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Issue Date: 2008-04-10
Volume: 187
Number: 8


Professor sees "guilt by association" as root problem

John Hammett believes one of many problems with Jonathan Merritt’s statement on the environment is the classic “guilt by association” factor.
Filmmakers explore bumper-sticker theology

Nestled in a tiny office above a video rental store just south of Portland, Ore., filmmakers Dan Merchant and Jeff Martin are preparing to launch their first movie together.
Younger conservative leaders need a voice in SBC

Former SBC President James Merritt of Duluth believes the Church too often has brought up the end of life’s parade rather than leading it. That’s why he feels his son’s document on the environment is a step toward taking back what rightly belongs to believers.
No state funds for Baptist university, judge rules
A Baptist university in southeastern Kentucky should not receive $12 million in state funds to launch a new pharmacy school, a circuit court judge in that state has ruled.
Why I will not sign 'A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change'

Recently a number of conservative Southern Baptist leaders endorsed the document, “A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change,” which asserts: “We believe our current denominational engagement with [climate change] issues has often been too timid, failing to produce a unified moral voice.
Campuses struggle to 'consecrate' scenes of violence

Officials at Northern Illinois University (NIU) have spent the past two months comforting students and consoling families in the aftermath of a gunman’s Feb. 14 rampage that left five dead in an auditorium.
Noted scholar William Lane Craig to teach at IMPACT 360 campus

Nationally recognized scholar William Lane Craig will begin teaching a module at the innovative IMPACT 360 educational facility here.
Jonathan Merritt: In his own words

Jonathan Merritt didn’t think he would be setting off a denomination-wide controversy when he took his seminary professor at his word during a standard lecture.
Ellijay: apples, a thriving Baptist work, and the Elsie Gilliam Home

Do you want apples? Ellijay is the place to be during apple season. Go to the Panorama Farm Market on the 515 Bypass in Ellijay and you will find apple cider, fried apple pies, apple butter, and apple bread.
Planting the seeds of tomorrow... today

How blessed we are as Georgia Baptists to have the opportunity and blessing to touch the lives of families, especially children, with the love and message of Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries.
Extreme winter calls for quick response

Central Asia is suffering through its worst winter in at least 30 years, and Southern Baptists have moved to help isolated villages where people are in danger of starvation.
Spirited and Christ-like climate debate
SBC president addresses environmental debate

Recently, Southern Baptists’ attention has been focused on media reports which relate to the release of and the signing of a document titled A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change. Seldom have I seen such a reaction. Part of this has been slightly humorous.
A look at how the documents compare
Some individuals have confused the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) endorsed by the National Association of Evangelicals with Merritt’s Southern Baptist Environment & Climate Initiative.
Pastor apology gains media attention

A Georgia Baptist pastor who publicly apologized for Christianity’s harsh approach to reaching the unchurched gained widespread Atlanta media attention the Sunday after Easter.
Denominational leaders from both sides take a pro and con stance
40 years later, King's legacy back in focus

In 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus, Martin Luther King Jr., was a brand new pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.
Study: Spirituality a big part of kids' happiness

Spirituality is a major contributor to a child’s overall happiness – even more so than for adults – according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.
Professor says he found Ark of the Covenant - maybe

Brushing back a thick layer of dust, Tudor Parfitt revealed a distinctive interwoven pattern carved around the outside of the “terribly, terribly damaged” wooden artifact tucked away on the bottom shelf of a Zimbabwe warehouse.
How green is my building?
Eco-friendly changes in Southern Baptist buildings resulting in extra funds, leaders discover

Some Southern Baptists are discovering that changing a few light bulbs, installing low-flow toilets when old ones break, and planting more shrubbery actually saves them money in the long haul.
Seminary president lauds student's courage

Southeastern Seminary President Danny Akin is pleased with the environmental declaration that one of his seminary students crafted, along with others, from what the student learned in the classroom.
Georgia Disaster Relief volunteers help feed thousands at BeachReach 2008

The emails keep coming. Don Wood still gets them, and he enjoys every one of them.
Meet Jonathan Merritt
Perhaps the most discussed Southern Baptist seminary student

Georgia Newsbriefs

2008 Committee on Nominations named
Georgia Baptist Convention president Bucky Kennedy, pastor of First Baptist Vidalia, has announced the following persons as serving on the 2008 Committee on Nominations.
Charles Clark named new director of missions for Flint River Association
Charles Clark was unanimously elected Feb. 28 as the new director of missions for Flint River Association. He began his ministry March 30.
Retired ministers, missionaries, and spouses to be honored at luncheon
The Georgia Baptist Fellowship of Retired Ministers Luncheon will be held May 2 at the Missions and Ministry Center. Events are slated to begin at 11 a.m.

Baptist News Summary

Churches ease pain of flood victims
Southern Baptist churches served as shelters and volunteers helped residents clean up after major flooding in the Midwest left at least 17 dead and nearly half of Arkansas’ counties declared as disaster areas.
Mohler tumor clear of cancer
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, received good news March 24 from the results of his recent surgery: A tumor removed from his colon is not cancerous.
$270,000 gift to aid Union students
Scholarship America has made a $270,000 donation to Union University to help students with financial needs following the Feb. 5 tornado that did $40 million in damage to the Jackson, Tenn., campus.
NAMB's "Families on Mission" trips gaining popularity for summer
James and Cheri Tew and their children were “on mission” as a family even before the North American Mission Board turned their summers toward ministering to others.
Missouri Baptists to appeal judge's ruling in Windermere tussle
A Missouri judge has handed down a summary judgment in favor of Windermere Baptist Conference Center in a legal battle over who has the right to elect that organization’s trustees.
New resources broaden FAITH's outreach
Although FAITH has been a thriving evangelism strategy for 10 years, this year LifeWay is releasing new FAITH resources that are easier to use and more accessible to churches.
Resolutions Committee named for '08 SBC
SBC President Frank Page has named the members of the Resolutions Committee who will serve during the June 10-11 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Indianapolis.
Names in the News

Religious Newsbriefs

British court rejects Sharia marriage of mentally-challenged man to Bangladeshi woman
The English court of appeal has ruled that a marriage of a mentally challenged British man and a Bangladeshi woman, which was recognized in Bangladesh under Sharia law, is illegal.
Rabbis declare victory for kosher airline snacks
Six months after asking the eight major U.S. airlines to provide kosher food in flight, the Orthodox Union, the arm of Orthodox Jewish congregations in North America, has claimed success.
Indiana voters send second Muslim to Congress
Indianapolis voters on March 11 chose Andre Carson to fill a seat vacated by his late grandmother, making him the second Muslim ever elected to serve in Congress.
Kidnapped Christians forced to 'reconvert'
Hindu extremists in northern India’s Himachal Pradesh state kidnapped at least 60 Christian families in late February and pressured them to “reconvert” to Hinduism, despite a new law that prevents forced conversions.

People and Places

Ministerial Moves

Cooperative Program Stories

Top CP-giving churches named for 2007
The Cooperative Program is the Southern Baptist way of funding missions that makes it possible for every Baptist church member to be involved in changing lives for Christ. With more than 10,000 missionaries on the field in the United States and across the globe, every Southern Baptist is part of the task of reaching every person with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Bible Study

Exploring Perseverance

Gen. 26:1-3, 6, 12-22
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, April 20
Exploring Humility

Gen. 32:3, 6-12, 33:1-5, 9-11
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, April 27


'Can I go to heaven when I die, too?'

I was in Peru recently helping to train some national leaders. As always, I was so thankful to be able to travel to teach humble Christian workers like these students.
A call to good stewardship of Planet Earth

Last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave its fourth report on global warming and announced that warming is “unequivocal” and that the cause of rising temperatures, melting ice caps, and rising sea levels is “very likely” induced by human activity.
Prolonged depression requires active professional treatment

The Open Door

Having grown up in the home of a Southern Baptist pastor, I had a lot of great church experiences early in my life.


English-speaking international church seeks pastor

First Baptist Church Rota, a congregation located in Rota, Spain, which is near Seville, is in need of a pastor. The congregation is primarily English speaking, U.S. military and families along with a few Spanish residents.