Willis, Hunt jump in crowded field vying for SBC presidency

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (ABP)—A crowded field of hopefuls for the Southern Baptist Convention presidency appears to be developing, with two high-profile candidates set to join three already-announced nominees.

Duo encounters bugs, mud, ‘mixed-up beliefs’ in Amazon Basin

A boy peers around the corner of his house in the Amazon Basin.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP)—Pat Townsend admits she’s living outside her comfort zone. Between the bugs, mud and freezing showers, Townsend, a missionary with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board’s Masters Program, admits it could take her awhile to adjust to life in and around the Amazon Basin of South America.

Amazon people groups remain unreached

A metal boat carrying Southern Baptist missionaries cruises up river to a remote village in the Amazon Basin. (Photo/IMB)
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) —Weary travelers stand alongside a river somewhere in South America’s Amazon Basin.

After three hours of trying to maneuver upstream by motorboat to a remote village, Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionaries grudgingly accept the realization that the day’s journey has ended.

Shallow waters, exposed rocks, tree limbs and a rough current that nearly capsized the boat won’t allow them to go any farther.

Score a victory for the Amazon.

Baptist Briefs: ABP honors BGCT

Directors of Associated Baptist Press honored the Baptist General Convention of Texas and announced a $100,000 matching-funds challenge from a Texas Baptist family during a meeting in San Antonio. The BGCT has long been one of the major financial supporters of the independent Baptist news service. Executive Editor Greg Warner announced a $100,000 matching-funds challenge from the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation. The foundation has promised to match all individual donations to the news service, up to $100,000, until the end of 2008. John and Eula Mae Baugh’s granddaughter, Jackie Moore of San Antonio, serves as an ABP director and on the Baugh Foundation board.

Baby Boomer Baptist theologians tilt toward Calvinism

BROWNWOOD—Among Baptist Baby Boomer theologians, at least half of the major authors are committed to Calvinism, an influential Baptist theologian of an earlier generation has noted.

James Leo Garrett Jr., emeritus distinguished professor of theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, examined 10 Baptist theologians of the Baby Boomer generation during a plenary address at Howard Payne University’s Christian doctrines colloquy in Brownwood.

TULIP: The Doctrines held by Calvinists

Theologians past and present have used a bouquet of initials and analogies to describe Calvinist doctrine.

Historically, the Reformed Synod of Dort in the Netherlands delineated the differences between Calvinism and the teachings of James Jacobus Arminius. For the sake of simplicity—and playing on an association with the best-known Dutch flower—those teachings have been summarized through the TULIP acrostic.

Calvinism: Tiptoe through the TULIP

Can Calvinist and non-Calvinist Baptists work together?
It depends, some advocates of Reformed theology say, on whether Christians on both sides are willing to tiptoe through the TULIP–the acrostic for five doctrinal points that set apart Calvinists.

Court dismisses Baptist church-state case

WASHINGTON (RNS)—A federal court has dismissed a 10-year-old legal challenge brought by Kentucky taxpayers who questioned government funding of a Baptist social service agency.

The case involving Sunrise Children’s Services, formerly known as Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children, initially centered on the dismissal of Alicia Pedreira, who the agency learned was a lesbian. In 2001, a federal judge in Louisville, Ky., dismissed her claims of religious discrimination.

Missouri Baptist groups agree to peace committee

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (ABP)—Seven members of rival groups in the Missouri Baptist Convention will go to mediation in an effort to bring about peace within the battle-torn statewide group.

The Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Board voted to create a peace committee that will submit to Christian mediation.

Richmond seminary budget shortfall leads to faculty layoffs

RICHMOND, Va. (ABP)—Faced with “worrisome” financial challenges, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond will downsize its faculty and staff, the school’s president announced.

Four full-time professors and at least three administrative staff members will be let go in an effort to reduce costs, said seminary President Ron Crawford, who was elected to his position about a year ago.
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