Douglas E. Baker

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FIRST-PERSON: Inerrancy isn’t enough

WASHINGTON (BP)--Russia is the largest country on earth and full of natural resources, but it is dying. Its people cannot surmount the degradation of years of neglect and of rhetoric that promised so much, but delivered so little.

FIRST-PERSON: Harry Potter & Sunday School

WASHINGTON (BP)--Now that the evangelical furor and fundraising has temporarily subsided over the release of the sixth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," perhaps a brief educational study is in order.

FIRST-PERSON: Warnings on the road to discipline

WASHINGTON (BP)--As a growing topic of discussion among all evangelicals, church discipline has found renewed purpose in significant congregations across the nation. The advocates of church discipline are finding their voices heard in new ways by new publics. There is, of course, strong support for strengthening the moral fiber of the local church, and many believe church discipline is the biblical answer to what has become the sagging and insipid American church experience.

FIRST-PERSON: Semper Reformanda: more than a phrase

WASHINGTON (BP)--Can it be that the conservative resurgence in the SBC is turning 27 years old? Southern Baptists in their mid-30s were but children when Adrian Rogers was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979. Much has happened since those days of large conventions and presidential elections where warring sides voiced their opinions at the open microphones on the convention floor. Few young pastors even remember those days and all the issues involved in the struggle for the soul of the Southern Baptist Convention.

FIRST-PERSON: Putting purpose in its place

WASHINGTON (BP)--The repatriation of today’s warriors into the normal routine of life is proving to be more difficult than originally thought by military leaders. Longer periods of adjustment are required when they arrive back home.

FIRST-PERSON: The Gospel at the center

WASHINGTON (BP)--Wheaton College graduate Rob Bell and his wife, Kristen, started Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., with a desire to reach people for Christ.

FIRST-PERSON: Emergent evangelism: salvation by consensus?

WASHINGTON (BP)--The increasing vexation among many younger Christian leaders who embrace what has come to be known as the “Emerging Church Movement” centers on what they perceive to be the ineffective ministries of older generations. Many young ministers rightly believe that some church programs designed to "build the church" actually do the opposite and stem from theological errors, not simply shifts in methodology.

FIRST-PERSON: Votes, values & voices at the SBC

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Talking values
Brad Patterson (left), pastor of Poplar Grove Baptist Church in Trenton, Tenn., and his wife, Tracy, speak with iVoteValues volunteer Tom Toner of Thompson Station (Tenn.) Baptist Church in the exhibit hall at the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville. Photo by Kent Harville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The power of image can be great especially when it comes to the stereotypes commonly associated with religious people. No place is so full of journalistic fodder as the exhibit hall of any major religious convention, but this is especially so with the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

FIRST-PERSON: The church & Social Security (part 3)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (BP)--Often, the ideas of political science and public policy are driven by theological concepts cloaked by public rhetoric, with words such as "compassion" and "morality."

FIRST-PERSON: The church & Social Security (Part 2)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (BP)--In the late 1800s German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck saw that expanding government power through the means of a government-funded pension system would make people "far more content and far easier to handle than one who has no such prospect."