Tried with Fire: Lest I Should Be Exalted

The apostle Paul was not given to self-aggrandizement. He understood himself to be the chief of sinners, rescued only by God’s grace. Only when forced to defend his ministry and apostleship was he willing to talk about his gifts and attainments—and even then he...

Thoughts on Baptists and Independence

[This essay was originally published on September 25, 2015.] Sometimes things that look alike are actually quite different. One mushroom cooks up into a delectable repast, while another that appears almost identical can kill. A gold nugget will buy a new car, but a...

Vocation and Vocations

[This essay was originally published on February 5, 2016.] The Reformers erected the doctrine of calling in reaction to the Romanist distinction between clergy and laity. At the time, Catholics recognized only two vocations: the calling to consecration (which...

Tried with Fire: Suffering and Glory

How perplexing! Christians are supposed to be children of God, heirs and joint heirs with Christ. We are no longer under condemnation—God’s wrath has been cancelled for all our sins. We have received unimaginable privileges in Christ. Yet we ache when we get up...

Tried with Fire: The God of All Comfort

To all appearances the apostle Paul was less than average. He was probably so short that he couldn’t see over the heads of a crowd. He was no golden-tongued orator—in fact, his preaching was known to put people to sleep. Many believe that he had an ocular...

Tried with Fire: Want Wisdom?

On our first Thanksgiving in Denver, my wife and I wanted to drive to Iowa to see her family, then to Wisconsin for my parents’ silver wedding anniversary. The problem was that a snow storm was blowing in from the Rockies. Snow swirled the whole night before we...

Tried with Fire: Consider It All Joy

The temperature hovered in the nineties as the August sun beat down on the practice field. We had been running through a combination of calisthenics and drills in full gear for nearly two hours. This was our first two-a-day of the season. I’d thought I was in...

Elders Rule! But Congregations Decide

[This essay was originally published on February 7, 2014.] Those who think that churches should be governed by a self-perpetuating boards of elders have two main arguments. The first is that the sheep (i.e., ordinary believers under the care of shepherds or elders)...

Tried with Fire: Teaching a Lesson

It was the best day of his life. He had been blind from birth. One day as he sat begging he heard himself being discussed. Men were asking a rabbi whether the blindness was because of his sins or his parents’ sin. The teacher replied that it was neither:...

Tried with Fire: Why Us?

The early chapters of Genesis trace death to Adam’s sin. Along with death came an entire brood of calamities. Alienation from God, suspicion of and hostility toward other people, grinding labor, sorrow, and physical pain all began with the sentence of death. At...

Tried with Fire: Death and Its Brood

God did not create human beings to suffer or die. Nothing in the Bible teaches that pain had any place in the world God made. God fashioned humanity, both male and female, as part of His good creation. He gave them His blessing. He put them in a place of shelter and...

Not Growing Up Fundamentalist, Part 2

Last week I began a brief series here in parallel to Kevin Bauder’s “Growing Up Fundamentalist.” Kevin showed how his early interaction with fundamentalism was healthy and uplifting. My early exposure and experience entering into fundamentalism was...

Not Growing Up Fundamentalist

In recent weeks, my colleague Kevin Bauder has written a series reflecting on the fundamentalism of his youth. He expressed gratitude for those who he knew in his early life and their influence upon his future ministry.  His exposure to fundamentalism happened early...

About In the Nick of Time

Occasional Essays and Other Stuff for Christian Students Presented by the Research Professor of Systematic Theology of Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis.

 

American Christianity needs Christian leaders. Christian leaders explain the Scriptures, bringing them to bear upon life’s urgent questions. Christian leaders exemplify the life of faith, finding their ultimate satisfaction in God alone. They unite intellectual discipline with ordinate affection, turning their entire being toward the love of God. These essays are dedicated to the task of inviting Christian students to become tomorrow’s Christian leaders.

 

—Kevin T. Bauder

 

“Be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”