Whither Southern Baptists?

While down in Cape Coral, Florida (beside Fort Myers) to teach a week on "Logic and Rhetoric: Reasoning and Persuading" for the Institute of Public Theology (IOPT), I sat down with Dr. Tom Ascol (Senior Pastor of Grace Baptist Church and President of Founders Ministries) to talk about the Southern Baptist Convention. Here we discuss its recent past and prospects for the future.

Cape Coral, Florida, March 19, 2024

Love Within The Church And For The Church

It's such a privilege to preach for my most-excellent daughter's most-excellent father in law, Dr. Carl Broggi, the pastor of Community Bible Church in historic Beaufort, South Carolina. Pastor Broggi came from a Catholic family in Massachusetts and went to Jesuit Boston College. But under the Lord, he found his way to Evangelical faith and thus to Dallas and Southwestern Seminaries, and then on to years of service with Campus Crusade. He leads a remarkable church, drawing on the region, but with particular service to personnel from the local Marine Corps Air Station (cf. the film, The Great Santini) and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, where countless men wearing the Globe and Anchor have gone through basic training. He and his wife Audrey have raised an exemplary family, whose children include my son-in-law, Jeremy Broggi, who served in the "W" Bush White House, earned a JD at Harvard, and has clerked for both district and circuit federal judges in DC. Carl and Audrey's daughter, GraceAnna, is married to Grant Castleberry, an SBTS grad, who pastors a church in Raleigh, North Carolina. On this occasion, I preached from the Love Chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, with special application to the church.

Beaufort, SC, January 21, 2024

What's Wrong With the American Church

I've enjoyed being interviewed by my former SBTS student, Richard Henry, now the pastor of New Harvest Baptist Church in Caneyville, Kentucky. Back in 2021, we spoke in my home about Christianity and the Arts. This time around, we discussed the foibles and trajectory of the church in America, albeit with a word of hope. Last month, I had the privilege of preaching Richard’s ordination message up in Kentucky.

YouTube, October 22, 2023

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At the Mic in Anaheim

In 2021, the Houston Chronicle ran a series on sex abuse in the SBC, identifying 220 men convicted of the crime. Immediately, the SBC Executive Committee was embroiled in defending itself against charges of negligence, and a range of leaders jumped on the issue and came prepared to bring recommendations to the 2021 annual meeting in Nashville. Messengers approved appointment of a task force to address the matter, one to be picked by newly-elected president Ed Litton. I wasn’t persuaded that this was necessary or even advisable, and I faulted the task force’s work here and here. At the 2022 meeting in Anaheim, they had framed a range of actions for approval, including the formation of an implementation task force. As time for discussion wound down, and it seemed to me that there needed to be additional words of caution, I stepped to the mic and took my three minutes to argue that the motion should be defeated. But in vain. The vote, with a show of raised ballots, went decisively in favor of the proposal. Still, I was heartened by the number of people who thanked me afterwards for giving it a shot. You’ll find my little, impromptu contribution from 1:15:11 to 1:18:11 in this session.

New Orleans, Louisiana, July 7, 2023

Father's Day Panel, RCC

On June 18 (Father's Day), 2023, Brandon Wolf moderated a panel of three dads, myself included. He's an elder at Redemption City Church (SBC), where my son Jed is pastor. We come to the couch they set out for us at the 21:00-minute mark. Early on, we introduce ourselves, and then the discussion runs about 35 minutes. (This is the version the congregation witnessed at the second of three services; the cast changed with each service.)

Redemption City Church, June 28, 2023

Books at a Glance

For a number of years, I served in the apologetics section of Books at a Glance, writing reviews and summaries and enlisting others to do so. And on a number of occasions, the editor Fred Zaspel interviewed me regarding something I'd written. Along the way, I learned of his interest in B. B. Warfield, and, once I had read Fred's main volume on Warfield, which I much enjoyed, I suggested that I might turn the tables and interview him on his book. He acquiesced, and here's our conversation.

Zoom, September 6, 2022

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Acts 20:17-38: Spiritual Heroism

When our daughter Chesed married Jeremy Broggi, she found herself connected to an extraordinary extended family, including Jeremy’s parents, Carl and Audrey. Carl is the longtime pastor of the prominent Community Bible Church in Beaufort, South Carolina, and Audrey is a popular blogger with a radio presence as well (http://audreybroggi.com). Through the years, we’ve enjoyed our time with the Broggis and our four mutual granddaughters—Chesed’s and Jeremy’s kids, Lois, Ruth, Dorothy, and Agnes. We’ve found ourselves together with Carl and Audrey in the Oval Office with President Bush #2 (for whom Jeremy worked) and in Annapolis, Maryland, where we enjoyed dinner and a walkaround. This July, Carl was kind enough to invite me to preach in his pulpit, introducing me with words of commendation for my new book If Christianity Is So Good, Why Are Christians So Bad? Beaufort is in a beautiful, historic, Low Country setting, on one of the Atlantic Sea Islands. Ante-bellum homes, shrimp boats, and long graceful bridges are all about. And Marines are plentiful in the area, either going through basic training on Parris Island or serving at the nearby air base (cf. The Great Santini). In this connection, the Broggis have ministered to a good many Marines and their families as well as to a great mix of “natives” and transplants. It was such a privilege to preach this message there . . . and to have Sharon present, whom they were gracious to bring down with me

Beaufort, South Carolina, July 24, 2022

History and Future of the SBC

Voddie Baucham was slated to teach an IOPT course on culture apologetics in the days before Founders Ministries national conference in Cape Coral, Florida (just west of Fort Myers). But airline difficulties in Africa delayed his arrival, so Tom Ascol asked me to cover a couple of days, giving Voddie time to arrive and teach the bulk of the course. It was a joy and privilege to meet with the twenty or so young men in attendance, and also to "tape" this conversation with Tom.

Cape Coral, Florida, January 25, 2022

Christianity and the Arts

Richard Henry was my student at SBTS, and now he’s a pastor in Kentucky. He’s been a joy to talk with through the years. Now he has a video blog named Contra Mundum Pro Mundo, and he came to our house to tape an episode. Here we converse on a couch in our basement. This post focuses on the arts, but we touched on other items as well.

My House, Aug 7, 2021