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TAYLORS, S.C. (BP)--As president of the Southern Baptist Convention, I regularly am given books to read. I also often am asked for endorsements and recommendations.
While it will take many years for me to finish reading all the books I've been given, on occasion I find one that is in desperate need of being read by me as well as by others. One such book is "Building Bridges" by David Dockery of Union University and Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School. I commend this little book to you -- it is filled with wonderful encouragement to us as Southern Baptists.
One of the things that it points out is that our diversity is profound. We have a bad tendency to label people in two or three groups. Dr. Dockery does a phenomenal job of accurately describing a large number of subgroups that are currently active within our convention. While you may or may not fit into one of these categories, it helps us to see that we are far more diverse than maybe we previously had thought.
The book points to the truth that our potential is awesome. I have stated around our convention that if we move in the common direction of supporting missions and evangelism as we should, God can do great things through us. It is my prayer that we truly will get behind the task of world missions and evangelization. Please give serious support to our missions offerings and most of all to the Cooperative Program so that we might be able to fund the work God has called us to.
One other thing that is evident in this little book is that our calling is clear. We stand together in a belief that God's Word is the authoritative source for direction in our lives. The Great Commandment and the Great Commission are abidingly clear in their commands. Let us love one another and let us take that love to the entire world. Yes, our calling is clear.
It is time for Southern Baptists to build bridges, rather than tear them down. Let us start by reaching out within our convention, building a unity that is commanded by God, blessed by God and enabled by His precious Holy Spirit.
Frank Page is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C.