ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–The nuts and bolts of biblical doctrine as expressed in Southern Baptists’ statement of beliefs, the Baptist Faith and Message, might seem intimidating to many of today’s teens, but a new series of articles in the North American Mission Board’s Go! magazine for students is trying to change that.
Each issue of the magazine over the next year will deal with a particular area of Southern Baptist doctrine in an approachable, easy-to-understand style.
Nate Adams, vice president of mobilization and media for NAMB, said the series follows other articles in the magazine over the past four years comparing Baptist doctrine and distinctives with those of other denominations.
“We felt the next logical step was to summarize the Baptist Faith and Message, and give Go!’s readers a concise, student-friendly summary of what Southern Baptists believe,” Adams said. “We hope students will then study the Baptist Faith & Message document itself in more detail and develop a deeper understanding of major Bible doctrines.”
The first article, which appears in the September/October issue deals with the theology of God, man and salvation.
“What’s your first thought when you hear the words doctrine and theology?” the article begins. “Boring? Deep? Stale? Those words can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be. Actually, they describe a very simple idea: what we believe about God.
“Why does it matter?” the text continues. “Because if you don’t know the basics of what you believe about God, His Word, and His creation, how can you live out your faith and share it with those who don’t believe? If your most important relationship is with God, it makes sense to get to know what He’s all about.”
Go! magazine, which started in 1999 and now has a circulation of about 42,000, is a resource for students who share a passion for seeing people around them discover Christ.
Because today’s students are “as likely to meet a Muslim or Buddhist as they are a Presbyterian or a Catholic,” Adams noted: “We want to equip them with both a Christian worldview and a thoughtful understanding of the similarities and differences between Christian groups. We want them to be thoughtful proponents for biblical Christianity.
While “our primary goal is to equip students to share Christ in their world,” Adams added: “… we also want them to understand the unique beliefs and practices of Southern Baptists and to value the denomination’s role in uniting likeminded believers and churches in doctrine, trustworthy resources and missions cooperation.”
Citing some surveys’ reports that Christian denominations are having less of an influence in churches, Adams said, “In this day of religious pluralism, we believe that just the opposite should be the case. Students who understand what it means to be a Southern Baptist versus just a ‘generic’ Christian will have deeper understanding of the Bible and a deeper commitment to working cooperatively to reach the world for Christ.”
The articles began in the recently released September/October issue of the magazine. The next issue will examine doctrines of the Bible, the church and the family.
For more on Go! Magazine, visit www.go.studentz.com.