Check Out Our Personal Websites

You may not know this, but most of our contributors have personal websites in addition to Between the Times. All of the websites offer a number of resources, and many of them have blogs.

Of course the reason most people read BtT is for Dr. Akin’s articles, but did you know he also has a personal website with hundreds of sermons, Bible studies, and other resources? Check out DanielAkin.com, but remember not to pass off one of Dr. Akin’s pulpit gems as your own. Congregations can spot a contraband Akin sermon a mile away.

Most of you are probably already aware that two of our contributors, Ed Stetzer and J.D. Greear, are really rockstar bloggers who subcontract with us from time to time. In fact, Ed often claims to actually run the Obama Administration, General Electric, and Midwestern Seminary from his personal website. J.D. isn’t quite so bold, but he does occasionally stir up controversy at his blog.

Alvin Reid has been blogging for quite a while, and we all agree that he has the most sophisticated website of any of our contributors. With audio, blogging, and even free E-books, this website has it all. If the 1950s ever make a comeback, they won’t know what to do with all of Alvin’s technology.

Some of our contributors have just launched personal websites in the past few months. Ken Keathley blogs at Theology for the Church; Ken’s just tickled pink that God has ordained a world where he gets to write about Molinism and other theological topics near and dear to his heart. While not a regular contributor, Steve McKinion’s been around enough lately that giving a shout out to Gospel-Centered Living just seems like the Christian thing to do. Be sure to take note of Steve’s scholarly sidebar picture.

I’m the most recent BtT contributor to add a personal website, thus returning to my pre-2008 roots as a solo blogger. One Baptist Perspective is not nearly as cool as Alvin’s website, but then church historians aren’t nearly as cool as evangelism professors. It’s our little cross to bear.

Now I know what you are thinking–what about Bruce Ashford? It’s a good question. I originally didn’t think he had a personal blog, but after doing a Google search I found Bruce’s website. While the writing isn’t always the most sophisticated, Bruce does get more traffic than the rest of us. Even Ed.

How Can We Serve You through Between the Times?

Between the Times is the officially faculty blog of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Southeatern exists first and foremost to serve the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. Our professors are not freelance academics, but rather are denominational servants who have a heart for local churches. Most of our faculty members have at one time or other served as pastors, missionaries, or other ministry leaders. Virtually all of us currently serve our local churches as pastors (or interim pastors), ministerial staff, deacons, Sunday school teachers, small group leaders, etc. Many of us also frequently preach or teach itinerantly in local SBC churches. We know the same could be said of all of our sister seminaries.

Because we are denominational servants, we want to write about issues that are relevant to “real life” ministry in general and local churches in particular. To that end, we are seeking your input. We know the majority of our readers are pastors, other paid church staff, foreign missionaries, church planters, or students preparing for one of these ministries. We want to know what topics you think we should write about, especially at Between the Times. (Though we also welcome suggestions about topics we should write about in other media like books and print articles.) In addition to our regular contributors, we have dozens of other gifted faculty members who are well equipped to write about any number of topics. How can we best serve you and your church through this blog?

We want to invite you to leave a comment and make some suggestions. The more specific you can be in your suggestions, the better. We look forward to hearing from you and, Lord willing, crafting some future articles in response to your suggestions. Thanks for reading this blog, and thanks in advance for your thoughts about what we should write about in the days to come.

On GCR Myths (And Those Who Spread Them)

In recent days Danny Akin and now Ronnie Floyd have addressed what they believe to be myths about the Great Commission Resurgence, or at least the work of the GCR Task Force. A few bloggers and at least one state paper editor have responded. A common theme in these responses is that the blogger or other interlocutor claims he has not heretofore heard of the myth. Some have asked for evidence of the myth in either hard print or in the blogosphere. Presumably if Akin or Floyd cannot (or at least will not) provide such evidence, that calls the existence of the myth into question.

In light of this, I thought I would take my own stab at myth-busting. So here’s the myth: It is always necessary to provide a link to some blogger or other writer when addressing inaccurate interpretations of (fill-in-the-blank). Now don’t misunderstand me. If someone has perpetrated one of the GCR myths in writing, I think it is perfectly appropritate (thought not necessary) for Akin and/or Floyd to link to that myth and debunk it. But that’s just it–nobody is putting these myths into writing, or at least writing that is public in nature.

Each of the myths Akin and Floyd mention are primarily oral myths, “water-cooler” talk, if you will. Or even more accurate, they are “Convention hall” and “email” and “conference calls” and “snail mail” and “lunch meeting” myths. And I’ve heard every single one multiple times from multiple individuals, though I am unaware of a blogger or other writer who has publicly promoted any of them. I suspect this is because if someone did put at least some of the myths in print, they would have their lunch handed to them by folks who know the facts. Those facts can be pesky things, after all–especially among those who overemphasize the value of denominational politics.

The fact that the GCR myths are not on blogs or other print or electronic media doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It simply means nobody is passing the myths along via those particular forms of media. You may be wondering why, if the myths are not in print, Akin and Floyd have responded in print. The answer is simple: people read what these men write. They are widely recognized SBC leaders, and for that reason (among others) their opinions carry weight. They counter the myths in a public way because more people will read their words than will listen to the myth-mongers. And that’s what matters.

I think it is perfectly legitimate for anyone to engage Akin and Floyd, even in criticism. Their ideas are out there for public consumption, and the public should feel free to consume. If you think the GCRTF meetings should be open to the public, then by all means, state your opinion on the matter. But the demand for written evidence when almost everyone knows that none exists rings hollow, and I suspect most readers see right through it. We all know the myths are out there, and we all know they are being spread like most gossip and innuendo is spread–by word of mouth, lest there be a paper trail.

I sincerely hope that one day some folks in the SBC will look back and regret that they were complicit in myth-mongering and other types of “cloak-and-dagger” tactics like character assassination, spurious interpretations of Baptist history, misuse of authority, and misrepresentation of the opinions, actions, or priorities of others. I believe this type of stuff is the single biggest reason so many have left the SBC or on the verge of doing so. And I don’t blame them.

I am very thankful for success of the Conservative Resurgence. I am hopeful for the success of the Great Commission Resurgence. But I hope and pray we can also experience a Great Commandment Resurgence in the way we interact with one another. (I know I read the term “Great Commandment Resurgence” on a blog somewhere, but on whose blog I can’t recall.) If we don’t, it really doesn’t matter which of the competing visions for the SBC wins out at the end of the day, because we will have forfeited our right to be a meaningful part of all that God is doing to redeem a lost world unto himself through the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.