1996 SBFC Midwest Report
The first gathering of the Southern Baptist Founders Conference Midwest left participants and organizers very encouraged with a sense of obvious blessing from above. The conference convened March 5-7 in St. Louis, MO under theme of “Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God.” More than fifty registered for the conference several sessions were joined by numerous visitors. Between excellent speakers (including Tom Nettles, R. F. Gates, and Don Whitney) and good book buys, participants shared fellowship and encouragement about the deep truths of the Word of God.
Next year’s Midwest conference has been scheduled to convene at the same location March 11-13. The theme will be “Revival & Reformation.” All ministers and interested church members are welcome. For more information contact:
Curtis McClain, Committee Chairman
8454 Engler Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63114
Chuck Todd, Conference Treasurer
313 S. East St.
Pinckneyville, IL 62274
1996 Founders Conference Southwest Announcement
The Southwest Regional Founders Conference is scheduled to meet once again outside of Lubbock, TX in First Baptist Church of Roosevelt October 1-3. The theme is “The Life and Labor of the Christian Pastor.” Among the speakers are Tom Nettles of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Don Whitney of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For more information contact:
Rusty Canoy, Committee Chairman
Rt. 1 Box 398
Lubbock, TX 79401
Founders Journal Wins Award
Ministry Computing Resources, publishers of Desktop Publishing and New Media Resources, has recognized the Founders Journal with their Award of Merit for “outstanding work in Desktop publishing” for 1995. Evaluations were made on the basis of design, content, writing and production.
Pollster Calls Modern Christianity “Shallow”
George Barna, the data gathering guru of the information age, has statistically verified that which some evangelicals have been claiming for years (see FJs 5, 10, & 19/20): the content and results of much that goes under the name of “evangelism” today are severely damaging our churches. “Christians don’t understand the fundamentals of the faith,” Barna told those attending a seminar on Nashville, TN on Feb. 19. “Christianity is so shallow there’s not depth to build on.” Citing research that shows that 58% of American adults cannot name half of the Ten Commandments, the pollster warned that in the next ten years Americans may well see “massive moral anarchy take over our country.”
Another disturbing fact which he has discovered is that a majority of people who “make decisions” to be come Christians have dropped out of church participation within six to eight weeks. “We lose them not temporarily but eternally. They think they got it already. We’ve given them the false impression that they’ve got it together spiritually.”
If this information is even considered by evangelicals, and if the response is true to form, then we may expect to hear much about the need to “do better followup” in order to rectify this problem. Somewhere, somehow, however, Christian leaders must begin to move beyond this standard, superficial prescription for dealing with our massive number of “converts” who do not persevere even two months. Could it be that the problem is not with followup but with the content and methodology of our evangelism?
If the majority of automobiles which General Motors produced did not run after six weeks, do you think that their executives could get away with blaming it on poor maintenance? No doubt those responsible for design and production would be forced to reexamine their whole method of operation based on the fundamental principles of engineering. How much more willing, then, should those be whose responsibility it is to care, not for cars but for souls, to reexamine our evangelistic practice in the light of God’s Word! We must do so. For, as Barna rightly observes, the current practice is a travesty for which leaders of the modern church will face God’s judgment.
Theology Still Matters
At least it does to a group of Baptist pastors in New England. For the last two years they have met quarterly as the “Theology Still Matters” fraternal. Their day-long meetings are divided between studying systematic theology (currently using James P. Boyce’s and John L. Dagg’s works), pastoral theology (using Richard Baxter’s The Reformed Pastor), and contemporary issues. In June of this year they plan to host a special conference with special guest speaker, Richard Belcher from Columbia Bible College and Seminary. For more information contact Pat Leahy by phone at 203/468-6030.
Founders Journal On-Line
For those who are “well-connected” the Founders Journal has recently establilshed a home page on the World Wide Web. [I suppose if you’re reading this, you already know! -sjr] The online version of the Journal has received over 1700 “hits” by the last week of May. The complete edition of Issues 19-23 are now available, and back issues are being added as time allows. The web site address is http://www.founders.org, so visit us sometime soon! Stan Reeves is the webmaster and graphic design editor for the online version.