Guest Columns
  • The Shack: A Pastoral Perspective

    February 22 2017 by Joel Rainey | with 0 comments

    Next Friday, The Shack opens nationwide, prompting full theaters, plenty of box office profits, and apparently, a bunch of ticked off conservative pastors.   I get it.  I really do.   I read the book when it was first released back in 2007.

  • Reformation story must be told

    February 22 2017 by Don Wright | with 0 comments

    The Historical Committee of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina encourages pastors and lay leaders in our churches to take advantage of the 500th anniversary celebration of the Reformation on Oct. 31, 2017.   For one of the few times in recent decades, the secular media plans to give broad coverage to a major Protestant event.

  • Leading change through children’s ministry

    February 21 2017 by Cheryl Markland | with 0 comments

    The days when families attended church without question and every time the doors were opened is a pleasant memory.   Today’s families are busier than ever. Practices and extracurricular lessons, two-income wage earners, family commitments and travel sports teams mean families often spend more time in the car than at home or church.

  • Ethics – more important than theology?

    February 17 2017 by Andrew J. Spencer | with 0 comments

    You likely have heard the assertion that some Christians value theology more than people. Outward actions, they say, are more central to Christianity than internal beliefs.   The basic claim is that practical Christian ethics is the heart of Christianity, while theology is an attempt to define with certainty that which we cannot know.

  • Burnt aprons, hospitality & the gospel

    February 16 2017 by Melissa Meredith | with 0 comments

    My Anthropologie apron and I have been through alot together. Its charred yellow polka dot fabric, singed teal ruffle and frayed fuchsia waist ties tell stories of my many battles with macaroons, meringue pie and Crock-Pot mac ’n cheese. While I should probably retire the ratty looking thing, I cannot bring myself to throw it away.

  • Keep the music going

    February 15 2017 by David Jeremiah | with 0 comments

    For most of us, the radio was part of our dating experience. That’s why when we hear a certain tune, we smile and say, “Honey, they’re playing our song. ”   So-called experts are always putting together “Top 100” lists, so I wondered what songs would be listed as the Top 100 love songs of all time.

  • Learning from the past

    February 14 2017 by Doug Munton | with 0 comments

    Our church just marked our sesquicentennial. That is a dandy of a word that means we were formed 150 years ago. By the standards of Europe it isn’t so much, but Illinois isn’t Europe. So a sesquicentennial is not as common here.   First Baptist Church in O’Fallon, Ill.

  • Celebrate diversity

    February 13 2017 by Myriah Snyder | with 0 comments

    “The beauty (and effectiveness) of Southern Baptists is their diversity,” I wrote in a column after my first Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Baltimore in 2014.   I was amazed that so many different personalities comprised this group of evangelicals known as the SBC.

  • Choosing your neighbor

    February 10 2017 by Terry Sharp | with 0 comments

    From time to time I receive a postcard boasting the headline, “Choose Your Neighbor!” It’s from a local realtor sending listings of houses for sale in my neighborhood. The idea is for me to tell my circle of friends and acquaintances about the available houses, thus allowing me to choose my neighbor.

  • What to know about apostasy laws worldwide

    February 9 2017 by Eliza Thomas | with 0 comments

    When a Sudanese court handed down a death sentence to Meriam Yahya Ibrahim for converting from Islam to Christianity, her case sparked international outcry. The young wife and expecting mother was convicted of apostasy, a crime in Sudan. Although the furor died down after her 2014 release, the law she was found guilty of violating remains on the books today.

  • What would Criswell & Hobbs do?

    February 8 2017 by Todd E. Brady | with 0 comments

    I can’t imagine where I would be if it weren’t for the Baptist women who reached out to my mother after her divorce.   They not only met our family where we were at a tough time; they shared their lives and the gospel with us. We came to know the Lord, were set on the road to discipleship and became involved in the ministry of a local Baptist church.

  • Deacons, worthy of honor

    February 3 2017 by Jason K. Allen | with 0 comments

    I had the privilege of co-officiating the funeral of a dear friend and former co-laborer in local church ministry last month. Dying at the age of 88, Ed Carroll served as a deacon at Muldraugh Baptist Church in Kentucky for over a half-century, and as the chairman of deacons most of those years.

  • Sharpened

    February 2 2017 by Susie Hawkins | with 0 comments

    Reflecting on many years in ministry, I am drawn to the truth of Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. ” I have seen it play out in my own life more times than I can remember.   We usually think of ministry as investing our lives through serving others, as we hopefully “sharpen” them through discipleship, worship and community.

  • Chew and chew and chew

    February 1 2017 by John Weaver | with 0 comments

    The first time I ever ate shark meat was at a Chinese restaurant in Mexico in 1991. Specialist Salters, a soldier in my Army unit, took Pamela and me to a little restaurant in Juarez as a wedding present to us.   In attempting to show off in front of my new bride and demonstrate that I ate “exotic” stuff all the time, I stuck a huge piece of shark meat in my mouth.

  • Spiritual growth is no accident

    January 31 2017 by David Frasure | with 0 comments

    I have never heard a Christian say, “I love living a stagnated Christian life. ” No one says, “What I really want to do is stay right where I am spiritually. I don’t want to get any closer to God than I am right now. ”   While we never say such things with our words, we often say them with our actions.

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