Eleven Days in Northeast Brazil

AttendeesAt the beginning of January, I packed my bags and flew to Fortaleza, Brazil, to attend the five-day Baptist Mid-Missions Northeast Region Conference. The conference is for the benefit of the regional field council and gives its members an annual opportunity to fellowship, deliver progress reports, conduct business, and hear preaching in English. This year the conference was held at the Baptist Mid-Missions Complex in Fortaleza which houses the Fortaleza Academy as well as some Baptist Mid-Missions offices. (Right: Conference attendees in the cafeteria)

My main goal for the trip was to be a help to the missionaries there, but I also hoped to learn some things—and learn I did. Aside from my luggage not arriving until a week after I did, and a few uncomfortably hot nights, the trip was pure delight. (Okay, the toe injury from playing soccer without proper footwear wasn’t pleasant, but even that was well worth it. Soccer is the best sport ever invented.)

Below is some of what I discovered.
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Directions in Evangelicalism, Part 6

In The Nick of Time

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

Kenton Sparks and Biblical Inerrancy

When we began this series on directions in evangelicalism, one of the first works that we explored was Kenton Sparks’s God’s Word in Human Words (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2008). At that time, I merely summarized Sparks’s theory. Now I wish to go back and to offer at least the suggestion of a response.

Let’s begin with a thought experiment. Imagine that God comes to you with the announcement that He has just created an entirely new world, and He wants to show it to you. You agree, and in an instant you are transported into that world. At first you marvel at its beauty, but then you begin to notice phenomena that strike you as odd. Read more about Directions in Evangelicalism, Part 6

Has Fundamentalism Become Secularized, Part 5

Rescuing Fundamentalism from Secularization

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
secularization.gifThe question of whether Fundamentalism has become secularized has been answered in the first four parts of this essay with a clear “yes.” As a movement, Fundamentalism has been deeply affected by the forces of modernization, has accommodated to culture more than it likes to admit, and as a result has lost a sense of self-awareness. Some may take this development as a sign that all forms of Fundamentalism and the ideals of the early fundamentalists are dead and no longer of any value to a twenty-first century Christian. Nothing could be farther from the truth, however. Only in the ideals of a certain kind of Fundamentalism do we find any hope for remaining faithful to Scripture while engaging our world with the gospel.
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Help Wanted: Book Reviews Editor

BookJason Button has served SI as Book Reviews Editor since February of ‘07 (if not earlier), but is now stepping down from that role. Recent changes—including relocating and getting a new job—have made new demands on his resources. We thank him for volunteering so many hours of his time to obtain review copies of books and recruit readers to review them at SI.

But that leaves us with a vacancy. If you have a keen interest in books, good people skills (for working with publishers and recruiting reviewers), and time to coordinate our book review efforts at SI, please contact Aaron about your interest, and we’ll talk. Please include “BRE” somewhere in the subject line of your e-mail.

If you don’t want to be the BRE but have a suggestion for the job, please send us that info as well.

Directions in Evangelicalism, Part 5

In The Nick of Time
Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

The Gospel According to Walt

We have examined the vision of the gospel that is being propagated by Scot McKnight of North Park Seminary and by Timothy Gombis of Cedarville University. They are certainly not unique in the evangelical world. Indeed, their understanding of the gospel has become influential among an increasing number of evangelicals.

The theory, however, is not new. As an example, consider Walt. Like Scot and Tim, Walt did not wish to abandon the gospel of personal salvation. Also like Scot and Tim, he yearned for a gospel that could deal with problems that he deemed larger and more important. Here is what Walt said:
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