Re: Rainy day
I was interested to read the piece on the demise of Home Mission. One of the problems is that it is hard for people to vision what it is, maybe it needs a new name and image as it seems old fashioned. I know from personal experience how important Home mission can be in nurturing new expression of Church to groups such as the homeless and marginalised who normally would not go near a Church. If it were not for Home mission new initiatives would not happen. I suggest a relaunch and rebrand is needed for this vital funding stream.
I was particularly moved and challenged by the "Rainy Day" article by an undisclosed Baptist Minister.
My first Church quickly became a Home Mission receiving Church. My next ministry was as the National Home Mission Secretary for the Baptist Union. Now, in my 80s, I am the Treasurer of the Eastern Baptist Association where we face the challenge of forever depleting reserves, as we try to ensure that money can still be made available to give Home Mission Grants to churches that are in need as well as engage in pioneer situations.
As you can see, I think that I have seen Home Mission from every possible angle, but I am still passionate about Home Mission, and, like your unnamed Baptist Minister, am deeply concerned about the future unless, as a family, we take corrective action now.
Thank you for making the article available and, be assured, I will be forwarding your email to my minister and to my fellow deacons at Braintree Baptist Church, where I am also the treasurer.
Revd Barry Walton
Re: Baptist Identity and the Ministry of Incarnation
What a great article. I so enjoyed it. I hope we hear more about his work. I totally agree with the quote he used to start with too. Of the eight churches I've been a member of, no two were the same, some radically different. Its one of the joys of Baptist life. Thank you.
Re: Baptist Union Council March 2021
As a life long Baptist and a professional chemical engineer I'm able to point out a few points while strongly supporting the move to zero emissions by 2050 if not before.
If we are to keep fuel at roughly today's price then we will need to use natural gas for a very long time. If we combine water electrolysis with autothermal reforming combined with CO2 capture and sequestration then we can increase the amount of hydrogen threefold using the free oxygen from.the electrolyser. Electric vehicles will still need lubricants. And vehicles in remote area will need liquid fuels..
We can power large ships with ammonia. Aircraft will use biofuels or new forms of battery now in development. A lot of development in new zero emission technologies will be undertaken by the present oil and gas companies who have large numbers of staff ideally suited to this type of work.
Keep your resolutions firmly anchored to the realistic and from within the Baptist family it should be possible to find a lot of expertise.
Frank Brown, member Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church
Re: Fake news and conspiracy theories
With regard to the article by Dr. John Weaver on fake news and conspiracy theories, I note that he links together those who take a literal view of Genesis Chapter 1 and climate change sceptics, regarding both views as unscientific. I note that he has not specifically mentioned the evolution of life on Earth. I will not comment on the climate change discussion but I feel that I have to tell Dr. Weaver and the readers of The Baptist Times that I take a literal view on Genesis Chapter 1. I have the right to take this view and I refuse to be intimidated into revising my worldview to suit secular scientists.
The reason I take this view is because I have carefully considered both sides of the debate and, it seems to me to take more faith to believe the explanation of secular scientists who basically want us to believe that nothing created everything than to believe the Genesis account of creation. To reinterpret the clear majestic words of the Genesis account of creation as myth or poetry poses major theological problems regarding sin, the fall of man, the accuracy and authority of scripture and the Gospel message itself.
Science is the study of natural laws but God's work of creation is supernatural. It really gets down to whether we trust the Bible. If we cannot trust the beginning of the Bible, why trust the rest of it? Jesus believed the miracles of the Old Testament and so did His apostles. To dismiss the creation account of Genesis 1 as either a myth or some kind of poetry is not a light matter. It is to challenge the authority of the Bible which claims to be the Word of God. It is also to challenge the integrity of our Lord and Saviour Himself.
If anyone does not believe the statements and miracles of the Old Testament, one is bound to wonder whether they believe the statements and miracles of the New Testament - miracles such as the virgin birth and the Resurrection, as well as the many miracles of Jesus which are recorded therein.