Baptists face Christmas, present and future

This is the time of year when many pastors sit in their offices muttering, "It happened again."The Rev. Rick Lance knows all about that. He has long been one of the true believers who battle the waves of "Happy Holidays" messages that define one of their faith's holiest seasons as the civic tsunami between Halloween and the inevitable wrapping-paper wreckage on Christmas morning.The problem is that whining doesn't work. Thus, Lance has grown tired of preaching his all-to-familiar annual … [Read more...]

Church signs along the road

Donald Seitz had suffered through a long day during a bad week at his office on Nashville's famous Music Row.On his way home from a business call, he drove past the Greater Pleasant View Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn. As usual, the no-tech sign out front offered a folksy thought for the week. This one caught his eye."He who kneels before God can stand before anyone," it said, in black, movable letters inserted by hand into slots on a plain white background.Seitz pulled over and got out of … [Read more...]

Gallup, statistics and discipleship

George Gallup Jr. has been studying the numbers for a half century and nobody knows better than he does that they just don't add up.Most of the familiar, comforting statistics that describe public religion remain remarkably stable from poll to poll. Somewhere around 86 percent of Americans say they believe in God and another 8 percent or so in a "higher power" of some kind. Sixty percent say faith is "very important" in daily life and another 15 percent say it's "fairly important."In the typical … [Read more...]


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