October 2011

Shady Grove blossoms anew

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

JIGGER – Five years ago, a half-dozen people talked about disbanding Shady Grove Baptist Church.[img_assist|nid=7646|title=Shady Grove|desc=Twenty-five years after voting to do away with Vacation Bible School, and five years after talking about disbanding, Shady Grove Baptist Church is alive and growing. Today, at least 80 people each week gather for Sunday morning worship at the church where Kent Nugent is pastor. There’s a full band – fiddle, mandolin, drums, 12-string, rhythm and bass guitars – and the youth group has performed twice at the Youth Evangelism Conference as well as at Christ Christ in Brownsville, Tenn., and elsewhere.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=404]

Located a rural quarter-mile from the end of a dead-end road, in a town too small to even have a gas station, there seemed little reason to continue for the church started in 1918 in a one-room schoolhouse.

 Matter of fact, the church voted in the late 1980s to no longer have Vacation Bible School.


Sheets for Soldiers: Calvary Baptist's Kennedy leads effort to provide troops with linens

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

FORT POLK – At least 90 soldiers returning from Afghanistan this month will sleep easy, their first nights back home in America.[img_assist|nid=7648|title=Sheets for Soldiers|desc=Threcia Green buys sheets for First Baptist Dry Prong, which took up a special offering and donated $350 to the Sheets for Soldiers project.|link=none|align=left|width=478|height=640]

No sand. No bullets. No bombs. Just new sheets, provided through the efforts of Charleen Kennedy, a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria.

“I am thrilled that God blessed us so much,” Kennedy said. “We were able to meet a very specific need for our troops returning home.”


Where’s the outrage against Iran over execution?

By Kelly Boggs, Editor

Yousef Nadarkhani, a Christian and a pastor in Iran, has been imprisoned since 2009. His crime according to Iranian clerics: converting to Christianity and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Muslims. His sentence is death by hanging, which could be carried out at any time.

The White House has condemned Iran’s plan to execute Nadarkhani and so has Speaker of the House John Boehner. However, conspicuously absent from the voices denouncing Iran are America’s death penalty opponents.

News stories about Nadarkhani’s plight are also few and far between.


A decade of studying Islam shows its a dangerous ideology

By Mark Coppenger, Professor of Christian Apologetics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Since  Sept. 11, 2011, we’ve all been in school, so to speak,  studying up on Islam.

But we’ve been to two different schools. In a nutshell, one says that Islam is a great religion with awesome accomplishments, now wounded by misfortune and embarrassed by extremists who’ve perverted its basically wholesome message.

The other says that Islam is a false and dangerous ideology, bad to the bone, flawed from its founding.


Questions We'Ve Pondered

By Bill Warren, NOBTS Professor of New Testament and Greek

Question: When I read my Bible, some of the New Testament quotations of Old Testament books do not match exactly the wording that we have in our Old Testaments. Why is this?

Bill Warren responds: This insightful question obviously comes from a good Bible study practice of looking up the New Testament (NT) quotes in the Old Testament (OT). Keep up that type of study! As a beginning point, let’s remember that the OT was written almost totally in Hebrew and the NT in Greek, so right away we have to think about the impact of translating from Hebrew into Greek when considering the OT quotes in the NT.

Indeed, the vast majority of differences in the quotes are due exactly to these language issues. The NT writers primarily used the existing Greek translation of the OT for their writings instead of making their own translations. This makes sense when we think about it: There was no need to reinvent the wheel by making yet another translation when one was already available and acceptable.


Scripture has a specific shape

By Michael Shepherd, Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Louisiana College

Throughout the history of biblical interpretation, readers of the Bible have struggled to come to the text on its own terms.

 Theologians want the Bible to address doctrinal issues.

Preachers want the Bible to speak to “practical” matters. Scientists, ethicists, et cetera all have an agenda for the Bible. They all claim to be “biblical” because they have found texts to prove the particular point they want to make.


'Something different' planned for Pastosrs Conference

By Philip Timothy, Message Staff Writer

[img_assist|nid=7631|title=Mike Walker|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=72|height=100]WOODWORTH – ‘The guys in the pews’ can expect a little something different at this year’s annual Pastors’ Conference.

Mike Walker, pastor of East Bayou Baptist Church in Lafayette and president of the 2011 Pastors’ Conference, has decided to forego a lineup of ‘big-time’ speakers, and instead will bring in men who have shared similar experience as the ‘guys in the pews.’

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Fill my Heart’ and comes from Nehemiah 2:12 “… what my God had put in my heart to do …”


Her life was ordinary and yet – extraordinary

By Jerry Love, Director of Planned Giving, Louisiana Baptist Foundation

BATON ROUGE – She married late in life and moved from her home in Mississippi to Baton Rouge with her husband. [img_assist|nid=7657|title=Air WACs|desc=Women aircraft mechanics work on a World War II dive bomber at Clarksdale, Miss., during July 1943.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=536]

She lived in the same house for almost 50 years. She walked to the nearby grocery store on Plank Road for her basic provisions. 

Because she never learned to drive, her husband or friends drove her where she needed to go. And she loved working for the Lord in her local church. 


In a difficult economy, you should still plan to give

By Jerry Love, Director of Planned Giving, Louisiana Baptist Foundation

Giving USA, a research foundation that publishes data and trends about charitable giving, recently released its annual report on philanthropy for the year 2010. The good news is that charitable giving increased by just over 2 percent this last year. 

The not so good news is the 2 percent increase follows two of the worst annual declines in giving since the early 1970s. 

Churches and ministry organizations still have gaping holes in their budgets beccause of decreased giving in 2008 and 2009.