May 232012
 

Drs. Akin and Mohler posted this a few years ago and I wanted to repost it. Hope it helps some people.

The Salvation of the ‘Little Ones’: Do Infants who Die Go to Heaven?
Thursday, July 16, 2009

by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. and Daniel L. Akin

The death of an infant or young child is profoundly heartbreaking – perhaps the greatest grief a parent is called to bear. For Christian parents, there is the sure knowledge that our sovereign and merciful God is in control, but there is also a pressing question: Is our baby in heaven?

This is a natural and unavoidable question, calling for our most careful and faithful biblical study and theological reflection. The unspeakable anguish of a parent?s heart demands our honest and humble searching of the Scriptures.

Some are quick to answer this question out of sentimentality. Of course infants go to heaven, they argue, for how could God refuse a precious little one? The Universalist has a quick answer, for he believes that everyone will go to heaven. Some persons may simply suggest that elect infants go to heaven, while the non-elect do not, and must suffer endless punishment. Each of these easy answers is unsatisfactory. Continue reading »

Mar 252010
 

So, we’re getting settled in here in good ol’ GA. We’re in the Lawrenceville area hanging with my grandmother-in-law and aunt-in-law (whom I usually speak of as “my wife’s grandmother and aunt” since the alternative is a mouthful). I’m looking for jobs in the area, if anyone is interested. I have my portfolio here on the site, if you’re curious what I’ve done. The strange thing about looking for jobs is I have a very diverse skillset. For example:

  • I’m finishing up my Master of Divinity with Biblical Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and would love to work in a church or a parachurch ministry giving counsel to people from the Bible.
  • I’ve been on staff and before that volunteering at Journey Church (and also working at my seminary) doing production stuff – video and audio editing, lighting programming, web, and all that sort of stuff. I love tech.
  • For over a decade, I’ve built websites (sometimes for fun, sometimes as a job or part of a job) and I would consider myself an advanced dabbler. Along with a friend, I’ve maintained a web host for a few years now.
  • Another area I love is making computers and tech stuff in general work. While in college, I actually was one of the first employees of the NGCSU Help Desk.

Diverse, huh? If anyone reading this knows of any jobs in the Atlanta (especially Northeast GA) area, please shoot me a note.

Mar 102009
 

This might as well be considered a series. Don’t usually do that. However, Smooth posted a wrap-up to his posts that I’ve previously mentioned. I just want to respond to one point of his wrap-up.

Clarification #3: When I say that I’m done with the SBC, I mean that I’m done fighting for it and identifying with it. I don’t hate the convention. I don’t harbor any resentment towards the churches, church members, committee members, and Directors of Ph.D. studies, etc. who have intentionally marginalized me, belittled me, or treated me unfairly. Contrary to what Rev. Palmer may think, I can say with some certainty that you will never find me holding a position within the SBC. I don’t mean that I am against the SBC or think that they are evil as my good buddy John seems to think I mean. It may, however, be beyond saving. History will tell.

I think I wasn’t clear. I don’t think Smooth is against the SBC or thinks it’s evil. I meant he’s through with it (as he said) and many who say that they are through with it are counting it off as useless and others are evil. Smooth never has said that, but I’ve read it in quite a few blogs of people who have “jumped off the ledge” of leaving the SBC.

Journey still gives money to the Cooperative Program. As the senior leadership team here at Journey we decided to give to the Cooperative Program as a means of contributing to missions and supporting conservative theological training. We do not, however, identify ourselves as Southern Baptists, and you will not find any of us serving on this or that committee or going to this or that convention fighting for a voice. We just don’t care.

I am very glad Journey gives to the Cooperative Program. This finances my seminary education in two ways: first, a portion of CP funds goes to SBC seminaries, including Southeastern. Second, since I am a member of Journey – a church giving to the CP, I get a 50% tuition reduction. That’s stinkin’ awesome. While it saddens me that “We just don’t care” about having a voice in the convention, I know that’s not the case of all members of Journey, as I am a member of Journey who cares about turning the SBC around. I may be the only one, but that’s OK.

Why bother? Because of the missional impact the convention can have, you say? Again, I’m responsible for me. Maybe others are called to “save” the convention. But the reason that “young people are jumping ship by the thousands” and that Dr. Reid has to talk “good younger men off the ledge from leaving the SBC” is because saving the convention is not our calling.

I totally agree that we are responsible for ourselves. But one thing that I’ve learned at Journey is we are part of something bigger than ourselves. And while I also agree that the convention is not our calling, the convention, when course-corrected occasionally to line up better with God’s calling, could be used by God to help many people in many nations to know Him.

While Smooth and I may disagree regarding whether or not to have hope in the SBC, we are co-laborers in the Gospel at Journey and still somehow manage to get along. Heck, we’re even in the same small group!

And finally, lest you think this blog has become a blog about all things SBC and nothing else, I guarantee that my next post will mention absolutely nothing about that. It will probably be something theological or technical, since I love talking about that stuff. Politics? Not so much.

Mar 022009
 

My previous post inspired Smooth to comment in his own blog post. Now I’m inspired to comment on his blog post (not him eating his own toenail, either – crazy youth pastor stuff). No, his post On the Effectiveness of Reforming from Within.

Smooth quotes Baptist21 (a group of young supporters/reformers of the SBC):

We at Baptist21, along with several “older-40” pastors and leaders in our denomination highly disagree with this inaccurate portrait of Mark Driscoll and ask that you stay in our denomination and let your voice be heard. We desire to affect change in our denomination and the world by remaining focused on what matters…

and responds with

People like myself who have gotten the shaft time and time again find ourselves wondering whether there are many more than just the guys at Baptist21 and “several other ‘older-40′ pastors and leaders.”

Well, you have one working for you, man. I still have some hope for the SBC and haven’t “jumped off the ledge” of leaving the SBC yet. I’m currently attending SEBTS and am extremely encouraged by what President Danny Akin has done there and throughout the convention to further the “Great Commission Resurgence.” You can read more about it on Between the Times, a blog maintained by he and a number of other Southeastern faculty.

I think of Erasmus of Rotterdam. He lived during the reformation and even offered his own scathing reviews of the Roman Catholic Church in works such as In Praise of Folly. But he was committed to reforming from within. Erasmus, of course, has his place in history, but he essentially failed at his efforts in reforming the church. Martin Luther, likewise had thoughts of reformation from within. He finally realized, however, that if reformation was going to happen it was going to happen from without rather than from within. Much of what we have as protestants today, we owe to Martin Luther. Where would we be if he never decided to step outside the Convention… um.. I mean Catholic Church?

Erasmus didn’t succeed in reforming the Catholic Church. That is true. Luther also tried and failed to reform it. However, the SBC has been reformed recently (as Smooth alluded to) from liberal theology. There is hope. It is possible to reform it.

As my wife pointed out, Jesus came as a Jew who came for mankind. He didn’t ditch the Jews to do it, either. He used Jewish disciples to spread news about him to the rest of the world. Even though the Pharisees and Sadducees were sectarians (people not in or of the world) and syncretists (people in and of the world), and that’s all the Jews knew of religion, Jesus used those people to bring his truth to the world.

Personally, I think Erasmus was scared. Sometimes I wonder if determination to save the convention is bred not out of conviction but fear. Staying within the SBC is safe and familiar.

He may very well have been scared. And I agree; that is a bad reason not to step out. The reason I stay with the SBC is because of why they were founded – to reach the lost. The sole purpose for the founding of the SBC is to form a sending agency for foreign missionaries to which multiple churches could give (now a part of the SBC called the International Mission Board – IMB). It eventually grew to home missions (now the North American Mission Board – NAMB), higher education (now six seminaries – SBTS, SEBTS, SWBTS, MWBTS, & GGBTS), and education of everyone (now Lifeway and Baptist Press). These are categories off the top of my head, but you get my point. All these entities together do a ton of good for the kingdom. Should we just abandon them and set out a different way? Or should we guard them with the truth of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit and let God use the insanely powerful infrastructure that He’s been using for over 150 years? (When we release control to Him, that is.)

Brothers and sisters, the SBC is not evil. It is not beyond saving. Young people are jumping ship by the thousands. Here’s exactly what the SBC stands for (summary from wikipedia of SBC’s position statements) :

  • Priesthood of all believers—Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ’s name
  • Soul competency—the accountability of each person before God
  • Creeds and confessions—Statements of belief are revisable in light of Scripture. The Bible is the final word.
  • Women in ministry—Women participate equally with men in the priesthood of all believers. Their role is crucial, their wisdom, grace and commitment exemplary. Women are an integral part of Southern Baptist boards, faculties, mission teams, writer pools, and professional staffs. The role of pastor, however, is specifically reserved for men.
  • Church and state—a free church in a free state. Neither one should control the affairs of the other.
  • Missions—We honor the indigenous principle in missions. We cannot, however, compromise doctrine or give up who we are to win the favor of those we try to reach or those with whom we desire to work.
  • Autonomy of local church—We affirm the autonomy of the local church.
  • Cooperation—The Cooperative Program of missions is integral to the Southern Baptist genius.
  • Sexuality—We affirm God’s plan for marriage and sexual intimacy—one man and one woman, for life. Homosexuality is not a valid alternative lifestyle.
  • Sanctity of life—At the moment of conception, a new being enters the universe, a human being, a being created in God’s image.

I agree with these 100%. A convention that supports these things is a great thing. That’s why I’m looking forward to the day that the convention applies the same effort to contextualizing the gospel to America as it’s working on doing contextualizing the gospel to the ends of the earth. That will truly be a wonderful day!

Feb 232009
 

So I’ve narrowed down the video switchers I like to two. Just so everyone knows, this is just for research purposes right now, but I’m trying to figure out which switcher would suit Journey best in the future, as well as what would work at Southeastern. I like these two.

Panasonic B AV-HS400

Panasonic AV-HS400 A

Panasonic AV-HS400 A

Panasonic AV-HS400 A - Read Panel

Panasonic AV-HS400 A - Rear Panel

This is my favorite choice. If we go HD-SDI, it’s a must. Making it work on all analog component would be more pricey, though, since we’d need more expansion cards. We’d already have to get one for computer input (or get an card for our computer to output in the right format). It does some awesome stuff, though. Our cameras to HD-SDI output at 1080i, so that would work.

Edirol V-440HD

Edirol V-440HD

Edirol V-440HD

Edirol V-440HD - Rear Panel

Edirol V-440HD - Rear Panel

This is our other option. It has a SD side on the left, which is then mixed down and up-converted to HD on the right. It takes component, composite, and VGA and can output component. Another workable option. Our cameras can also output component.