High court's order raises question on abortion
Survey: Americans want more Christ this Christmas
Refugee stories stretch volunteer's 'narrow view'
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Seminary releases 'honest lament' on slavery, racismLOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary released a report today (Dec. 12) that discloses the history of slavery and racism at the seminary.
"Slavery was not only tolerated in many schools, but also expressly defended and even praised as divinely ordained," the seminary said in its initial news release on the school's past. "Though this was true of many of the most historic colleges and universities in the nation, it was particularly true of the South. Theological seminaries were not innocent of this charge, and this included Southern Baptist Theological Seminary."
Produced by a team of its faculty, the report recounts the history of these issues at Southern Seminary -- from the school's slave-holding founders in the 19th century to its segregation-defending faculty in the early decades of the 20th century. The report, commissioned by President R. Albert Mohler Jr., represents a year of research conducted by a committee of six current and former Southern Seminary faculty members. Read More
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Chitwood to continue IMB abuse & harassment studyRICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Newly-elected International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood has promised to continue an independent study of "IMB's handling of past allegations of abuse and sexual harassment and IMB's present policies and practices," according to an IMB news release today (Dec. 12).
"This is tremendously important work," Chitwood said. "Under my leadership, in partnership with our trustee board, IMB remains fully committed to following through on its promise of a thorough, independent examination." Read More
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God promises to never leave, Akin tells SEBTS gradsWAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) -- Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin encouraged 169 new seminary graduates and 30 undergraduates Dec. 7 to trust in the steadfast promise that God will never abandon them.
Akin highlighted two points in his commencement message from Hebrews 13:5. First, he said God is the one who makes this promise. Noting similar Old Testament promises from Deuteronomy 31:6,8 and Joshua 1:5, Akin explained that God has promised to never leave His children in the past nor will He leave His children in the present.
"This is a truth that was real for Old Testament saints; it is a truth that was real for New Testament saints; and it is a truth that is real for you and me today right where we are," he said. Read More
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Midwestern sends 167 December grads into ministryKANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) -- In a celebratory spirit akin to the Christmas season, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary celebrated 167 students' hard work and dedication during the 64th commencement Dec. 7 at the Kansas City, Mo., campus.
MBTS President Jason Allen delivered the graduation address, challenging the graduates to be courageous in carrying out their ministry calling, speaking from the Daniel 3 account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego's experience with Nebuchadnezzar and the fiery furnace.
"The moral of this story is not that whenever you find yourself enduring a challenging ministry place or a culture bent on persecution, that you personally will be delivered," Allen said. "The story is that Christ, who shows up [in Daniel 3] in preincarnate fashion, will be there with you." Read More
Mohler underscores 'something glorious' to SBTS gradsLOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Seminary graduates bear witness to the glory of God's reign promised by the birth of the Messiah, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at the school's 222nd commencement exercises.
During the Dec. 6 ceremony in Louisville, Ky., 156 master's and doctoral students were present to receive their degrees on Friday as members of an overall 208-person graduating class.
In his address, titled "For the Earth Shall Be Full of the Knowledge of the Lord as the Waters Cover the Sea," Mohler said the graduates of Southern Seminary are part of a global movement that began in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. And that movement will not stop until God's glory spreads to the entire world, he said. Read More
Former Houston's First minister admits embezzlementHOUSTON (BP) -- A former pastoral staff member at Houston's First Baptist Church has admitted to embezzling more than $800,000 from the congregation, according to media reports.
Jerrell Altic, 40, was indicted Dec. 10 for first degree felony theft of more than $800,000 from 2011-17, Houston's First said in a statement by pastor Gregg Matte and deacon chairman Craig Bloodworth. Altic surrendered to law enforcement today (Dec. 11) and has "admitted fully to the offense," his attorney James Alston said according to The Houston Chronicle.
Altic is "working with the church, he's trying to make amends for everything that he possibly can," Alston said, adding, "He feels horrible for what has happened and the pain that it's caused everyone at the church, and his family members and friends. He would want me to tell everyone that he's sorry." Read More
FROM THE STATES: Ala., Tenn., Okla. evangelism/missions news; '... [T]hey ... are going to spend eternity either in heaven or hell'
Today's From the States features items from: The Alabama Baptist; Baptist and Reflector (Tennessee); Baptist Messenger (Oklahoma) Read More
Chinese Christians: We will 'stand strong'SICHAUN PROVINCE, China (BP) -- As China continues to hunt down and arrest members of a house church in Sichuan Province, many of the 100 or more Christians arrested reportedly pledged in advance to persevere even until death.
Gina Goh, Southeast Asia regional manager for International Christian Concern, said many leaders of Autumn Rain Covenant Church counted the cost and pledged faithfulness in advance of arrests at homes, workplaces and on the streets that have continued since Dec. 9.
"I think a lesson we can learn from them is they continue to say that, 'No matter what may come, we will continue to serve the Lord. We will continue to stand strong in our faith,'" Goh told Baptist Press today (Dec. 11). "As was demonstrated in this church, ... their pastor, a lot of elders, actually wrote letters to their congregation saying that, 'We will not bend, even if it means jail, even if it means death. We will continue to preserve our faith.'" Read More