LifeWay releases Christian Standard Bible
(LifeWay) LifeWay Christian Resources released its newly revised Bible translation in January. As a revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) balances linguistic precision to the original languages and readability in contemporary English. More than 100 Bible scholars from 17 denominations translated the HCSB from the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. A full version of the CSB is available at Read.CSBible.com and through other Bible apps and websites. CSB Bibles became available in March.
SBC Pastor’s Conference highlights small churches
The 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference (SBCPC) featured 12 preachers from churches of approximately 500 or fewer members, a break from the usual practice of staging prominent pastors from large churches. In addition, the speakers taught sequentially through the book of Philippians, covering every verse of the epistle’s four chapters over two days, rather than a selection of topical sermons. SBCPC President Dave Miller, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa, and a number of other leaders who aided him, also chose an ethnically diverse lineup of speakers, featuring six Anglos, three African Americans, one Jamaican American, a Cuban American and an Asian American.
SBC adopts resolution on ‘alt-right’
(Baptist Press) Messengers to the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting denounced “alt-right white supremacy” in a nearly unanimous vote June 14 after a tumultuous day of refusing to address the issue. The action came as a resolution on “the anti-gospel of alt-right white supremacy.” The “alt-right,” a movement that advocates white nationalism, gained increasing attention through 2016-2017. The vote took place after a wave of protests on social media greeted the failure of the Resolutions Committee and messengers to bring an “alt-right” resolution to the floor. The Resolutions Committee asked Tuesday for an opportunity to bring such a resolution to the convention Wednesday, and the Committee on Order of Business and messengers approved its request. In the resolution they approved Wednesday, messengers said they, “decry every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Texas church suffers massacre
(Baptist Press) The 14-year-old daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor was among 26 people killed when an armed man opened fire during Sunday morning (Nov. 5) worship services at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a congregation about 35 miles southeast of San Antonio. The congregation is affiliated with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and reports average Sunday School attendance of 65 and worship attendance of 100. At least 20 people were injured, including several children, with the victims ranging in age from 5 to 72 years old. At least eight of the people killed were members of one family. The gunman was wearing tactical gear when he entered the sanctuary about 11:30 a.m. and reloaded his weapon multiple times during the attack. The shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, was killed shortly after the attack. A resident of New Braunfels, Kelley was in the U.S. Air Force and served in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge.
Southwestern cuts staff amid financial struggles
(SWBTS) Escalating health care costs, increased expenses for utilities and other higher education costs have prompted personnel cuts at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Initial adjustments to operations were not sufficient to stay within the $36.8 million 2017-2018 fiscal year budget set by the seminary’s trustees last spring, according to a Nov. 7 news release. After making “low-hanging fruit adjustments” that included reductions in dining services, copy center hours and the fleet of vehicles at the 200-acre campus, a spokesperson said the administration decided not to fill positions from natural attrition, including student employees who are graduating and staff and faculty set to retire. In order to continue providing health care benefits to employees and their dependents, a third round of cuts involved laying off 30 full-time staff “in selected areas where functions can be covered in other ways or by organizational change,” the seminary said.