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Mar 11, 2008

People and Places in the Southern Baptist Convention

Recently, I inadvertently said good things about Pentecostals and Presbyterians, so let me atone by sharing a few SBC updates:

Junior Hill

One of the things I love about my job is the chance to meet with and learn from great men and women of God. One such person is Junior Hill.

I had dinner with Dr. Hill in Orlando last week. We talked about the gospel, evangelism, Calvinism, the emerging church, and the diet that helped him lose an amazing 125 pounds.

My favorite moments came when he told the stories of men and women he had led to Christ. My guess is that tens of thousands have trusted Christ at a meeting preached by Junior Hill. I was honored to spend time with a man of his character and passion.

Rob Zinn Speaks to Southern Baptists

Rob Zinn, well known leader in SBC life and former head of the SBC Executive Committee, joins a chorus of voices calling for cooperation around God's mission. We both spoke to the Oklahoma Missional Ministry Summit in Moore, OK.

While there, Rob said to the attendees:

We got into this big battle in 1979 over the Bible. But I'm here to tell you, we won that battle! What we need to do is get on with the rest of life. We need to quit fighting a battle that's been won and get back to doing the main thing; which is the main thing, and that's winning people to Jesus, evangelizing the world, and starting missions and going out and doing what God told us to do. That's what we NEED to be doing! When there's a battle to be won, then we ought to get together. But folks, when the battle is over, then we need to quit beating people over the head with it and get down to the basics of ministry. And the basics of ministry is not politics, it's JESUS!

Comeback Churches

The Kentucky Baptist Convention is turning our book, Comeback Churches, into a process. Should be interesting...

Johnny Hunt

I had some time with Johnny Hunt this morning who is increasingly concerned with our denomination's lack of focus. He shared with me: "We can get 45,000 people to a convention to declare the Bible is true but we can't get 10,000 to a convention to live it out--we have lost our focus on the main thing."

If you have not yet signed up, let me encourage you to come with Johnny, me, and a host of other people at his Bonfire Conference. We talked a bit about the conference and its focus. We are going to talk much about church transformation and revitalization. It will definitely be worth your time.

John 3:16 Conference

Speaking of Johnny Hunt, his church (First Baptist Church of Woodstock) is hosting a conference with some of the great preachers of our day.

My friend Steve Lemke sent me this note today. As Steve has indicated, there has been some buzz about this in the blogs. Steve gave me permission to post his note that gives some more details about the meeting.

Steve explains:

Ed,

I'm sure you're aware of my involvement in the upcoming John 3:16 conference scheduled November 6-7 at FBC Woodstock.

The conference will begin and end with sermons on John 3:16 by Dr. Jerry Vines and by Dr. Charles Stanley. In between, Southern Baptist scholars will be presenting a Biblical response to the well-known tenets of the Presbyterian Synod of Dort:

• Total Depravity - Dr. Paige Patterson (SWBTS)

• Unconditional Election - Dr. Richard Land (ERLC)

• Limited Atonement - Dr. David Allen (SWBTS)

• Irresistible Grace - Dr. Steve Lemke (NOBTS)

• Perseverance of the Saints - Dr. Ken Keathley (SEBTS)

This conference is intended as a majoritarian Southern Baptist response to the "Building Bridges" and "Together for the Gospel" conferences. The announcement of this conference has already provoked considerable buzz and speculation in the blogosphere.

Hope you'll join us!

Steve Lemke

I can't go, but there are some good men sharing and I trust it will bring honor to God and a focus on the Great Commission.

That is something upon which we can all agree.

Heading Home

I just finished preaching at the Southern Baptists Conservatives of Virginia Evangelism Conference (tonight) and the State Convention of Baptists Evangelism Conference (yesterday), so now I am on my way home.

I must confess. I do love encouraging SBC pastors to engage their communities for the gospel. It is good to be around the family with common values, passions, and an abiding love for fried chicken.

Are we perfect? No. But, I believe that the SBC is increasingly more focused on God's global mission and cooperating more effectively. That is good news.

I am trusting that I made much of the cross and Jesus in my message tonight. That's my passion and, I hope, our purpose.

Related Topics:Southern Baptists
Posted:March 11, 2008 at 12:00 am

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People and Places in the Southern Baptist Convention