Friday, April 20, 2007

A Few New Baptist Links

Here are a couple of great Baptist links I have come across recently. If you haven't visited them, they are definitely worth a visit!

The Center for Baptist Studies - The Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer University sponsors and encourages the scholarly study of Baptists through instruction, emphasizes Baptists’ ecumenical relationships to the entire Body of Christ, and interprets issues and trends in contemporary Baptist life and American culture. This site has something for everyone: sermon ideas for pastors, ideas for Sunday school and Wednesday nights, news on issues facing Baptists, and even a certificate program in Baptist studies!
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Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant - I am really excited about this effort to provide a new Baptist voice in America that is authentically Baptist. I am hoping that Gay and I can put the funding together to attend the meeting in January 2008. The speakers will include Jimmy Carter and Bill Moyers!

The New Baptist Covenant traces its roots to April 10, 2006, when former U.S. President and prominent Baptist layman Jimmy Carter and Mercer University President Bill Underwood convened at The Carter Center in Atlanta a group of 18 Baptist leaders representing more than 20 million Baptists across North America.

The leaders were unanimous in their desire to transcend their differences -- including such factors as race, culture, geography and convention affiliation -- and seek common purpose.

Baptist Leaders at Jan. 9, 2007, news conference at Carter Center in Atlanta.The outcome of the meeting was a document called A North American Baptist Covenant and preliminary plans to hold a major gathering of Baptists from throughout North America in 2008. The leaders of these organizations affirmed their desire to speak and work together to create an authentic and genuine prophetic Baptist voice in these complex times. They reaffirmed their commitment to traditional Baptist values, including sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and its implications for public and private morality. They specifically committed themselves to their obligation as Christians to promote peace with justice, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick and the marginalized, welcome the strangers among us, and promote religious liberty and respect for religious diversity.

A followup meeting attended by 80 representatives of more than 30 Baptist organizations was held on January 9, 2007, at The Carter Center. The core group of those who gathered were representatives of organizations that are members of the North American Baptist Fellowship (NABF), a regional affiliate of the Baptist World Alliance. . At the conclusion of the meeting, the representatives announced plans to hold a convocation in Atlanta on January 30-February 1, 2008.

The theme of this historic gathering will be Unity in Christ. The Biblical basis for the meeting is Jesus’ reading of scripture in the Synagogue as recorded in Luke 4: 18-19. In these verses, Jesus reads from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim the release of the captives, and the recovering of sight of the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” This call by Jesus to pursue both evangelism and ministry to “the least of these” is the Biblical foundation for the New Baptist Covenant.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

Gil,

My only question for you to consider is this:

Considering the recent reported comments of Jimmy Carter to Newsweek and Rabbi Michael Lerner, comments which sound as pluralistic as Wake Forest's own Charles Kimball, can the former President head-up legitimately a Baptist movement purporting to offer a new prophetic voice, present an authentic Baptist witness, and uphold TRADITIONAL Baptist values?

If the exclusivity of Christ to save is a traditional Baptist value and a key point of an authentic Baptist witness, then I think not.

Carter wouldn't be qualified to teach Sunday School in most Baptist churches. I would consider long and hard the wisdom of identifying with a "new Baptist" movement he's heading up.