B21 is excited about a breakfast panel discussion at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention in Houston. The panel, hosted by the Gospel Project, will tackle the important topic of Christ-Centered Preaching. In the past few years there has been some debate over the merits of Christ-Centered Preaching, how it can be done, when is it appropriate, and much more. So, we believe this will be a very beneficial discussion for those who seek to teach and preach the Scriptures faithfully.
We are excited to once again have Pastor David Platt on our lunch panel at this year’s SBC. At this event, we will discuss pressing issues facing the SBC, such as: engaging culture, mission, church planting, Calvinism, difficult ethical questions, and more… Early registration will soon be over so get your tickets today!!!
This is a review of Eric Mason’s book Manhood Restored: How the Gospel makes Men Whole. We want to thank Jason Wright, MDiv student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, for doing this book review at the request of Baptist21. This book is available for purchase here.
“Another book on manhood?” I wasn’t sure I wanted to delve into another book designed to give a twelve-step plan to make me a better man for Jesus. But Eric Mason beat me to the punch, and started Manhood Restored with exactly those words. A host of books have taught men how to be “Wild at Heart,” a “Point Man,” or my personal favorite, a “Waffle.” While those books make valuable contributions to understanding Christian manhood, this book contributes in a way many others do not.
Eric Mason, often known as Emase, is the lead pastor and founder of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia, PA. I appreciate the pastoral style of his writing and his ability to contextualize in such a way that his illustrations effectively reach his audience without a stretch.
Written by Jon Akin. You can view part 1 of this post here.
What are we to make of all this? Let me make three observations:
1. People will continue to lose faith in the Baptist process
In all three cases, we have seen a process play out where these situations were reviewed, and in all three cases it seems that very little has changed, if anything. KBC leadership sat down with CU leadership to discuss some of the allegations floating around about liberalism. No change took place other than a tepid joint statement that all CU profs are Christians, believe God created the world, that those who believe the Bible is literally true are welcomed on the faculty, and that CU and the KBC are committed to good relations. This could be true of any number of explicitly liberal-leaning Christian colleges where evolution is affirmed and the Bible is not deemed inerrant. We see a similar theological situation at CN.
Specifically in the cases of CN and LC, we saw a process of investigation and accountability take place with no real or significant change. In the case of LC, the trustees hired an independent firm to investigate, they found the President acted inappropriately, and the board still exonerated him.
This has created the impression for some that those in key positions in the Baptist process lack the wherewithal to hold institutions and entities accountable. The Baptist system will only work if men and women with the courage of their convictions actually initiate change when it needs to take place. If people believe that the process will not change things when they need to be changed, then they will be jaded and lose confidence in the system.
Written by Jon Akin
In the last year, there have been disturbing events surrounding three Baptist state colleges/universities:
Exonerated moderate theology at Carson Newman (CN)
A subcommittee of the Tennessee Baptist Convention (TBC) exonerated CN as accountable to Baptist convictions in October of 2012 after a yearlong investigation. This is disturbing for 3 reasons:
First, the report gives the impression that evolutionary theory is taught without being critiqued as incompatible with Baptist convictions. Not one of the professors or students interviewed mentions evolution being critiqued as unbiblical. One might say, “It is being critiqued but that wasn’t mentioned in the report.” That would be a pretty big oversight when communicating with concerned Tennessee Baptists.
Second, the liberal historical-critical method of biblical interpretation, which has been overwhelmingly rejected by Southern Baptists convention-wide, is being taught as one acceptable method among others. One student said, “The professors never pushed liberal theories in class nor did they push conservative theories either. They just presented theories and allowed the student to make their own decision.” This isn’t good enough at a school funded by Cooperative Program (CP) dollars!
Third, this is part of a trend to not hold Tennessee Baptist institutions accountable. A similar investigation in 2005 of both CN and Belmont led to both schools being exonerated, and of Belmont it was said that students were being equipped for service for the Kingdom of God. This is troubling because it is obvious now that Belmont had no desire to be held accountable to Baptist convictions or practices, and yet the appropriate boards did not act. Belmont and the TBC severed ties in 2007 due to Belmont wanting to elect a self-perpetuating trustee board instead of a TBC-elected Board. Belmont will pay the TBC $11 million over the next 40 years. Since that separation, Belmont has publicly and quickly moved away from its Baptist heritage and roots. For example, in 2011 they added “sexual orientation” to the school’s nondiscrimination policy, and this was troubling because President Fisher said this “new policy simply reflects the school’s ‘long-standing practice,’” a long-standing practice that had not been called to account.
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