A World Apart. A World Together.

This week I found myself in a familiar place, and an altogether new place. I’m beyond ecstatic to be working with Woodland Baptist Church in San Antonio again. This has become a familiar place to me, and that’s a good thing. But many things are fully new and different than last year as well. You see, summer of 2016 I …

Be Careful

May we be careful if we wave palm branches today, welcoming Jesus to our city. He might get off the donkey, walk into our church, and flip the tables of some of our favorite ministries. He might drive out our injustice with a whip. Be careful if you let Jesus in. He might cause chaos in our town. He might …

A Tale of Two Southern Baptists

…whatever “normal” means. Regardless, political and religious arenas have changed drastically in recent years, and things don’t seem quite as black and white (or perhaps, red and blue) as they once did. After the shocking rise and eventual victory of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the nation’s largest Protestant group stands divided over the bombastic figure. But …

Baptist Catholicity: Thick Ecumenism

I’ll be honest, in the past, I’ve viewed most cross-denominational projects to simply be puppet efforts of the religious right. Think about it, what is the last multi-denominational project you remember? If you’re like me, it’s probably some pro life or “pro-values” conference that rallies around a thinly veiled goal to create more republican voters. Beyond anti abortion efforts, you …

Baptist Catholicity: Creative Retrieval of Tradition

… or so the slogan of a liberal mainline denomination goes. This particular mark is perhaps my favoriteidea in the Bapt-Catholic movement. As we reach back into the past, we are doing so with the hopes of creating something meaningful for the future. As this particular group of Baptists lost their spot in the most prominent protestant denomination in the …

Baptist Catholicity: Sacramental Theology

…it’s this. I disagree with viewing the ordinances as sacraments to begin with, but more importantly I disagree that learning from the authority of the Great Tradition necessarily requires Baptists to change a piece of our theology that we can trace to the early 1600s. A few weeks ago, I posed a question about sacramental theology on my Facebook. Should …

Baptist Catholicity: Community as a Locus of Authority

I was in a small town Southern Baptist Church, working with a congregation who had been through far too much pain, and kids who had been neglected as a result. Nobody had intended to let the students down, it was just that in the midst of a painful church split, death of a pastor, and fire through the church building, …

Baptist Catholicity: Liturgy in Worship

…that I would love to take again. You see, at the time I was familiar with one particular style of worship, and I wasn’t particularly open to new thoughts. Worship at my church during that time looked something like this: There’s nothing wrong with this means of worship, and I suspect many Baptist churches would look something like this today. …

Baptist Catholicity: Creeds in Worship

Perhaps one of our most closely held beliefs as Baptists. No statement of faith can confine us, no “instrument of doctrinal accountability” can decide who we hire and who we work with. Why in the world would Baptists, of all people, be interested in using creeds in worship? If you remember your recent baptist history, creedal disagreements over the basic …

Baptist Catholicity: Tradition as Authority

is a sentence where the author declares something a “clear heresy”. I underlined the passage in frustrated anxiety and wrote in the margins “according to who?!” The book presented a variety of views on important issues in the faith, then would narrow down and exclude beliefs considered by that author to be heresy. I didn’t understand how someone could so …