We arrived in San Antonio this evening after a wonderful time of worship and fellowship with Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas. Voddie Baucham, one of their elders and the speaker for the Founders Fellowship Breakfast on Tuesday morning, preached from Mark 9 in the time of worship and it was a joy to meet and share a meal with that church body. The Lord is doing great things in this new church plant and they are already thinking (after a little more that one year) about their next church planting effort.
I caught most of Charles Colson's message at the Pastors' Conference tonight. He told a story about meeting with several prominent pastors and 2 well-known theologians. During his presentation to them about concerns over cultural decay it dawned on him that they may not be tracking with his line of thinking. So, he stopped and asked them to answer the question, "What is Christianity?" After a long and awkward pause, a few answers were put forth, including some Bible verses, loving God and loving others, the Ten Commandments, etc. But none in the group suggested that Christianity is the way of life and view of the world that comes from knowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
His story illustrates what I am convinced is the greatest problem facing American evangelicals today: we have largely lost what it means to be Christian. If you have read this blog very long you probably have read my contention that we can no loger assume that evangelicals agree on the nature of the Gospel, conversion and the church. We need to be willing to ask and answer biblically the questions, what is the Gospel, what is a Christian (and how does one become one) and what is a church. Failure to get these right will mean the loss of biblical Christianity.
The highlight of the convention experience so far was receiving a little booklet with the messenger registration packet. Buidling Bridges, by David Dockery and Timothy George is being given to every messenger. If memory serves me, it is in essence the presentations that they made at the Baptist Identity Conference earlier this year at Union University. Colson wrote the foreword and Thom Rainer wrote a preface, summarizing points from his talk at the same conference. It is healthy information for Southern Baptists and I hope it gets a wide readership not only in Alamo city but throughout the whole SBC.