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Celebration Special Sessions

Special interest sessions for the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant have been announced. Topics to be covered include discussions concerning youth, poverty, criminal justice system, evangelism, religious liberty, racism, peacemaking, disaster relief, and interfaith dialogue. Each topic will have several key individuals to guide the discussions. Session leaders will include Neville Callam, Glen Stassen, Suzii Paynter, Molly Marshall, Brent Walker, Cynthia Holmes, Millard Fuller, Welton Gaddy, David Gushee, Daniel Carro, Melissa Rogers, Miguel De La Torre, Chuck Poole, James Dunn, James Forbes, and many more. This great group will help make the Celebration an important and meaningful event. Check out the full list and begin making plans to attend this historic meeting in Atlanta on January 30 and February 1.

In other news related to the Celebration, the Baptist Center for Ethics has released an excellent DVD and Bible studies that can be used to get people excited about the Celebration. They examine Luke 4, which is the focal Scripture passage for the Celebration. The DVD is called "The Nazareth Manifesto" and is ideal for showing clips during church services or Bible studies. If you are at a Baptist church in Missouri, contact the Baptist General Convention of Missouri to get a free copy.

David Gushee, one of the recently announced special interest session leaders, mentions the Celebration in a Christianity Today column about efforts by Christians to bring racial reconciliation. He talks about the planning work for the Celebration as part of the racial reconciliation that is desperately needed among Christians.


  1. Chuck: Feel free to just write "ditto" rather than repeating all of your claims about Carter (that's a Rush Limbaugh shortcut for you).

  2. Anonymous9:43 PM


    Ditto, of course, but let me ask a rather sad question:

    What racial strain have you and other "new Baptists" been under to require this "desperately needed" reconciliation? Whose spirit of prejudice and discrimination has caused this--your's or believers of other races?

    I've been at peace with Christian brothers and sisters of all ethnicities, so I really don't relate to what you and the other organizers are claiming to be so "desperately needed."

    It seems like Baptist believers plotting to, planning for, and practicing calling on the lost to be reconciled to God through Christ would be a much-more ambitious and needed objective.

    Why pull out the religious race card?

  3. Chuck: That is a good question. Baptists are still racially split because of the racism of the past. This meeting will be historic in part because it will bring historic white and historic black Baptist groups together. That is the definition of racial reconciliation--bringing the races together for discussion and progress. The problem is that even if we are not racist, we have yet to undo the problems of the racist past. That is why one Baptist historian has called slavery the "original sin" of the SBC that still has not been completely overcome.

  4. Anonymous4:17 PM


    Thanks for your explanation.

    But really, Promise Keepers and others addressed this--strongly--over a decade ago. Today, black and white believers worship and serve together in Baptist churches, predominantly black and white churches cooperate together in associations and conventions.

    So, what are the leftover problems from unconfessed sin still to be overcome?

    I my opinion, this is more an injection of political aims than spiritual needs.

  5. Chuck: You are correct that much progress has been made, and Promise Keepers was definitely a positive movement that helped make very important improvements in this regard. Yet, despite this progress, Sunday worship in most Baptist churches is still extremely segregated. It will take time to overcome the centuries of racial problems.

    I believe that racial equality is a biblical mandate. Although it has been politicized we should not abandon the area just because of the politics--it is still our spiritual concern.


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