Monthly Archives: June 2007

Southwestern’s Concentration in HomeMaking Discussed on “Crosstalk”

This morning I listened to a broadcast discussing Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s concentration in Homemaking. I encourage you to let it play in the background while you are working today. With many in our culture making fun of women who desire to focus on the home, this program was a breath of fresh air. You can access the program here.

The concentration at Southwestern combines a classical education in the history of ideas with training in how to keep a proper home. The biblical basis for the concentration is Titus 2

Titus 2:1-8 itus 2:1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. 6 Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

The following information came from the Seminary’s website.

The College at Southwestern
Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with a concentration in homemaking

The College at Southwestern endeavors to prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly woman as outlined in Scripture. This is accomplished through instruction in homemaking skills, developing insights into home and family while continuing to equip women to understand and engage the culture of today.

The BA in Humanities with a concentration in homemaking provides a solid foundation for life. The woman who completes this degree and concentration will be:

  • Prepared spiritually – Through significant study of Scripture and theology, each woman will be prepared to be an evangelist and apologist focused upon reaching women, children and families for Christ.
  • Challenged intellectually – Intensive instruction in the history of Western ideas will challenge each woman to be familiar with the influential people of our past and to give a response from a biblical worldview.
  • Equipped practically–With four areas of focus, the homemaking concentration student will be equipped 
  • To nurture and care for the family.
  • In the area of nutrition and food preparation.
  • By developing a skill in clothing and textile design.
  • Through practical experiences for skill development for the most important job a woman may have: the nurture and care of the family.
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Ten Things I Believe: Number 10: Adoption

korea-gotcha-day-037.jpgI believe in the adoption of unwanted children. I recently read an article on CNN.com titled “Gay Adoption: A New Take on the American Family.” My heart broke as I realized two truths. First, the gay community may be more active in adoption than the Baptist community. The story says that 65,000 adopted children are being raised by same-sex parents in America. In addition, “more than 14,100 foster children were living with one or more gay or lesbian foster parent.” I believe that Baptists should continue to encourage women not to abort babies, but as a necessary corollary, we must willingly adopt children resulting from unwanted pregnancy. I believe Baptists must willingly provide foster homes for children who need them. 

I also realized that we will soon have a generation who does not understand family in the same way I do. The idea of one mother and one father demonstrating proper roles in a godly home seems to be vanishing. We must recognize that modeling, teaching, and preaching on the proper home life will be increasingly important as the fabric of the godly family continues to unravel. I pray for those children reared in homes where the Bible is never read, where prayer only occurs at the dinner table (if even then), and where mommy or daddy is absent. I pray for those children who never experience the joy of family devotions; those children who never sing “This Little Light of Mine” or the “B-I-B-L-E.” I pray for our churches and our nation as the increasing practices of abortion and homosexuality affect the ministry to the next generation. Although individually we cannot cure the ills of our society, a commitment to adoption by the Baptist community would help show the light of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying generation. I also believe a commitment to adoption is biblical.

The theological principle of adoption became clearer to me the day the adoption of my daughter was finalized. (You can read the story of how God provided here.)The judge made sure I understood one point. He asked me, “Do you realize that after today she is yours until she turns 18?” “Do you realize that you cannot give her up? This is final.” My response was, “Yes, isn’t that the idea of adoption?” He responded that he just wanted to make sure I understood. This experience has given me a clearer understanding of what it means to be adopted by God through Jesus Christ. When I look at my little girl and feel the love rush through my heart, I can’t help but be broken at how much God loves you and me. 

When I think of how God sent Jesus Christ to die for my sin while I was yet a sinner so that I might be adopted as a son by the creator of the universe, I can’t help but be for adoption. I hope you too will consider adoption or providing a foster home for unwanted children.

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My First Series: Ten Things I Believe

One of the Devil’s sneakiest traps in life is to encourage us to criticize one another and to speak negatively more than we speak positively. I recognize this impulse in the depravity of my own heart. When individuals speak badly of another person a twisted emotion arises within me that enjoys hearing of the demise followed by a sense of pride that I can do better than that. My sinfulness demonstrates that “Misery loves Company” and anyone worse off than me makes me feel better about myself.  I also find it easier to be against something than to be for something. As I try not to fall into that trap, I plan to begin a series on “Ten Things I Believe.” I believe these ten items are important, and I would be willing to stand for them. I hope that this encourages you to contemplate your own list of ten things.

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One Sacred Effort and the Executive Committee

 one-sacred-effort.jpg

I have already taught one class this summer, and I am preparing for two more classes this coming fall. During my preparation for classes which includes updating my notes, I rewrite my syllabi, read new books on the subject, and review some books that I have previously read. Usually reviewing these books amounts to going back through the highlights and marked sections. One such book that I recently went through for a review is worthy of reading by every Southern Baptist. The title of the book is One Sacred Effort. The book was published in 2005 and is written by Chad Brand and David Hankins with a forward by Morris Chapman.

While there are many interesting portions of this book, one of the most interesting in my opinion is the discussion of the formation of the Executive Committee. Although many do not realize it, the convention almost went with a strong executive board. However, the Southern Baptist Convention decided against it. Here is an excerpt from the book on page 147.

In 1916, one year after the Efficiency commission’s recommendations, a constitutional amendment was proposed that would create “one strong Executive Board which shall direct all the work and enterprises fostered by this Convention.” A “Consolidation Committee” was named which reported to the 1917 Southern Baptist Convention. The report did not recommend the original idea to consolidate all boards (although a substitute motion to that effect was offered, hotly debated, and, then, defeated). What it did recommend was a compromise between those who believed “consolidation” was best for the Convention and those who wanted to maintain “separate and distinct boards.”  

After being initially started with pastoral and lay leaders in 1917, the Executive Committee was incorporated with paid staff in 1927. It’s hard to imagine that from 1845 until 1927 the Southern Baptist Convention operated with no Executive Committee.  One page over, 148, the book discusses the name “Executive Committee.”

The Executive Committee’s name has some significance. When it was organized, the concerns about centralized power caused the Convention to call it a committee and not a board. Many Baptist state conventions have an executive board that has broad centralized authority. The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention is much more limited in its authority. Therefore, though they are legally the “trustees” of the Executive Committee, a Tennessee not-for-profit corporation, Executive Committee trustees are called “members” because the Executive Committee is a committee and not a board. The Executive Committee is always careful to recognize the limitations of its authority in the SBC structure.

There you have it. The name, purpose, and limitations of the Executive Committee have all been discussed in our history. I continue to be fascinated by the discussions contained in the pages of history and the wisdom of our Baptist forefathers in setting up a Committee and not a Board preventing centralized power and relying on the wisdom and desires of our local churches for guiding our convention.    

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Private Talks with God lead Priest to go Muslim but Remain Christian

Read the entire story here 

Part of the story says, “She can’t explain why that led her to become a Muslim, but says “when God gives you an invitation, you don’t turn it down.” She read up on Islam and made her profession of faith – the shahada – in March 2006, testifying there is only one god, Allah, and that Mohammad is his messenger. The Muslim requirement of praying five times daily has given her the deep connection to God she yearned for, she says. When she prays on other occasions, her prayers are neither uniquely Islamic nor Christian but private talks with Allah or God, names she uses interchangeably. “It’s the same person, praying to the same God,” she contends.”

This story should remind us that syncretism does exist in our society. We must at all times be on guard against views which lead to a total loss of the Gospel message. One of these would be to confuse Allah (the god of the Muslim faith) with the God of Christianity.  

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