On Being Southern Baptist…

*As a warning, this is a longer post than usual.*

First and foremost, I am a Christian. I have been blessed to be raised in a loving, bible-believing home with parents who consistently sought God’s will and wisdom in teaching, leading and correcting me through the years. This heritage is invaluable and I hope to pass such along to my two boys and other children that God may see fit to entrust to Jo and me.

Secondly, I have been raised in a Southern Baptist Church and have continued to serve in such churches since entering adulthood. I love the Southern Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Churches and their strong heritage of promoting evangelism at home and sending out missionaries to the unreached and underserved people groups of the world. It can be argued that, as a cooperative of churches, the SBC has done a lion’s share of great commission work throughout it’s lifetime. I am currently liscensed into the ministry by a SBC church and have been ordained into the deacon ministry by the same SBC church. I consider it a duty and an honor to be licensed, ordained, and connected to the SBC and it’s global mission.

That having been said, the SBC and the churches included within the SBC are not perfect. The SBC does not “govern” churches, but in actuality is a cooperative of independent congregations seeking to pool resources for a common goal, this common goal most readily being missons through the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the International Mission Board (IMB). Through this post, I do not intend to state that the SBC is perfect – there are “kinks in the armor” and I hope to be a part of the healing, if God wills such.

I would like to link to three blog posts which I have recently read (here are the first two):

An Open Letter to My Calvinist Friends in the SBC by Alvin Reid
An Open Letter to My Non-Calvinist Friends in the SBC by Nathan Finn

I am undecided where I lie in the Calvinism debate. Like Mr. Alvin Reid, I struggle with the Calvinists views of “particular redemption” or “limited atonement,” and I would agree that I might “nuance ‘unconditional election’ and ‘limited atonement’ in a way that would separate me from some of my Calvinist friends”. Aside from limited atonement, I’m ready to get on board the ship. This having been said, I find great biblically-based preaching/teaching in the ministries of John Piper, Mark Driscoll, D. A. Carson, Mark Dever, J. I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, and am becoming introduced to Matt Chandler, C. J. Mahaney, Thabiti Anyabwile and a host of others. My wife argues that my reading list would imply that I lean toward the Reformed side of Christianity. I love to discuss/debate, but I’m not interested in fighting over these issues. I would agree with Mr. Reid and Mr. Finn that we need to present the gospel clearly and correctly and call people to “repent and believe”. Let’s use biblical language and get rid of idioms, shall we?

Third Generation Conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention, Part 1 by Steven A. McKinion

I read this article last night. I have thought that I am just “odd” within the SBC for my age, convictions, curiosity, intellectual searching, etc., but Dr. McKinion describes me to a “T”. He describes two sets of SBC members under 40 and I clearly fall into the latter category. It’s good to know that I’m not alone! Perhaps things are looking good for the SBC in the future! Among more specifics, Dr. McKinion describes this group of under-40 in the SBC as, “The heirs to the Conservative Resurgence in the SBC are those young men and women who are gospel-centered, missional, and convictional Great Commission-Conservatives”.

I hope I can live up to such a description. Praise be to God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His love, mercy, and grace which will sustain us as we seek His glory and not our own…



Filed under Church, Worldview

3 responses to “On Being Southern Baptist…

  1. Jo

    I cherish the opportunity to delve deeper into the treasure chest of your heart. May God bless us both as we further learn our calling in fulfilling the great commission. I’m glad you’ve found that you’re not alone!

  2. Jennifer

    Wow, on initial reading I love this and want to read more of the supporting articles. Denominationally, I am a mutt but have recently joined the SBC. I have been very encouraged especially by the SBC’s focus on fulfilling the Great Commission. I get very uncomfortable in the Calvinist/Non-Calvinist debate because people seem so firm in their doctrines that to disagree with some of their thoughts would be to forfeit salvation. They make it the main issue. I like that instead of labels you gently assert that we stick with biblical language/biblical truth. Thanks for the links to third generation conservatives…I want to know more about the church I am presently in.

  3. Woof! another mutt in the SBC pound. I either snuck in the back door of the SBC or was pushed in by God. Either way I am in. I love the F&M. I think god is so Great Such a mystery, that He has a Calvinistic relationship with some, and is chosen of free will by others. Prove me wrong this side of Heaven.
    I am not sure I will be ordained, I have been a preacher for 15 years and a Pastor for 4. I have been honored to sit on ordaining boards. yeah it is weird, I know.
    the SBC is getting a shake up. i love my SBC brethren, but we all need a wake up call from time to time, and the SBC is getting one now as we drop in numbers like a rock.
    I will be back to see the more normal side of the coin. God bles your family and ministries! Shalom

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