Increasing Knowledge of the Doctrine of Salvation among Sunday School Participants at First Baptist Church Minden Louisiana

Stephen Duwayne Bradley D.Min.
This project seeks to help Baptists better understand soteriology by using the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a model to demonstrate how both Reformed and Arminian soteriological views can fit within the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, and to be clear where there is disagreement. It is not appropriate to label Southern Baptists as Calvinists, or Arminians, as historically they fall somewhere between the two persuasions. While there is significant agreement on numerous facets, Baptists vary on elements of soteriology, and thus training lay people to understand these differences will cause less confusion and mitigate unnecessary division.

Chapter 1 introduces the basis for the research project; the thesis of the project, the goals, and the methodology.

Chapter 2 introduces biblical and theological foundations for the doctrine of salvation. This chapter presents exegetical interpretations of relevant biblical passages and theological material.

Chapter 3 provides historical information regarding Reformed/Arminian debate within the Southern Baptist Convention.

Chapter 4 presents a recounting of the project including a 12-week study of the doctrine of salvation as presented by the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

Chapter 5 provides a short conclusion for the project and offers additional observations, and testimonials from the participants of the 12-week course. Suggestions for further study are also included.

Resting to Preach: A Biblical—Theological Evaluation of Rest Toward the Preparation of Sermons

Stephen Trent Thomas M.Div.

Resting to Preach: A Biblical—Theological Evaluation of Rest
Towards the Preparation of Sermons

This project will argue that, because deliberate rest is restorative to the intellect and to creativity, and because preaching preparation is a creative and intellectual endeavor, preachers should intentionally incorporate deliberate rest into their sermon-preparation process. The writer will explore the biblical basis for rest using six passages of Scripture. Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 20:8-11 will establish the importance of Sabbath rest. Psalm 19 will describe rest as one experiences nature. Matthew 11:25-30 will reveal the rest Jesus promises to those who are weak and heavy-laden. Mark 6:30-44 will develop the rest Jesus provides to His followers when they become overwhelmed with ministry. Hebrews 3:18-4:13 will explore the rest promised to the obedient.
The writer will present research from scientific sources. Rest, Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Sooing-Kim Pang, The Wandering Mind by Michael Corbalis, In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honoré, and The Secret World of Sleep by Penelope Lewis are the sources that will reveal the value of sleep to the intellect and to human creativity.
The writer will survey Christian authors to provide biblical insight into the value of sleep. These books are Saints’ Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter, The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan, The Art of Rest by Adam Mabry, Subversive Sabbath by A. J. Swoboda, and The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer. These authors accentuate the necessity of rest for the follower of Jesus.
The project’s goal is to help preachers improve their preaching by adding various forms of rest during their sermon-preparation process.

The Role of the Family-Equipping Model in Church Planting and Replanting Training for the Calvary Family of Churches in Englewood, CO

Franklin Samuel Trimble D.Ed.Min.
This project focuses on the combined efforts of the family ministry movement and the replanting movement in equipping current and future planters and replanters in family ministry. In the project, the reader will be given biblical, theological, historical, and ecclesiological examples of what a healthy family ministry can look like. This project is meant to encourage and equip future and current ministers, especially those with few resources, as they seek to develop a healthy family ministry culture in their contexts. Churches can see healthy family ministry established in their midst regardless of the number of resources at their disposal.
Throughout the project, the reader is given biblical instruction regarding the primacy of parental discipleship in relation to the biblical instruction of children. This primacy is made even more specific when the project addresses the role of the husband and father in the home-discipleship process. The project then looks to Hebrews 3 & 10 to address the need for all ages of the church to meet regularly. Once the biblical and theological groundwork has been laid, the project then moves into a section in which the history of modern youth ministry is examined in contrast with the historical precedent of family worship. Ecclesiological matters are then discussed in detail such as the importance of intentionally limiting church calendars and the need for a plurality of elders that can lead a congregation in meaningful membership which then leads to accountable shepherding.

An assessment of the benefits for the church congregation of Highland Baptist Tabernacle of Blue Ridge, Georgia in strategic, long-term sermon planning through the book of Hebrews

Jerry R Thomas
When a man that God commissions begins to preach, he may approach the sermon in many ways, but the goal is always the same: for the preacher and the listener alike to hear the words of God. Each strategy has its benefits and losses, but all strategies must lead to the pinnacle of hearing God's word. This research will investigate the benefits for the church congregation at Highland Baptist Tabernacle of strategic, long-term sermon planning through the Book of Hebrews. The motivation behind the research is to determine whether strategic, long-term sermon planning benefits this local church congregation in the areas of biblical understanding, spiritual conviction, and Christian living. If this strategy for sermon planning is highly beneficial, it could be likened to that of a strenuous climb up the mountain-difficult but well worth the effort. Not only will this research be a determining model for our local congregation, it also could give insight into the effects of intentional long-term sermon planning for expository preaching in small, rural churches throughout the country.

Evaluation of a long-term preaching plan for preaching the book of Hebrews to the Church of the Open Bible

Andrew Straubel
This research project addresses the process of developing a long-term preaching plan for use in one local church. A long-term preaching plan, if properly understood and implemented, could benefit a pastor greatly. This long-term preaching plan has been developed and introduced for use at the Church of the Open Bible in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania. Twenty-seven sermons were crafted using a long-term sermon process that was learned and developed under the tutelage of John Reed at Dallas Theological Seminary. A descriptive survey assists in the evaluation process. The same survey was handed out in a pre-test and post-test format to measure the spiritual growth of the congregation in the following areas: comprehension -- knowledge; convictions -- biblical beliefs, attitudes, and values; and conduct -- behavior. The long-term planning process helps the pastor in sermon preparation and assists in the spiritual formation of the local church. A long-term preaching plan positively impacts the comprehension, convictions, and conduct of the believers at the Church of the Open Bible at Parkesburg, Pennsylvania.

Effective communication of the creative gospel: an experimental program and evaluation using dialogue teams

Gary L Buckner
This study focuses on the improvement of pulpit communication through the employment of sermon feedback groups and innovative formats of presentation. The study is interdisciplinary in approach, drawing from scriptural tradition, critical evaluation of trained/untrained auditors along with insights from modern communication theories. The basic premise of the project is that effective biblical pulpit communication can be achieved in the church. The project reviews fifteen weeks of designated sermons from the book of Hebrews. Talk-back sessions followed the preaching of the messages. Three additional weeks of orientation and pre and postproject assessment complete the "parenthesis of investigation.".
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