Heart of Baptist faith threatened

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ben W, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting article that has come out of Southwestern Baptist!

    -----------------------------------------------------

    - Heart of Baptist faith threatened, Southwestern professor says
    by Brent Thompson

    The heart of the Baptist faith is under attack, and “surgery” may be required to remove the “traumas” that threaten it, Malcolm Yarnell III said in a sermon delivered during Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Founder’s Day chapel in March.

    “This sermon comes from a heart breaking for Baptists, for we have begun to lose our way,” Yarnell, director of the Center for Theological Research and associate professor of systematic theology, said. “Throughout its history, the Baptist movement has been under attack from numerous directions: from the outside by non-Christian and Christian individuals, and by hostile public authorities; and from the inside by those who would compromise the integrity of the Baptist faith.”

    The first section of Yarnell’s sermon outlined what made Baptists distinct from other movements that emerged after the Reformation. He pointed out that “the center of the Baptist movement” was the Great Commission of Matthew 28. He supported this point by quickly tracing post-Reformation history from Anabaptist teachings, Balthasar Hübmaier, William Carey, to the present day with the International Mission Board’s Commission magazine and Southern Baptist Convention President Bobby Welch’s “Everyone Can” initiative.

    “In most Southern Baptist churches today, you will find the Great Commission is central in their ethos and often in their documents,” Yarnell said. “And for the 160th year of this great convention, to support his laudable goal of reminding Southern Baptists about their responsibility to be baptizers, Bobby Welch chose the Great Commission as the convention’s central text. Baptists, especially Southern Baptists, have been and are a Great Commission people.”

    In the sermon’s second section, Yarnell carefully exposited Matthew 28:16-20. He said it described “the heart of a Baptist” as getting its “life through Jesus,” and being composed of “four chambers:” going, making disciples, baptizing, and teaching.

    “Our task is to go,” Yarnell said. “Baptists are a people who will not be stopped by anything in their attempt to glorify God by making disciples in every situation. The Baptist who claims not to be an evangelist is simply not a Baptist. Baptists are always on mission, the mission of evangelism.”

    Yarnell argued that believers’ baptism by immersion is “the beginning Baptist distinctive.” The “attempt to define Baptists according to a self-centered ‘soul competency’ has unfortunately encouraged theological liberalism in our denomination,” Yarnell said. “What, then, is the beginning Baptist distinctive? It is baptism ... Baptism is the Baptist distinctive which leads all other Baptist distinctives.”

    The third section of the sermon was sub-titled “The Traumas Which Endanger the Baptist Heart.” In summary, Dr. Yarnell identified five “traumas” that are threatening “the Baptist movement.”

    The traumas are: the loss of biblical fidelity; the Calvinist-Arminian debate; the Presbyterian and Quaker threats to Baptist ecclesiology; the lack of intentionally orthodox preaching; and a loss of missiological clarity.

    “A surgeon must be a precisionist … A surgeon must be extremely careful,” Yarnell said. “Likewise, a Baptist theologian must be careful when excising those dangerous tissues which threaten to traumatize the Baptist heart. Nevertheless, surgery is sometimes required: there comes a time when the danger of inaction is greater than the possible dangers of action. Now is a time for ‘Baptist heart surgery.’”

    Yarnell concluded with a prayer for Southern Baptists to reclaim their heritage in the face of cultural assaults.

    “Fortunately, God is in control and true Baptists will ultimately survive and gain the victory by His grace,” Yarnell said. “That said, we face greater challenges today than we have ever faced before. ‘The Controversy’ or ‘Conservative Resurgence’ of the late 20th century is a mere precursor to the battles for theological integrity which face us, some of which will make that episode look like child’s play.”

    The complete, annotated text of the sermon can be accessed at  www.swbts.edu/faculty/myarnell/ or www.baptist2baptist.net.

    http://snipurl.com/p2th
     
  2. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow. Sounds like an IFB guy!
     
  3. Pipedude

    Pipedude
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, he sounds like a good SBC guy. They're very similar to good IFB guys, except that their wives are usually prettier.
     
  4. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    My thoughts are that I found this comment interesting, and I would go as far as to say that the very same problems are occuring in other Evangelical churches also!
     
  5. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, what is the Presbyterian and Quaker threats to Baptist Ecclesiology?
     
  6. Karen

    Karen
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: the Presbyterian "threat":
    Many on this board have often stated that elder-led churches are far preferable to congregational government.

    Karen
     
  7. mcneely

    mcneely
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: the Presbyterian "threat":
    Many on this board have often stated that elder-led churches are far preferable to congregational government.

    Karen
    </font>[/QUOTE]Personally I think congregational is more effective. that could make for a worthy debate.

    ---Justin
     
  8. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,079
    Likes Received:
    102
    As to the former, Yarnell says, "Some Baptists have been toying with Presbyterian structures in their churches, arguing for multiple elders, or for a forced distinction between teaching and ruling elders.

    These are minor concerns, but a problem really occurs when they allow eldership to limit congregational oversight."

    Yarnell describes the latter as "religious self sufficiency, and theological liberalism."
     
  9. paidagogos

    paidagogos
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    0
    Click on the following link to read the white paper of Dr. Yarnell's sermon. [click here]
     

Share This Page

Loading...