August 2004

'One dime at a time' : Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004

August 25 2004 by

'One dime at a time' : Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004
Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004

'One dime at a time'

As full time evangelists (www.rahabswindowministries.com), our income is somewhat cyclical. During a financial "crunch" time recently, I knelt down to speak with a five-year-old girl following a children's event in Stedman. "Excuse me," she said shyly. "I already gave my offering in Sunday School, but I kept this for you." Holding out a single coin, she asked: "How much Jesus will a dime buy?" With trembling voice, I assured her that God would find a way to stretch her 10 cents into many opportunities for the gospel. Now I wear that dime around my neck as a reminder that, when we need finances to continue our ministry, God will provide as we continue sharing our faith and making disciples, one dime at a time.

George Smith

Hudson, N.C.

8/25/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



'It's Christian we must be' : Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004

August 24 2004 by

'It's Christian we must be' : Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004
Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004

'It's Christian we must be'

A haunting question faces our denomination: Have we come to a watershed, a crucial turning point in the life and mission of Southern Baptists? What about our massive intransigence? No neat answers at hand. But this I know: It's Christian we must be - in word, manner and unswerving loyalty to the integrity, spirit and authenticity of the Word of God. The fault-line of our plight goes much deeper than our disagreements. It's the acrimonious spirit that cripples the task of winning others to the redemptive purposes of Christ. It mars our profession. This spirit dwells more on what divides us, less on what can unite us. This is like putting a straightjacket on one about to run an Olympic race. And you can't lug acrimony through the Pearly Gates.

Christ's wounds rebuke the vanity of harsh argumentation. He calls us to the beauty of holiness, to the fellowship of deeper love, and to all the wonders of Gods grace. So, not as experts on God, but as pilgrims on a quest, we go seeing "through a glass darkly," and find to our healing that "its the dim hope of mystery that adds enchantment to the pursuit." Christ, the Lodestar of our journey, wants to guide us past the dark hole of the missed chance.

Let us, then, bury our Pharisaical fusses in a Sadducean tomb, whence the Sadducees would say, there is no resurrection. In the meantime, we grope, stumble and strive toward the goal of reaching "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

So in Gods name, let us love more - the agape kind - and pray more, the Christ-centered kind - "til these poor lisping, stammering tongues lie silent in the grave."

James S. Potter

Wilmington, N.C.

8/24/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



BWA had influence on ministry : Monday, Aug. 23, 2004

August 23 2004 by

BWA had influence on ministry : Monday, Aug. 23, 2004
Monday, Aug. 23, 2004

BWA had influence on ministry

David H. Wyatt in the August 14 Recorder stated that the Southern Baptist Convention waited 50 years too late to sever its relationship with the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). For deeply personal reasons I must take exception. It was at the Baptist World Alliance in Miami, Fla. in 1965 when my wife and I felt led to begin looking into the possibility of serving our Lord overseas. The result was that we were appointed to Guatemala by the Foreign Mission Board in 1966 and served as missionaries there for 32 years. In that 1965 World Congress, it was the messages by men like Herschel Hobbs, Ted Adams and Billy Graham, the roll call of nations, the parade of national flags, and the sight of brothers in Christ from around the world that stirred our whole being.

Finally, God used the witness of missionaries and Guatemalans who were present to lead us to where we spent the greater part of our ministry.

On the mission field we saw what the Baptist World Alliance means to small nations. In a tremendous earthquake in 1976, BWA was one of the means for our relating with countries around the world that responded to the human needs in Guatemala. On many occasions we have had opportunities to work with BWA personnel. In our final years, we participated in a great evangelistic campaign in Guatemala City with evangelist Nelson Fanini, and a Central American Evangelism and Missions Congress in Honduras with Denton Lotz as a principal speaker.

As we think of how God has used the Baptist World Alliance we are saddened that our convention is poorer for cutting itself off from this great worldwide fellowship of Baptists. I am so thankful this parting did not occur 50 years ago. My own life and ministry would have been tremendously different and not for the better.

Harry E. Byrd

Durham, N.C.

8/23/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



Cut to the chase and pony up : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

August 20 2004 by Tony W. Cartledge

Cut to the chase and pony up : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004
Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

Cut to the chase and pony up

By Tony W. Cartledge
BR Editor

American speech is sprinkled with euphemisms that most of us understand, but we may not have a clue as to their origin.

For example, we know that "cut to the chase" means "stop dragging on and get to the point." But many don't know the phrase originated as a movie term in the 1920s. When film editors recognized that dramatic scenes were dragging on, they would shift to an action scene, such as a chase, to revive viewers' interest. Thus, "cut to the chase."

Why does "pony up" mean to pay a debt or provide one's share of money for some other purpose? Some researchers think the phrase actually has a biblical root: in the Anglican tradition, the morning psalm reading for March 25 begins with the fifth division of Psalm 119. In the Latin Vulgate, the heading for that section is "Legem Pone," which means something like "behind the law."

March 25 is the first of four "quarter days" during the year. Thus, it marks the end of the first quarter, when rent and other payments were traditionally due, so "legem pone" was used as an allusion to the making of monetary payments.

The pronunciation of "pone" is similar to "pony," and in the late 1700s, "pony" came to be used in British slang as a euphemism for "money." Indeed, the amount of 25 pounds sterling - like an equine pony, not overly large, but substantial at the time - was called "a poney."

Americans adopted the colloquialism and adapted it to "pony up" as an expression for paying a debt or contributing to a common cause.

Some readers may be thinking it's time to stop with the euphemisms and cut to the chase.

Visualize this action scene: every North Carolina Baptist reaching deeply into his or her pockets to pony up a worthy contribution to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO).

The goal for 2004 is $2.31 million, and the designated week of prayer to promote and receive the offering is Sept. 5-12.

English currency has fallen on hard times, and 25 pounds would only be about $46 these days, but every N.C. Baptist should consider giving at least one "pony" for the North Carolina Missions Offering, if not several. Some can contribute a small herd.

Why should N.C. Baptists pony up for North Carolina missions?

Because some of the convention's most vital ministries would have no funding without it. Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) and Baptist Men, which together touch the lives of Baptists in every county of the state and in many countries of the world, depend almost entirely on the NCMO. Every program dollar, every ministry effort, every staff person's salary is funded by the North Carolina Missions Offering.

For WMU, that means 1,400 campers touched by Christ through camp staffers and visiting missionaries at Camp Mundo Vista this summer. It means 78 children blessed through Camp Angel Tree, even though one of their parents is incarcerated. Other girls, themselves youth offenders, participated in a special retreat.

It means the development of a Hispanic WMU organization that recently brought more than 300 women together for a meeting in Greensboro.

It means 181 new organizations in 118 churches started by N.C. WMU in the past year, all of them promoting the goals of following Christ and sharing Christ's love with others. It means training for more than 500 WMU leaders, and inspiration for more than 2,000 through the annual "Missions Extravaganza" at Ridgecrest.

And that's just for a start. In most churches, WMU is the primary promoter of missions giving for both international and North American missions. Millions of dollars for missions are raised for kingdom work, largely because WMU is on the job.

According to national statistics, North Carolina has the largest membership of the 41 state WMU organizations.

WMU is worth supporting, but if N.C. Baptists don't pony up, it won't happen.

The N.C. Baptist Men's organization also depends entirely on the NCMO to fund its many ministry programs and provide salaries for its staff.

About 1,100 boys attended during eight weeks of camp at Camp Caraway this summer. More than 100 made first time decisions for Christ, 400 expressed a re-commitment of life, and 60 made a commitment to serve Christ full time. Camp Angel Tree at Caraway hosted 82 boys to go with the 78 girls who were at Mundo Vista.

Through the leadership of Baptist Men, more than 2,000 families were blessed by chainsaw teams and other work teams following Hurricane Isabel, while disaster relief workers served 241,959 meals. N.C. Baptist Men have responded to 12 different disasters this past year, and even now are aiding those affected by the double punch of Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Charley.

Through Baptist Men's Aviation Missions effort, 522 patients were flown into or out of North Carolina for medical treatment, and through the medical/dental bus ministry, 2,500 volunteers ministered to more than 3,900 patients during the past year.

Meanwhile, thousands of N.C. volunteers experience more blessings than they give as they minister in Alaska, New York, Honduras, Armenia, Cuba, Malaysia and other partnerships coordinated through N.C. Baptist Men.

Aren't these things worth supporting? At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, "Wait, there's more!"

The NCMO funds special ministries such as assisting churches that have ministries to the deaf (110 of them among N.C. Baptists). Retreats for the deaf registered 380 attenders, while more than 1,200 persons with developmental disabilities attended "Happiness Retreats" or day camps designed for them.

Chaplaincy ministries for the military helped support thousands of worship services and counseling sessions. Church planters received training and other assistance.

And there is more, but some may be crying, "Too many statistics! Cut to the chase!"

Okay. Pony up.

8/20/2004 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge | with 0 comments



To the work! : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

August 20 2004 by Tony W. Cartledge

To the work! : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004
Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

To the work!

By Tony W. Cartledge
BR Editor

I spent several hours doing household maintenance this week, something I don't particularly enjoy.

We'd had an occasional leak in a small skylight, so I spent a good part of one morning preparing for the coming storms by attempting a patch. After wrangling a long aluminum ladder against the back side of our house, I clambered onto the steep second story roof and grasped whatever purchase I could on the aging shingles, which are losing their sand at an alarming rate.

I had hauled up a rusty gallon can still half-filled with roof cement, or "black jack," as they call it back home. I held on to vent pipes and whatever else I could find with one hand while using the other to smear the gooey black stuff around the edges of the skylight.

Jan stood in the yard, ready to call 911 if my descent came sooner or faster than expected. I can think of better ways to spend a morning.

Other hours were spent with a paint brush in hand, giving needed attention to our garage doors. The bottom section of both doors had begun to rot. Fortunately, we were able to replace just those sections, but I had to paint the entire doors - on both sides, of course.

Houses age, just as our bodies do. The need for maintaining both of them is a fact of life, and maintenance requires effort. Getting adequate exercise for our bodies is not easy. Paint and shingles do not apply themselves to our homes. Home and body owners have to do some sweating to keep things in shape, and there are no two ways about it.

Spiritual health also requires maintenance, and that also requires effort - the discipline of a devotional life, time invested in worship and Bible study, effort and money expended in ministry to others - all of these things build and maintain spiritual health, and no one else can do it for us.

Not a bad thing to remember as we approach this Labor Day.

8/20/2004 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge | with 0 comments



Don't let great things go undone : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

August 20 2004 by Jim Royston

Don't let great things go undone : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004
Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

Don't let great things go undone

By Jim Royston
BSCNC Executive Director-treasurer

Benny Langston could have earned $300 an hour pulling trees off houses with his Excavator after Hurricane Isabel. But it was worth more. So he did it for free.

Dorothy Gaston was imprisoned for cashing other people's checks - but now she ministers to others.

Chilean Daniel Mercado married an American and started a bilingual church in East Flat Rock.

Bobby and Betty Branson drive the Baptist Medical/Dental bus and often see children and adults hold their hands over their mouths, ashamed of their bad teeth.

In our state rich with mountains and beaches, tens of thousands of people come for recreation and leisure. Baptists minister among them, offering a cup of cold water in Jesus' name.

What in the world do Benny, Dorothy, Daniel, Bobby, Betty and dozens of resort ministry volunteers have in common? They are enabled by your gifts to missions through the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO).

The entire budgets of N.C. Baptist Men and Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) come through the NCMO. Benny, Bobby and Betty are Baptist Men's volunteers; Dorothy was reached through a prison ministry sponsored by WMU; funds to help Daniel plant a church come from the NCMO church planting fund and many resort missions are funded through NCMO.

If you don't give, these important things don't happen.

September is the month N.C. Baptist churches receive a special offering for missions in North Carolina, "the state of our mission."

These special gifts enable ministries that otherwise remain undone. Just think of the missions and education work accomplished by our WMU, which has the largest membership of any state. In our Mandate video series, we'll soon be covering a story that highlights career missionaries who testify that the missions education they received as children led directly to their commitment.

Baptist Men sponsor our mission partnerships that carry thousands of us each year to work hand in hand with Christian brothers and sisters in other states and other lands. They lead disaster relief, Baptist Men's programs in churches and partnerships.

Without NCMO these things would remain undone.

Sometimes we feel distant from missions. We think "missions" is something people on a pedestal do in Africa. Too often we are not aware how intimate and close missions is to our own lives.

To become more aware of what you accomplish through the NCMO and how important it is to kingdom work in your own state, invite a special NCMO advocate to speak in your church. Hear first hand how your gifts change lives.

Call Judy Johnson at (800) 395-5102, ext. 120 to schedule a speaker for your mission awareness emphasis, Sunday morning worship, Wednesday night study or other mission emphasis.

8/20/2004 12:00:00 AM by Jim Royston | with 0 comments



BWA had influence on ministry : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

August 20 2004 by

BWA had influence on ministry : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004
Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

BWA had influence on ministry

David H. Wyatt in the August 14 Recorder stated that the Southern Baptist Convention waited 50 years too late to sever its relationship with the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). For deeply personal reasons I must take exception. It was at the Baptist World Alliance in Miami, Fla. in 1965 when my wife and I felt led to begin looking into the possibility of serving our Lord overseas. The result was that we were appointed to Guatemala by the Foreign Mission Board in 1966 and served as missionaries there for 32 years. In that 1965 World Congress, it was the messages by men like Herschel Hobbs, Ted Adams and Billy Graham, the roll call of nations, the parade of national flags, and the sight of brothers in Christ from around the world that stirred our whole being.

Finally, God used the witness of missionaries and Guatemalans who were present to lead us to where we spent the greater part of our ministry.

On the mission field we saw what the Baptist World Alliance means to small nations. In a tremendous earthquake in 1976, BWA was one of the means for our relating with countries around the world that responded to the human needs in Guatemala. On many occasions we have had opportunities to work with BWA personnel. In our final years, we participated in a great evangelistic campaign in Guatemala City with evangelist Nelson Fanini, and a Central American Evangelism and Missions Congress in Honduras with Denton Lotz as a principal speaker.

As we think of how God has used the Baptist World Alliance we are saddened that our convention is poorer for cutting itself off from this great worldwide fellowship of Baptists. I am so thankful this parting did not occur 50 years ago. My own life and ministry would have been tremendously different and not for the better.

Harry E. Byrd

Durham, N.C.

8/20/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 5: Desiring to Know God Better : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

August 20 2004 by Phyllis Elvington

Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 5: Desiring to Know God Better : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004
Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 5: Desiring to Know God Better

By Phyllis Elvington
Focal Passage: Exodus 33:7-23

What is your heart's desire? What do you really want most in this world? Do you remember what you are supposed to do when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake? You are to close your eyes and make a wish. Let's pretend for just a minute that it is your birthday and the cake is right in front of you. Go ahead. Close you eyes and make a wish. If you were guaranteed that whatever wish you made would be granted - what would you really wish for? What do you truly desire most?

The Bible tells us about many different kinds of desires.

Psalm 20:4 refers to personal blessing: "May He grant you your heart's desire, and fulfill all your plans!"

Romans 10:1 tells about wanting others to be saved: "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved."

Galatians 5:16 cautions us about desires that are contrary to God's will: "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature."

But Psalm 42:1 best captures the desire referred to by our lesson's title - the longing to know God better: "As a hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God."

God's awesome presence

Exodus 33:7-11

Moses was granted a privilege that other children of Israel were not given - being able to talk with God one-on-one. While the others waited outside, Moses would go into the Tent of Meeting and God would speak to him. "The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend" (v.11).

Because of Jesus, we too, have been granted the privilege of experiencing God's awesome presence. Because of Jesus, we no longer have to stand outside and watch - we can "with confidence, draw near to the throne of grace..." (Heb. 4:16a).

Today, our Tent of Meeting with God is our prayer closet. God tells us in Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to Me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things which you have not known."

We have an open invitation to experience God's awesome presence any time of the day or night. How often do you take advantage of this priceless privilege?

A special request

Exodus 33:12-16

Moses asked a special request of God. "If you are pleased with me, teach me Your ways so that I may know You" (v.13a).

How often do you pray that prayer? How well do you know God and His ways? How often do you pray? How much time do you spend in Bible study and prayer in order to know God better?

When you love someone, you want to be near them. You desire time alone with them in order to know them better and to be in close relationship with them. God promises us in Jeremiah 29:13-14: "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord ..."

A glimpse of God's glory

Exodus 33:17-23

This passage gives me chill bumps every time I read it. God made three unbelievably powerful statements to Moses: "I will do the very thing you have asked; I am pleased with you; and I know you by name" (v.17).

I first thought, does it get any better than that? And then I read the rest of the chapter. After hearing God say those things, Moses actually got to see a glimpse of God's glory.

This page does not have enough space for me to describe the glory of God that will one day be revealed to us. Read 1 Corinthians 13:12, 1 John 3:2 and Revelation 21 and shout "Hallelujah. Praise the Lord!"

8/20/2004 12:00:00 AM by Phyllis Elvington | with 0 comments



Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 12: Responding to God's Holiness : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

August 20 2004 by Phyllis Elvington

Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 12: Responding to God's Holiness : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004
Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 12: Responding to God's Holiness

By Phyllis Elvington
Focal Passage: Isaiah 6:1-13

Perhaps no passage in the Bible has more to say about God's holiness than this encounter in which God revealed His holy nature to Isaiah.

This generation has lost its sense of awe at God's holiness. For example, we used to wear only our "Sunday best" to church. Today, you may see anything from tank tops to flip-flops. When I was growing up, you did not run, shout or eat inside the church. Today, the activities inside the church often resemble a three-ring circus more than the act of worshiping the One True God inside the holy temple.

Our society shows little respect for God's holiness. Television programs and movies are filled with violence and sexual acts. The music and advertisement industries are consumed with using sex to promote and sell their products. Prayers and other references to God are becoming increasingly rare in our culture.

I think we'll respond to God's holiness when we finally get a vision of the Lord like Isaiah did in Isaiah 6. I think we'll respond to God's holiness when we see Jesus "descend from heaven with a cry of command" (1 Thess. 4:16a). And I think we'll respond to God's holiness when we see Almighty God in all His glory in "the Holy City, the New Jerusalem" (Rev. 21:2a).

Realize God's holiness

Isaiah 6:1-3

"I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple" (v.1).

Listen - really listen - to the words of the prophet Isaiah:

  • "I saw the Lord ..."
  • "Seated on a throne ..."
  • "High and exalted ..."
  • "And the train of His robe filled the temple."
  • How different we would be if every morning we woke up with that picture of Holy God in our hearts, and the reminder that the Holy God rules.

    Isaiah looked up and saw a vision of Holy God. We, too, must look up if we are to realize how holy God is. We will never see Isaiah's vision if we focus our eyes on the things of this world.

    Confess your sinfulness

    Isaiah 6:4-7

    Our natural reaction, after looking up, is to look back down. Isaiah's immediate response to the vision of God's holiness was the realization of how sinful he was.

    We may look fairly good when we compare ourselves to others around us who are living outside of God's will. But everything changes when we picture ourselves beside the One who has never sinned.

    God is holy. Man is sinful. We would be in a hopeless situation without Jesus to stand between us as our mediator, advocate and Savior.

    However, because of the blood Jesus shed at Calvary, God promises us that "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

    Determine to serve God

    Isaiah 6:8-13

    God's purpose in appearing to Isaiah was not just to impress him with a vision of His majesty. God had a job for Isaiah, a calling to perform.

    "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'" (v.9). Like young Samuel, when Isaiah recognized that God was calling him, he said "Here I am."

    The call to serve God is not just a call for full-time pastors and missionaries, or even for Sunday School teachers and deacons. Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8 are meant for every believer. We all are called to worship and serve the Lord.

    God still needs faithful servants like Isaiah. Are you willing to hear His voice? Are you willing to serve Him regardless of the cost? Are you willing to say "Here I am"?

    8/20/2004 12:00:00 AM by Phyllis Elvington | with 0 comments



    Formations lesson for Sept. 5: Faith and the Influence of Culture : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

    August 20 2004 by Ken Vandergriff

    Formations lesson for Sept. 5: Faith and the Influence of Culture : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004
    Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

    Formations lesson for Sept. 5: Faith and the Influence of Culture

    By Ken Vandergriff
    Focal Passage: Daniel 1:1-21

    It has been said that, "if you have integrity, nothing else matters; if you don't have integrity, nothing else matters." As a feature of one's moral character, integrity is certainly one of the more important virtues. When we discriminate between worthwhile and unworthy commitments, or when we evaluate conflicting desires and act on those that keep our character intact, we display integrity.

    This month we will explore integrity through the experiences of Daniel. His experiences afford the opportunity to examine some challenges to integrity as well as to see how integrity may be demonstrated in critical situations.

    Relating faith and culture

    A perennial challenge for Christians is how they will relate to the cultural environment. Actually, this is not unique to Christian faith; it's a question all religions face. Christian ethicists have identified several approaches for correlating faith and culture.

    One is the rejection-withdrawal strategy, in which persons of faith withdraw from the larger culture. These believers hope to preserve their religious and cultural integrity by living apart, in communes or separate communities.

    The Amish would be an example; although they don't totally withdraw from modern society, they do live differently to avoid contamination by many of the dominant values such as modernism, secularism and consumerism. For most of us, however, this is neither feasible nor enticing.

    A second approach is identification, whereby faith and culture are identified with each other. No distinction is made between the sacred and the secular. This is seen in theocracies such as Calvin's Geneva, some of the Puritan colonies, and in some Muslim countries today. However, when faith is fully identified with the culture, it usually loses its power to prophetically challenge the prevailing values.

    Transformation strategies constitute a third approach. Here believers attempt to transform the secular culture into conformity with God's will.

    Finally, some believers adopt a tension approach, which strives to live out the ideal of God's will in the secular realm, while recognizing that actual situations may necessitate some accommodation to the secular. Baptist ethicist T.B. Maston wrote, "The tension between the church and the world should not become so great that the church would lose all opportunity to minister to the world and the people of the world."

    Maston likens the relationship to a rubber band; a certain tautness draws the world toward Christian ideals, but "if the tension becomes too great the 'band' may break and the church would no longer be able to minister effectively to the world."

    Our integrity in our culture

    The question for us is: By which of these strategies can we best maintain personal integrity as well as the integrity of Christian witness? Old Testament scholars differ in their assessment of which strategy Daniel employed.

    A widely popular view is that Daniel demonstrates the tension approach. Certainly he rejected some elements of Babylonian culture, but he also became a high-ranking official in the Babylonian royal court (1:19; 2:46-49; 5:29). He led a rewarding, creative life within the foreign culture, while remaining loyal to his faith.

    Others argue that Daniel demonstrates the rejection-withdrawal approach. In this view, Daniel and the Jews maintain their integrity by displaying hostility and confrontation toward the dominant culture.

    As we consider which approach best suits our own situation, Daniel Smith-Christopher poses a critical question.

    Unlike Daniel, American Christians are not a minority living in a hostile environment; we are the dominant culture. How, then, "can a book meant to encourage the faith of a politically subordinated people be made meaningful for those of us in a dominant culture?"

    8/20/2004 12:00:00 AM by Ken Vandergriff | with 0 comments



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