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A Brief History of The 2017 Statement of Belief

The 2017 Statement of Belief has received a variety of responses since its birth 5 years ago. For some, the Statement of Belief has been welcomed into the life of the church with open arms. The 12 affirmations contained within the document expresses the doctrinal convictions of many baptist churches. For others, however, this new…
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The 2017 Statement of Belief is discussed on the Assembly floor of the Baptist Union for the first time

Last week, the Baptist Union National Leadership Council (NLC) took an significant step in a particular direction. It reported that “the 2017 purported Statement of Faith is not inconsistent with the 1924 Statement of Faith. In future, therefore the NLC will accept the purported 2017 Statement of Faith should a church or other entity adopt…
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Independence and Interdependence: Towards a Harmonization of the Congregational Principle and Associational Relationships

Baptist churches are congregational and therefore decisions made by the congregation are binding on that congregation. But are decisions made outside the congregation, at associational or union level binding on the congregation too?

Baptists have already affirmed “Scripture without error” in 1990, but why have you never seen that affirmation?

On Monday 26 July 2021, Gavin Johnston, Pastor of Randburg Baptist Church and Michael du Toit, the BTC Registrar, dug into the Baptist Union archives. They found some very interesting minutes and a crucial decision that came to the Baptist Union Assembly of 1990. Stranger still, though, the decisions that were made then, were never…
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Doing Theology in Difficult Times: Counsel from Martin Luther to Embattled Believers

One of my all-time super heroes is Martin Luther. He was not merely ‘The Reformer’ and a serious theologian, but he was a real human being – and this combination of heavy-weight theologian and honest-witty-human is that which puts him at the top of my heroes list. He was real – he was a real…
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How has COVID-19 and Lockdown Affected the Implementation of Congregationalism in our Churches

At this time, in the year 2021, we as Baptists have faced a huge challenge to the principle and practice of congregational church government, in that the lock-down has made it very difficult to hold members meetings, particularly for bigger churches. Here are a few of the difficulties: Congregations That Can’t Congregate South Africa went…
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The Role of the Leader in the Context of Congregationalism

Introduction One of the questions that always surfaces in the Baptist Principles class (at BTC) is the one relating to the role of the Pastor in a Church where the Principle of Congregational Church Government is upheld. They recognize that this principle can stifle good leaders and cause much frustration in their ministry. This same…
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What’s missing from our Baptist Principles

Recently, I had opportunity to discuss some finer points of the application of one of the Baptist Principles with a pastor friend. He happened to comment offhandedly, “I really think that our BU Statement of Principles could do with a freshen up and reworking.” I agree. In addition, I see two things missing from our…
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Relief for bigger churches for a weekend

On 30 March, the President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, announced an Easter ‘weekend of relief’ for larger churches from the strict controls on indoor and outdoor gatherings. Until now, smaller churches, have been relatively favoured compared to larger churches in that the capped number of gatherers (100 indoors and 250 outdoors) has not…
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The Necessity of Re-establishing Community

With the ease of lockdown and many churches re-initiating corporate gatherings, the primary task that lies before the church, and particularly her leadership, is the necessity of re-establishing community. What do I mean by the phrase ‘re-establishing community?’ I think churches have largely taken ‘together being-together’ for granted. Oh, yes, we congregants knew it was…
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