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Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Southern Baptist Convention

Through an email from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, I just found out that the Southern Baptist Convention's Annual Meeting will be held here in Greensboro in a few weeks. Apparently, Alliance Council member Mark Dever will be speaking at some of the events surrounding the convention, one of those events being the pre-convention Pastors’ Conference. The Pastors’ Conference features several speakers that would be well known to anyone familiar with Evangelicalism. The two speakers that I was surprised to find are going to be there are Ben Witherington and Rick Warren. I might be wrong, but I didn’t think that Witherington was even a Baptist. And is Saddleback in the SBC? I suppose these things don’t necessarily determine whether or not one is asked to be a speaker. I’d like to get in to hear some of these sessions, though I might not be able to get off of work for it. The website says that there is no registration and no fees. I wonder if one has to prove pastoral status at the door. I’m not a Baptist pastor, and I’m sure my beard would confirm that for them.

We would do well to pray for this convention, and for the SBC in general. For one, we might pray for the hastening of the day when all Baptists will be Presbyterians. Until that comes to pass, we might thank God for the revival of interest in and adherence to the Doctrines of Grace by many Baptists. Though the roster of speakers at the conference might make one question whether or not this is the case, one might remember Dever and Al Mohler, as well as the many Reformed Baptist churches not affiliated with the SBC. Most Presbyterians I’ve known were former Baptists, anyway, so I guess we know what’s happening when Reformed theology begins to take root in individuals. Some other matters that we might pray for among the Baptists are the things that are needed amongst all American Christians, such as an increase in holiness of life, reverence towards God, and true love for God and neighbor. We all need growth in these things.

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