Founders Conference to Convene in BirminghamThe 1991 Founders Conference is scheduled to move from Memphis to Birmingham. It plans to convene July 23-26 on the campus of Samford University. Mr. Geoff Thomas from Wales is the main speaker and will address the theme, "A Savior Who Is Christ the Lord." For more information write The Southern Baptist Founders Conference, P. O. Box 150931, Cape Coral, FL 33915.
Martins Relocate in JakartaDr. and Mrs. George (Donna) Martin, along with their two children, have recently left Bandung and settled in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he is scheduled to assume new teaching assignments as a seminary professor. Their new address is:
Steve & Marilyn Haines Looking Forward to KievDr. and Mrs. Steve Haines are presently awaiting final clearance to leave for the Soviet Union as missionaries. Dr. Haines, who has spent the last several years teaching at our seminary in Colombia, has been asked to establish a theological institute for Ukrainian Baptists. A further report on this new venture will appear in a future issue.
Louisiana Baptists for LifeThe 1990 summer session of the Louisiana Legislature was a "near miss" for pro-life forces. A bill outlawing abortion passed both the House and the Senate, only to be vetoed by the Governor. An attempted override of the veto fell short by only a few votes. Had the bill become law it would have seriously challenged Roe v. Wade, America's official instrument for the torture and execution of children in their mother's womb. Pro-life forces came away from the session disappointed but not utterly dejected. Evangelicals felt betrayed by a governor who had run for office under the guise of being solidly pro-life. There was a new depth of righteous indignation emerging from the Christian community in Louisiana.
For years the pro-life movement in Louisiana has been led and supported by Charismatics and Roman Catholics. While Southern Baptists were concerned, we were by and large sinfully silent. That all began to change, however, at the annual meeting of the Louisiana Baptist convention in November. In the marvelous providence of God a series of events were set in motion which resulted in the adoption of a strong resolution opposing abortion. The resolution states in part, "abortion for reasons other than to save the life of the mother is a destruction of human life contrary to the law of God and leads to a contempt for all human life. . . ." In addition to this, the convention's Committee on Moral and Social Concerns was instructed to make the opposition of abortion the top priority on its agenda, and the top state government officials were notified concerning our action. In the final analysis, the convention had spoken decisively against abortion at every session.
In January a group of Louisiana Baptist pastors met to discover how we might mobilize the members of the 1518 Southern Baptist churches in our state. The result of the meeting was the formation of Louisiana Baptists For Life. Two State-Wide Coordinators were selected to give leadership to this effort. They are Mr. Cary Kimbrell, Pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, and Mr. Bill Ascol, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Clinton. Joining forces with the existing pro-life coalition in the state, Louisiana Baptists For Life hopes to establish a loosely-knit state-wide network comprising pro-life coordinators in each of the 48 local associations. The associational coordinators will encourage local pastors and their congregations to get involved in the legislative process and bring responsible pressure to bear upon their legislators. Our goal is to come to the legislative session (which convenes on April 15th) with the necessary commitments from legislators not only to pass a "no exceptions" abortion bill, but also to override a veto from the Governor. We solicit the prayers of everyone who longs to see a halt come to the slaughter of children in the womb. By God's grace we will be able to report at a later date that the dismantling of Roe v. Wade is underway.
-Cary Kimbrell and Bill Ascol
Reformation in BrazilEditora Fiel is a Brazilian Mission effort which translates and publishes quality Christian literature in Portuguese. Under the leadership of Mr. Richard Denham, books by Lloyd-Jones, Jay Adams, Spurgeon and Ryle are among those which have been translated. Southern Baptists have a strong missionary presence in the country. The convention work there began over 100 years ago. In recognition of this fact, Editora Fiel has translated two important Southern Baptist books over the last two years. The first to come off the press is John Dagg's Manual of Theology. The other book is Bob Selph's Southern Baptists and the Doctrine of Election. Both books have been making a positive impact on Brazilian Baptists--especially on those who are connected with the SBC mission work.
This fact was confirmed last September at the 6th annual national Brazilian Pastors' conference sponsored by Editora Fiel. Pastor Selph, along with Pastor Tom Ascol preached a total of 16 messages to the more than 200 participants during the week-long gathering. Through the challenge of good books and the study of the Scriptures, many have begun to embrace the doctrines of grace and are seeking to apply them in personal and church life.
One theological professor attended the conference with four of his colleagues and the president of his convention-sponsored seminary. He repeated the question which has been asked hundreds (maybe thousands) of times over the last 15 years by Southern Baptists in the United States: "If these doctrines are true, and if they are part of my heritage, why has no one told me before now?"