#IAmGoing Weekend Reading

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Solutions for the Problems You Have with Evangelism: D. Scott Hildreth

There is little doubt that God’s mission and mandate for his church centers on evangelism. This means that, no matter what churches are doing, the primary objective must be clearly and plainly communicating the gospel. Our message is good news – God loves our sinful humanity so much that he gave his only Son. Anyone who believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life(John 3:16)

Carl F. H. Henry once wrote: “The gospel is only good news if it gets there on time.” Most Christians know this is true; however, we are consumed with other activities and forget the importance of evangelism. Below give 5 reasons for this misplaced focus and then give some recommendations. …Read More.

Why We Plant Baptist Churches: Nathan Finn

Denominations did not exist when Jesus founded his church (Matt. 16:18Eph. 4:4–6). Denominations will not exist after Jesus returns (John 17:20–21Rev. 21:1–5). But that doesn’t mean denominations have no place in the present.

In fact, Baptists are at our best when we hold our distinctions with conviction, humility, and love. To do that, we must know where we came from, who we are, and how we can be Baptists for the glory of God and the good of the world. …Read More

The Need for Joy and Gratitude All Year Long: Meredith Cook

The holiday season flows with words of gratitude and songs of joy, but Thanksgiving and Christmas also come at a time when many people are weary from the events of the past ten months.

Many people have experienced tragedy and sadness; others experience stress that comes from the busyness of the holiday season. Still others struggle with the state of their country and the world.

But despite how discouraged or stressed we may feel, Thanksgiving and Christmas should remind us of all the reasons we have to be thankful. Not least of these is the grace that extends to us from the cross. …Read More.

“Building Bridges”–A Worship Service at Mother Emanuel AME Church: Walter Strickland

It was my honor to participate in a multi-denominational worship night themed “Building Bridges” at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. This gathering was hosted by the South Carolina Baptist Convention on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. …Read More.

Kristen Deede Johnson: Exploring a Biblical Theology of Justice

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What does it look like to pursue justice as a Christian?

Kristen Deede Johnson tackles this question and more in her recent lecture at Southeastern Seminary, “Justice and Our Callings: Exploring a Biblical Theology of Justice from Genesis to Revelation.” In it, she explains how God calls Christians to care for people who suffer from injustice. In addition, she explains how we must allow Scripture to define justice and guide our pursuit of it.

Kristen Deede Johnson is Professor of Theology and Christian Formation at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. She visited Southeastern to deliver the “Evangelical Voices in the Academy” lecture for the Society for Women in Scholarship. …Read More.

God and the Creative Impulse: A Tribute to Stan Lee

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On November 12, 2018, Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. Depending on your nostalgia for comic books and superheroes, your response to this news might be the same as radio personality Mike Francesca: “Oh who cares?” Evidently an awful lot of people care, if the ever growing wave of articles and social media posts paying tribute to his contributions to pop culture are any indication.

I count myself among the ranks of those mourning his passing. Never truly considering myself a “reader,” I was first exposed to Stan Lee via Saturday Morning cartoons. In the mid-1990s, he introduced a block of shows based on Marvel Comics characters and, every once in a while, would appear in animated form. I was curious who this guy was. The appeal of superheroes demands little explanation. The mythic world of good versus evil with altercations being decided by the well-timed use of a superpower can easily hold the attention of audiences for 30 minutes or 30 pages at a time. Only after exposure to heroes on television did I seek out more, and often better, material in print. That is where Stan Lee comes into play. …Read More.

Wildfires and Hurricanes: 5 Truths to Remember in the Wake of Natural Disasters

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The New York Times is reporting that California’s recent wildfires are the deadliest in its history. At least 40 people are confirmed dead, and that number is expected to increase. Hundreds more are missing, and tens of thousands have been evacuated. Well over 100 thousand acres have been burned out, and the fire is nowhere near contained. Weather conditions continue to work unfavorably towards ceasing the fire with no rain and strong winds. The people of California are suffering.

Our nation comes together in times of tragedy, and we mourn with our Californian neighbors as we reach out to offer help. This is a beautiful gift to displaced people, and I’ve been on the receiving end of this gift. I’ve never been affected by a wildfire, but I have been affected by natural disaster.

My husband, my kids and I were living on the north shore of New Orleans the summer of 2005. In August of that year, Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast and more than 1 million people were suddenly homeless — including my family.

New Orleans is no stranger to hurricanes, and its residents are used to evacuating during the harsher storms. We evacuated to our relatives’ home 90 miles away to ride out the storm. Two days later we returned to our house to see the damage. We lost everything we owned. Our family of four, soon to be five, was now homeless and completely dependent on our family and friends for all our needs.

I’ve written about what it’s like to come back from a hurricane, and this is an amended version of my original article. Even though wildfires and hurricanes have unique challenges, there are some universal truths to remember in the wake of natural disasters. …Read More.

Ross Douthat: America’s Real Religious Landscape

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Everyone wants to understand America’s religious landscape, but few people know how. Many journalists, for example, try to impose political categories on religion. As a result, they divide religious groups as the “religious left” or “religious right.”

But New York Times columnist Ross Douthat finds this explanation lacking. Religious experience in America is bigger than a clash between the right and left, he argues, and his own diverse religious experiences confirm this hunch.

In this lecture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Douthat proposes a different way to think about religion in America. This new explanation helps explain our culture today. …Read More.