The 8th Annual Southern Baptist Founders YOUTH Conference convened June 27-July 1 in Panama City Beach, Florida. The theme was, “Discipleship: Who Are You Following?” Dr. Don Whitney spoke four times on the spiritual disciplines. Drawing from his book, The Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, he effectively encouraged young people to begin early in life the practices of Scripture meditation and prayer. His messages were wonderfully complemented by Mr. Jim Eliff of Christian Communicators Worldwide, who spoke evangelistically each night. Early indications are that several among the 350 attendees were converted. Next year’s camp is scheduled for the same venue June 12-16. For more information contact Bill Ascol at (318) 798-7088 or FAX (318) 798-7086.
The first ever Founders Fellowship Breakfast served up great encouragement to the 112 who attended prior to the beginning of the Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando. Due to rain damage, the original room which had been booked was unavailable. The room which was substituted was adequate, but did not allow for the sit-down breakfast which had been arranged. The continental buffet made it difficult to get everyone seated in a timely fashion and unfortunately detracted from some of the proceedings. Dr. Tom Nettles gave a wonderful exposition from 2 Tim. 1. He was followed by Dr. Timothy George who gave us 5 encouragements coupled with 5 warnings regarding what we see taking place in our convention. Plans are tentatively being made for a similar effort in Atlanta during next year’s SBC annual meeting.
Dr. Al Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is scheduled to preach the convention sermon at the gathering in Atlanta next year. 1995 marks the 150th anniversary of the SBC’s birth. Convention planners and organizers have been instructed to permeate all of the sessions with celebratory reminders of our heritage. How appropriate-and gracious of our Lord-that one who knows and loves our theological heritage will be preaching the keynote address! All who love the SBC and long to see her heritage recovered should pray for Dr. Mohler and make an effort to attend the 1995 convention.
On June 28, 1994 Mercer University Trustees voted to begin a School of Theology. It purportedly will be launched in the spirit of the original vision of Jesse Mercer, from whom the university took its name. One of the 10 “founding principles” of the school states that it, “should hold steadfastly to the high and defining traditions of Baptists, including the priesthood of believers, the separation of church and state, the autonomy of the local congregations as the context for mission and ministry, the centrality of Scripture to the life of faith, and the resolve that neither creeds nor human affirmations of faith should stand as tests of orthodoxy.” How would this rejection of all creeds and confessions of faith have sounded to Jesse Mercer himself, who was a convinced, decided evangelical Calvinist that was known to weep at the thought of his younger colleagues in the ministry entertaining “Arminian principles?” Two of the first professors at the university in its early days were John Dagg and P. H. Mell. Would they have recognized this rejection of doctrinal definition as a return to the “founding purposes” of Mercer University?