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Recent blog posts
01
May
2

Strengthening Christian world mission

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Many religious groups have been severely affected by the Great Recession of 2008. Since the onset of the financial meltdown that precipitated that recession, many religious institutions are still trying to recover from the undesired harmful effects of that experience. Around the world, thousands of churches are closing their doors each year for reasons including   their inability to service their mortgage and noteworthy decline in church attendance. These developments remind us that... Continue reading
Hits: 387
01
Apr
0

Facts and judgments

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
William Thomas and Florian Znaniecki’s sociological classic, The Polish Peasant in Europe and America, is a study of the conditions of Polish immigrants in America. This exhaustive work illustrates how important it is to develop an accurate “definition of the situation” if we are to properly understand social reality. The same principle applies to responsible decision-making. Persons examining a situation with a view to passing an ethical judgment need to ensure that... Continue reading
Hits: 597
01
Mar
5

A Study in Resilience

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
If you grew up in circumstances where adversity thrives, your confidence in the future can be undermined. Living perpetually in dire situations can lead to insulation from positive expectations. Something tells you nothing will ever change; nothing good will ever happen to you. Yet, extended exposure to painful experience can elicit another response. It can fuel your courage, reinforce your determination and fire your zeal to overcome. You manage to dispel the... Continue reading
Hits: 833
01
Feb
3

Loving the Stranger

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Even a cursory examination of the Holy Bible will fill the mind of an enquirer with a panorama of virtues that can transform the landscape of human experience if they are practiced. One of these virtues is hospitality to strangers. The "Old Testament" contains many stories that reveal both the wonder and the joy of welcoming strangers. Remember, for example, how at Mamre, Abraham and Sarah received three men whom they did... Continue reading
Hits: 1006
01
Jan
3

Celebrating Women in Leadership

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Jamaica, the land of my birth, is a place whose people are proud of their country. Among the many reasons they cite are the following two minor ones: Jamaica is the first country outside of Europe to introduce a train system offering passenger service, and residents of the Jamaica north coast town named Falmouth had piped water available in their homes before the people of New York City did. Other sources of... Continue reading
Hits: 958
01
Dec
1

Thinking about love

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
The church is blessed to have a fair number of truly outstanding New Testament scholars and Craig Keener is one of them. I first met Craig nine years ago when he was a professor at Palmer Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. He amazed me with the gift of a number of his books, to which I have returned again and again since 2007.Keener's voluminous works include the popular IVP... Continue reading
Hits: 1097
01
Nov
1

Toward Closer Communion

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
October 31, 2017, will be a significant date in the calendar of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). Declared by the German parliament a nationwide public holiday, the day will bring to a close the EKD’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The German celebration is dubbed “a festival of Christ that seeks to send the... Continue reading
Hits: 1168
01
Oct
1

Voicing the Message

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
I miss that bell. Its voice fell silent when, the national elections ended and the votes counted, the political party that used a bell as its symbol was declared the winner. Overjoyed at the taste of victory at the polls, after years in opposition, a handful of partisan enthusiasts appropriated the instrument that summoned people to community worship and made it a clanging symbol of political success. They beat the bell with... Continue reading
Hits: 1129
01
Jun
0

On Baptism

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Recently, I was at the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky to deliver the E. Glenn Hinson Lectures for 2016. Introduced in 2009 with celebrated church historian Hinson as the presenter, this series of lectures has attracted such scholars as Loyd Allen, McAfee School of Theology, 2010; Stephanie Paulsell, Harvard Divinity School, 2011; Don Saliers, Emory University, 2012; Robin Jensen, Vanderbilt University, 2013; Willie Jennings, Duke University Divinity School, 2014; and Molly Marshall, Central... Continue reading
Hits: 1701
01
May
1

Celebrating Creation

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Australian church historian, Kerri Handasyde, had an illuminating essay on “Harvest Thanksgiving and the Photography of Grace” in a recent issue of the Australian Journal of Liturgy. Arguing that harvest thanksgiving “rests at the junction of liturgy, nature and memory,” Handasyde presents an artful analysis of the harvest thanksgiving tradition in Nonconformist churches in Australia in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She offers reflections on the traditions of the Salvation Army,... Continue reading
Hits: 1705
01
Apr
2

Wholesome Formation

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Easter is the crowning celebration of the Christian year and Easter Day is a time of great rejoicing. How tragic is it that on such a day children playing in a park in Lahore, Pakistan became the target of an act of terrorism.The attack in Lahore, the terrorist attacks in Beirut, Lebanon; Paris, France; Maiduguri, Nigeria; Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Ankara and Istanbul in Turkey; Damascus, Syria; Brussels, Belgium and Baghdad, Iraq, are... Continue reading
Hits: 3381
01
Mar
0

When the churches present inconsistent moral teachings

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
I continue to be intrigued by a report that emerged in the wake of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, October 4-25, 2015.The report alleges that, on October 12, 2015, near the start of the synod, 13 cardinals, including New York's Timothy Dolan, delivered a letter to Pope Francis expressing their concern about aspects of the procedures and emphases of the synod. Among the... Continue reading
Hits: 1428
23
Dec
1

Good news from Paris, France

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
In December, after almost two weeks of negotiations, representatives of 195 countries agreed on steps to be taken to counteract the causes of climate change. The world breathed a sigh of relief at the great leap forward in the expression of unselfish concern for the earth and for future generations that will live here. Christians who take seriously the vocation to care for God’s creation celebrate the outcome of the Paris Climate... Continue reading
Hits: 3290
30
Nov
5

Fractured but ripe

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
As we enter a season of new beginnings, we may recall significant events that remind us of God's delight in making things new. One such event led me, last month, to visit the Richmond Hill Prison in the Caribbean’s “spice island” of Grenada. The prison, constructed as a hospital by the French in 1860, was converted into a prison after fire destroyed the original buildings. It attracted world attention when, after gaining... Continue reading
Hits: 2473
29
Oct
3

Dialogue

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
On October 31, 2017, Christians will mark the 500th anniversary of the posting of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses on the Castle Door at Wittenberg, Germany, that pivotal opening event of the Protestant Reformation. The Lutheran Catholic Commission on Unity has made a case for an ecumenical commemoration of this significant anniversary. The commission’s report, From Conflict to Communion, proposes a common remembrance of the Reformation by Christian World Communions. The commission’s proposal comes... Continue reading
Hits: 6241
30
Sep
0

Refugees

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Lord, you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place, you subdued the heat with shade of clouds; the song of the ruthless was stilled (Isaiah 25:4-5 NRSV). You see their faces stained... Continue reading
Hits: 3654
31
Aug
2

“Can any good thing come” from Africa?

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
“Can any good thing come from Africa?” Read the news reports and op-eds, and you may be led to believe a negative answer is inevitable. Yet, how incorrect this conclusion is! Consider, for example, the stewardship of one African theologian whose contribution many Baptists worldwide greatly admire. Osadolor Imasogie was born in Benin City in southwest Nigeria in 1928. After serving as a teacher in the Nigerian primary school system, he set... Continue reading
Hits: 4074
01
Jul
2

A Festival of Giving

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
In a matter of days, several thousand Baptists will converge on Durban, South Africa, for the 21st Baptist World Congress. Participants will experience the joy of giving and receiving as we encounter each other with the riches of our unique experiences that are filtered through the lenses of our common commitment to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. From the experience of sharing with each other, we expect to develop... Continue reading
Hits: 4823
01
Jun
0

A Journey Well Worth Taking

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Representatives from the churches in Southern Africa were in attendance when the inaugural congress of what became the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) took place in 1905. Rev. and Mrs. F. G. West from Pietermaritzburg (umGungundlovu in Zulu), Natal, and Mr. T. Burnham King from Kingwilliamstown in the Cape were among the “delegates” attending the London meetings. In his brief address at the congress, Burnham King called the meeting “epoch-making,” and spoke of... Continue reading
Hits: 5084
01
May
0

It is OK to Dream

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
The 4th Baptist International Conference on Theological Education (BICTE) was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 31 to August 3, 1993. I was among those who had the opportunity to participate in this conference that preceded the 12th Baptist Youth World Conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, in August 11-15. While in South Africa, I received fresh insights into the sad effects of the injustice that influenced the World Council of Churches (WCC) to... Continue reading
Hits: 5154
31
Mar
1

When Baptists Meet: A Feast of Diversity

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Some people say that part of the genius of being Baptist is the admissibility of a wide diversity of viewpoints contending with each other, sometimes within a single congregation. Sometimes, each purveyor of these divergent expressions insists that theirs is the truly responsible position. They posit interesting arguments to support their conclusion. In his recently published book, Contesting Catholicity: Theology for Other Baptists (Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2014) Baptist scholar Curtis... Continue reading
Hits: 4821