In the Nick of Time

  • The MBA 2016

    July 22, 2016
    Baptist churches in America organized their first local association (the Philadelphia Association) in 1707. That group soon grew to include congregations all the way from Connecticut to Virginia. As it grew it birthed a number of daughter associations. Subsequently, Baptists have founded yet oth...

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  • A Plea for a Three-Year Master of Divinity, Part Two

    July 15, 2016
    Jeff StraubLast week, I began a discussion on the trend to combine college and seminary education into a shortened five- or six-year program. By the end of the 19th century, the M.Div. was a graduate degree built off a non-ministerial undergraduate degree so that it required three years of inten...

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  • A Plea for a Three-Year Master of Divinity, Part One

    July 08, 2016
    Jeff StraubIt has become a bit trendy in recent days to pare down the M.Div. degree to something much less than the traditional 96 hours. Some schools now offer an expedited program that will give the student both the B.A. and the M.Div. in as little as five years. There are a number of factors ...

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  • Central Seminary Receives ATS Accreditation

    July 01, 2016
    Meeting in Pittsburgh, the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools voted to grant candidate status to Central Seminary on June 17. Central Seminary has been an associate member of ATS for about two years, seeking to expand the base of accreditation that it already holds....

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  • Reflections on the 96th Annual Meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International

    June 24, 2016
    Jeff StraubLast week, I had the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International, held in the beautiful facilities of Colonial Hills Baptist Church of Indianapolis, Indiana. My good friend, Wendell Heller, started this church and the ministry continues...

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  • Summer Reading: Time for a Change of Pace

    June 10, 2016
    Jeff StraubIn last week’s Nick, Kevin mentioned some of the books that he had read during the past twelve months. I thought I might follow up with an essay on summer reading. Christians need to read. Pastors need to read. Reading informs our mind, instructs our sensibilities, broadens our unders...

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  • Best Reading of 2015–2016

    June 03, 2016
    It’s been years since I’ve done a “best reading” list. I hesitate because my reading habits are admittedly odd. Most people wouldn’t enjoy following my example. What I read isn’t nearly focused enough to win the approval of the scholars. It’s not all deep enough to appeal to intellectuals. It’s ...

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  • On Accusation and Rebuke

    May 27, 2016
    A bishop has to meet stringent personal qualifications, the broadest of which is that he must be “blameless” (1 Tim. 3:2). Of course, blameless does not mean sinless, but it does require at minimum that no credible charge of scandal can be lodged against him. In other words, a minister’s reputati...

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  • Weep With Those Who Weep

    May 20, 2016
    Jeff StraubEcclesiastes 3:4 reminds us that there is a “time to weep.” If ever there was a time for weeping in our independent Baptist world, it is now. Last week, a 280-page report was published on the serial sins of a trusted Baptist missionary doctor and the apparent malfeasance of his missio...

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  • Carnal Christians: A Pastoral Perspective

    May 13, 2016
    Michael Riley I have read with interest the recent exchange in this newsletter on the validity of two-category Christianity. Dr. Hauser argues that Paul’s letter to the Corinthians supports the recognition of two different classes of Christians: the spiritual and the carnal. Dr. Pratt contends ...

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