Wednesday, December 25, 2013

We See The Duck We Want to See

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you are aware of recent remarks made by Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame.  The media has made much of Robertson’s comments, at least they have made much of a few of his comments made in the interview.  As one would expect these days, social media exploded with many expressing their outrage against Robertson and many others expressing their support, most sharing their thoughts without making any effort to actually read the interview in question.  Honestly, I wish I could say this is surprising.  It is not!

Rather than being content to accept what others are saying about what Robertson said in the interview in question, I decided to go and actually read the GQ interview, all three pages, myself.  Yes, Robertson paraphrased 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the interview (see page 2).  And yes, he also offers a short list of sexual sins just prior to doing so.  Some reporting would have the folks believe that Robertson singled out homosexual behavior and compared it with bestiality.  Reading the remarks in their entirety AND in context clearly indicates otherwise. 

In fact, just two paragraphs before, Robertson tells Drew Magary, the author of the GQ article, the following:

“You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

That is hardly the sentiment of someone singling out anyone in particular.  Several paragraphs later, Robertson says:

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

Surprised?  I wasn’t!  I expected the reporting to reflect bias, that is why I went and read the interview for myself.  Before typing another comment on Facebook, or Tweeter, or on a blog such as this, go read the entire GQ interview.  Seriously, go read it!  Mr. Magary presents an honest view of his time with the Robertson’s for this interview albeit laced with a bit of profanity (you have been warned).  Magary’s treatment of Robertson strikes me as fair and respectful.  His choice of language notwithstanding, he delivered a balanced article to the readers of GQ.  All in all, pretty good journalism.

A fair reading of the GQ interview clearly shows a man who is committed to his faith, understands the nature of sin and forgiveness, and sometimes is a bit more graphic in his choice of descriptive language than he perhaps should be (he is, after all, a television star followed by millions of people).  Still, even after reading the interview, people will see the duck they want to see.  Out here in the pews, it seems that a lot of folks are trying to use this and other controversies to redefine “Christian” to mean things it does not.  Christians are not hate-filled bigots; that includes the Duck Commander Phil Robertson.

This blog originally appeared at The Marietta Daily Journal.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Southern Seminary December 2013


This photo of Southern Seminary was posted to Twitter by Dr. Timothy Paul Jones.  It is a beautiful campus any time of year but this is an especially captivating photo.  Much appreciation to Dr. Jones for sharing!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Fiscal Mess in Washington

It’s been a while since I last wrote a column here.  My current educational endeavors leave precious little time for much more.  Also, I have resisted the urge to add to the chorus of left versus right, liberal versus conservative rhetoric that now constantly pollutes many news outlets.  But now, like so many other Americans, I have just about had enough!

Washington DC is broken folks.  If we can’t agree on anything else, can we at least agree on that it is difficult to get much done when our political leaders insist on making their disagreements personal?  Mr. Obama and Congress constantly blame each other for their inability to get anything meaningful done.  There is absolutely no trust between Democrats and Republicans and no sign that the most extreme elements of both parties will be giving up the reins of power in their respective parties anytime soon.

Now the most recent “deal” to reopen the government (a misnomer since only about 14% of the government was actually “shut down”) is nothing more than another kick-the-can-down-the-road deal that accomplished essentially nothing.  Yet another committee has been formed to work on some sort of budget deal.  I don’t have much hope that this committee will find much more success than the last one.  This nonsense has to stop!

The director of the White House‘s National Economic Council, Gene Sperling, said recently in Washington DC jargon that entitlement cuts were in the cards.  Democrats are going to have to accept that.  Republicans are going to have to accept tax increases.  No one knows exactly what that looks like yet and neither party is going to like the compromises that they must make.  They don’t have to like it to do their jobs and do what is necessary to get our government working properly again.   

Will Democrats and Republicans come together and actually go to work for the American people?  Will they find they find the resolve to make sensible cuts to spending that must be made?  Will they find the backbone to stand up and increase taxes in the face of certain groups who oppose any such moves no matter what?  It is difficult to be optimistic given the track record of Washington DC in recent years.


Out here in the pews, we don’t see principled positions passionately articulated by committed public servants.  We see obnoxious self-serving career politicians campaigning on the fact that they will not compromise.  They are not arguing about some tenant of the faith that is simply not open to compromise.  They are arguing about what to do about the fiscal mess this country is in.  This is not a new problem and they now have over 17 trillion reasons to come together and do something about it!

Friday, November 01, 2013

What is Success for the Christian Academic? Obedience

What is Success for the Christian Academic? Obedience
Matthew 28:19-20; James 3:1
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20 ESV)

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1 ESV).

A great many people today attend college and earn undergraduate degrees.  In fact, nearly 31% of Americans have earned a bachelor’s degree as of 2012 yet we do not consider these people academics.  Only 8% of Americans earn a master’s degree and rarely are these learned people referred to as academics.  Those with earned doctorates, about 3% of Americans, are generally considered academics.  These scholars spend years in study en route to obtaining this high level of education. 

For the Christian academic, career routes include local church ministry and serving in higher education in a college, university, or seminary.  Regardless of where the Christian academic finds himself, the topic of success must be considered.  After all, if he does not know what success is how is he to know if he has attained it?  It is my opinion that the overarching theme of success for the Christian academic is obedience.

Obedience in personal life: the Christian academic would do well to first remember James 3:1.  Christian academics will be held to a higher account.  This should lead the Christian academic to be obedient to the Scriptures in all aspects of life.  As such, the Christian academic should model the Christian life to students, friends, neighbors, and even strangers.  To virtually anyone looking into the life of the Christian academic, the fact that he is a Christian should be self-evident and above reproach.

Obedience in ministerial life: the obedience in the personal life of the Christian academic easily overlaps his ministry.  Here we see the Great Commission clearly as he seeks to make disciples regardless of the ministry setting (e.g. minister of education, college/seminary professor, etc.) in which he finds himself.  As he is obedient to Jesus’ command to go and make disciples, the Christian academic must also remember Matt. 28:20 where he is commanded to teach these new disciples all that Jesus has commanded.  That does not mean he may teach the parts of Scripture that he likes or finds enjoyable or is without much difficulty or controversy.  The Christian academic must be obedient and teach the entire counsel of God from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.

Obedience in others: ultimately, the Christian academic who has been obedient in his personal life and in his ministerial life will know if he has achieved success if he has taught others to be obedient and keep the commands of Jesus Christ.  If he has made disciples, taught them to observe all that Christ commanded, and those disciples are now going themselves and making more disciples, the Christian Academic can say, albeit humbly, that his education filled life has been a success.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Johnny Hunt Mens Conference 2014

Most folks who know me know I usually attend the annual Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference each year.  I am especially excited about the conference coming up in just a few short months!  Why?  Because this will be the first conference I will have the privilege of attending as a member of First Baptist Church Woodstock.  Titled “Anchored”, the theme for this conference is “A Strong Foundation for Turbulent Times” and promises to equip men to be ready for the turbulent times we are all sure to face.
          About a month after this conference is the Johnny Hunt Leadership Conference that will provide training in all aspects of ministry with a special emphasis on small groups!  Keynote speakers for this conference include Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-fil-A and Dr. Danny Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  This is one you don’t want to miss!  Then in May is the second annual Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference at which Pastor Johnny promises to be less timid than the conference earlier this year (as if he has ever been timid!).

          My family and I are so blessed to be a part of this amazing congregation that is truly reaching our Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth!  I hope to see old friends and new at the Men’s Conference and possibly the Leadership conference early next year.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering September 11, 2001

Praying for the families who lost loved ones on this day and for a nation that, since then, has struggled with the meaning of liberty in the face of evil in the world. 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Sanchez Family: 9/7/2013 Update

Wow!  It has been two months since I posted anything here.  My regular readers know that is a bit unusual to say the least.  That doesn’t mean I have not been busy writing though.  My studies have consumed most of my time not spent with my family or working in my secular employment.  What little time is left is spent serving The HopeQuest Ministry Group and serving in my church.  As is normal for our family, everyone is quite busy!  I will do my best to get back to a more normal blogging schedule.

I have completed my first of three classes I am enrolled in this semester at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  I knew I would be challenged but maybe didn’t expect to be quite this challenged.  I knew I would meet some great people but I didn’t expect the members of my cohort to be amazing!  Oh what men of God each one is (no ladies in our particular cohort but there are several in the cohort in front of us...I’m told that varies).  So far, amazing professors too!  I am really excited about the next two years at this place as we grow and are prepared for what God has planned for each of our lives.

I mentioned in an earlier post that the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention generously supports the six seminaries of our convention which helps to hold the cost of seminary education down.  The normal tuition for the Ed.D program is $24,900 however the discounted rate for members of SBC churches is $14,900.  This is a tremendous blessing yet the costs that remain are quite significant including tuition, books, travelling and lodging expenses to/from campus, fees, etc.  Please prayerfully consider supporting my journey financially.  If you feel so led, a donation in support of this educational journey can be sent to:

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Attention: Accounting
2825 Lexington Road
Louisville, KY 40280
In the memo field of your check, please include:
For Christopher Sanchez’s EdD Tuition S. I. 211863

If you choose to make a donation, thank you!  Please know that I know all too well that I do not deserve such blessings. 

Joshua and Hannah are doing fabulous!  Joshua brought home straight A’s and is doing very well in middle school.  The transition seems to suit him and he has even decided to give band a try!  Hannah, also a straight A student, brought home her invitation to join the Junior Beta Club.  Needless to say, Melisa and I are so very proud of both of them.  They are growing up so fast!

Speaking of Melisa, she is on track to complete 5 of the classes in her Ph.D. program (Industrial and Organizational Psychology).  She is making good grades (of course) and usually enjoying her studies.  As those who know us both might expect, we get into some interesting discussions.  She can still manage to stay up super late and write papers whereas I have found I simply cannot do that anymore.  After 15 years of marriage, she continues to amaze me!

For those who are not aware, our family moved to First Baptist Church Woodstock early this year.  Melisa and I have found places of service and absolutely love the church and her ministries.  It has been a real blessing to sit under the preaching ministry of Pastor Johnny Hunt.  Having been a regular at his men’s conferences for years now, becoming a part of the congregation holds a special place for me.  Also, we have landed in an awesome Sunday School class at 8:00 a.m. led by Allan Taylor.  To say we feel like this is home at FBCW would be an understatement!  We would love to have you join us some Sunday for a visit (message me!).

As always, I covet your prayers!  If you would continue to keep my family in prayer, especially Melisa’s and my studies and our children I would be eternally grateful.  I appreciate the continued support of the blog as well.  Keeping fresh content coming is no small task and the encouragement to do so means a great deal to me.

Donec orbis audit!


Chris

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Independence Day 2013


As we gather with family and friends to celebrate Independence Day in the United States, remember that freedom is not free!  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Commentary: Change is Coming

My regular readers know I don’t do much in the way of social commentary here at the blog but recent events have stirred me to do so.  You see, I am at the beginning of another educational journey that should culminate in December 2015 Lord willing.  I am already seeing the difficulty of adjusting to doctoral level work but am eager for the challenge.  Needless to say, time is a very valuable commodity these days so my blogging activities may taper off for a while.  Still, I simply feel the need to write!

Never before in my lifetime has America undergone fundamental change at the pace we are witnessing today.  I suspect the last time change at such a pace was seen on our shores was following the War Between the States in the nineteenth century.  No one can be certain how long America will continue down this path.  What I am certain of is that it doesn’t really matter.

You see, a life is what God says a life is (Job 10:8-12, 31:15; Ps. 51:5, 95:6, 100:3, 119: 73, 138:8, 139:13-16; Is. 44:2, 24, 46:3-4, 49:5-6; Lk 1:39-44).  Marriage is what God says marriage is (Gen. 1:27, 2:23-24; Pr. 31:10-12; Matt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:6-9; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:2, 14, 29-31; Eph. 5:31, etc.).  Try though they might, men adding to the meanings of these and other terms does not change them.  Trying to alter their meanings does not change them in the eyes of God.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is just as true today as it was this time last week, last year, and two thousand years ago.  It will remain just as true tomorrow, next year, and beyond (Heb. 13:8).  The Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20) has not changed and I dare say there will be new opportunities to share the gospel.  There will be new ministry challenges as well.  There will still be hurting people who need to be ministered to, hungry people who need to be fed, and lost people who do not yet know the love of Christ.

Are we prepared to minister in new contexts?  Will we have the courage of our convictions while remaining salt and light in the world?  It is not a matter of if change will come.  Change has already arrived and there is more to come.  The real question is simply this: are Christians up for the challenge?  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Comparing Two Statements of Faith: Part Four


Conclusion
          There is a great deal of agreement in the New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith (1833) and the Treatise on the Faith and Practice of the Free Will Baptists (1834).  There are also very stark differences between the two confessions.  Essentially these confessions come down to the differences in theology between a group that is Calvinist and another that is Armenian.  When each group considers the other in error theologically, such differences are not easily overcome.  Where opportunities to cooperate for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God might exist, differences such as those described often serve to obstruct such cooperation. 
          The author does not subscribe to Calvinism/Reformed theology or Armenianism though elements of both systems are present in the author’s theology.  Rather, the author considers himself to be a Baptist with views similar to most held by our Anabaptist predecessors.  The Free Will Baptist confession ascribes too much weight to the actions of the sinner thereby reducing the role of God in salvation to that of spectator.  The New Hampshire Baptist confession says much about what God has done for man and precious little about what God has done in man through salvation.  This seminarian is of the opinion that there is Scripture to support both positions.  Since Scripture does not contradict Scripture, neither position can be completely correct.   

Friday, May 24, 2013

Comparing Two Statements of Faith: Part Three


Differences
          Clearly there are similarities in the two confessions being reviewed.  However, the differences in the two statements abound.  A lengthy discussion of the efficaciousness of God’s grace or the nature of the atonement would fit nicely into a monograph such as this.  However, the author will limit the discussion to the three areas previously mentioned.
Ordinances
          The first of the disagreement to be discussed are the ordinances of the church.  Both the New Hampshire Baptists and the Free Will Baptists agreed that baptism by immersion in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and the observance of the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of the church.  Here the agreement ends. Where the New Hampshire Baptist confession states there are only two ordinances, the Treatise on the Faith and Practice of the Free Will Baptists (1834) also includes as an ordinance the washing of the saint’s feet.  It is their belief that this is an act of humility which reminds the believer of the need of daily cleansing from all sin.[1]  The act of washing the saint’s feet was performed by Jesus as recorded in John 13:1-21.  However, this act is not unique to the New Testament.  In fact, the act of foot washing can be found as early as Abraham (Gen. 18:4; 19:2) and continued in the nation of Israel (Judg. 19:21).[2]  Foot washing was usually done by the person or a servant.  It was very unusual for the host to perform the act (1 Sam. 25:41) and failure to provide such amenities was considered a discourtesy (Luke 7:44).[3]
          When Paul wrote to Timothy about the qualifications for a widow to be provided for by the church, he listed foot washing among them (1 Tim. 5:10).[4]  Clearly, there was something to the washing of feet that demonstrated humility that Jesus Christ himself held in high regard.  As baptism symbolizes the cleansing of the forgiveness of sins, foot washing symbolizes the cleansing needed for fellowship.  If cleansing is the focus then a clear case for the observance of foot washing as an ordinance can be made.  If the forgiveness or example aspect of foot washing is the emphasis then simply practicing the spiritual truths the ritual illustrates would argue against foot washing as an ordinance.[5]
Election or the Gospel Call
          The Free Will Baptist view of the Gospel Call is one in which Christ’s atoning death on the cross makes salvation equally available to all men.  Any failure to come to a saving faith in Christ is wholly the fault of the sinner.  This is in contrast to the view of the New Hampshire Baptists in which Election is the means unto God’s end plan.[6]  From this perspective, Christ’s death on the cross secured the salvation of those elect and also the faith necessary to come to saving faith.  The New Hampshire Baptist Confession also states in Section VI that the blessing of salvation is made free to all by the gospel though the sinner’s depravity and voluntary rejection prevent acceptance.[7]  This seems to contradict the notion of election described in Section IX.
Perseverance of the Saints
          Here again a distinct difference between the two confessions is clearly visible.  The Free Will Baptist position states that there are strong grounds to hope that the regenerate will persevere until the end but that people can fall back into sin and thus lose their salvation.[8]  Where the Free Will Baptist saw the loss of salvation, the New Hampshire Baptists would see backsliding as described in Proverbs 14:14 or Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:38, 39.[9] 
For the New Hampshire Baptists, once a person comes to saving faith in Christ, a special Providence watches over their welfare allowing them to endure to the end.  It is this perseverance that sets them apart from the others who would fall away from the faith.  This doctrine can be found in John 10:28, 29; Rom. 11:29; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:5. It, moreover, follows from a consideration of (1) the immutability of the divine decrees (Jer. 31:3; Matt. 24:22–24; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:30); (2) the provisions of the covenant of grace (Jer. 32:40; John 10:29; 17:2–6); (3) the atonement and intercession of Christ (Isa. 53:6, 11; Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 2:24; John 11:42; 17:11, 15, 20; Rom. 8:34); and (4) the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16; 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14; 1 John 3:9). [10]


[1] Treatise on the Faith and Practice of the Free Will Baptists, 1834 full text, http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/tfwb.htm.  [Last accessed September 26, 2011] Chapter XVIII.
[2] Elwell, Walter A., ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology 2nd Edition. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), 458.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Freeman, James M., and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible, Rev. ed. (North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998), 26.
[5] Ryrie, Charles C. Basic Theology. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1986, 1999), 495.
[6] New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith (1833), full text in Grudem, Wayne. “Appendix 1: Historic Confessions of Faith.”  Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 1197. 
[7] Ibid.
[8] Treatise on the Faith and Practice of the Free Will Baptists, 1834 full text, http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/tfwb.htm.  [Last accessed September 26, 2011] Chapter XIII.
[9] Easton, M. G. Easton's Bible Dictionary. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996), Backsliding.

[10] Ibid, Perseverance of the saints.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Comparing Two Statements of Faith: Part Two


Similarities
          Upon close examination of these two confessions, one immediately notices the many areas of agreement.  Both hold that justification is by faith alone, the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that man cannot by reason alone produce faith apart from grace.  There are others.
Scriptures
          Both the New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith (1834)[1] and the Treatise on the Faith and Practice of the Free Will Baptists (1834)[2] agree that the Scriptures were written by men divinely inspired.  Both also affirm that the Scriptures are inerrant and are a suitable and proper guide for Christian living.  The Free Will Baptists elaborate and include history, geography, and science in their confession.[3]  Though lacking such detail, the New Hampshire confession no doubt also affirms these positions.  Nevertheless, both groups clearly and rightly understand inerrancy and inspiration and that God is capable of creating such a book as the Bible and preserving it through the ages for His people.[4] 
Attributes of God
          As with the Scriptures, both confessions are in agreement about the attributes of God.  Though it would be easy to argue that both confessions place limits on God, this is not the case.  By attempting to define water, one does not limit the power of Niagara Falls![5]  Nor do these confessions seek to limit the power of God.  Rather, both agree that they understand God to be the true living God who is Spirit.  The New Hampshire Baptist Confession elaborates on the triune Godhead identifying each of the three persons while the Free Will Baptist confession states that the mode of God’s existence is above the understanding of man.  Both completely and fully affirm that God is worthy of all possible praise and is the only appropriate object of worship.
The Fall of Man
          Both confessions are in agreement that man was created upright and holy.  The Free Will Baptist confession elaborates on this adding that there was no desires in man transgress God’s will.  Prior to being tempted into disobedience, man’s tendency was to do righteousness.[6]  Then the tempter arrived on the scene followed by the voluntary transgression of Adam whereby he fell from his previously holy and happy state.  As a consequence of the fall, the posterity of Adam comes into the world in a far different state than that of Adam.[7]  Both confessions go on to make clear that because of the fall, man is inclined towards evil and under just condemnation.  The ramifications to all of humanity are affirmed in both the New Hampshire Baptist and Free Will Baptist confessions.  Once sin has been committed, it cannot be undone.[8] 


[1] New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith (1833), full text in Grudem, Wayne. “Appendix 1: Historic Confessions of Faith.”  Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 1196. 
[2] Treatise on the Faith and Practice of the Free Will Baptists, 1834 full text, http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/tfwb.htm.  [Last accessed September 26, 2011] Chapter I.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology, Vols. 1 & 2. (Grand Rapids: Kregal Publications, 1948, 1976), 62-63.
[5] Elwell, Walter A., ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology 2nd Edition. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), 492.
[6] Treatise on the Faith and Practice of the Free Will Baptists, 1834 full text, http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/tfwb.htm.  [Last accessed September 26, 2011] Chapter IV, Section II.
[7]  Ibid.
[8] Ryrie, Charles C. Basic Theology. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1986, 1999), 235.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Comparing Two Statements of Faith: Part One


This series was originally posted a couple of years ago while I was a seminary student at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.  I was asked to remove it by an adjunct professor after one of his students "used" the material for a similar assignment.  Lesson: good schools are checking up on the assignments submitted by their students.    

INTRODUCTION
          I love studying history.  Of course, those who know me would not be surprised to learn that this includes church history but I am also quite interested in world history.  The history lessons taught in so many schools neglects the impact that the church has had on history over the centuries.  This sad truth is a topic for another day!

The study of various confessions of faith is essential in understanding the changes that occurred in different periods of history.  Such a study is also necessary for the student desiring to more fully understand how the positions of differing denominations formed and how things came to be in the present day.  To that end, this monograph will compare and contrast the New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith (1833) with the Treatise on the Faith and Practice of the Free Will Baptists (1834).  Both groups share a common understanding of a number of issues and yet they differ on others.  Given the constraints of the current assignment, this paper will compare three similar positions held by both confessions and then contrast three positions.

          The three positions both confessions hold in a similar view are on the Scriptures, the Fall of Man, and the Attributes of God.  The differences to be discussed are the Ordinances, Election versus the Gospel Call, and Perseverance of the Saints.  The Treatise on the Faith and Practice of the Free Will Baptists (1834) is fully Armenian in theology while the New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith (1834) is decidedly Calvinistic in theology.  It is for this reason the differences between these points is so stark when compared side by side.  While any number of other combinations are certainly possible, these similarities and differences are of great interest to me.  The conclusion will briefly offer the my thoughts on both confessions as well as the possibility of cooperation between congregations that would embrace either confession.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

And so it begins...



It has been a few weeks since I last posted a new blog, a fact that was brought to my attention on Friday afternoon.  I have been considering what my next topic might be and it occurred to me that something personal to get things going again might be a good idea.  So here we go!

          This very weekend last year my family and I were in Lynchburg, VA at the commencement ceremony of Liberty University.  Gov. Mitt Romney, the eventual GOP nominee for president, was our speaker and the nation was in the midst of an election season that still divides people.  At that time I still had to complete two more classes to take over the summer before I would finally be finished with the MRE program at the seminary. 

I knew then that the Lord had more for me and was already praying about the next step in my education.  Sometime during my final class at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary I felt lead to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Doctor of Education program.  Placing everything in the Lord’s hands, I began the application process shortly after my MRE was conferred.  My regular readers know I was eventually accepted into the Ed.D program.  I thought the application process was stressful but now there is hard work ahead!

This brings me to two things: first, the photo in this post.  That is photo of some of the resources I will be using in my first class Theological Foundations for Educational Research (92010).  I would greatly appreciate your prayers over my studies concerning clarity of thought, good time management (something I am not always good at doing), and reminders not to neglect my time with the Lord or my family during the next thirty months.

Second, the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention generously supports the six seminaries of our convention which helps to hold the cost of seminary education down.  The normal tuition for the Ed.D program is $24,900 however the discounted rate for members of SBC churches is $14,900.  This is a tremendous blessing yet the costs that remain are quite significant and will exceed $20,000 including tuition, books, travelling and lodging expenses to/from campus, fees, etc.  Please prayerfully consider supporting my journey financially.  If you feel so led, a donation in support of my Doctor of Education in Leadership can be sent to:

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Attention: Accounting
2825 Lexington Road
Louisville, KY 40280
In the memo field of your check, please include:
For Christopher Sanchez’s EdD Tuition S. I. 211863

If you choose to make a donation, thank you!  Please know that I know all too well that I do not deserve such blessings.  My family and I are grateful for your kindness and generosity as we continue to follow God’s perfect will for our lives. 

As always, I am so grateful to my regular readers who faithfully visit my site and send me words of encouragement.  This blogging journey has been amazing and I am just as excited about it today as I was with my very first post.  Praying for you all!

Blessings,
Chris