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Sunday, January 27, 2008

The New Baptist Covenant Required Reading Series

If you're a first time reader and have found my blog via Baptists Today, let me first say Welcome to www.thebigdaddyweave.com! I am The Big Daddy Weave. More biographical info including my e-mail address can be found to your right under my picture with fellow Baptist and Civil Rights hero, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

Instead of re-writing a column on why I am excited about the upcoming Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant or why the NBC is an important event, I'm going to point you to a three-part series published recently in Report from the Capital, a monthly publication of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

In the October edition of RFTC, Dr. Jimmy Allen penned an article entitled The Importance and Urgency of the New Baptist Covenant. Noting that the last time a meeting of all kinds of Baptists came together to "worship, plan, and prioritize our witness in the world" was in 1814 at the Triennial Convention, Allen describes this week's Celebration as "unprecedented" and "long overdue." I agree. You can read Dr. Jimmy Allen's article here.

And in this month's issue of RFTC, Dr. Emmanuel McCall, past national moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and vice president of the Baptist World Alliance, has contributed a piece entitled WHEN ALL GOD'S CHILDREN GET TOGETHER: A Perspective On The New Baptist Covenant. McCall lists six promising reasons why the Celebration will be a success. He notes that:
While there have been other attempts to overcome the racial and social barriers among Baptists in the south, none are as promising as The New Baptist Covenant. It has the advantage of building on past attempts, learning from past mistakes, having new persons in significant leadership of the various representative bodies; the support of social, educational and political progress; and the desire to see the Church live up to divine expectations.
Finally, saving myself for last, I -The Big Daddy Weave - authored what was the second-part of this incredible three-part series. My article which was included in the November/December issue was named: Soul Freedom and the New Baptist Covenant. Here's a snippet:
Just 100 years ago, Baptist minister Walter Rauschenbusch, the father of the Social Gospel Movement, penned a series of five brief articles titled “Why I Am A Baptist.” Rauschenbusch wrote: “We may be Baptists by birth, but we must become Baptists by conviction. ...I began by being a Baptist because my father was, but today I am a Baptist, because, with my convictions I could not well be anything else.”

Like Rauschenbusch, I too am the son of a Baptist minister. And like Rauschenbusch, I was also “born” a Baptist. But even after experiencing the coercion and forced conformity of fundamentalism firsthand, I remain a Baptist because of my convictions. At the heart of those convictions is what prominent early 20th century Baptists, E.Y. Mullins and G.W. Truett, referred to as “soul competency,” and James Dunn dubbed “soul freedom.” Walter Shurden has stated that soul freedom is the “stackpole around which Baptist convictions develop.” In the words of Rauschenbusch himself, “The Christian faith, as Baptists hold it, sets spiritual experience boldly to the front as the one great thing in religion.” Indeed, if there is one tie that binds us Baptists together, it is our belief that each person has the freedom, ability, and responsibility to respond to God directly without a human mediator. No priest. No bishop. No magisterium. And definitely no spiritual masters.
If you've already read this series of articles - my apologies. I'll have more on Tuesday. And beginning on Wednesday, I'll be livebloggin the Celebration along with the Baptists Today Team. So come back often, comment in the post or send me an e-mail.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Jeremy said...

Thanks for your links and pre-celebration thoughts. I look forward to reading your blog in the next week!

11:59 AM

 
Blogger CB Scott said...

Big Daddy,

If you are going to put your picture here for all the free world to see and talk about being a Baptist minister you need to cut your hair, put on a suit and tie and straighten up your act.

It is a shame and disgrace for you to dress as if you are a regular person.

How dare you to continue in this constant rebellion. Have you no shame?

cb

5:02 AM

 
Anonymous David Lowrie said...

Big Daddy,

On a side note, I enjoyed CB Scott's comments. I really enjoy his sense of humor although it hurt a bit since I am a Baptist preacher...and worse yet I look like one.

On serious note, thank you for your insights and perspectives on the NBC. I hope and pray it is far more than what most people hoped and dreamed for. I pray the Lord will move in a significant way in the hearts of our greater Baptist family and will call us to be "one" as Christ prayed for.

Keep up the good work.

David Lowrie

12:00 PM

 
Blogger CB Scott said...

David,

Thank you for seeing my comment for what it was.

Preachers come in all colors, curves and costumes.

It is the "innards" that really count.

I respect Big Daddy even if I do disagree with him often. He has grit. Ain't much around anymore and what is around seems to get "run off."

cb

6:14 PM

 

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