Sunday, 26 February 2017

The SBC and the 21st Century

I should begin by admitting two things, firstly I got this book for free from B and H academics, I don't have to give a positive review. Secondly, I got this by mistake I thought it was a book about Southern Seminary. The picture on the cover looked to be like Southern, I was initially somewhat disappointed, especially when  I started reading Thom Rainer's chapter dealing with statistics about parts of the Southern Baptist Church that I had never heard of. Yet even in this chapter Rainer hits home hard, 'While programmatic evangelism may have lost its luster in our churches, we must find ways for our members to be intentionally involved in sharing their faith in today's culture'. This isn't just an issue in the SBC or even in the wider American evangelical culture, it seems it is a western problem. As Baptists we often argue for the priesthood of all believers but then expect the minister to do the work for us. 

My father in law loves Billy Graham and people of that generation, I found the history of how Billy Graham was involved in Al Mohler's call to Southern encouraging. In a similar way I was surprised to find Carl Henry being a driving force in getting Mark Dever to Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Two ministries I have been greatly blessed by, it is true that one generation commends the work

David Platt's chapter on mission was passionate and heart warming, reminding us that 'mission must not be our life. Instead, Christ must be our life and missions must be the overflow of lives that exist to exalt him'. He goes on to say with the same passion that the call to mission isn't for the select few it is for every Christian, it isn't an extra option but a command that must be obeyed. However this flows out of a heart that is devoted to Christ. Again this isn't just an issue for the Southern Baptists but for every denomination we are far to comfortable with our vast resources that God has given us to fuel mission rather than keep buying stuff. A big challenge! 

As a non American,  I have heard of the SBC for years and as a Baptist it's always been interesting to hear about this large Baptist denomination. This interest has grown as my in laws are part of a SBC church and I've gotten to preach in one, albeit in the basement.

This book is well worth a read for anyone interested in the history, present and future direction of this great denomination.

God Bless

No comments: