Six Ways a Church Should Use a Confession of Faith

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Particular Baptist churches planted in the tumultuous soil of 17th century England grew up and bore fruit under a nasty set of doctrinal and methodological accusations, including that they subscribed to libertarian free will, denied original sin, that their pastors baptized women in the nude, and were opponents of church and crown. Perhaps their most virulent…



Radical Individualism: The Divisive Spirit of Our Age

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Rugged individualism works well for a new nation trying to get its feet on the ground. Often, when historians describe the characteristics of our nation’s founders, “rugged individualism” gets mentioned as a primary trait, and rightly so. Who else would forge into unknown territory, face extreme hardships, and carve out a life in the middle…



Change, Plant, or Stay: Which is Best?

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Recently, a brother from a small town in the south wrote for advice. He came to Christ in the early nineties. Over the past two years he and his wife embraced reformed (baptistic) theology. But the church they were part of did not. Opposition to their theological convictions has mounted. After moving to their third…



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…



What are You Teaching?

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“I’ve been a Southern Baptist all of my life but I’ve never heard these things. Why didn’t they teach this to me?” The question struck a nerve. I had just finished an hour-long discussion with several people, including the lady who asked the question. We had talked about basic things concerning the Old Testament and…

   

Participating in Gathered Worship: Come and Gather

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Earlier this year I began this series of posts on Gathered Worship in the House of God, examining the role and responsibilities of the congregation in corporate worship. Part 1 of the series focused on how to prepare for times of worship. We now come to Part 2: Participating in Gathered Worship. How are we…



The Church: A Holy People

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As a college student in the 70’s, I remember hearing retired Southern Baptist missionary to China, Miss Bertha Smith, speak in a number of settings. Miss Bertha, who was in her nineties at the time, took no prisoners when she spoke! Having gone through both the Shantung Revival and the invasion of the Japanese at…