Category Archives: SBC

SBC 2010 & GCR Roundup by Trevin Wax

I’m heading to Orlando in a couple of weeks to join with thousands of other Southern Baptists for our 2010 Annual Meeting. The biggest item on the agenda this year will be the report from the Great Commission Task Force. Trevin Wax has a helpful summary of what the report says and what the debate is centered around.

I encourage all of the members at Redeemer to read this and get an idea of what the issues are this summer. . . Here’s why you should read his article:

Whenever two points of view become overly politicized, the rhetoric heats up. Hype can eventually obscure reality, leading to misunderstandings and miscommunication on the part of both camps. GCR supporters have sometimes spoken as if this resolution will be the spark of a worldwide revival which will send renewal through the SBC. GCR detractors have sometimes spoken as if these resolutions would end the SBC as we know it and destroy all our cooperative efforts.

In this article, I wish to cut through the hype by briefly summarizing the final GCR proposal and the contending viewpoints, providing clarity regarding these recommendations.

Read the whole thing here.

(HT: DB)


It’s Been A While…

It has been a little while since I have consistently posted at Mercy Swimming. So let me update you on what’s been rattling around in my heart and mind over the past few weeks:

Things I’m Excited About…I’m excited about a lot, so I’d better list…

New Preaching Series–It’s been three weeks since I finished a (year and a half long) series through the book of Acts, called “The Church Unstoppable.” You can listen to those sermons here. Two weeks ago we began a journey through the book of Hosea entitled, “Love Defined.” So far it’s been a joy for me to see this amazing picture of redemption, forgiveness, judgement and love. Join us on Sundays or listen here. May God prosper His word among us!

Upcoming Conferences/Events–Yes, I am excited about Together for the Gospel 2010, April 13-15th. If you have not already visited their website you should…and you ought to take the time to watch the video tours of several of the main speaker’s personal libraries. It will make you want more books, so guard yourself from temptation.

I’m also very excited about the annual gathering of Southern Baptists in Orlando this summer. Why? That brings me to my next point…

The Great Commission Resurgence–There’s something happening in the SBC. Last summer, the gathered assembly commissioned the President to appoint a committee (Great Commission Task Force) to evaluate and present ways in which the SBC can more effectively fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus. Their initial report is now available here. Pray for the SBC, and the decisions to by made and affirmed this June.

By the way, the SBC Pastor’s Conference has an amazing line up! Can’t wait to sit under these great brothers as they minister the Word to us this summer.

Danny Akin; Francis Chan; Matt Chandler;
Tony Evans; Steve Gaines; David Landrith;
CJ Mahaney; Al Mohler; Russell Moore;
David Platt; Andy Stanley; David Uth;
Ken Whitten; Ravi Zacharias;

A New, Much Anticipated Biblical Theology–Dr. Jim Hamilton’s Biblical Theology is due out this October! You can visit this blog to see a preview including the beautiful cover! Can’t wait to get my hands on this baby (probably both hands at 480 pages!).

A New President at Wheaton–I am so excited to hear the Dr. Phillip Ryken will be the next President at Wheaton College. I feel deeply for his church, however. You can see the deep emotion and sadness when a pastor has to leave his flock in his address here. All the info about this exciting news can be found here.

Pick the Next Redeemer Institutes–Finally, I’m excited about the upcoming Redeemer Institutes, that YOU CAN PICK!! That’s right, you can give three to five suggestions for our upcoming Institutes this Spring and Fall. All the information is here. If you’re not a facebook user, you can leave your suggestions on my blog and I’ll consider them for sure.

I apologize if you feel like you’ve just taken a gulp form the fire hydrant. Hopefully I’ll be a more consistent blogger in the future so I can do this in smaller chunks. Thanks for reading and swimming in mercy with me!

Why Southern Baptist? Danny Akin Responds…

Danny Akin:

1) What is the best thing about being a part of the SBC?

The best thing is our phenomenal missions program and our seminaries. Southern Baptists are doing a better job than ever in wedding the head and the heart in fulfilling the Great Commission. That is taking place because of what is happening with the International Mission Board and our seminaries. When people ask me why I should support the SBC, the seminaries and the IMB just jump out.

2) Why do you think young, cross-centered ministers who accept Baptist theology might not want to be a part of the SBC?

Because of our bureaucracy. There is so much red tape in trying to work through the national convention, state conventions, and local associations. There is so much over-lap and duplication it is easy to become frustrated with the bureaucratic machine that too often is only interested in feeding itself. We have got to find a way to streamline and simplify our denominational structures so that we can be more efficient in fulfilling the final command of our Lord.

3) How and why did you come to the SBC?

I was born into and have been breed by it! I grew up a Southern Baptist, and having been involved in it now all of my life, I am committed to it. It has many shortcomings and imperfections, but in my judgment, it is still the best thing going.

4) How can we honor our heritage while continuing to move forward?

We can honor our heritage by standing firmly on the infallible and inerrant Word and embracing a healthy balanced theology reflected in the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. We can recognize that the war for the Bible will never end until Jesus comes again. Therefore we will not surrender valuable ground that has been gained by our forefathers, but we will be vigilant to contend earnestly for the faith without compromise.

5) What are the three most important things that need to change, for the SBC to grow in our gospel mission? How would you do them if it were up to you?

I recently addressed this in what I call 12 Axioms for a Great Commission Resurgence. (see those 12 principles below) I actually think that all of them need to be implemented, but if 3 were to stand out it would be the Lordship of Jesus Christ, being gospel centered, and being humble. If we pursue those three things with all of our heart, I am convinced the other 9 will take care of themselves. In other words, our greatest needs are, as they always are, spiritual. We need to be Christ focused, gospel centered, doing all that we do as we bow humbly under the banner of the cross of Jesus Christ.

12 Axioms For A Great Commission Resurgence

I. We must commit ourselves to the total and absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of our lives (Col 3:16, 17, 23-24).

II. We must be gospel centered in all our endeavors for the glory of God (Rom 1:16).

III. We must take our stand on the firm foundation of the inerrant and infallible Word of God affirming it’s sufficiency in all matters (Matt 5:17-18; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

IV. We must devote ourselves to a radical pursuit of the Great Commission in the context of obeying the Great Commandments (Matt 28:16-20; 22:37-40).

V. We must affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a healthy and sufficient guide for building a theological consensus for partnership in the gospel, refusing to be sidetracked by theological agendas that distract us from our Lord’s Commission (1 Tim 6:3-4).

VI. We must dedicate ourselves to a passionate pursuit of the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus across our nation and to all nations answering the call to go, disciple, baptize and teach all that the Lord commanded (Matt 28:16-20; Acts 1:8; Rom 1:5; 15:20).

VII. We must covenant to build gospel saturated homes that see children as a gift from God and as our first and primary mission field (Deut 6:1-9; Psalm 127; 128; Eph 6:4).

VIII. We must recognize the need to rethink our Convention structure and identity so that we maximize our energy and resources for the fulfilling of the Great Commission (1 Cor 10:31).

IX. We must see the necessity for pastors to be faithful Bible preachers who teach us both the content of the Scriptures and the theology embedded in the Scriptures (2 Tim 4:1-5).

X. We must encourage pastors to see themselves as the head of a gospel missions agency who will lead the way in calling out the called for international assignments but also equip and train all their people to see themselves as missionaries for Jesus regardless of where they live (Eph 4:11-16).

XI. We must pledge ourselves to a renewed cooperation that is gospel centered and built around a biblical and theological core and not methodological consensus or agreement (Phil 2:1-5; 4:2-9).

XII. We must accept our constant need to humble ourselves and repent of pride, arrogance, jealousy, hatred, contentions, lying, selfish ambitions, laziness, complacency, idolatries and other sins of the flesh; pleading with our Lord to do what only He can do in us and through us and all for His glory (Gal 5:22-26; James 4:1-10).

(HT: Baptist 21 and Jim Hamilton)

What’s RIGHT with the Southern Baptist Convention?

Perspective is a gift from God. I was recently reminded (see C.J. Mahaney’s message on this page) of the perspective of the Apostle Paul when he wrote to the not so impressive church at Corinth. Paul begins 1 Corinthians with these words: “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus” (1:4). Paul exhibits an attitude of thankfulness even with the unruly and disobedient Corinthians. Paul identifies evidences of grace in the Corinthian church when some (like me!) might only see their glaring deficiencies. This perspective issues from a pastoral heart of humility and an amazing dependence on the grace of God.

David Nelson, has recently displayed similar perspective regarding the Southern Baptist Convention. I am guilty of often going directly to the areas of struggle and failure in the SBC, and disregarding the God-given victories in the seminaries, churches and mission fields. So, the title of this post is not a misprint. I am not asking what is WRONG with the SBC, but wanting to direct your attention to what is RIGHT and what is moving in a RIGHT and biblical direction. You can see encouraging examples of this here, here and here.

This week at my church, we will be talking to people who are wanting to join our church about why we are Southern Baptist. I would submit to you that we are Southern Baptist because of all the things that are RIGHT in the SBC, like a cooperative effort to send missionaries across the globe, a commitment to the inerrancy of the Scriptures and a desire to see young men and women trained for long, fruitful ministries in local churches across the country. Don’t get me wrong, the SBC has it’s work cut out for improvement, repentance and change (like the Corinthians did). But should we throw the baby out with the bath water? We can still give glory to God for all that is RIGHT in the SBC.

For more encouragement on this topic, put this blog on your google reader! Contributers to Between the Times are:

Danny Akin, the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Bruce Ashford, the director of the Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies and associate professor of philosophy and intercultural studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Nathan Finn, an assistant professor of church history at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kenneth Keathley, the dean of graduate studies and professor of theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and David Nelson the senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the faculty at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Reflections on the SBC Annual Meeting

This past week, I was blessed to be a messenger from my church to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX. The meeting conjured up many thoughts in my mind, but much of that has already been addressed here and here. It was a joy for me to be able to spend some uninterrupted time with my fellow elder and all his famous friends.

I’ll just make two comments (my two cents) about the convention:

1. I was convicted about being a Southern Baptist for nearly 10 years now, and this being my first convention. Real direction and business takes place at this meeting and the churches drive those decisions and directions! Churches are represented by messengers, some 8,000 were present. I have done my share of complaining and bemoaning the negative aspects of the SBC, but I never really attempted to be a part of the solution rather than the problem. The greatest example of this, in my opinion came from Mark Dever. He sat there with about 10 of his staff and interns from his church carefully listening and explaining to them the “ins and outs” of every motion and resolution. Dever was probably one of the more articulate persons on the entire room, yet he did not make his way to a microphone. He sat quietly, instructing his students and voting on all the issues. That was inspiring to me! May God raise up an army of pastors like that to influence the future of the SBC!

(Side note: if you read Denny B.’s blog, you’ll see the disappointing results of the resolution on church membership integrity. However, I think you’ll agree that even if the resolution had passed, church discipline and meaningful membership are not going to just “poof” into action. The real change comes when pastors are educated and influenced by healthy churches modeling a biblical ecclesiology.)

2. I was encouraged by Voddie Baucham’s message at the Founders Breakfast on Tuesday morning. His message can be found here. The seven areas of repentance he called for were regenerate church membership, church discipline, biblical exposition, biblical church planting, family discipleship, biblically qualified leadership and Christian education. I had to look around and make sure that I was at the right place (the SBC Annual Meeting?)! Praise God for his words to us!

All in all, it was a great experience, and Lord willing, our church will be bringing more messengers next year in Indianapolis to vote for Dr. Mohler for president!

May God bring revival and renewal to the hearts and minds of Southern Baptists!