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,