Busy bees…

Ok, so, since my (Beth) birthday, we’ve been on the move!  We’ve been to Disney World and the 2010 Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando, FL, celebrated Daddy’s Day and back to my ‘ol college roots, Florence, SC for a dear friend’s wedding.   Maddie’s continuing to grow and learn more signs (yes, we’re teaching her sign language so there’s more signing and less whining) and words (she’s got momma, dadda, ball ball, dog dog, bubble, la la for banana so far).  Mahaney is growing too!  I can feel her kicking away all throughout the day and I’m actually starting to show (now that I’m 24 weeks pregnant!).  The summer is half way over and I cannot believe that school will start in the 2nd week of August.  Man. 

To be perfectly honest, at first, I was kind of nervous about being home with Boo all day everyday after being home only part time, but I really do love it.  We’ve been too busy for me to be bored or to be puzzled on what to do with a 16 mo old.  Ha!  Maddie’s discovered bubbles, coloring with crayons, reading books, where her tummy and facial features are, and funny faces with Daddy.  I have another confession, I ALWAYS said that I would never take my kids under the age of 7 to the Magic Kingdom (the happiest place on earth and possibly, my favorite place on earth).  But I have been proven wrong yet again.  It was great!  We got there a little after it opened and she walked around, soaked all of the sites in, rode fun rides, took 2 short naps on the stroller….we had a blast!  I would totally take her and Mahaney when they’re younger b/c they can’t point and say they want everything in the stores we go in to cool off.  Ha!  Anyone up for going in Jan or Feb?  hahaha….

What Article IX of the GCR Could Look Like

With the SBC Annual Meeting just around the corner, there has been lots of discussion over the Great Commission Resurgence led by Dr. Johnny Hunt and Dr. Danny Akin.  It seems like the biggest discussion has been over Article IX which calls for a commitment to a more effective convention structure.  Some are for it; others against it.  Some were for it a few years ago, but now are against it.  🙂 

However, I believe that the answer to what Article IX looks like has already been answered.  In Feb 2007 at the Baptist Identity conference, Dr. Mike Day presented a topic called “The Future of Baptist Associations and State Conventions” in which he presented the history of these two associations as well as his suggestions for what the future could look like. 

I would recommend that EVERYone coming to the SBC could/should have to listen to Dr. Day’s suggestion for associations and conventions.   Timmy Brister was there live blogging the event and provided a summary of Dr. Day’s speech.  Here’s the link for the notes: http://timmybrister.com/2007/02/15/baptist-id-dr-mike-day-on-the-future-of-baptist-associations-and-state-conventions/.

Here’s the summary of his paradigm for the future:

  1. Church-driven
  2. Priority-based
  3. Resource-focused
  4. Institution-free
  5. Strategically-managed
  6. Regionally-located but not geographically bound
  7. Denominationally-connected buy not in its traditional ways

Note: At the 31:30 mark, he references Morris Chapman from the 2004 Baptist Identity conference when he called for a possible need for a “major overhaul” of the SBC and that it may be a matter of necessity . . .

Baptist Hymnal 2008 – update

Earlier, I wrote a post about the upcoming Baptist Hymnal 2008 that Lifeway is publishing.  Well, I am a little behind, but the new hymnal is now complete with 647 theologically sound hymns and worship songs . . . and that is just the printed version!  They have also a new twist this year in that there will be an additional 301 songs and contemporary arrangements available online at Lifeway Worship Online.  This website will be the link to get access to all the online material available as well as a new blog to keep up wiht the lastest goings on in hymnal world.  I have not seen the online material on there yet, but it looks like August 8th might be the release date.  However, Lifeway has released the song titles for the nearly 1,000 songs/arrangements; here is the pdf file of the pew edition and the additional set

Now that finals are over for this semester, I hope to have some time to look through this list and see what’s new and what might be missing.  If you get a chance to take a look and have any comments, just drop them below because I would love to hear them.

SBC Presidency and Membership Integrity

[This post was first prepared before Dr. Mohler announced his health problems and pulled his name.  I have updated it to reflect this change]

With the announcement that Dr. Mohler is not running for President due to his health, this SBC President election in Indianapolis may or may not be as interesting as 2 years ago.  On February 7th, Baptist Press reported that Dr. Frank Cox from GA was going to be nominated for SBC President by Junior Hill.  I am a bit surprised that this nomination really didn’t catch much press compared to that of when Dr. Mohler’s nomination was announced.  I thought that someone such as Junior Hill nominating someone to ‘oppose’ a seminary president would be a big deal.  Early on Thursday, I searched on Google Blogs and only found 10 blog links to this topic even though Baptist Press published their report a week ago.  Even a search of our own unofficial Southern news source Said at Southernrevealed only one hit for the story about Dr. Cox’s nomination for SBC President.

First, I need to say that I am a student here at Southern and have much admiration for Dr. Mohler.  When we first got married, Beth and I would listen to his radio show which would lead to some great discussions about our faith an walk with the Lord; this was so great for our marriage during this first year together.  (But she is still a bit ‘bitter’ about not getting to ask her question on Ask Anything Wednesday. . . I love you Bethie!)  Being a student here at Southern, I have been able to learn in an environment that was not possible 20 years ago.  For this also, I am thankful for the battle that Dr. Mohler led to reclaim this great Seminary.  So, my vote would have been for Dr. Mohler had he still been running.

While I must say that I do not know anything about Dr. Cox other than what I read both on the blogs, his website, and from the BP article, he seems like a man who is committed to the Lord, his church, and the SBC.  He has served in numerous positions within the convention, has been a pastor at the same church for over 27 years, and leads his church to give 13.4% of undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program.  This is great.  Having served on the mission field, I am also thankful for the almost $60,000 the church gave to Lottie Moon in 2006!  So all this to say that this rest of this article is not a hit on Dr. Cox, but more of a general question that came to my mind when I was reading about his church.

From the BP article, here are two quotes about Dr. Cox’s church:

  • “Under his leadership, the church has grown from 700 members to more than 4,600, with 3,600-plus individuals added to the church fellowship as baptized believers”
  • “The most recent information available, Southern Baptists’ 2006 Annual Church Profile Survey, lists 110 baptisms and primary worship service attendance of 1,737 for North Metro.”

Now, I have read through most of the blog comments on his nomination and I have not seen any of them address this point.  Many of them were steering this as Calvinism vs Non-Calvinism, pastor vs entity head, etc. or bringing up the fact that Junior Hill is going to nominate him (Junior did speak at SBTS’s chapel in the Fall of 2007).  But are we not missing another issue here?  This church has a membership of more than 4,600 people but in 2006 only had a primary worship service attendance of 1,737.  That is only 38%!  Now, I know that North Metro First Baptist Church is not the only church with this problem so this is not necessarily directed at Dr. Cox’s leadership, but it does bring up the issue of church membership integrity, again (see here, here, here, etc).   I have heard that another blogger is working on a project looking at just this very issue so I look forward to the day it comes out, but until then, is this issue not as important at the percentage of CP giving?  I have to think it is vitally important to our integrity as Southern Baptists! 

There are many different ways to run from here: should the SBC President’s church not only give at least 10% to CP but also have a minimum % of membership actually attend the church, does this even matter in voting for a convention office, when are we going to address the bigger issue that Tom Ascol has been trying to bring before the convention, is this a Calvinist or non-Calvinist issue, or is the SBC always going to be a convention where half of it’s members are no where to be found?  While all of these need to be addressed, I am not sure how right at this moment especially in light of a young man at our church who is in the hospital with meningitis or the senseless killings at NIU.  The need for the Gospel is so evident as we look around us or watch the news or sit at work.  While I know that these (and others) are issues that will come up the closer we get to the convention, but my prayer is that all is done in light of the cross.

Dr. Mohler to have surgery, forego SBC president nomination

I had just finished writing a post about Dr. Frank Cox running against Dr. Mohler and some issues there when I came across this News Announcement on Bapist Press:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will require additional surgery after a scheduled colonoscopy Feb. 11 revealed a tumor in his colon. An initial biopsy indicated that the tumor is pre-cancerous and further tests are to be scheduled, along with surgical options.

The surgery will require that he forego nomination as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Mohler said.

Mohler, 48, underwent major abdominal surgery in late December 2006, complicated by the development of bilateral blood clots in his lungs. Doctors will take special precautions to prevent a recurrence of the blood clots with this new surgery. Specialists are consulting on the case and a decision on the date and location for the surgery is to be made in the near future. The procedure is likely to require an extensive period for recuperation and recovery.

Mohler said his time of recuperation would necessarily alter some of his plans as he gives first priority to his health and his family.

“Some have asked how this new development affects my nomination to be president of the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis this June,” Mohler said. “I have decided to give my greatest attention right now to addressing this new challenge and to ministering to my wife and children. This is clearly not the right time for me to accept this nomination. I have asked my good friend Robert Jeffress not to proceed with nominating me for president of our Southern Baptist Convention this year.

“Frankly that decision is made much easier by my knowledge that there is at least one strongly conservative, committed pastor who intends to be nominated in Indianapolis,” Mohler said.

Mohler expressed gratitude to God that medical personnel found the tumor this early.

“Sometimes we take it for granted that we live in an age like this one, in which God has given us the blessing of medical technology,” Mohler said. “For most of human history, a tumor such as this one would have gone unnoticed until it was too late. I am thankful for modern medicine, but I am even more thankful that we live in a world in which our God hears us when we pray, a Father who listens to his children.”

Mohler said Southern Seminary “would not skip a beat” during his recuperation.

“I have absolute confidence in the seminary leadership team. We will move forward with momentum,” Mohler said. “God has blessed and is blessing Southern Seminary. We do not take that for granted, and we pledge to be good stewards of that blessing, even through this time.”

Southern Seminary will release additional information as it becomes available. The Mohler family has expressed appreciation for all concern, prayer and encouragement.
Reported by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s office of communications.

Wow.  Our prayers will be with Dr. Mohler and his family during this time.  I will also be cleaning up my previous article now that Dr. Mohler is not running anymore; however, I believe a main issue is still present.