December 2015 Issue

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

Treasure Trove

Beloved hymn writer Fanny Crosby’s unpublished works recovered Generations of Christians have long sung — from hymnals and memory — the inspiring hymns of Fanny J. Crosby (1820-1915) such as “To God Be the Glory,” “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home” and “Blessed...

Quotation Remarks

“It’s a revolution going on. But a revolution of love and hope.” —Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who heads an effort by Pope Francis to reform the Vatican that is finding intense opposition from some more conservative Catholic leaders (RNS) “I hope that...

Editorial: The shaping power of fear

My friend Pam Wacter, a longtime educator, shared a story with me recently. Her coworker was enjoying a visit from her two young nieces. They began running and screaming more than typical for young, screaming little girls so their mother went into the guestroom to...

Did you say ‘Merry Clausmas’?

Guest Commentary by Ben Self Merry Clausmas, everyone! That’s right. I said “Clausmas.” Like many other people, I have been bothered for a long time about the commercialization of Christmas. All of the selling and buying and giving of gifts to one another has little...

Ohio congregation tips Domino’s driver more than $1,000

Holy pepperoni! A Domino’s driver was left in tears when an Ohio church congregation tipped her more than $1,000 after she delivered a $5.99 pizza, according to local media. The sobbing started after the driver, who identified herself as Natasha in a video of the Oct....

Evangelicals group softens its death penalty stance

WASHINGTON — The largest coalition of U.S. evangelicals has stepped away from its pro-death penalty stance, which it embraced for the past 40 years. The board of the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Evangelicals announced in October that evangelicals who...

A Review By John Pierce

Attractive book flows with tributes to John Claypool’s generous life Carolyn Sloss Ratliff has pulled together a beautiful — in words and appearance — tribute to the late John Claypool. The attractive volume, Life Is Gift, was published this year by St. Luke’s...

The Lighter Side: Like children

According to an unreliable, unnamed source, a consulting firm — which probably does not exist — has a pre-employment quiz that is helpful in determining whether someone is management material. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? The correct answer is, “Open...

Lesson for January 3, 2016

with Tony W. Cartledge Psalm 147:1-20 Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner; but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast...

Lesson for January 10, 2016

with Tony W. Cartledge Luke 3:15-22 Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. “The Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’” — Luke 3:22 Of Water and Fire Do...

Lesson for January 17, 2016

with Tony W. Cartledge John 2:1-11 Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. “Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” — John 2:11 Of Water and Wine During the age of prohibition,...

Lesson for January 24, 2016

with Tony W. Cartledge Luke 4:14-21 Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to...

Lesson for January 31, 2016

with Tony W. Cartledge Luke 4:21-30 Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. “And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.’” — Luke 4:24 A New Prophet and an Old Response Do you like conflict? Probably not. Few of us enjoy...

Classifieds

Associate Minister: Families and Congregational Care: Second Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., is seeking an individual to fill the newly formed position of associate minister: families and congregational care. This position requires one to possess an awareness of and...

In the Know

Bob Ballance is pastor of First Baptist Church of South Boston, Va., coming from Pine Street Church in Boulder, Colo. Steven Case died Oct. 8 in Washington, D.C. He was retired pastor of First Baptist Church of Mansfield, Penn. Andrew Gardner is winner of the 2015...

Healthy Church

  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). Is advocacy in your church’s wheelhouse? So what is advocacy? In...

Religion and the American Presidents

Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the seventh 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...

Loss and Legacy

Religious justifications, continuing impact of the American Civil War explored CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The American Civil War ended150 years ago. Or did it? “We cannot get away from the Civil War,” said historian Bobby Lovett, retired from Tennessee State University in...

Pathway to peace

Labyrinth walking enables mindfulness of God Many people are searching for peace. They cannot figure out how to unplug from the stress, the constant demands, the running commentary in their heads, the responsibilities and the duties of life in order to find the...

Reblog: Readers, and not

As a person who has loved reading from the time I could sound out “See Spot run,” I found a recent Barna survey on adult reading habits to be, well, worth reading. In a digital world where countless items are posted online every day, it’s good to know that some people...

God’s design

Years ago a congregation placed a classified ad in a Baptist newspaper to assist the church’s search for a new pastor. Among the qualities and qualifications they sought was someone with “the mind of God.” My guess (and hope!) is that the ad writer meant that the...

Fewer, firmer

Study shows more Americans reject religion, but believers firm in faith Americans as a whole are growing less religious, but those who still consider themselves to belong to a religion are, on average, just as committed to their faiths as they were in the past — in...

Do science and religion conflict?

It’s all in how you ‘see’ it Most Americans see a conflict between the findings of science and the teachings of religion. But “see” is the operative word in a Pew Research Center report issued this fall Examining perceptions leads to some unexpected findings. While 59...