EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.
Today’s BP Ledger contains items from:
Answers in Genesis
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ark Encounter site
now open to the public
PETERSBURG, Ky. (Answers in Genesis) — As construction progresses on the life-size Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky (to open in 2016), tourists who are in the region to visit places like the Creation Museum of Answers in Genesis now have a second fascinating AiG attraction to see: the building of the 510-foot-long Ark in Williamstown, south of Cincinnati, at a theme park called Ark Encounter.
Now that the dust from the massive excavation has settled and the lumber and timbers have arrived for the Ark, the general public will have the opportunity to visit the massive Ark Encounter construction site this summer in scenic northern Kentucky, at exit 154 off busy I-75.
Ken Ham, AiG president, stated: “Visitors will have the thrill of witnessing firsthand the historic construction of Noah’s Ark, being built according to the biblical proportions described in Scripture. Our guests will safely observe the Ark from a viewing spot just outside the actual hard-hat area. It will be their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see an Ark being built, which will become the largest timber-frame building in the world.”
From this vantage point, Ark visitors will be able to watch the crews assemble the support towers this month, and over the next few months see the placement of lumber and timbers in sections called bents (or “ribs”) on the Ark foundation.
Tickets are required for this viewing opportunity. The cost is $20 per vehicle or $10 per vehicle for Creation Museum members. The small admission fee helps cover staffing and to maintain a safe environment. Ark Encounter Boarding Pass members are admitted free, though are asked to call ahead (800-721-2298). Because of a lack of turnaround space, no RVs or buses are allowed.
Museum and Ark members, plus anyone else wanting to purchase Ark viewing tickets, may pick up tickets at the Creation Museum guest services counter or at the Ark entrance itself. All interested Ark visitors are encouraged to go to the website of www.arkencounter.com/visit-the-ark as they make their plans. The observation area will be open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (Some restrictions apply – for example, on June 19 and August 7, the site will be closed to the general public; also, bad weather may prevent entry.)
During 2015, and in honor of the upcoming Ark Encounter, the Creation Museum is having a “2 BUY 2” promotion. The phrase alludes to Genesis 7:9, which describes the animals entering the Ark “two by two.”
Families that purchase two or more full-priced adult museum general admission tickets will receive two or more free admission tickets of equal or lesser value this year. This special program will allow more family and friends to experience the state-of-the-art 75,000 square-foot museum, which brings the pages of the Bible to life. (Note: All tickets received from this promotion must be used on the date of purchase; other rules and restrictions apply.)
Meanwhile, AiG’s federal lawsuit against the state of Kentucky for engaging in unlawful religious discrimination is still in the courts. Last year, AiG was granted preliminary approval for a rebate of future sales tax collected at the attraction if attendance is high. After pressure from secular groups, Gov. Steve Beshear led the state to reverse its decision.
Although the popular rebate program has allowed many other tourist-attraction developers to qualify for a gradual rebate of a portion of new state sales taxes their projects generate, AiG’s lawsuit explains that its application for the incentive program has been blocked by state officials simply because: 1) of the Ark project’s religious messaging; and 2) of the intention of AiG to utilize religious preferences in hiring at the Ark. A video that explains the suit’s background and dispels several myths about the project (e.g., that state taxpayer money is helping to build the Ark), is posted at: https://AnswersForFreedom.org.
Russell Moore to
join NHCLC board
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference) — Reverend Samuel Rodriguez and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) announces evangelical theologian, ethicist and minister Dr. Russell Moore to its organizational board.
“I am happy to join my friends at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference,” Moore said. “I pray that God would enable us, together, to raise up a new generation of gospel-centered Hispanic leaders to evangelize the Americas and the rest of the world for the glory of Jesus Christ.”
Moore serves as president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which is the nation’s largest Protestant denomination moral and public policy agency.
Moore has partnered with Rodriguez and NHCLC on a number of initiatives in the past including the 21 Martyrs Campaign. Moore was also a keynote speaker at the 2015 NHCLC National Convention along with presidential candidate Gov. Mike Hucabee, presumed candidate Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.)
“The nomination of Dr. Moore to the board emphasizes one of our most important directives and goals of the immediate future — the cause of religious liberty and freedom here in the United States and around the world,” said Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of NHCLC. “We look forward to having him join our efforts to spread to fight for justice during this critical time.”
NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. The organization seeks to reconcile Evangelist Billy Graham’s message of salvation through Christ with Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march of prophetic activism. A bipartisan organization, NHCLC/CONEL follows the agenda of the Lamb, not the donkey or the elephant, and emphasizes “7 Directives” of Life, Family, Compassionate Evangelism, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org.
Doxology, Boyce Vocal Band release new albums
By Mackenzie Miller
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) — Two biblical worship groups at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently released albums to minister to a wider audience than the seminary community.
The vocal ensemble Doxology released its second album, O Great Redeemer, in April. The album contains six a cappella pieces, including the modern “Sing, Sing, Sing” and rearranged hymns “On Eagle’s Wings” and “Nearer My God to Thee.” The CD also features Norton Hall Band, another of Southern Seminary’s worship teams.
“The recording project was a grueling but wonderful culmination of hundreds of man-hours of work both collectively and individually,” said Doxology director Charles Lewis, who is also associate professor of church music and worship. “In many ways, making a recording in the 21st century is similar to writing a book. It becomes a lasting testimony of this generation’s proclamation of the Christian faith once for all delivered to the saints encapsulated in the lyrics of ‘O Great Redeemer.'”
A 16-member vocal ensemble, Doxology represents Austria, Ukraine, Uganda, Honduras, South Korea and the United States. Lewis says the group’s diversity, talent and exemplary hearts allow them to serve as prominent ambassadors for Southern Seminary and Boyce College.
“They serve tirelessly to prepare spiritually and musically to be a vessel for honor that is usable by God for his good purposes,” Lewis said. “As their director, I love to see how God brings voices from all of the world to Southern Seminary to declare his praise. Though from diverse national backgrounds, God has given Doxology a special unity of voice and heart that celebrates Christ and his gospel in unique and creative ways.”
Doxology performs for various churches and colleges across the United States and sings a variety of styles, including traditional, a cappella, jazz and gospel, all of which are represented in O Great Redeemer. The album was engineered by Steve Cook of Sovereign Grace Ministries.
“I am beyond thankful for being part of our newest CD. It presents a response to His grace, love, faithfulness and holiness. The songs reflect a deep sense of adoration and awe towards a holy God, our great Redeemer,” said Doxology member Debora Haller, of Eferding, Austria.
Boyce Vocal Band is a nine-member group that balances a cappella hymns with arrangements of new worship songs. The group’s first album, He Will Hold Me Fast, consists primarily of hymns arranged by band members. Selections on the album include “I Stand Amazed” and 19th-century hymns “It is Well” and “He Will Hold Me Fast.”
The band recorded the album over two weekends in Alumni Chapel and Cooke Hall using the Department of Biblical Worship’s newly acquired recording equipment. Mark Owens and Jacob Bozarth of Resonant Recordings engineered the album.
Boyce Vocal Band members said that recording He Will Hold Me Fast pushed them to be more intentional in their musicianship, since many of the members had never recorded an album before.
“Recording the CD with them has been a milestone,” said band member and Boyce junior Rachel Borengasser, of Pulaski, Tennessee. “The members of BVB are like family to me and their character was revealed, even in the recording process in how we worked together through the minor details required by such a process. Recording has been helpful in taking the next step of musicianship and teamwork.”
The worship team is selected by audition only, and group members receive a scholarship. Greg Brewton, Carolyn King Ragan Associate Professor of Church Music, serves as the band’s director.
The Institute for Biblical Worship at Southern Seminary sponsored both recording projects, as well as the recent Norton Hall album, Be Thou My Vision.
“The institute exists to serve churches, pastors and students by providing resources, research, and music that encourage Christ-honoring, Bible-centered and gospel-focused corporate worship,” said Joseph Crider, Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of Church Music and Worship and executive director of the Institute for Biblical Worship.
All the albums from Doxology, Boyce Vocal Band and Norton Hall are available in the seminary’s LifeWay Campus Bookstore and on iTunes. A music video of Doxology’s “My Ransom” is available online at vimeo.com/128522538.
For more information about the Institute for Biblical Worship, visit the new website at www.biblicalworship.com.