"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Forty Important Days Ahead for Me

November 15, 2006 marks the one year anniversary of the IMB Board of Trustees adoption of the new policies on a private prayer language and baptism.

December 6, 2006 marks the one year anniversary of the beginning of this blog.

For the next forty days, until December 6, 2006 I will be taking a sabbatical from blogging. Tomorrow, Sunday, October 29, 2006 will be my last major post until December 6, 2006.

Three important things are on the horizon in the next forty days for me:

(1). Tomorrow's post entitled "A Statement of Cooperation for the Southern Baptist Convention" expresses hope for the future of missions and ministry cooperation in the SBC.

The post will represent a small attempt to offer a constructive document that helps initiate the conversation on how we can keep our collective focus and excitement on the gospel of Jesus Christ as we cooperate together in Southern Baptist kingdom ministry. Rather than getting bogged down in theological minutiae, the "Statement of Cooperation" will help us join hands around our affirmation of the essentials of the Christian faith and Baptist identity. The Statement of Cooperation will list five basic articles necessary for Southern Baptist cooperation.

I am indebted to Dr. Michael Bird New Testament Lecturer, Highland Theological College,Scotland, United Kingdom, and Joel Willitts, Assistant Professor of New Testament at North Park University in Chicago, and to their soon to be published manifesto Solum Evangelium: Renewing Evangelicalism with the Evangel. These two like-minded, theologically conservative inerrantists desire to see a revival among all evangelicals, but recognize that cooperation around the essentials must first begin within respective denominations before there can ever be a revival in the evangelical world as a whole.

They have graciously dialogued with me to help articulate the importance that conservative Southern Baptists will, as Carl Henry says, 'major on the majors.' With their permission the "Statement of Cooperation" will be built upon some of the concepts formulated by these two Baptist scholars in their manifesto.

(2). On December 5th, 2006, there will be a Baptist pastors and Christian leaders roundtable discussion held at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, Rev. Dwight McKissic, Pastor.

Topics to be covered at the roundtable are as follows:

(a). There will be an announcement regarding the dates, time, place, speakers, and topics for the Baptist Conference on the Holy Spirit to be held in April of 2007.
(b). There will be an exploration of the possible formation of a Sandy Creek – Charlestonian Baptist Fellowship open to all Baptists for the specific purpose of assisting Southern Baptist church planters and missionaries who are conservative inerrantists but are now excluded from participation in Southern Baptist missions and ministry.
(c). Discuss and dialogue how the SBC can return to her historic openness to all Baptists and address contemporary issues in Baptist life, identify solutions, and develop action plans for the future.

If you would like to be a part of this Christian leaders and pastors Roundtable on Tuesday, December 5, 2006 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (lunch will be provided), please RSVP at (817)468.0083. All are welcome.

(3). During the next forty days I will be focusing on two key events for me personally.

I plan on concluding the manuscript for my next book entitled "The Gospel According to Jonah: What To Do When You Feel A Million Miles Away from God." The chapters are done, but the transitional portions of the book and the final edits have not yet been completed.

In addition, I will be traveling overseas to dedicate the new construction at our orphange in India. Our church member, Sister Josna, does a phenominal job caring for over 1,000 children who will impact the nation of India in the years to come because of their Christian upbringing in our orphanage. I will also be spending some time with our IMB personnel in the region.

I reserve the right to blog again during this time period if the Lord impresses me to do so, but I anticipate enjoying the next forty days apart from blogging.

I close by thanking all of you who have made this past year and the over 300 posts a very eventful year in my life. Tomorrow's post is only a beginning for the dialogue, and my prayer is that it will lead to profitable and edifying discussion among all who participate.

In His Grace,


Wade

32 comments:

Todd Nelson said...

Wade,

I wish they weren't necessary, but what encouraging developments you've announced! -- the roundtable, the conference on the Holy Spirit, and the possible forming of a fellowship of cooperative but excluded Baptists. (It's so sad, but so much a part of our Baptist history, huh? We can hope the new fellowship won't be necessary.)

I look forward to your statement on cooperation. God grant you continued wisdom and grace.

Have an enjoyable and profitable time away from blogging!

Todd

irreverend fox said...

Wade,

you will be in our prayers.

will this statement of cooperation be introduced at the sbc for any kind of official affirmation (or rejection)?

I hope so.


Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be on you during this time.

Wade Burleson said...

Fox,

It's a little too early to speculate, but obviously that would be one possible course of action.

martyduren said...

Dang, you beat me to the punch. December is my 31 days of "blog fasting."

I hope it accomplishes for you what I anticipate for myself.

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
1. Will your present blog stay available for reading?
2. Can any new comments other than yours, be added if it is available?
3. If new comments are added, will they be ‘screened’ by you?
Rex Ray

Roger Simpson said...

Wade:

I've learned a lot "evesdropping" on your journey during the last eight months.

Being a Christian and trying to be conformed to His service is definately an "E ticket" ride.

Will you check in with us some time in January?

Baptist Theologue said...

Wade, you said,

"There will be an exploration of the possible formation of a Sandy Creek – Charlestonian Baptist Fellowship open to all Baptists for the specific purpose of assisting Southern Baptist church planters and missionaries who are conservative inerrantists but are now excluded from participation in Southern Baptist missions and ministry."

Do you forsee this group as being like the CBF was at its beginning, a place for Southern Baptists disaffected with the current convention leadership and policies? Will the group compete with the IMB and NAMB for mission dollars?

Wade Burleson said...

Baptist Theologue,

No. We are Southern Baptist conservatives who are not angry :) and wish to work with all our conservative brothers, including Fundamentalists.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

(1). Yes
(2). Yes
(3). Yes

Wade Burleson said...

We shall tag team Martin "How U" Duren :).

I'm glad I'm first.

Wade

CharismaticChaos said...

For those interested. C.J. Mahaney, a reformed charismatic, preached at Southern's Chapel twice this week.

Hillarious! I love when he picks at Mohler.

I wonder if Paige Patterson will invite him.

I love CJ.

http://theologica.blogspot.com/

Kevin Bussey said...

40 Days of Blogging? Was that written by Rick Warren?

Blessings to you.

Wade Burleson said...

Mike and Mr. Theologue,

Our church gives over $115,000 to the Cooperative Program. We give additional funds through our World Missions Fund to the Lottie Moon offering. I will continue to represent my church and other CP churches as a trustee of the IMB and look forward to continued service. Appointment to committees of the IMB is at the pleasure of the Chairman of the Board. The opportunity to serve as a trustee is at the pleasure of the SBC messengers.

We have six IMB career missionaries that are missionaries in our church on three different continents, not to mention several journeyman.

We will continue to support the IMB, and I will continue to serve as a trustee of the IMB at the pleasure of our convention.

However, we also have other members of our church that are not qualifed to serve with the IMB because of a private prayer language and the fact that their baptism has been deemed unacceptable (they were baptized after coming to faith in Christ, by immersion, in a river by the person who led them to Christ --- we accept the baptism as a church, the IMB does not).

We support these church members who are missionaries in India and Africa to the tune of over $100,000a year. These funds are in addition to our CP contributions and Lottie Moon contributions.

Southern Baptist churches are free to do both direct missions and cooperative missions.

We do not need a new 'missions agency' to be created. We are Southern Baptists. However, an alternative funding mechanism that provides an opportunity for God-called, missionaries from our churches who don't qualify with the IMB or NAMB because of new policies is in the interest of some.

Obviously, we would not recommend any cut in giving to the CP, as we don't plan to do. In fact, we would like to increase it.

In addition, you both need to realize there is simply a call for dialogue on these matters, no concrete plans.

Hope that answers your questions.


Wade

CB Scott said...

Wade,

I wish you could take in an Alabama game during your time away. You can not imagine what a real football game does for the blood flow to the heart.

I wish all Baptist preachers from Oklahoma, Texas (especially Texas)Arkansas, Georgia and Louisiana could see the great Tide "Roll" in Tuscaloosa on a cool Autumn Saturday. It would put "spark" in many Sunday pulpits:-)

Seriously, have some good days with the family and friends.

cb

Anonymous said...

Halleluiah. May your 40 days turn into 40 years.

Wade Burleson said...

That's funny.

I appreciate a man with a sense of humor.

:)

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

By the way Mr. Anonymous,

Unless you are a Frenchman the word is 'hallelujah.'

:)

CB Scott said...

Anony,

May you, within the next forty years, become man enough to sign your name.

cb scott, 3125 Cherry Lane Birmingham, AL 35224

IMBLITS said...

My church has become a MMP church instead of just a SBC affiliated church. The initials stand for "multiple missions partners." We have done this for the very reasons that you cited for supporting mission work other than or in addition to, IMB and NAMB. We do find that the more we do this, the easier it becomes to think of SBC missions as "no longer our our first priority." We feel as if we have been forced, by decisions that we did not make and do not agree with, to formulate our own plan. It works for us.

Kevin Bussey said...

CB is 100% correct about Bryant-Denny on a Saturday afternoon!

I grew up there and there is nothing better than a Rammer-Jammer Yellow Hammer!

Roll Tide!

Wade Burleson said...

imblits,

Obviously I would encourage your church and other churches to give as much as possible to the IMB.

I am doing all I can to insure people from your church and likeminded churches like yours are represented on the Board of Trustees.

Les Puryear said...

Wade,

I pray for traveling mercies for you and your party. The blogosphere won't be as much fun while you're gone.

Grace and peace to you.

Les

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

I checked Emmanuel's site and could not find the answer: where, in India, is the orphanage?

Paul said...

Wade,

I'm sure you know this, but Bird and Willitts co-blog together at Euangelion. It's a great read, especially for those who are interested in some good theological thinking.

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
One day, my uncle turned around to see who said, “Go to Ector”, but no one was there. He asked his wife if they needed anything in Ector. Ector was a town three miles away with one grocery store.
She said, “No”, but he hitched his horses to the wagon and went.

In Ector, there was a poor man who stole hay ever now and then from my father for his milk cow. My father never mentioned it as times were hard during the depression. Everyone knew the man was not a Christian.
At the store, my uncle heard this man was on his death bed. He rushed to ask him to accept Jesus. The man said, “I don’t know how.”
He took my uncle’s hand and repeated the sinners’ prayer. He yelled for his wife and told her, “I’ve got to haul some hay.”
She said, “You old fool, you’re in no shape to haul hay!”
But he had a smile from ear to ear. He died three days later.

Wade, whether there’s a call to go to Ector or India, God’s voice is still in this world. God bless you in your work.
Rex Ray

Kevin Holmes (and still baptist by conviction) said...

CB

I think your brothers and sisters in Arkansas did get to see the Alabama Tide roll this year.

Kevin Holmes (and still baptist by conviction) said...

Wade,

Grace, peace, and truth to you brother. May God continue to bless and enrich you spiritually. May He continue to use you as a voice of reconciliation.

I'll see you at Cornerstone.

Todd said...

The December 5th discussion is one of the most encouraging things I have heard of in a long time. I like the basic statement of faith with a committment to preserve soul freedom and local church autonomy but joined with a committment to a high view of the Bible.

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
Let’s see—you said, “I have received probably 100 comments favorable for a statement of cooperation…there have been 4 that could be considered critical of it including the 2 that focused on Ron’s comment—for the sake of keeping the focus on the issue at hand I am closing the comment section.”

Well, well, well—what kind of truth and grace is that? Should Ron’s comment be deleted because two people didn’t like it? He wrote what he thought was the truth. Let’s hear what these two guys say. I thought discussion was the basis for your blog. To shut the post down is what Hitler did to newspapers.

Wade, a few times you have disappointed me, but this is the first time I’m angry. You say you want to change the SBC, but you’re not going to do it with your tail between your legs.
Rex Ray

T. D. Webb said...

Wade, this Okie wishes you a wonderful 40 days! May our gracious Lord richly bless you and yours in all things. . .and, have a blessed Reformation Day!

In His Grace and Peace,

Tom

Will said...

Godspeed!

gmay said...

Wade,
Open dialogue has been a much needed phenomenon in SBC life for many years. I look forward to the day that it reoccurs in BGCT life as well. After reading your post on Mckissic, I reread one of your posts from August. In that post you agreed to confront anyone tearing down the character of another. The blogging craze is yet to find its ethical boundaries and I know your commitment and boldness will help us find the borders. I trust that your commitment includes fellow bloggers including those who are assisting you in this endeavor as well as those you have already found reason to rebuke.