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Opinion: Taking a leap of faith

September 16, 2011

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By Elizabeth Evans Hagan (ABP) — “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. By faith, Abel.… By faith, Noah.… By faith, Abraham.… By faith, Isaac.… By faith, Jacob.… By faith, Joseph.” And the list could go on. Hebrews 11, the place where these words are found, has […]

South Carolina CBF hosting Brian McLaren

September 16, 2011

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By ABP staff COLUMBIA, S.C. (ABP) – The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina and Baptist studies program at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary are sponsoring four sessions over two days with Brian McLaren, a popular author and leader in the “emergent” church. McLaren, whose books include Naked Spirituality and A New Kind of Christianity, is […]

Opinion: Running on faith

September 16, 2011

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By Bill Leonard (ABP) — In Faith of Our Fathers, Edwin Gaustad wrote that, “In 1800 when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson engaged in the first wide open presidential campaign in American history, Jefferson’s political enemies seized the occasion to abuse and condemn him for being opposed to religion.” Opponents labeled him an atheistic infidel, […]

Church building homes for victims of spring tornadoes

September 16, 2011

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By Bob Allen JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (ABP) – A Baptist church near the path of one of the tornadoes that swept across Alabama in April is halfway toward a goal of building 10 houses for people who lost homes and did not have insurance. Mike Oliver, pastor of First Baptist Church of Williams, says he expected […]

Opinion: A [Baptist] means of conversation

September 15, 2011

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By Zihna Gordon (ABP) – When I was 16 my family moved to a new town and a new denomination. The national leadership of the United Church of Christ had just informed local congregations that by their polity, the issue of whether each church identified themselves as “open and affirming” was each church’s business to […]

Violence taking toll on Syria’s Christians

September 15, 2011

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By ABP staff FALLS CHURCH, Va. (ABP) – Many Christians have fled Syria as a result of public demonstrations and violent government crackdowns in the Middle Eastern country over the past several months, officials of the Baptist World Alliance reported Sept. 14.   BWA leaders said fear and tension have caused many families to flee […]

Wake Forest endowed chair honors Baptist leaders

September 15, 2011

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By ABP staff WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (ABP) – Church history professor Bill J. Leonard has been named the first James and Marilyn Dunn Chair of Baptist Studies at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, officials at the school in Winston-Salem, N.C., announced Sept. 14.   Leonard was founding dean of the Wake Forest School of […]

Clergy seek clemency for death-row inmate

September 15, 2011

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By Bob Allen ATLANTA (ABP) – More than 3,000 clergy and religious leaders from various faith traditions have endorsed a letter seeking clemency for a death-row inmate scheduled for execution in Georgia Sept. 29.   Organizers plan to hand-deliver the letter to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles in advance of a Sept. […]

Baptist university president plans August 2012 retirement

September 15, 2011

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By Word and Way HANNIBAL, Mo. (ABP) — Hannibal-LaGrange University President Woodrow Burt plans to retire next year.   Now in his 18th year as the institution’s head, Burt announced at the HLGU board of trustees meeting Sept. 9 that he will step down on Aug. 31, 2012.   Burt began his career with HLGU […]

Court upholds graduations in church

September 14, 2011

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By Bob Allen MADISON, Wis. (ABP) – A federal court ruled Sept. 9 that two Wisconsin public high schools’ practice of holding graduation ceremonies in a church did not violate the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state. A divided three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against nine pseudonymous plaintiffs […]

CBF officers seek search committee members

September 14, 2011

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By ABP staff ATLANTA (ABP) – Elected leaders of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are seeking names to consider for a search committee to recommend a replacement for the moderate Baptist organization’s retiring CEO.   Daniel Vestal, executive coordinator of the Atlanta-based CBF since 1996, recently announced plans to retire at the end of next June. […]

State department cites religious freedom violations

September 14, 2011

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By Bob Allen WASHINGTON (ABP) – The State Department released an annual report Sept. 13 detailing violations of religious freedom around the world.   Suzan Johnson Cook, an ordained Baptist minister recently sworn in as United States ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said the report outlining the state of religious liberty in 198 countries revealed […]

Opinion: Intervention

September 14, 2011

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By Bill Wilson (ABP) — The award-winning reality show Intervention is about addiction and the extraordinary lengths it can take to face one’s unhealthy compulsions. Each episode chronicles the attempts by family members and friends to bring health to someone who is destroying their life.   The extreme measures portrayed often work — 134 of […]

Morally, 9/11 mixed for Americans, theologian says at Baptist seminary

September 13, 2011

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By Robin Sandbothe SHAWNEE, Kan. (ABP) – Many 9/11 speakers discussed whether America is any safer now than it was 10 years ago, but a Baptist seminary in Kansas pondered a decade later whether Americans are better people.   Addressing a packed house at Baugh-Marshall Chapel at Central Baptist Theological Seminary on the eve of […]

Baptists aid Syrian refugees pouring into Lebanon

September 13, 2011

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By Bob Allen FALLS CHURCH, Va. (ABP) – Thousands of Syrian refugees pouring into Lebanon in recent months are being met with Baptist aid. The Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development and the Rahbe Baptist Church have coordinated receipt and spending of nearly $100,000 collected through Baptist World Aid, German Baptist Aid, Canadian Baptist […]