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First Thoughts

Acceptable Sins?

| Ernie Baker |
Have you ever considered how much our God cares about details? His creation is a marvelous compilation of little details, from the intricacies of the eye to your individual fingerprints. In the Old Testament, He gave intricate descriptions of the construction of the tabernacle, and the Mosaic Law is equally detailed. The New Testament starts with a detailed genealogy of our Lord to demonstrate that He was the promised Messiah, Savior, and Davidic King. Later in the New Testament, there are de…

A Concern about the Law Amendment

| Heath Lambert |
The Law Amendment is the current effort to add the biblical requirement for male pastors into the constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). I have been a strong supporter of this effort, but that support does not mean I’ve had no concerns. My support for this amendment has not come cheap. Initially, I Had Doubts I had three initial doubts about the amendment. First, I believed the amendment was unnecessary because our statement of faith, the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM), alrea…

The Sword Tearing the SBC Asunder: Confessional Statements, The Cooperation Group, and The Future of Our Convention

| Heath Lambert |
At this moment, a committee is meeting to decide whether the Southern Baptist Convention as we know it will continue to exist. That committee is called The Cooperation Group, and more is at stake in their work than you may know. This group was created at the 2023 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in New Orleans because some of our leaders believe the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM) is too high a standard for cooperation and must be lowered to maintain the unity of our Great Com…

SBC 2024: The Law Amendment

| Heath Lambert |
The Law Amendment is one of the most crucial issues facing messengers headed to Indianapolis for the 2024 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The amendment passed by an overwhelming margin in New Orleans and is required to be approved by a 2/3 majority this year in order to be added to the Constitution. I want to help Southern Baptists understand the importance of this decision by examining what the Law Amendment is, what issues are not involved in this decision, and what is rea…

Practical Help for Anger

| Sean Perron |
The Bible isn’t relevant for life if the Bible isn’t practical. Our theology must be practical or else it will be irrelevant. This is because we obey or disobey God in specific ways. Our idolatries are not vague. Our sins are not general. When we are fearful, we think fearful thoughts in our mind. When we are sinfully depressed, we neglect real responsibilities. When we act in anger, we do things with our tongues and our hands. Thankfully, the Bible offers practical ways to overcome our sin a…

Six Ordinary Sins

| Ryan Trzeciak |
Are you a good person? Our initial gut reaction to this question most likely is to answer in the affirmative. We may even think to ourselves, “Of course I’m a good person! I haven’t killed anyone or robbed a bank, and I don’t cheat on my taxes.” Oftentimes, we look at a list like this as “evidence” to convince ourselves that we are, in fact, a good person. However, upon deeper reflection, we may find that our positive self-evaluation does not match reality. We are sinners who still live in a …

Why Trust the Bible?

| Richard Lucas |
Christianity is an experiential religion because a convert must be born again (John 3:3-8). This conversion involves genuine faith and repentance in Christ which creates a new love for Jesus in the heart of the believer (Romans 5:5). Someone can’t simply claim to be a Christian, you have to experience Christ. You are saved not only when “you confess with your mouth” but also when you “believe with your heart” (Romans 10:9-10). Yet, that experience of new life does not happen in a vacuum. “Fai…

Children’s Bibles

| Sean Perron |
The new year is a time when Christians think about Bible reading plans (First Baptist Church Bible Reading Plan) and are often looking to purchase a new Bible as they set goals for the next 365 days. There are tons of great options for adults, but there are also many delightful options available for kids. I am often asked by parents of younger children which Bibles I would recommend. Children’s Bibles are typically collections of biblical stories retold in age-appropriate ways that are accomp…

The Day After Christmas

| Spencer Harmon |
I hate the day after Christmas. Some call it the “post-Christmas blues” or “post-Christmas depression.” It happens when the most wonderful time of the year screeches to a halt. No more Christmas movies. No more Christmas food. No more get-togethers with family and friends. You go back to work. You go back to school. The Christmas cards come down off the mantle. It just feels wrong to take down words like “love,” “joy,” “peace,” and “hope” from the walls of my house. But we dutifully do it. Ho…

How Should Baptists Apply the Regulative Principle to Worship?

| Scott Connell |
Whenever anyone asks me if I am an adherent to the Regulative Principle (RP), I cannot give a simple “yes” or “no” response. I must first ask about their version of the Regulative Principle. For those who do not know what I am talking about, the RP is a means of governing the corporate worship life of a church that affirms the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. John Calvin seems to be the first to formally codify it in response to the Reformation, and Westminster later enshrined it in th…

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