The first activity to revitalize and refresh a church is to return to the basics of faith. Dean Kelly wrote that the natural tendency of churches is to forget the core disciplines. They are like spiritual containers that “leak” by not fully transmitting a complete understanding of their faith, so that those who come after get less than the full measure of faith, and those who come after them even less, to the point that the once dynamic movement is indistinguishable from the environing world. The answer, says Kelly, is “how to put content into conversion – to train new members in the distinctive ideas, attitudes, actions and discipline of the movement.”

I’m a Baptist by heritage and choice. So I’ve gone back to study my own Baptist heritage, starting with the current Southern Baptists’ Baptist Faith and Message (BFM) of 2000, then the 1963 version, compared to the 1925 EY Mulllins original, and then reading the 1683 New Hampshire Baptist Confession.

I’m also on tap to teach the BFM 2000 at church this fall.  On this page are my notes, as a way to provide read-aheads and class notes (and to preserve my work against hard drive failure).

Please  read and help me edit, as appropriate.

Week One: What Does it Matter? and  Other Confessions

Week Two:  Preamble and Scripture

Week Three:  The Triune God:  

Week Four:  The nature of Man, The nature of Salvation, and God’s Purpose of Grace

Week Five:   The Church, the Ordinances, and the importance of the  Lord’s Day

Week 6, sections 8 & 11 (Evangelism and baptism)
Week 7, sections 10 &12 (the Kingdom and last things)
Week 8, sections 13-15 (Education, stewardship, cooperation)
Week 9, sections 16-18 and conclusion (Order, war, society)
Week 10, sections 18-19 (society and family)
Week 11, conclusion & review

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