Separation: The GARBC, Cedarville, and the SBC (Part 4 of 4)

nullNow I want to discuss the two statements from the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC) Council of Eighteen regarding separation and Cedarville University. Cedarville University has agreed to allow the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to “recommend” Cedarville University to its people. The representatives of the GARBC chose to deny allowing Cedarville to set up a promotional display at the 2005 Annual Conference. Should the GARBC be in partnership with Cedarville University?
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Preaching Worth Listening To

Kevin BauderOriginally published at SI on March 1, 2006
Different versions of fundamentalism are characterized by different visions of preaching. Fundamentalists do not agree among themselves about what makes good preaching. To some, good preaching is primarily evangelism. To others it is primarily exhortation. To still others it is primarily explanation of the biblical text. Some envision preaching primarily as oratory, some see it as entertainment, and some believe it to be mainly exposition.

There has always been a regional and associational element to these differences. Exposition has been more common in the North, while evangelism and exhortation have tended to dominate preaching in the South. Presbyterians and groups that came out of the Northern Baptist Convention have typically been more centered on the text, whereas the groups that owe their origin to the influence of J. Frank Norris have tended to center on issues and applications. The further east one moves, the more oratorical preaching becomes, while the West has fostered a more folksy style of preaching that incorporates a good bit of storytelling. Read more about Preaching Worth Listening To

SharperIron Update

A Hawaii beachFirst of all, I want to say thank you to the dozens of people who gave me a financial gift at the birth of our fourth son, Spurgeon. That was unexpected. When Greg Linscott and Brian McCrorie asked me what I wanted, I told them that assistance to get my family to Hawaii would be wonderful. I was asked to speak for three weeks at the Independent Baptist Camps of Oahu, and I decided to take my whole family. My ticket is paid for by the camp, but that left me with four more tickets to purchase. So your gift paid for my wife’s ticket, and it gives us $300 to get away to the other side of the island (the opposite side from our kids) for a few days. Dan and Addy ForrestThank you so much. SI is a labor of love for me, and I would do it without any benefits, but the benefits have been supreme. My wife and I just had Dan and Addy Forrest over to our home and had a wonderful time. Addy is a budding writer, and Dan is finishing up his doctorate in music at the University of Kansas. We did not know either one of them before the launch of SI. The greatest advantage of running the site has been the development of new and old relationships with people all over the world. The SI family has added a wonderful dimension to our lives.
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Mega-Ministry Is Amazing

Megachurches are astonishing. The size of their crowds, budgets, meeting places, and ministry lists are enough to cause many to be impressed even though they may not be in agreement with their doctrine and practices. Former shopping malls and sports arenas are now housing some of the world’s largest megachurches. Even in fundamental circles, the large ministries are the ones that are often paraded as the epitomes of spiritual success in ministerial training classes, conferences, and publications. The emphasis on bigness can leave a smaller congregation feeling as though they are not doing much and that there is not much they can do unless they reach a certain size. This is simply not true. One of the many things I appreciate about the Lord is this. He can take a small church and give it a large ministry. As a pastor of a small congregation, this truth is encouraging to me, and I trust this article will be an encouragement to you. While some churches may not be megachurches, they can have mega-ministries. Mega-ministry is “where it’s at.”
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A Primer on Presuppositional Apologetics

Christian apologetics is the discipline or practice of defending and commending Christianity. Christianity as a worldview competes with a host of other worldviews to accurately represent things as they are. Imagine with me a Christian engaging a non-Christian in apologetics. By what criteria will he judge the arguments? Ah, but here is the kicker: The debate is about the criteria themselves.

How so? When a Christian engages a non-Christian, each makes a claim about ultimate reality—the way things really are. Now the way things really are affects the way people can know things. (Philosophy says that your ontology [philosophy of what is] has implications for your epistemology [philosophy of how we know what is].) The Christian derives his ontology and epistemology from biblical and systematic theology; the non-Christian derives his from somewhere else—if an atheist, perhaps from his own experience filtered through his own reason. The Christian and the non-Christian, because they have different ontologies and epistemologies, hold very different ideas about what is scientifically possible, morally just, or rationally plausible. (For instance, the vicarious atonement is morally repugnant to unbelievers, cf. 1 Cor. 1:18–24.) Worldviews clash over ultimate issues, including what categories best sort data and what criteria best judge arguments. Christianity tells us that even more is at stake—namely, how we may be right with God.
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My Plea to Worship Leaders

I was listening to some music from a popular ministry the other day, and the idea for this article came to me. After the completion of one of the songs, the worship leader began what I affectionately term “praise venting.” “Thank you Jesus! Praise you Jesus! Lord, you are wonderful! Majestic!” Forgive me if I don’t have the quotes down correctly, but you get the idea. “Praise venting” has always bothered me. When I hear it, I find myself thinking, I’m glad he’s enraptured. What’s my problem? Would I ever have the guts to do that publicly? Why does that always sound fake? What am I supposed to do while he’s doing that? While pondering praise venting, I have been reading several books on worship that have stirred my heart on the issue of congregational worship. Thus, I’d like to scratch out my musings (or ventings) in this plea to worship leaders.

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Tolerating Ideas Versus Tolerating Conduct

In The Nick of TimeTolerance means to allow the expression of ideas or the performance of acts with which one disagrees. It does not necessarily imply any measure of agreement or affirmation. On the contrary, where complete agreement exists, tolerance is neither necessary nor possible. Tolerance is essentially a form of abstinence. Tolerant people abstain from bringing force or other coercion to bear against ideas or conduct that they find offensive.

Without some level of tolerance, all human society would rapidly disintegrate. No two persons agree about every idea or all conduct. Consequently, complete intolerance would pit each person in warfare against all others. This state of affairs is anarchy, and the only way of avoiding it is through tolerance. Therefore, some level of tolerance is a necessary virtue.
But so is some level of intolerance. Absolutely nobody believes that every idea or act can be tolerated. When we fly on an airliner, we do not want engineers who tolerate mathematical mistakes. When we are in the hospital, we do not want an administration that tolerates malpractice.

When we are walking down the street, we do not want police officers who tolerate murder and mayhem. Under these circumstances, tolerance is not a virtue. It is an evil. Sometimes tolerance is a virtue. Sometimes it is an evil. How do we know which is which?
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