SBC DIGEST (Updated): Mo. Baptists release book on the Trinity; emeritus missionaries Broadus and Margaret Hale die

by The Pathway & IMB Staff, posted Wednesday, July 31, 2019 (4 months ago)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated after it was posted.

Mo. conv. offers 'What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity'

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP) -- "What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity" has been released by the Missouri Baptist Convention as a resource for personal or group study.

Written by Rob Phillips, the convention's ministry support director, the book explores the biblical foundation for the Christian belief in one true and living God who exists as three distinct but inseparable, co-equal, co-eternal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Rob Phillips
 
The 250-page book, written for pastors and laypeople alike, encompasses 12 chapters that conclude with study questions.

Phillips, who also leads the OnceDelivered.net apologetics ministry, said the book parallels his personal experience.

"I often struggled to understand and explain the Trinity although I believed it to be true. Sometimes I used analogies that fell short or were just plain wrong," he recounted. "So, I began reading a lot of material about the Trinity and found some excellent resources from leading evangelicals.

"Some of them proved too scholarly for me, however, and some didn't quite go deeply enough," he said. "So, my goal was to develop a resource that Southern Baptists could apply in personal or group study.

"From the earliest days of the church," Phillips noted, "Christians have believed the doctrine of the Trinity but few have been able to articulate it, especially when confronted by those who deny it as unbiblical or unreasonable -- from Arius in the fourth century to Jehovah's Witnesses today.

"This is such an important doctrine that affects other Christian doctrines such as creation and salvation; these doctrines cannot properly be understood apart from the triunity of God."

Christian apologist and author Robert M. Bowman Jr. stated in the foreword that the book "does two things that are especially valuable for Christians seeking to live faithfully in this often-confusing world."

"First, it carefully explains how the doctrine of the Trinity intersects with other areas of Christian belief," Bowman wrote. "The other important thread running through this book is the contrast between the biblical, sound Christian doctrine of the Trinity and the false doctrines being taught by various religious groups today."

Unitarians, as noted by Bowman, maintain that Jesus did not exist in heaven before His human life on earth, but instead was created in the womb of the virgin Mary, lived as a perfect man, was raised from the dead and was exalted to heaven as a semi-divine being.

Mormonism, Bowman continued, teaches that Christ is the first spirit son of a heavenly Father and a heavenly mother, who were mankind's spiritual parents in heaven before being born as physical beings on earth.

And Jehovah's Witnesses claim that Jesus Christ was originally Michael the archangel, a super-angel that God created and later sent as a perfect man -- but no more than that -- to die and then become re-created as an angel.

"By explaining the differences between these (and other) false doctrines and what the Bible teaches, this book brings into focus why the doctrine of the Trinity matters," Bowman wrote.

John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, said the book can be useful as a church wide or small group study.

"The doctrine of the Trinity distinguishes orthodox Christianity from counterfeit forms of the faith and sets Christianity apart from other monotheistic religions such as Judaism and Islam," Yeats said. "Even so, many Christians struggle to understand and explain this non-negotiable doctrine.

"A careful study of the Trinity helps build confidence in the Word of God and alerts us to many false teachings about our great God and Savior," Yeats said.

Among the book's chapters: Defining the Trinity; False Views of the Trinity; Jesus as the God-Man; The Holy Spirit is God; The Trinity and Creation; The Trinity and Salvation; and The Trinity and Scripture.

What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity is available in print at mobaptist.org/apologetics. Print and Kindle editions also may be purchased at Amazon.com. The Missouri convention is offering churches a discounted price of $5 per copy plus shipping when ordering five copies or more through the convention. For more information, send an email to cdowell@mobaptist.org.

Phillips, who is certified in Christian apologetics by the North American Mission Board, is the author of seven other books: "The Kingdom According to Jesus"; "The Apologist's Tool Kit"; "What Every Christian Should Know about Islam" "What Every Christian Should Know about Same-sex Attraction"; "What Everyone Should Know about the Afterlife"; "The Last Apologist: A Commentary on Jude for Defenders of the Christian Faith"; and "What Every Christian Should Know about Salvation."

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Emeritus missionaries Broadus & Margaret Hale die

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) -- Broadus and Margaret Hale, emeritus International Mission Board missionaries in Canada, Brazil and Zimbabwe over the course of 29 years, died May 31 and July 4, respectively, in Oklahoma City. He was 91; she was 84.

Margaret and Broadus Hale
 
They met at Highland Baptist Church in Albuquerque and were married there nearly 63 years ago.

Margaret Hale in retirement served four terms as president of New Mexico Woman's Missionary Union and then as the Baptist Convention of New Mexico's missions growth consultant. Broadus Hale did interim pastoral work.

They moved to the Baptist Village retirement center in Oklahoma City in 2014.

A memorial service for the Hales was held July 19 at Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Albuquerque.

Hale wrote in his missionary application during the mid-1960s that while teaching at Union Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans in 1955, “I became concerned about the vast numbers of people who had no opportunity to hear about Christ.” He surrendered for missionary service at one of the school’s missionary day programs.

He also had been corresponding in 1955 with Margaret Owens who felt a similar call. They were married in August 1956. The Hales were appointed as IMB missionaries in August 1967.

Broadus Hale taught and served in leadership roles for many years at the Baptist Theological Seminary of South Brazil and the Women’s Training School in Rio de Janeiro, while Margaret Hale taught secretarial skills.

During their first year in Brazil, the Hales saw a new church born.

“Our little church has been a blessing to us this past year,” they wrote in December 1969. “We shall have our first baptismal service the Sunday before Christmas. … Our church is composed of very poor people, some of whom receive less than thirty dollars (equivalent) a month, too poor to buy a Bible -- even if they could read. But they are joyful crentes (believers) and know … joy in their salvation.”

Hale influenced generations of Portuguese-speaking students through his book, "Introdução ao Estudo do Novo Testament" (Introduction to the New Testament Study). He also served for a time as pastor of the International Baptist Church in Rio.

In 1985, the Hales served in Zimbabwe, where he supervised the Portuguese department of the Baptist Theological Seminary of Zimbabwe in Gweru and served as pastor of Gweru Baptist Church. The Hales transferred in 1988 to Canada, where he taught history, polity and missions strategy at the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary in Cochrane, Alberta, until his retirement in 1996.

Hale held bachelor of divinity and doctor of theology degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and an undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Hale was an Oklahoma native who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during the late 1940s and subsequently in the New Mexico National Guard during the Korean War. Margaret Hale was a Louisiana native. Both graduated from high school in Albuquerque, he in 1945, she in 1953.

The Hales are survived by two daughters, Sally and Beth, and five grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Ave., Richmond, VA 23230, or online at www.imb.org/give.

Compiled by Baptist Press senior editor Art Toalston from reporting by The Pathway of the Missouri Baptist Convention and Mary Jane Welch of the International Mission Board.
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