SBC 2011 Annual Meeting Pre-Game Commentary

A Great Commission People with a Great Commandment Heart
SBC 2011 Theme

The Southern Baptist Convention will be holding their 2011 Annual Meeting down in Phoenix, Arizona, this time next week. And, I’m fortunate to be joining with three other messengers from the First Baptist Church of Provo to go down to this year’s meeting. I went to last year’s meeting in Orlando, Florida, and was excited by the acceptance of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force’s work. I am looking forward to the specific recommendations and actions that will come back from the Executive Committee this year concerning the task of realigning the Southern Baptist Convention and it’s priorities. And, Baptist Press has a healthy preview section already up and going for this year’s meeting. Read more

Comments on the Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 25:23

The Book of Mormon & The Holy Bible
The Book of Mormon & The Holy Bible - Courtesy of Casey Serin (sercasey) from Flickr

As I wrote about in “Two Months in LDS Central” in regards to my conversations with the LDS missionaries one of the texts they pointed me to in the Book of Mormon was 2 Nephi 25:23. This particular passage provided a great illustration of the differentiation between where I stand as an orthodox Christian and where the LDS church is coming from.
As a refresher here is what 2 Nephi 25:23 says:

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

Now this verse seems fairly innocuous, except that the last phrase seems odd in light of what the New Testament teaches concerning the role of God’s grace in salvation. My questions to the LDS missionaries and to some other LDS church members regarding this verse has been on the meaning of the phrase “after all we can do.” I received a few different answers. Read more

Two Months in LDS Central

LDS Church's Salt Lake Temple
LDS Church's Salt Lake Temple - Courtesy of dmott9 from Flickr

Back in March I moved from New Orleans, Louisiana, out to Provo, Utah, and since that time have been trying to take advantage of the fact that I now live in an environment where I am the peculiar person of faith. Evangelical Christianity and Baptists are a pronounced minority in this area and many of the brothers and sisters in Christ I have met out here testify to the hardship of living in the midst of such a strongly LDS (Mormon) culture. What I want to share and get some feedback on is how I’ve interacted with the LDS missionaries, coworkers and other individuals I have met since moving out here, and hopefully to offer some practical advice and encouragement to those who are living alongside me in this context, or any context where evangelical Christianity is not so dominant as it is in other parts of the United States. Read more