Baptism neither a means of obtaining grace nor a trivial ritual

By looking back to their beliefs and practices from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century, Baptists can reclaim a view of baptism between the extremes of sacramentalism and “mere symbolism,” church historian and theologian Sheila Klopfer said.

Ordination practices reveal a tangled web of Bible, theology and tradition

Pragmatism and tradition have stood alongside biblical and theological principles in shaping Baptist ordination practices, church historian Karen Bullock told the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute colloquy.

Baptists’ grass-roots identity helped spread key ideas

While Baptists may not be able to claim sole credit as the originators of ideas such as religious liberty and the modern missionary movement, the denomination’s identification with common folk helped them become “popularizers” of these and of other significant ideas, Baptist historian Carol Holcomb suggested.

Baptists urged to remember their roots, consider risks of ‘majoritarian faith’

Baptists in the United States—who find themselves members of a religious majority or plurality in many areas—would do well to remember their humble beginnings as a persecuted minority and to reconsider the dangers of a “majoritarian faith,” Baptist scholar Doug Weaver urged at a recent Baptist history conference.

Former SBC leader takes on 'emergent church'

Thirty years after ridding the Southern Baptist Convention of theological liberalism, the nation's largest non-Catholic religious organization now faces a different kind of liberalism from within, warns a Missouri layman and former member of the SBC Executive Committee.

Southern progressivism left its mark on WMU

Southern-style Social Gospel may not be the first thing that springs to mind when most Baptists think of Woman’s Missionary Union, but Southern progressivism significantly influenced the organization in its formative years, church historian Carol Holcomb noted.

Records sketchy, but Baptist women clearly left their mark in colonial America

Women outnumbered men in many Baptist churches in colonial America, but most of their names have been lost to history, church historian Pam Durso lamented.

At 400 years, theological distinctions define, divide Baptists

Some of the same theological disputes that divided Baptists throughout their first 400 years continue to distinguish different branches of the Baptist family tree.

Book says SBC lacks system of preventing sexual abuse

A book released in advance of the June 23-24 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention claims the nation's largest Protestant faith group has more than 100,000 clergy, but no effective system of denominational oversight to protect children from sexual abuse.

SBC restructuring unnecessary, Executive Committee chief asserts

A proposal to study a restructuring of the Southern Baptist Convention is not needed, SBC Executive Committee President Morris Chapman insists. That's why he has declined to sign a proposed Great Commission Resurgence Declaration.

Baptists respond to cyclone in Bangladesh

The Baptist World Alliance has responded to Cyclone Aila, which killed nearly 200 and destroyed thousands of homes May 25 in Bangladesh and India.

Baptist Briefs: Baptist Men, RA numbers increase

Although total church membership, Sunday school attendance and the number of baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention declined in 2008 from 2007, participation by men and boys in Baptist Men’s ministries and the Royal Ambassadors program for boys jumped almost 6 percent in 2008.

Former SBC president embraces creation care

James Merritt, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, confessed to a group of Christian environmentalists his recent conversion to the cause of creation care.

SBC needs major overhaul, says writer of Great Commission Resurgence document

The lead author of a Great Commission Resurgence document circulating among Southern Baptist Convention leaders says a major overhaul of denominational structures must occur if the convention is going to engage younger pastors.

Baptist blogger sues police, prosecutors for outing him

A formerly anonymous blogger who criticized his prominent Southern Baptist pastor has sued police and state prosecutors for revealing his identity to the church even though an investigation showed he had done nothing illegal.
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