long sermons. Spurgeon argues for 40-45 minutes as an optimal time frame for a message:
An old preacher used to say to a young man who preached an hour,--“My dear friend, I do not care what you preach about, but I wish you would always preach about forty minutes.” We ought seldom to go much beyond that—forty minutes, or, say, three-quarters of an hour. If a fellow cannot say all he has to say in that time, when will he say it?…

If you should ask me how you may shorten your sermons, I should say, study them better. Spend more time in the study that you may spend less in the pulpit. We are generally longest when we have least to say. A man with a great deal of well-prepared matter will probably not exceed forty minutes; when he has less to say he will go on for fifty minutes, and when he has absolutely nothing he will need an hour to say it in. Attend to these minor things and they will help to retain attention ( p. 134).

Vacation Reading

I am writing from vacation at Topsail Island, NC. Lots of time for reading. Among books I've read:
  • First, from the Bible, the book of Isaiah.

Among other books:

  • Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Pundit’s Folly (Banner of Truth, 1995).

An excellent devotional companion to the book of Ecclesiastes.

  • Thomas Boston, Crook in the Lot (Christian Focus, 2002 [original, 1737]).

A Puritan divine studies suffering in the life of the believer.

  • Jim Kjelgaard, The Coming of the Mormons (Random House, 1953).

This book is in the Landmark history series for older children. I usually love these but did not like this one. The author writes from a decidedly pro-Mormon position and distorts the historical record in telling the story of the western migration of Mormons under B. Young.

  • Alvah Hovey, The Life and Times of the Rev. Isaac Backus (Gould and Lincoln, 1859).

This is a biography of the great early American Baptist leader. Interesting to see how Backus vacillated over the course of two years (1749-51) on baptism before leaving the Congregational Church and being baptized on August 22, 1751.

  • C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, Complete and Unabridged Edition (Zondervan, 1954).

Wow! This is a great book for pastors and for any growing Christian. Spurgeon conveys a passion for excellence in ministry--particularly in vibrant preaching and teaching of the Word.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Should a Baptist join a Presbyterian Church? Yet more thoughts on baptism.

Yet more thoughts on churches, denominations, and baptism.

We have a large, vibrant PCA church here in C-ville. OK, who’s kidding whom? There is no use not mentioning the name. It is Trinity Presbyterian Church. The congregation actually started out meeting in the Baptist Student Center at UVA over 25 years ago. I am thankful for TPC’s ministry in C-ville. Without doubt, they have the biggest impact for Christ on the UVA Grounds of all local churches in C-ville.

We directly benefit from TPC’s presence in C-ville. Our interim choir director, Jo Pettitt, is a TPC member. We have several JPBC members who started out at TPC and after feeling lost in the crowd, drifted over to us. Someone once told me that TPC is like the "Ellis Island" for Christians in C-ville. You have to go through there at least once when you first arrive to get your name, then you can move on to the place where you are going to put down roots and live. No offense to any TPCers who might read this. Obviously many have put down roots there and are faithful members.

Here’s the thing. I have been told that many folk at TPC are really (former) Baptists. In fact, one friend, a former IMB missionary, at least regularly attends there (if he has not by now become a member). When I talked to him about this, he said he chose soteriology over ecclesiology. He likes their preaching and Biblical theology even if he did not like their church practice (infant baptism and lack of congregational church government).

Though I am glad for TPC, here is why I could not join there. I could not affirm membership in a church that practices infant baptism. I happen to receive TPC’s newsletter in the mail (for which I am grateful, as it helps me learn of Christian happenings in C-ville). Back on 3/19/06 the newsletter included a bulletin insert shared in TPC’s worship services titled "The Lord’s Supper and Children." It began by noting "People come from many different church experiences…." It continued to explain that some folk were concerned about the participation or lack of participation of children in the Lord’s Supper (also referred to in the document as "this sacrament" and "communion" and "Eucharist"—which raises other issues which make my Baptist hair stand on edge, but that’s another post!). It went on to explain that they did not expect children to partake in the Supper until "after they had made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior" (another sidenote: Does this mean some folk at TPC have wanted to do paedo-communion, a la R.C. Sproul, Jr.?). OK, now I am getting to the point where my conscience was really bothered. The insert read:

The infant children of Christians receive the "stamp" of God’s love in baptism, which makes them part of His redeemed community known as the church. As these children grow up being taught and discipled in the ways of the Lord, there comes a point at which they must embrace Jesus as their own Lord and Savior. When a young person takes this step of faith, he or she should make this personal faith known to the church community and prepare to make a public profession of that faith.

Here is the problem for a person with Baptist convictions at a Presbyterian church, even a very fine one like TPC. Presbyterians believe that baptism and church membership may precede the profession of faith in Jesus as Lord. This is why they baptize infants. I do not blame TPC for this; they are only being true to their Presbyterian confession. We Baptists, however, reverse that. We say the Bible teaches you must first profess faith in Jesus as Lord before you are baptized (we have another issue also with mode which we say the Bible teaches is immersion only, but that's another matter) and become a church member. The person who was infant baptized and then is baptized before membership in a Baptist church is not being re-baptized but, we believe, he is being baptized (rightly) for the first time.

For me, this is not a minor matter. Again, I am glad for TPC’s ministry and for that of many other faithful PCA churches. In fact, if I moved to a town with a typical Arminian SBC church and a faithful PCA church I would be torn as to where to unite. Thankfully, I think the person with Reformed and Baptist theology does not have to be torn in C-ville.

Follow Up on Henderson Hills BC and Baptism

Following up on Henderson Hills BC's consideration of removing believer's baptism as a requirement for church membership (see my previous post), Pastor Dennis Newkirk announced on his blog on Monday (7/31) that he and the elders decided to "stop" consideration of the vote. In that post he mentions a meeting he and four other HHBC elders had with an unnamed, out of town theologian/author (Piper?) last week that lasted from 9am Wednesday morning till 4 am Thursday morning. Now that's a theological discussion! He then returned for seven hours of meetings over two days with the rest of his elders!
The end result: they did not put the vote forward. This was the same outcome Piper's Bethlehem BC had last December. In both cases the proposal is in limbo. It seems a problem of conscience is created where you have leaders who have gone on record as not being in agreement with their church's doctrinal stance (in this case men who do not believe believer's baptism by immersion is essential for church membership when their church's doctrinal statement teaches this very thing). By the way, despite the fact that this decision was "shared" with elders, note how Newkirk is still the lightning rod on this. It seems that replacing Solo Pastor/deacons with Pastor/elders does not necessarily change things.
One major caution evangelical churches (like HHBC) should take on this issue is that they are choosing to do the same thing that many moderate/liberal CBF affiliated churches are doing. They are eliminating believer's baptism by immersion as a test of membership and adopting "open membership" (in our community, University Baptist Church has recently adopted just such an "open memberhip" policy). The only difference is that in liberal Baptist churches their members, theologians, and sister churches are not opposing it. The problem is that once you do this you make baptism a secondary matter and essentially cease being a Baptist church (except in name) and become an Evangelical Free church or a non-denominational church or some such. I, for one, do not think denominationalism is bad. Someone is right and someone is wrong on baptism. I do not think my Presbyterian friends are not Christians, but I do think they are mistaken on baptism. There is nothing wrong with people who find agreement on the New Testament practice of baptism coming together to form a distinctively "Baptist" church.

Reflections of a Solo Pastor

We have been reading and discussing Mark Dever and Paul Alexander’s Deliberate Church (Crossway, 2005) this summer in our weekly staff meetings. After 14 years of senior pastor ministry in two churches that use the solo pastor model, I was struck by this quote:

Under the single pastor/multiple deacon model, the pastor often takes the brunt of criticism alone. Tough decisions can be misperceived, motives can be misconstrued, and before too long the pastor becomes the target of all the critical remarks because he is the one perceived to be making all the decisions and casting all the final votes—and under this model, he often is (p. 133).

Anyone who has ever served as a solo Pastor knows how true that statement rings. On one hand we may get credit for things we might have had little hand in creating. On the other hand we may get the blame for things we had little hand in creating. Or, more often, we get solo "credit" for things the church decides, whether perceived to be good or bad (and the perspective often varies among the membership!). This happens regardless of how collaborative the process was that led to the decision or how many adjustments were made to the plan or decision to fit the needs of the body. In some folk’s mind, it seems always to be "the pastor’s idea."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Looking Ahead: Student Conference at SEBTS Feb 2007

Looking ahead a little bit. Last year I took a group of JPBC students to the Student Conference at Southeastern Seminary. A couple of years ago we made the 9 hour drive to Southern Seminary's conference, but going to SEBTS is just so much closer.
The theme for this year's conference (Feb 2-3, 2007) is "Sex and the City of God," and looks at a Biblical view of sexuality. Peter Kreeft of Boston College will be the keynote speaker, along with Akin. The break-out sessions look good (see topic list).
Lord willing, we will take another student group to SEBTS for this conference in February.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

July 2006 Evangelical Forum Newsletter Online

The July 2006 EFN has been printed and the hard copy version will be in the mail today. Thanks Bonnie Beach for your work in getting this together! Brian Davis has also posted the online version. Thanks Brian for your work in proofing and editing.