July 2015 Issue

 All July articles are provided below. Just scroll to see the list, and click to read any article.

Thomas Merton

Glenn Hinson recalls friendship with the influential contemplative ATLANTA — “A precocious monk, poet, prophet and thinker who etched himself ineradicably on my life and thought” is how longtime Baptist professor Glenn Hinson described Thomas Merton to a May gathering...

Quotation Remarks

“We’re nearing the point in youth sports where we need to stop the ‘elite’ and ‘select’ madness because we’re raising a generation with too much self-esteem. They can’t handle failure because they’ve been conditioned to believe they’re too good to fail.” —ESPN senior...

Shifting landscape

New Pew study reveals significant religious trends in U.S. “The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing,” so reported the Pew Research Center in mid-May following...

Mercer dedicates Interfaith Prayer Garden on Atlanta campus

ATLANTA — Mercer University, in partnership with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia, dedicated a new interfaith prayer garden May 14 on the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus in Atlanta. The site includes a labyrinth and outdoor classroom and is...

Philanthropist John M. Templeton Jr., dies at 75

WASHINGTON — John M. Templeton Jr., a pediatric surgeon who left medicine to carry on his father’s passion for pursuing “new spiritual information” through the sciences as president and chairman of the Templeton Foundation, has died. He was 75. Known as “Jack,” the...

SWEET INDULGENCE: Utah buys more candy than any other state

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) — While many Utahns have the willpower to avoid alcohol, coffee and tobacco, they just can’t stay away from the candy. The state buys confections — candy, mints and gum — at the highest rate in the nation, according to sales data from The Hershey...

A disqualifying deed?

Baptist baptism of baby sets off debate The sprinkling-style baptism of a Dayton, Ohio, infant — a scene heartwarming and commonplace for Catholics and mainline Protestants — is touching off accusations of doctrinal heresy in the evangelical world. In April, an...

Lessons from ‘The Field’

My brother Bub and I grew up in a small East Arkansas Delta town in the ’40s and ’50s. We lived in a modest rental house in the last block of South Division Street, just before it passed under the railroad tracks and entered the African-American community. I was 11 in...

Media: by John Pierce

At 90, Jimmy Carter reflects on ‘a full life’ As an eighth-grade member of Future Farmers of America, Jimmy Carter honed his woodworking skills in the school’s shop. For his final project that academic year, the youngster created a scale model of a stately edifice...

Lesson for August 2, 2015

with Tony W. Cartledge 2 Samuel 11:26-12:15a “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ Nathan said to David, ‘Now the LORD has put away your sin; you shall not die.’” — 2 Samuel 12:13 You’re the Man Do you like surprises? Do you like stories? Most of us...

Lesson for August 9, 2015

with Tony W. Cartledge 2 Samuel 18:1-33 “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” — 2 Samuel 18:33b Paying the Price There was a day when my late friend Johnny Brown persuaded me to ride around the pasture...

Lesson for August 16, 2015

with Tony W. Cartledge 1 Kings 2:1-12, 3:3-14 “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?” — 1 Kings 3:9 Redeeming a Shaky Start Old things pass away; new...

Lesson for August 23, 2015

with Tony W. Cartledge 1 Kings 8:1-53 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built!” — 1 Kings 8:27 Prayers for Now and Later Have you ever heard anyone use a prayer as an...

Lesson for August 30, 2015

with Tony W. Cartledge James 1:17-27 “But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” — James 1:22 Real Religion The book of James almost didn’t make it into the New Testament. It was one of the last to be regarded as canonical – so is it...

In the Know

Michael J. Clingenpeel will retire later this year from the pastorate of River Road Church, Baptist in Richmond, Va. He came to the church in 2004 after serving as editor of the Religious Herald. John Daugherty has joined the staff of OperationInAsMuch in Knoxville,...

Classifieds

Senior Pastor: Kirkwood Baptist Church (KBC), founded in 1870 in St. Louis County, Mo., is seeking a senior pastor. KBC has been a leader in moderate Baptist life since 1990 and has been actively affiliated with the national CBF and CBF Heartland since their founding....

The Lighter Side: How not to preach a children’s sermon

The senior pastor believes Ethan is thinking, “It is so great to have our own special time in worship with the pastor. He knows how to talk to children. He understands that 6-year-olds love metaphors. I wonder what object he has today. Maybe we’ll get Skittles and...

Does your church know its ‘place’?

*Editor’s note: This article in the series “Transitions: Helping churches and church leaders in changing times” is provided in partnership with the Center for Healthy Churches (chchurches.org*). Wendell Berry, in How To Be a Poet, wrote: “There are no un-sacred...

Representing hope

San Quentin chaplain reflects on Charles Manson, capital punishment and life on death row When Earl Smith became chaplain of California’s San Quentin State Prison in 1983, he was the youngest chaplain ever hired by the state. While there, he played chess with Charles...

Religion and the American Presidents

John Adams (1797-1801) EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of articles by historian Bruce Gourley on the religious faith of U.S. presidents. Gourley is online editor and contributing writer for Baptists Today and executive director of the Baptist History...

Freedom Rings!

Congregation recognized by news journal for faithful support, teamwork COMMERCE, Ga. — Baptists Today Director David Hull presented a Freedom Bell to the First Baptist Church of Commerce June 3. The Northeast Georgia congregation is a faithful supporter of the news...

Q & A with Bill Leonard

A conversation about Protestant privilege and permanent transitions WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Baptists Today presented its annual Judson-Rice Award to Bill Leonard on April 24 during a dinner event at Wake Forest University. He is the James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of...

Personal problems

Reblog Selections from recent blogs at baptiststoday.org Politicians and news media were frenzied following a deadly passenger train wreck in Philadelphia in mid-May. There were passionate calls for cooperation, spending and competency beyond the typical legislative...

Nicknames

During a camping trip when we were teens, my best friend Dale peeled a bright orange, oval label from the package of meat we were about to grill and pressed it to his forehead. It simply read, “GROUND CHUCK.” Not only did the label stick; so did a nickname. To our...

Nonreligious voters set sights on 2016 campaigns

A few years ago, when atheist activists asked U.S. Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, to tone down a Christian-oriented message to voters, they were told, “There aren’t any atheists in Louisiana.” But according to a new Pew Research Center survey, not only are...

The Vatican looks to reform its media operations

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is dragging its media machine into the 21st century, promising to promote social media and streamline its fragmented services with the help of a former BBC executive. Lord Christopher Patten, former chairman of the BBC Trust, outlined reform...

‘Pro-choice’ label preferred by half of Americans

Despite Americans’ shifting opinions on a range of moral and ethical issues, abortion foes have been encouraged by numbers showing that opposition to abortion rights appeared to have resisted serious slippage, and was even gaining traction. But a Gallup poll released...