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New Internet journal provides tools, resources for ministers

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–How can pastors speak with authority and clarity to prominent issues in the public square?

According to a new online journal, the answer lies in applying biblical truth and historical precedent to contemporary situations.

“Kairos Journal,” an online resource for pastors, made its debut in the Southern Baptist world at the annual June meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis, where the journal’s editorial team showed pastors how the online resource can aid them in sermon preparation.

“There was a day in which when a pastor stood in the pulpit, what the pastor had to say made a difference in the community,” said C. Ben Mitchell, a member of the Kairos editorial team and consultant for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “There was a prophetic word for the culture. So Kairos Journal is a resource to provide pastors with tools they can use to help restore the prophetic role of the church.”

Pastors use the journal by entering either a biblical reference or a current topic of interest into the “Kairos Journal” search engine. In response to the search request, the website provides pastors with a series of one-page articles that will help them prepare a sermon on the verses or topic requested.

Currently, the Kairos database includes more than 600 articles, said Mitchell, who also serves as professor of bioethics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in suburban Chicago. The editorial team expects to add articles at a rate of 10-15 each week.

Southern Baptist contributors to the journal include Mark Coppenger, pastor of Evanston Baptist Church in Evanston, Ill.; Doug Baker, a writer from Washington, D.C.; Greg Thornbury, assistant professor of Christian studies at Union University in Jackson, Tenn.; and Greg Gilbert, a student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

“Kairos Journal helps pastors to regain their rightful voice,” said Coppenger, who serves as the journal’s managing editor. “It’s a voice of confidence rooted in Scripture, a voice of cultural engagement.”

One of the journal’s greatest contributions, Coppenger said, is its ability to connect pastors with great Christian thinkers of the past.

“When you walk with [Jonathan] Edwards, when you walk with Polycarp … you are ennobled,” Coppenger said. “… To be able to walk with giants is a very stirring thing, and that is what we allow people to do.”

The Kairos editorial team currently is working on a Spanish language version of the journal, and requests have been made for a Chinese version.

The journal has received endorsements from R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary; Kent Hughes, pastor of College Church in Wheaton, Ill.; David Dockery, president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn.; and Ligon Duncan, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss.

Those interested in further information about the “Kairos Journal” should visit the website at www.kairosjournal.org.