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Monday, June 25, 2007

Online Book Sale

This Wednesday and Thursday all of John Piper's books will be on sale for 5 dollars a piece. Advertised on a Desiring God blog post. There is no limit to how many books you can purchase.

Friday, June 22, 2007

San Antonio Convention in Review Part 5

Here are some of my thoughts on my second Convention:

1. I thought the turnout was small. I believe Greensboro, North Carolina had a little less than 12,000 messengers. The 2007 San Antonio had fewer than 9,000. I figured since "everything is bigger in Texas," there would be a significant turnout. I believe those who organized the Convention thought so as well. I heard early on from one person who said they were expecting around 14,000 messengers. I am not sure what to think about next year's Convention in Indianapolis. One side of me thinks if significant debate continues then the turnout might be high because of the Presidential vote. However, Indiana is not the South. The state of Indiana tallied 73 messengers in San Antonio.

2. There was early debate over a definition recommended titled Definition of the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention. The recommended definition reads: The Cooperative Program is a Southern Baptists' unified plan of giving through which cooperating Southern Baptist churches give a percentage of their undesignated receipts in support of their respective state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries. After some debate, the motion passed.

Many have asked the question that if we give directly to the National Convention entities such as the Seminaries, IMB, and NAMB through designated receipts instead of giving it through our state convention, then why can it not be counted as CP contributions? Many churches are unsatisfied with state conventions taking a majority share of the CP, and sending a lesser share to the National Convention.

Currently, our church gives 10% of its undesignated yearly receipts to the Cooperative Program through the South Carolina Baptist Convention. We also give an additional 1.5% to both the IMB and NAMB. However, since this money is designated, it does not count towards Cooperative Program contributions. Jon Akin has written a good article addressing this issue, titled Defining, Defending, or De-funding the CP.

3. While 8,618 messengers registered in San Antonio, only a small percentage voted in the elections. During the 1st Vice Presidential vote, only 3143 voted. Likewise during the 2nd Vice Presidential vote, only 2841 voted. Perhaps the most telling vote was over the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 vote (which I'll address later). For as much controversy and debate it received, only 3702 messengers voted. It certainly does not appear that many people even cared enough to show up for votes.

Monday, June 18, 2007

San Antonio Convention in Review Part 4

The first SBC event I attended was the Pastor's Conference on Monday night to listen Albert Mohler, Jimmy Draper, James Merritt, and Johnny Hunt.

Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, gave a testimoney about his recent health crises with respect to his eye surgery and his even more recent crisis with blood clots in his lungs. Dr. Mohler recently posted an article about his recent trials on his website. You can find the article here.

James Draper, Jr., former President of Lifeway, gave us a personal testimony about temptation when a young woman tried to initiate an affair in his days in the pastorate. Draper believed he was impervious to the temptation of an affair, but found himself excited that another woman would find him desirable, so he did not decisively deal with the situation and drew it out.

James Merritt, Pastor of Cross Pointe, the Church at Gwinneth Center and Johnny Hunt, Pastor of Woodstock Baptist Church, both preached excellent sermons on holiness and humility. I did not know what to expect from Dr. Hunt. I wondered if Calvinism would come up in his talk. It did not. Surprisingly, if any controversy arose it came from Dr. Merritt when he seemed to give full permission to pastors to use his father's day sermon on word for word if they so desired. This took me back somewhat. It also seemed that Hunt addressed this offer in his sermon when he spoke of the pastor's need to be led by the Spirit to write and preach the Lord's message for the church he pastors.

All in all, I believe Hunt's sermon was the best of the sermon's I had the priviledge to hear while in San Antonio.

San Antonio Convention in Review Part 3

Here are some day and night pics of the river which cuts through San Antonio. Mostly restaurants and a few stores line the Riverwalk. There was a CVS store on the Riverwalk. We frequented this establishment to purchase our drinks since they were excessively priced in our hotel (2.25 for a soft drink and 4.00 bottle water in the room).

The Riverboat tours were nice, but I would suggest that you either take the tour in the morning or in the late evening because the the 90+ temperatures.

San Antonio Convention in Review Part 2

Since this trip was also our vacation, we did not attend much of the Pastor's Conference on Monday. Instead, we took in many of the sights and sounds of San Antonio. Above, Naomi and I toured the Alamo which fortunately was directly across from our hotel.

San Antonio Convention in Review Part 1

My journey to the San Antonio Convention began with a trip to the Atlanta Airport where yours truly boarded an airplane for the first time. It was a pleasant experience and I am glad to have the flight as a part of my overall experience. However, getting to the airport 3 hours before departure (as the airlines suggest) translated for us into much time sitting around waiting for our flight to leave. This is the post 9-11 world in which we live, and security is well worth the wait.

Despite the largeness of the Atlanta Airport, I recognized two families there. I never cease to be amazed how in the midst of so many people how we can run into people we know who also do not live in Atlanta. We saw the Idell family from our home church in Tennessee who were on their way back from San Diego. Also, we flew on the same flight to San Antonio with the Moody's from 1st Baptist, Honea Path.

When we arrived in San Antonio, we were instructed by our Hotel staff to take a taxi because it was cheaper than the shuttles. So taking a taxi was another first for me. When we got into the taxi, the driver was playing rap music. He soon found out that we were in San Antonio for the Baptist Convention, he changed the station to classical music. I thought that was funny. Rap and classical are far from our preferences of music, but I did appreciate his consideration in changing the station.

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency. The hotel was excellent. Our room was excellent and the lobby led right onto the Riverwalk, where we spent considerable time walking and eating. At the top of the page is the view from the top of our hotel of San Antonio.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Private Prayer Language

Just wondering about your thoughts on the recent Lifeway survey that suggests around half of all Southern Baptist pastors use or would be in agreement with a private prayer language? What is your prayer language? Do you plan on speaking about this in San Antonio next week, or are you going to be hanging out with Lebron and Tim Duncan? I have heard in the past that the Alamo Dome is a hard place to shoot in, do you know anything about that? By the way, my private prayer language is English, sometimes with a little Espanol mixed in.