Baptist Briefs: Former Attorney General Bell dies

Former Attorney General Bell dies. Griffin Bell, U.S. attorney general during President Carter’s administration and a longtime benefactor of Mercer University, died Jan. 5.

Robert Handy, Baptist historian, seminary professor, dies

Robert Handy, who studied under legendary Christian scholars like Paul Tillich before becoming a prominent Baptist historian in his own right, died at a retirement community in West Caldwell, N.J., Jan. 8. He was 90.

Scholars disagree on Anabaptist, Baptist connection

While much writing about Baptist history in the 20th century focused on what distinguishes Baptists from other Christians, a group of contemporary scholars believes the Baptist movement now needs to reconnect to its ecumenical roots.

Who founded the Baptist movement– John Smyth or John the Baptist?

Baptists who celebrate the 400th birthday of their denomination in 2009 miss the mark by about 1600 years, Landmark Baptists insist.

Baptists celebrate past with an eye to the future

In 400 years, the Baptist movement has grown to 200,000 churches with more than 50 million members in countries around the world. But the largest Baptist group in the United States—the Southern Baptist Convention—has reported declining membership.

Baptist influence on history of U.S., world a mixed bag, historians say

Baptists’ signal contribution to American and world history and political thought, historians almost unanimously agree, is their uncompromising emphasis on religious liberty.

Historians debate reasons for rise of Landmarkism in 19th century

All Landmark Baptists believe in church succession, at least to some degree, but not every Baptist holding that position is—or was—a Landmarker, according to Alan Lefever, director of the Texas Baptist Historical Collection.

Baptist history a continuing search for the New Testament church

Baylor professor Doug Weaver believes a common thread has run throughout Baptist history—the desire to replicate the New Testament model of the church.

Historians trace Baptist beginnings back 400 years

Most church historians agree Baptists emerged as a distinct movement 400 years ago.

Baptist World Alliance responds to Muslim letter

The Baptist World Alliance has issued its formal response to a 2007 letter, written to Christians by 138 Muslim leaders, describing love for God and love for neighbor as common ground between the two faiths.

Billy Graham joins South Carolina church

The best-known nonresident member of First Baptist Church in Dallas has moved his membership. Evangelist Billy Graham has joined First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C.

Tebow's football awards anchored by faith

TebowUPDATED--Tim Tebow, who led his University of Florida team to victory over the Oklahoma Sooners, 24-14, in the BCS National Championship game Jan. 8,  is a member of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. His parents, Bob and Pam Tebow, are longtime members and, as missionaries to the Philippines, head up the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association.

Teen campaigns for fresh water in Sudan

GuthrieJoshua Guthrie, a 16-year-old high school sophomore dually enrolled at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., has launched an initiative to raise money for a freshwater well in Sudan.

Southwestern Seminary cuts budget

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has announced plans to cut its budget by about 10 percent—a reduction between $3.5 million and $4 million—to “protect the institution from future financial crisis.”

Southern Seminary facing budget shortfall

The head of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is predicting layoffs and tuition increases to manage a $3 million budget shortfall.
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