Wednesday, February 28, 2018Download All Stories
Stetzer undergirds evangelism at Billy Graham CenterWHEATON, Ill. (BP) -- Ed Stetzer works amid the aura of Billy Graham each day at Wheaton College.
Stetzer, a longtime Southern Baptist denominational personality who began as a church planter in Buffalo, N.Y., joined Wheaton's faculty in 2016 as the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission and Evangelism and as executive director of the college's Billy Graham Center.
"Holding the Billy Graham chair" -- an academic post, "not a literal chair" -- "reminds me each day of the importance of prioritizing a verbal Gospel witness," Stetzer told Baptist Press. Read More
Creating evangelism culture focus of Engage 24 eventLAS VEGAS (BP) -- "We are five men who are sharing our laboratory results," said Hal Seed, senior pastor at New Song Community Church in Oceanside, Calif., at this year's Engage 24 Workshop. "We are sharing stories of real-life churches that are doing things to reach the lost that will hopefully spark a thought or idea."
Engage 24 was hosted at Shadow Hills Church in Las Vegas by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) for two days before continuing its workshops in different states. The event focused on encouraging pastors and church leaders and covered practical ways they could create and foster a culture of evangelism in their own churches. Read More
Shootings spark gun control discussion among BaptistsNASHVILLE (BP) -- Amid a tragic stream of mass shootings -- including incidents in Las Vegas; Sutherland Springs, Texas; Marshall County, Ky.; and now Parkland, Fla. -- Southern Baptists have offered a range of proposals on gun control.
While details of the proposals differ, their advocates agree the ultimate problem behind gun violence is spiritual and that believers should not allow differences on gun policy to divide them.
"Gun control, admittedly, is a culturally divisive topic," wrote Todd Deaton, editor of Kentucky's Western Recorder newsjournal, one of at least three Baptist state papers to address gun violence in the past two weeks, "but it's part of a conversation the church needs to help lead our society to have constructively ... for the sake of our children, for the sake of our congregants, for the sake of our communities." Read More
Lankford shares lessons from 'life's great interruption'LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP) -- Sen. James Lankford encouraged students during Liberty University's Convocation to focus less on the occupation or location of their lives, but to have their main goal in life to be following God.
Lankford, a Southern Baptist and Republican from Oklahoma, said following Jesus has never been easy, but it is the main task God asks from His followers.
"Even to the disciples following Jesus always required an enormous amount of faith," Lankford said Monday (Feb. 26) at the Lynchburg, Va. campus. "He didn't give them an occupation and He didn't give them a location, He just said to follow Him." Read More
Pence: Christian communicators needed 'more than ever'NASHVILLE (BP) -- In a time plagued by evil, Americans need the ministry and message provided by Christian communicators, Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday (Feb. 27) at the National Religious Broadcasters' annual convention.
Speaking at the afternoon session of Proclaim 18, NRB's 75th gathering, Pence told the audience of communication professionals, "[Y]our ministry, your message, your values are needed now more than ever before.... Every day, every hour, you speak strength to the heart of the American people. You shape our country. You water the roots of this nation."
The vice president said, "[Y]ou have the power to strengthen the character of this nation." Read More
Relationship between evangelicals and Jews studiedNASHVILLE (BP) -- American evangelicals are known for their support of the nation of Israel -- believing God promised that land to the Jewish people. But a new study shows they also have some more personal motivations.
One in 3 has Jewish friends.
And a few have Jewish ethnicity.
Two percent of Americans with evangelical beliefs -- an estimated 871,000 adult Americans -- also have a Jewish parent or grandparent, according to a recent study by LifeWay Research, conducted Sept. 20-28. Read More
FROM THE SEMINARIES: SWBTS 'flexible access' enrolls off-site studentsFORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- Marilyn Maddox wanted to "shore up" her theological studies, but being a wife, mother and fulltime staff member at a Baptist church in Houston, she was unable to relocate to Fort Worth to attend classes at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Fortunately, Southwestern provides an option other than the residential program that fits her particular circumstances: a "flexible access" master's degree. Read More
Bipartisan anti-sex trafficking bill passes HouseWASHINGTON (BP) -- Sex advertising websites and their users would face penalties for sex trafficking under a bill passed by the U.S. House Feb. 27, amending a law that had shielded such offenders. Similar legislation is pending in the Senate.
A bipartisan group of 388 legislators passed H.R. 1865, termed the "Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA)," to amend Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934. Section 230 had limited the legal liability of interactive computer service providers or users for content they publish that was created by others, according to a summary at Congress.gov. Read More