Wednesday, May 31, 2006


My purpose in starting this new ministry blog [] is to deal with some practical aspects of theology and ministry that have come to mean something to me over the years and I will eventually get there...but first a personal word if I may.
I pastored a church three minutes from SWBTS in the late seventies/early eighties and loved investing the time and energy in a ministry to a few seminary students along with the rest of the folks. Those seminary student's level of dedication and commitment astounded me. I've since pastored other churches and now travel in a church conference ministry and love it too. But...I have to say, as I've followed MANY blogs and bloggers over the past several months for obvious reasons, I have had a renewed sense of being astonished at that same level of commitment and dedication found in many of them.
I realize I would have to ask their families/churches to have the full picture,but I'm no dummy. Their words really have been a window into their hearts and my heart is encouraged for the prospects of the SBC in the years ahead as they begin to assume leadership. I'm going to try to help them...maybe by staying out of their way.;)

Paul Burleson

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blogging Ethics

I want to establish some personal boundaries for this blog. I know no one can establish boundaries that will satisfy all [not that there will be that much readership] but I've always felt it best to say upfront what is expected when something is begun involving others.
I'm of a generation that tended to speak from pulpits/lecturns with little or no accountability. "If the preacher says it, it must be true" was the prevailing attitude for many hearers. That day has changed as well it should. Today many distrust anyone in a position of authority and especially the one who believes he has it. [Authority that is] That distrust may be well founded.
Add to that the internet where words are immediate for all, at least those who wish to see, and which is a resource for verifying or disproving those words and you have a situation of life where words are more/less powerful than ever before.
It is true, of course, that Christians were, from the beginning, commanded to speak "truthful words". It is the rest of that command that is often overlooked..."in love". It is also true such a determination is, perhaps, subjective in nature and difficult to make. Jesus, even when speaking words that cut to the chase about the the behavior of some, never failed to love. That's to be our lifestyle as well. But what I'm addressing is more of an attitude rather than truth or love. I think maybe the word "respect" is the idea for which I'm groping. A respectfulness that transcends age, gender, differences, ideas, even belief systems. I'm not refering to "respectableness" which may speak more to image and pretense than to reality. I'm speaking of an attitude that is born, perhaps, out of the maturing process and the work of the Spirit within.
Maybe I'm asking too much and maybe I will fail also but this is the thing I will be looking for in my posts and following comments. Truthfulness?...YES...Love?...YES...but especially respect for all.
An example of this was wonderfully demonstrated in an exchange recently between Micah of Friesville and Dr.Mark Dever. To my sorrow I do not know yet how to link things in the middle of a post but I'll learn. If you can find it it will be worth the effort.
I recognize that to be talking at all is good and I also know that the ethics of blogging are still being hammered out. But, for me, there is a desire to experience something I feel is lost to a great degree in our day. That is, as was demonstrated by Micah and Dr. Dever's [as well as many blogs and bloggers I've followed for a long time this being the most recent good example] give and take with differences while being respectful. I don't think that is too much to ask of myself and others on this blog. And I will not ask of you what I won't commit to being. Remember, this is neither an "ought" nor a "should" on anyone or their blog. It is addressing this blog and this blogger alone. But since "every idle word" is referenced with an accounting one day and since "words" do reveal something of the inside, I think I'll opt for "respect" characterizing things here in so far as possible.

Paul B.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Great Commission Christians..who are they?

I originally wrote these remarks as a comment on another blog but have decided to make them a Post on this blogsite as well.

The emphasis of the New Testament Scriptures is the connectedness we all have to each other as the Body [Church] of Christ via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Each person making up that Body [Church] has been given the Great Commission. [Here after designated as the GC]

How we carry out that GC as we group together physically [local church] and what we call ourselves in those physical groups whether Baptist, Bible, Christian Missionary Alliance, Assembly of God, or a host of other brands is not the issue for fulfilling the GC. We may have unique methods and means for doing the GC together but to say, as some do, that a group of gathered believers is NOT a group of GC people because they differ with us on the non-essentials is not in keeping with the text of the New Testament Scriptures in my opinion.

The essentials [the gospel] ARE necessary for the connectedness and indwelling of the Holy Spirit referred to above, but, for goodness sake, the Body of Christ is bigger than Baptists. It is made up of all who name Jesus as Lord and they are my brothers/sisters and are to be called and seen as GC people as I'm to be.

I've chosen to physically identify with a southern baptist church and the SBC as a whole but the Body of Christ is bigger than the SBC and our calling as believers who affiliate with the Convention is to make disciples of CHRIST not SBC members.

Paul Burleson

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Blogging 101

This blog site is part of and connected to VTM ministries. Our homepage is and all things relative to our ministry such as schedule,types of meetings. etc., can be found there.
Someone may ask why a blog? My answer is so I can address issues theological and ministerial in a conversational way. I will, of course, be giving my view on the issues and will do so with the knowledge that my grasp of Truth is finite and growing. I trust the Spirit to give understanding as all Christians do and am confident He does and will. My confidence in my ability to hear Him and to grasp the Truth, however, is not as strong. I've lived with the power of flesh and self too long to have much confidence there. I will attempt to be open, honest, and careful in what I post so at least you will know where I stand.
I do believe strongly that our ground of unity is not in agreement on issues or even nuances of minor doctrine however. I'm using the word minor here not meaning unimportant but related to essentials of salvation/eternity which are the majors .
Our ground of unity, which by the way we are never told to create but to maintain because the Spirit HAS ALREADY CREATED OUR UNITY IN CHRIST, is on the basis of Christ and His work on the Cross as Paul said to the Corinthians in the first three chapters of that First Corinthian letter. If a person says Christ was human only and not the divine Son of God who died on the Cross for us that person is not my brother. I will love them and share my life with them but they are in need of the gospel. My brothers/sisters are those who name Jesus as Lord. And we are as different as daylite and dark in understanding of doctrine, associating with various denominations, having differing views on issues and the embracing of a multitude of methods in mission and evangelism. But we are brothers/sisters because of who Christ is to/in us and our acceptance of what He accomplished on the Cross and the empty tomb. This obviously presupposes a confidence in the integrity of the Scriptures.
This blog will address those issues, differences, and nuances, but as a brother in Christ. I will be doing what my son and others have been doing for several months and quite successfully. I only hope I can be as gracious and gentle as they have been. If I can then perhaps this little personal word will be of help and enjoyed by some.

Paul Burleson