In the Nick of Time

  • 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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  • Carnal Christians? Part Two

    May 06, 2016
    Jon PrattBelievers struggle with sin. But disagreement arises over how this ongoing conflict ought to be engaged. Some have suggested that classifying Christians into “spiritual” and “carnal” categories helps to explain the battle so that steps can be taken to secure victory over sin. Responding...

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  • Two Goodbyes

    April 29, 2016
    Sunday morning found me in Mason City, Iowa, preparing to preach to Faith Baptist Church. Before leaving our hotel I decided to check my email. There was a note from Larry Pettegrew informing me that Tom Zempel had collapsed that morning while running. Later in the day another email said that To...

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  • Carnal Christians? Part One

    April 22, 2016
    Jon PrattOne of my former professors, Charles Hauser, has recently written in support of the “carnal Christian” view as a way of describing the reality of sin in the believer’s life (Nick, 3/4/16 and 3/11/16). In response, I offer this essay in respectful dissent and in support of the more histo...

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  • A Pastor's Reading Plan

    April 15, 2016
    So you’re a pastor. You might be interested to know that the Schleitheim Confession, an early Anabaptist creed, specified that the first duty of the pastoral office “shall be to read.” The Anabaptists were right. Nearly everything a pastor does in shepherding the flock—preaching, instructing, en...

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  • Learning From the National Church: What Our Brothers and Sisters Can Teach Us

    April 08, 2016
    Jeff StraubI love encountering new cultures. The sounds, the smells, the tastes—pungent, bitter, sweet, loud, soft, ebullient, quiet. What a world we live in! Last week I spoke of the global ministry of teaching that the Lord has given me in the last twenty years. This ministry has carried me to...

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  • Missions in the 21st Century: Is It a Time to Rethink Our Strategy?

    April 01, 2016
    Jeff StraubThroughout my 12-year tenure here at Central Seminary, I have been using part of my time to teach overseas. When I was hired, I told the administration that it was my intention to be a participant in world missions even if I had to do it on a part-time basis and use my own money. My h...

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  • The Fields Are Still White—Laborers Are Still Needed

    March 25, 2016
    Jeff StraubThe modern missionary movement is now about 225 years old, if you mark its beginning with the journey of William Carey to India in 1792. Of course, students of missions history recognize that missions hardly began with Carey. It dates to the New Testament era and the great missionary ...

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