Thursday, August 09, 2007
New Seminary Subject: Homemaking
Thursday, August 09, 2007
By ROSE FRENCH, Associated Press Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers coursework in Greek and Hebrew, in archaeology, in the philosophy of religion and _ starting this fall _ in how to cook and sew.
One of the nation's largest Southern Baptist seminaries, the school is introducing a new, women-only academic program in homemaking _ a 23-hour concentration that counts toward a bachelor of arts degree in humanities. The program is aimed at helping establish what Southwestern's president calls biblical family and gender roles.
Coursework will include seven hours of nutrition and meal preparation, seven hours of textile design and "clothing construction," three hours of general homemaking, three hours on "the value of a child," and three hours on the "biblical model for the home and family."
Seminary officials say the main focus of the courses is on hospitality in the home _ teaching women interior design as well as how to sew and cook. Women also study children's spiritual, physical and emotional development.
Yet the program is raising eyebrows among some Southern Baptists, who say a degree concentration in how to be a Christian housewife is not useful, and a waste of seminary resources.
Seminary President Paige Patterson, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, which has its executive committee headquarters in Nashville, said wives of seminary students asked for the homemaking courses. The program was approved by seminary trustees.
"We are moving against the tide in order to establish family and gender roles as described in God's word for the home and the family," Patterson said at the denomination's annual meeting in June. "If we do not do something to salvage the future of the home, both our denomination and our nation will be destroyed."
Terri Stovall, dean of women's programs at Southwestern, which has its main campus in Fort Worth, Texas, said the purpose of the program is to strengthen families.
"Whether a woman works outside or strictly in the home, her first priority is her family and home," she said. "We just really want to step up and provide some of these skills."
Stovall said the homemaking degree is one of 10 women's programs at the seminary and is "only targeted to women whose heart and calling is the home."
A description of the homemaking program on the seminary's Web site says it "endeavors to prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly woman as outlined in Scripture.
"This is accomplished through instruction in homemaking skills, developing insights into home and family while continuing to equip women to understand and engage the culture of today."
The Rev. Benjamin Cole, pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, and a frequent Southern Baptist critic, wrote about the homemaking program on his blog.
"At first it was almost incredible to me," Cole said. "I thought this is not happening. It's quite superfluous to the mission of theological education in Southern Baptist life. It's insulting I would say to many young women training in vital ministry roles.
"It's yet another example of the ridiculous and silly degree to which some Southern Baptists, Southwestern in particular, are trying to return to what they perceive to be biblical gender roles."
Patterson took a leading role in the 1980s in a successful campaign to oust moderates from leadership posts in the Southern Baptist Convention. While he was president of the convention from 1998 to 2000, Southern Baptists issued a statement that women should not be pastors and that wives should "graciously submit" to their husbands.
In 2003, when Patterson left his post as president of North Carolina's Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to serve as Southwestern's president, he was asked whether women would teach in the seminary's theology school under his leadership.
"The New Testament is crystal clear that pastors are to be men," he said.
In March, a former Southwestern professor filed a federal lawsuit against the school and Patterson, alleging she was fired from her tenure-track position because she was a woman.
Professor Sheri Klouda was hired in 2002 and was the only woman to teach at the school of theology. But last spring, school officials informed Klouda that her contract was terminated because she was "a mistake that the trustees needed to fix," the lawsuit states.
Patterson's wife, Dorothy Patterson, is the only woman faculty member now teaching in Southwestern's theology school.
David Key, director of Baptist studies at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, said part of the reason why the seminary may be introducing the new homemaking program is in reaction to the Klouda lawsuit.
"Women continue to make more inroads into traditional male bastions, which could be provoking Patterson to do this," Key said. Patterson is "trying to draw the line in the sand of where women need to be."
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., also offers programs for women, including a 13-hour certificate of ministry studies. Required courses cover child-rearing, "God's plan for marriage," and managing a budget.
Key said neither seminary will allow women to be pastors, but notes that Southern hasn't "articulated homemaking like Patterson."
"Southern at least appears to realize the realities of modern day life _ that often times husbands and wives must both work outside the home to support the family," Key said.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Immortal, you are not like a man
That you change your mind
Or change your plan.
Invisible, our human eyes can't see
The depths of your majesty.
You're the God of forever and ever amen.
The alpha, Omega, Beginning and End.
We sing Hallelujah, we worship in awe.
Immortal, Invisible God
Immortal, you are not bound by death.
You're the living God, my very breath.
Invisible, you are not bound by space.
But your glory is filling this place.
Your glory is filling this place.
Immortal, yet you once died for me.
To pay my debt, to set me free
Invisible, you will not always be
Cause You're coming to reign as our King.
And the saints will fall down at Your feet.
For more of Laura's music CLICK HERE.
Words & Music by Laura Story, and Ed Cash
(C) 2007 Laura Story Elvington/Brentwood Benson
Monday, August 06, 2007
Can You hear my prayer
Resonate to You?
Above the crowd of many
How can You hear the few?
The lonely voice of one
Still my prayer goes up to You
I'm beggin' You to answer
I'm beggin' You to move
I know You've got a planCan You hear my cry,
I know You've got a plan
I know You've got a plan in this
Won't You take me by the hand
And lead me down the path
That leads to Your will for me
As I call out to You?
Can You hear my voice?
O God, I'm so confused
Is it time to just give up,
Turn around and leave?
Or do You have a bigger plan,
Larger than I see?
Words & Music by Jonathan Cruz.
(C) 2007 CowHouse Music, LLC.
*Note: correct lyrics are written above and may not coincide with the demo recording.
Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is "Love,"
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heav'n He stands
no tongue can bid me thence depart.
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair,
and tells me of the guilt within,
upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
my sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
to look on him and pardon me.
to look on him and pardon me.
Behold him there! the risen Lamb,
my perfect, spotless Righteousness,
the great unchangeable I AM,
the King of glory and of grace!
One with Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high,
with Christ, my Savior and my God
with Christ, my Savior and my God
Saturday, August 04, 2007
And today, they have been married for 29 years.
They knew each other growing up, but my mom laughed at my dad when she first found out he liked her. They were married shortly thereafter, well not too shorty. My dad had to do some convincing. Shortly after being married, they moved so my dad could begin higher education in Biblical Studies in Dallas, TX. My sister and I were both born in those Dallas years.
We moved back to our hometown of Palacios, TX shortly thereafter because they wanted us to have a good education in a smaller school district. They've lived unselfishly in so many ways, often putting their needs behind those of others they love.
And 29 years later, they are still together. Happy.
29 years later, they still love one another. You don't live with someone for 29 years and not change because of it. They compliment each other perfectly - in thought and in action.
29 years later.
What an amazing example.
Friday, August 03, 2007
The question is not do you attend a worship service (noun)? But rather, do you engage in worship through service?
In the First Testament, the idea of ministering to the LORD is of much importance. We worship and serve YHVH. We just give to him ourselves, all of ourselves. And just let him take that in.
We minister to the LORD.
This is an act of service. Our worship is an act of service to God.
So, do we engage in worship service. Do we serve God in our worship?
Or do we sing songs during a 'service' time because that's what we're supposed to do? Is worship service something you attend or something you do?
Is your worship service a verb?
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour from huffpost and Vimeo
In the video above, we find people claiming to be Christians yet ignoring the teachings of Christ. Forgetting the fact that we are called to be peacemakers. A pre-emptive strike (in this case against Iran) is perhaps on of the most un-Christian ideas of all. Even throughout the Church's history, the only real alternative to pacifism is a just war theory - which seeks peace first and never allows for the 'morality' of a pre-emptive strike.
The anti-Christ doctrine espoused here also cannot be found in the Church's history.
Why must some Christians abandon the teachings of their God in order to justify other teachings (or what they believe to be teachings) of their scriptures?
Certain parts of modern Christianity are a turn off, even to Christians. The way that modern Christianity is marketed is one of them. Christianity is not projected to the world as a radical commitment to a man who claimed to be God.
Instead, the faith is portrayed as an easy-out. It is marketed to the world as a life-choice, not a life-abandoning faith. The faith is reduced to a Heaven/Hell choice, as if Jesus came and suffered death so we can be happy when we die. But this is not the Biblical gospel. The good news (gospel) is the arrival of the Kingdom of Heaven - now, not later. We are called into a relationship with God, not to flock to a person who guarantees our place in Heaven. This is the true message of the New Testament, and can only be manipulated to say otherwise.
The testament of Christ's death is one of passion, suffering. It's not easy, for Christ or for us. Discipleship is a commitment of life - at any and all costs. It is not casual. In fact, the New Testament preaches against casual Christianity in Revelation 3, in John's letter to Laodicea. Following Christ is not a part time job; it is not a religion to enhance our lives. Christianity is a call to abandon our lives, our hopes, our ambitions, and seek first the Kingdom of God. It is a call to hunger and thirst for righteousness, to show mercy, and to seek peace. At any and all costs.
The Early Church often faced persecution from rulers and polities, which sifted and reduced the faith to only the faithful. Christians in America have forgotten that faithfulness is more important part of the faith called for in the New Testament.
Jesus, himself, turned away those who refused to be wholly committed to him (Luke 14:26-27). Why does the Church not do the same today?
It would save people who call themselves Christians from diluting the faith to an over-simplistic get-out-of-Hell-free card - who in the process, completely change the message of the New Testament for the sake of filling churches and increasing the percentage of people in America who call themselves Christians.
I find the shirts above offensive. I not only take offense to their appeal to American pop culture to market Christianity. But moreover, I find offense in what they portray the Christian faith to be. In the first picture, Jesus' death is portrayed rather comedically; the second portrays Christianity as an easy way of life; while the last reduces Christianity to a simple choice of residence in a life after death.
What would Jesus think?