In Case You Missed It

At the Intersect Project, Christy Britton shared a post about being enslaved to sin titled “The Thief and I.” Christy writes:

It was my first trip to Kenya. I was still adjusting to the culture shock when our team arrived at a boy’s juvenile detention center outside of Nairobi. Our van parked, and lots of young boys of all ages approached us with machetes in hand. My initial fear vanished when we discovered that the boys had been using the machetes to cut grass. As we mingled with the group of welcoming boys, we were told that most of them were thieves. They had lived as street kids, and they survived by stealing.

 

Our team divided the boys into small groups so we could interact more personally with them. I’m a mother of 4 boys, and I was shocked to realize how much these boys reminded me of my own. They were curious and funny and full of energy. We opened the Scriptures and taught them some stories. Then, we gave the boys a chance to tell us their stories.

 

After hearing several boys share, I assumed we were done. But then a tall, skinny boy stood up to speak to our group. He introduced himself as Elvis and started to explain his predicament. “I’m a thief. I like to steal and I’m good at it. But I don’t want to like it. What’s wrong with me? Will you pray for me that I won’t want to be a thief?”

 

His words stunned me. Initially, I was shocked at how openly he talked about his sin. But then I began to see how freeing it was for him to do so. That day, in a children’s jail and with the voice of one of its prisoners, God taught me about the freedom that comes in Christ.

 

Shaq Hardy shared a post this week highlighting seven ways Paul shows us how to live by faith in Romans 1:8–17.

At the end of Romans 1:17, Paul says, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Faith is believing what God says about salvation and trusting in God for salvation. With that said, Paul shows us how to live by faith in these 7 ways in Romans 1:8-17.

 

Brent Aucoin posted at the Intersect Project highlighting Thomas Kidd’s recent visit to Southeastern Seminary. Dr. Aucoin writes:

Dr. Kidd’s lunch and evening presentations were engaging and entertaining, but more importantly provided necessary correctives to the historical scholarship of two important American religious and political figures, George Whitefield and Benjamin Franklin. In both his writings and his presentations, Dr. Kidd is showing young, budding Christian scholars how to serve the church while also engaging the American academy professionally and with integrity.

 

In a post at The Gospel Coalition, Trevin Wax highlighted Martin Luther’s ‘parasite’.

This month marks the 500th anniversary of the posting of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, long considered the start of the Reformation. Luther is a hero to me and many other Protestants for his courage, his conviction, and his rediscovery of the truth of justification by faith alone.

 

It may seem out of place to interrupt our celebration of Luther’s legacy by discussing some of the darker aspects of his life and thought. That’s how some reacted earlier this week when I tweeted a link to an article called “Luther’s Jewish Problem,” which lays out in all its awfulness the anti-Semitic turn of Luther in his later years. I agreed with the article in saying that we must look this evil square in the face and not explain it away.

 

The truth is the truth. And truth is not served by hagiography and exalted biographical sketches that minimize our heroes’ flaws. I believe Luther, who never minced words regarding sin and evil, would recommend we not minimize his sins.

 

At The Baptist Press Dr. David Dockery shared about the Reformation and Baptist life.

The Lord blessed me with the wonderful privilege of growing up in a Christian home — a faithful, Baptist home. Sundays included Sunday School, church services, afternoon choir practice as well as Bible Drill, Discipleship Training and Sunday evening after-church fellowship. It was generally a very busy day. Wednesdays included church suppers, prayer meetings, mission organizations, committee meetings and choir practice.

 

During the week there were opportunities for outreach visitation, WMU and other activities. Summer calendars were built around Vacation Bible School, church camps and other church-related events. My family planned weeks and seasons around church activities. Our heroes were Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong and Bill Wallace of China.

 

But apart from a world history course as a high school student, I do not recall ever hearing stories about the Reformation, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin or other early 16th-century Protestant leaders in any church-related activity.

 

My guess is that my experience parallels that of many other Baptists. Why, then, should Baptists pay attention to the many events and programs taking place this year to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation for we are not Lutherans nor Anglicans nor Presbyterians. Yet, whether we realize it or not, many of our core convictions as Baptists have been influenced or shaped by those 16th-century thinkers.

 

At The Peoples Next Door, Keelan Cook shared about reaching the Nations in North America.

For those of you who are not aware, this weekend a conference is happening here at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to discuss one of the most important issues facing the church in North America today: how we will discover and engage the scores of internationals coming to our communities with the gospel. The summit is a joint endeavor of several missions agencies, state Baptist conventions, and other organizations who all see the need to train and equip our local churches for cross-cultural ministry right here in our own backyard.

As Keelan mentioned in his article, Southeastern is hosting a conference this weekend on Reaching the Nations in North America. If you can’t be here in person, be sure to check out the livestream at sebts.edu/streaming.

In Case You Missed It

Recently a team of students from SEBTS went on a short-term mission trip to the Dominican Republic. After returning from the trip, SEBTS student Shaq Hardy offered his reflections on his personal blog.

The short amount of time that I spent in the Dominican Republic doing ministry to and with Haitians was much needed in helping me see the call of the Great Commission in a better light. Going into this trip I honestly thought God was going to give me a completely different look on the need for the gospel around the world. Especially being an African-American who has never really had international missions on his radar because of the issues I see that still need to be fixed in America within the community from which I came. However, that is not what happened…Instead of giving me a new outlook on missions and how missions should be done, God has used this trip in my life to simply pull the lens with which I use to see missions back and show me more and more the necessity of GOing.

Matt Rogers recently published a helpful article addressing why local churches should work to strategically send teams to plant churches around the US and the world.

Anyone who has ever led a church to plant another church knows that sending is costly. It requires immense effort and intentionality to send well and will likely leave the sending church with a void in leadership and less money with which to operate. Not to mention the fact that local churches will send some of their best people – those who are deeply connected to the life of the church and who are loved by many. So, why send? Why should local churches (established churches and young church plants) work to strategically send teams to plant churches around the US and the world?

Karen Swallow Prior recently wrote an article at The Gospel Coalition answering the question: “What might medieval Catholic poet Dante Alighieri teach Protestants today?” According to Dr. Prior: a lot, actually.

Dante’s masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, has been rightly called “one of the essential books of mankind.” Hundreds of extant early manuscripts and printed editions attest to the popularity of the work in its own age. Its treatment by the world’s great artists, musicians, and writers over the past 700 years proves its continued lure. It has been translated into English countless times and featured regularly on lists of the world’s best books and best poetry…While The Divine Comedy most clearly reflects the Catholic faith of the poet and his medieval world, it hints at some principles the Reformation would bring to bear on the church two centuries later.

In a recent article at the SEBTS Women’s Life blog, Lesley Hildreth addressed some of the lessons she has learned in order to help missionary trainers assist women to live more effective missionary lives.

In 1999 my husband Scott and I were appointed with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to serve as career missionaries in Western Europe among unengaged peoples. At the time our two children were five and three years old respectively. Our family was confident of the call God had placed on our lives, however we had no idea how this calling would unfold in a cross-cultural setting. Before surrendering to the call to missions Scott was serving as pastor of a rural church in Alabama and I was a stay at home mom. We had no idea what a “people group” was but we knew we had to obey and that God would equip us for the work to which He had called us. Once we arrived in Germany, God used a relationship I established with another mom to force me to examine my heart and subsequently shape the way I would look at other women who needed Christ. A changed heart and a renewed love for others shaped the way I lived out the gospel in that cross-cultural setting and continues today as I work to equip other women to live on Mission with God.

In a recent blog post, Aaron Earls addresses why this world still matters to the Christian. Aaron writes:

“If Christians believe that the afterlife is such a wonderful thing, why don’t they just jump in front of a truck?”

That was a quote posted on Twitter by a prominent atheist blogger. Non-Christians have a huge misunderstanding of the Christian perspective on this life. More than likely, that is because many Christians have a huge misunderstanding about the Christian perspective on this life.

While we are constantly longing for the completion and fulfillment of our hope that is to come, we should recognize that this world, though fallen, is still good. It still has value to God, so it should still have value to us.

This week at The Gospel Coalition, Andy Naselli published two articles addressing scripture memorization:

  1. 14 Reasons to Memorize and Entire Book of the Bible
  2. 11 Steps to Memorizing an Entire Book of the Bible

As he discussed in the posts, Andy memorized 1 Corinthians over a period of about 16 months recently. On Thursday, he shared this video recorded earlier this summer in which he recites 1 Corinthians for a sermon at his church, Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.