Blogs

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form
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: 419
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: 694
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: 886
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: 874
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: 1005
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: 1075
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: 1053
01
Sep
1
Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
In a recent Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) talk, Alexander Betts, British social scientist and director of the Refugee Centre at the University of Oxford, commented on “Why Brexit happened – and what to do next.” In his speech, Betts identified the urgent need to rescue globalization from the neoliberal agenda that is elitist and unmindful of the welfare of the entire populace. He renewed the call for “inclusive globalization,” which was... Continue reading
Hits: 1482
01
Jul
3

For Faithful and Responsible Discipleship

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
How does the church respond to the growing trend of popular protest against certain effects of globalization? What is the proper role of theologians? These questions reflect why it can be said that Steve Harmon's recently published book, Baptist Identity and the Ecumenical Future: Story, Tradition, and the Recovery of Community (Baylor, 2016) has appeared at a most opportune time. The book becomes available when many people are crumbling under the weight... Continue reading
Hits: 1746
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: 1617
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: 1627
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: 3303
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: 1361
01
Feb
1
Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
When his book, Salt, Light and A City: Introducing Missional Ecclesiology was released in 2012, Graham Hill promised his readers a companion volume that would draw from theological works in the “Majority World” as a contribution to a better understanding of the missional nature and practice of the church. The promised book, Global Church: Reshaping our Conversations, Renewing our Mission, Revitalizing our Churches (Downer’s Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016) is now available.... Continue reading
Hits: 2421
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: 3224
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: 2399
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: 6034
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: 3576
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: 4010
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: 4767
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: 5028
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: 5089
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: 4766
18
Mar
1

Africa beckons; South Africa waits

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Since the inaugural global Baptist gathering in 1905, 20 congresses have provided special memories for Baptists around the world. In July this year, Africa will play host to the first congress to be held on this vast continent that has so far provided one of the 20 BWA presidents. All Africa awaits the coming of the Baptists, more than a thousand of whom have already registered to attend the congress. South Africa... Continue reading
Hits: 4390
18
Mar
1
Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
A three-month long conference took place in Berlin, Germany, which had a significant effect on the future of Africa. It started on November 15, 1884 and ended on February 26, 1885. Fourteen powers were represented: Portugal, Germany, Great Britain, France, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Russia, Sweden-Norway, Turkey and the USA. The conference provided a forum for the discussion of how to regulate the colonization of Africa, establishing boundaries for the... Continue reading
Hits: 3804
03
Feb
1

Time to Celebrate

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
During this month, Baptists around the world mark BWA Day. Following the decision of the BWA General Council meeting in Izmir, the second Sunday of February and the Saturday preceding that day will be marked as such. On BWA day, Baptists unite to celebrate their common belonging to Jesus Christ and their common heritage as Baptist Christians. Like those who belong to other Christian World Communions, Baptists acknowledge the forces that have... Continue reading
Hits: 3165
14
May
1

Singapore 2013

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Why do thousands of children and young people attend Baptist Youth World Conferences? Since the first of these conferences, BWA records reveal that 57,000 persons have attended and, no doubt, many have been enriched by the multiple opportunities to listen to narratives of faith shared by Baptist youth from places they never knew existed. Many have had their faith in God strengthened and some have discovered their own spiritual vocation at these... Continue reading
Hits: 6611
01
Feb
2

The Church and Disability

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
How would you describe the attitude of your church toward people with disabilities? In 2006, the United Nations passed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. To date, this convention has attracted some 157 signatories, but only 127 ratifications. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has fared worse than the convention itself, having attracted less than 100 signatories and just about 75 ratifications. For... Continue reading
Hits: 7957
02
Apr
1

Finding More Light and Truth

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Some Baptists have claimed to be "a people of the book." Often, this self-designation is meant to highlight the value we place on the Bible. In We Baptists, published by the BWA in 1999, the priority Baptists assign to the Bible is reflected in a number of ways. Take the following affirmation, for example:Baptists believe that the Bible is both the true record of God's revelation to our world and the supreme... Continue reading
Hits: 8684
01
Mar
0

Challenge and Opportunity

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Christians everywhere should analyze carefully the study on "The Global Religious Landscape" recently released by The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The report is available at: http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Religious_Affiliation/globalReligion-full.pdf                                                      The study is based on data from censuses and other demographic sources, collected from 232 countries and territories and reflecting people's self-identification. It reveals that eight in 10 people in the world identify themselves with a religious group -- a sign that people... Continue reading
Hits: 6472
02
Jan
1

Incomparable Enrichment of Life

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
make disciples of all nations ... (Matthew 28:18) A fundamental aspect of our calling as Christians is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. This was the focus of an email I received some two and a half years ago from an educator in New Zealand. He had read an editorial I had written under the caption "Follow God fearlessly" and, in his encouraging response, urged the importance of personal witnessing... Continue reading
Hits: 6045
03
Dec
1

The Stranger in our Midst

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
When the Council of the European Baptist Federation (EBF) met in Rome, Italy, in 2010, one of the resolutions it affirmed dealt with the Christian attitude to strangers. "We believe," the EBF said, "that God commands us in the scriptures to love and to welcome the stranger. We urge all Baptists to show hospitality toward immigrants, refugees and ethnic minority groups and to work for a welcoming attitude in our societies." According... Continue reading
Hits: 13206
01
Nov
0

The joy of corporate worship

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Long will I remember the week in 1997 that I spent in Faverges, a beautiful town in Haute-Savoie in the Rhône-Alpes region in Southeastern France. I was attending a conference on baptism where contemporary liturgical scholars were to reflect on what systematic theologians and biblical scholars from different Christian World Communions had written on the subject. These liturgical scholars focused on baptism as practiced by various church communions and how such practices... Continue reading
Hits: 6576
04
Oct
1

The Culture of Flattery

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Decades ago, in her influential book on lying, philosopher Sisela Bok asserted that lying has implications for the morality of the choices we make in both private and public life. In the main, Bok advanced strong arguments for the adoption of the principle of veracity. Is this a principle that we honor in our various relationships? In large organizations where many participants are volunteers, there is  temptation to engage in lying as... Continue reading
Hits: 22226
06
Sep
0

Emails!

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
In the early 1970s, to send a letter to someone, the main avenue available was the mail service. One would craft a letter, edit it, place it in an envelope, take it to the post office, purchase and affix a stamp to the envelope and mail it. What wonderful memories! Then, a new means of communication - electronic mail or email - burst on the scene. Wikipedia traces the advent of emails... Continue reading
Hits: 6994
04
Jun
3

Leaving a Godly Heritage

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
In a recent editorial in BWA Connect, I referred to the text of the official notice that the University of Wittenberg issued on the passing of Martin Luther in 1546. The notice prompted a reflection on "Heaven's Ambassadors" and the virtue we may cultivate of loving and respecting them. The official notice of Luther's passing suggests another comment. The following is part of the text of the announcement: "During the funeral solemnities,... Continue reading
Hits: 7164
28
Jun
6

Thinking about the church and Its mission

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Graham Hill's book, Salt Light, and a City: Introducing Missional Ecclesiology. I started reading this book a mere two days after the Standing Commission on Faith and Order voted to approve what is expected to be a significant convergence text on the church. This text, which should soon appear in print, is the product of years of serious multilateral theological engagement by the Faith and... Continue reading
Hits: 28804
14
May
2

An Appeal to Church Historians

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
Recently, I read the book, New Century/New Directions edited by James and Carole Spickelmier. The volume helpfully brings together insights from a number of carefully chosen persons who are committed to the effectiveness of Converge Worldwide, the organization under review. The result is a very useful product! We commend the authors and the Baptist organization they serve for supporting a publication of this kind. They reflect the maturity and openness that are... Continue reading
Hits: 10495
26
Apr
0

Proximity to Political Power

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog

Ever since Constantine adopted a more tolerant attitude toward the church, followers of Christ have been at risk of dancing to the music from the halls of political power and finding ways of justifying edicts coming from the political sphere. In this 400th year of the publication of Thomas Helwys' A Declaration on the Mystery of Iniquity, we reaffirm the danger of pursuing religious ends by seeking proximity to political power.

Continue reading
Hits: 6825