Kentucky Baptist Presidential Race and Two Visions of the SBC

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Two candidates have been announced for the upcoming presidential election of the Kentucky Baptist Convention (KBC) next month. Jerry Tooley is Director of Missions in the Daviess-McClean Baptist Association in the Owensboro area. He has been an outspoken critic of the doctrines of grace and of Southern Baptists who believe those doctrines. In fact, he has…



Sovereign Grace O’er Sin Abounding

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Among the many choice hymns included in William Gadsby’s A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship (1814, 1838) is “Sovereign Grace O’er Sin Abounding” by John Kent. John Kent (1766–1843) was an English hymn writer and a contemporary of William Gadsby. Kent was from a poor family and with limited opportunities for education, was largely…



Blest Be the Tie that Binds: Billy Graham

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Given the two theological trajectories of the mid-twentieth century SBC and the increasingly noxious relationship between them, what commitment kept them for so long willing to work together? The glue that provided adherence was an experiential kind of evangelism. Both on the mission field and at home, the call to decide for Christ, with a…



Can a Sound Biblical Theology be Maintained without Calvinism?

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My engagement with the “old view,” as my professor of theology called it, had a profound effect on my subsequent studies. How something apparently so commonly held and so clearly and vigorously affirmed could have sunk below the horizon in seventy years of denominational life puzzled, frustrated, and fascinated me. The answer, of course, did…



3 Reasons why we should study the Early Church Fathers

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I have the joy of teaching a class at my church through the Apostolic Fathers. This has been a real treat for us, especially since post-New Testament history is very foreign to many people. Other than a few names from the reformation, many church-goers can’t name too many other figures from church history, let alone…



Dear Timothy, Part III: “Embrace Your Weakness”

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Several years ago, Founders Ministries published Dear Timothy, an excellent multi-author work. The book was written as a series of letters from the veteran pastor, Paul, to the young upstart pastor, Timothy. In the spirit of that publication, I offer the following letter as part of an occasional series. I have written two previous letters…



Holy Holy Holy Lord

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In previous posts I have highlighted two American Baptists who contributed to The Baptist Psalmody, published in 1850 by the Southern Baptist Publication Society and recommended for use in all the churches at the Southern Baptist Convention in 1851. Benjamin Cleavland : #656 “O Could I Find from Day to Day” Abram Poindexter: #880 “O…



An Annotated Bibliography for Church Planters

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Quite often I’m asked what books might be helpful to church planters. In an effort to identify a few favorites, I’ve noted ten go-to books that church planters need to study and keep handy throughout their work. As you will notice, I’m heavy on ecclesiology rather than church planting techniques since we’re seeking to plant…



Answering Some Objections to Sabbath Observance

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In a previous post, I briefly sketched the Bible’s doctrine of the Sabbath day. Like nearly every doctrine of the Christian faith, the doctrine of the Sabbath is controversial among some Christians today. In this post, I’ll try to answer some of the most common objections to Sabbath observance. 1. New Testament Passages. Those who say Christians are…