Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday Pictures

A few pictures we took one Sunday after church. Claire's dress was Cyd's as a little girl.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The youth at FBC Statesboro participated in Host An Elf this month as part of our mission project. We provided 20 Elves from Catie for Backus Children's Hospital in Savannah. Here are few pictures of us delivering the elves to some of the children who received them.

Ecumenical Dialogue

One of my core convictions in ministry is an open and honest dialogue with people across the spectrum of historic orthodox Christianity. I have had the privilege to serve and be a part of churches from a variety of denominations over the years, all of which enriched my life and my faith. The thing that drives me the most to pursue true unity in Christ is Jesus' prayer that his disciples would be one. When I think about all the unreached people of the world I can't help but think that one denomination or tradition can't possibly reach them all, so we must work together to spread the gospel to all who will listen. One organization that strives to do this is Evangelicals and Catholics Together. This past weekend the ecumenical efforts of this group lost a strong voice, Avery Dulles. I had the opportunity to hear Cardinal Dulles as a seminary student. I was struck by his humbleness and his passion for the gospel. Below is a link with more about the passing of Cardinal Dulles and the work of ECT.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Theologian, Professor, Mentor, Friend

Over the summer I received a copy of a book published in honor of Fisher Humphreys upon his retirement from Beeson Divinity School. I eagerly dove in and have long finished the book but wanted to devout a little bit more time than usual for a post to talk about not just the book but the person behind the book. Theology in the Service of the Church is a book that captures the essence of who Fisher Humphreys is and the passion he has for the Christian faith. I first heard of Fisher from a dear friend and former professor, Buddy Shurden, when Cyd and I were investigating which seminary would be the best fit for us. Buddy took us to dinner and gave us some much needed counsel, all of which was wise of course about our future decisions. He did try to convince us to attend McAfee at Mercer, but we weren't convinced that was the best place for us. Buddy did tell us that Fisher Humphreys was the best living, Baptist theologian. High praise from such a student and expert in all things Baptist. At the time I had recently worked in small bookstore in Macon and I stumbled across the first edition of The Way We Were by Fisher. This introduction to a brilliant theologian fueled my growing curiosity for theology and especially of a Baptist variety.

I took4 courses with Fisher and instantly fell in love with Fisher's teaching and his genuine character. Over the course of our time in seminary, Fisher became more than a professor or a theologian to be admired from a distance, he became a mentor, helping to guide and shape my own pursuit of God. Most of all though, he became our friend! I don't think for a minute that the friendship is equally reciprocated, I have benefited more than I am sure he has from our relationship. Fisher is an incredible theologian who has a gift for making the most profound theological truth and make it readily available to the most non-theological minded person, perhaps that's why I like it so much!

Theology in the Service of the Church follows the same trajectory of Fisher's own work. The thing that stood out to me most, and I think is the most fitting thing considering Fisher's personality, is the expression of warmth, gentleness, and friendship by every contributor. Indeed, the one thing in common other than Christ, is the friendship given and received with Fisher. The contributors are eclectic at best. There are Baptists of different stripes (SBC and CBF), a Presbyterian minister, and a Catholic priest who all contributed. Perhaps the most telling thing about Fisher is that despite differences that he may have with someone, he doesn't allow those differences to be a source of contention.

In September, I was able to attend a conference in Birmingham for a few days. Fisher and I met for coffee at Starbucks and visited for about an hour, just catching up and enjoying each other's company. It was a time of refreshing for me in many ways. Fisher has taught me many things through his books, in the classroom, and through our friendship, but the greatest thing is the art of friendship. I am the first to admit that I am not the best about calling, writing, keeping in touch with friends from different stages of my life, but I do love and care for them immensely.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Little Ralph's

Not the best picture of any of us but at least it's all of us together, semi-coordinated. This was taken Saturday at Cyd's cousin's house in Beaufort (technically Lady's Island). Cyd's uncle passed away recently, so Ralph, her cousin wanted to have the family over to his house for Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful time and great food except UGA and USC both lost.