Bringing Soldiers to God, and God to Soldiers

Lt. Col. Derrick Riggs’s life is not boring. Today he is serving in Afghanistan as command chaplain for NATO Special Operations and the Special Forces Joint Task Force. Riggs’s parents, retired Col. Dwight Riggs and his wife, Kathy, reside in Columbia and are members of First Baptist Church, where their son was actively involved before […]

The Exclusive, Inclusive Gospel

The gospel (“good tidings,” or “good news”) is an exclusive message because it heralds Jesus Christ as the only way to God (John 14:6). It is inclusive because, as Romans 10:13 says, “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” There are several good definitions of the gospel. They vary, but […]

Complementary, Not Competing, Gifts

Our theme for this month’s Courier is faith and reason, a broad subject that encompasses more than we could possibly include in a single issue. However, our aim is to present quality and correct information that can aid our readers in their continuing development as followers of and witnesses for Christ. Faith and reason are […]

The Blessing of Giving

Acts 20:35 says, “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Receiving is a blessing, but giving is the greater blessing. Baptists have consistently taught giving a tithe or more, yet most Baptists do not practice that level of giving. Craig Blomberg, […]

‘Dulcimer man’ brings out the inner musician in many

Dean Eades is the dulcimer man. Over the course of four decades, he has made thousands of the musical instruments and taught all ages to play the simple stringed device. He conducts a two-hour session where he teaches people to play. “We bring a dulcimer for each participant along with a pick and noter (something […]

Reaching an Unseeded Generation

Last year, South Carolina Baptist Convention associate executive director David Parks said that Baptists are a “harvest-minded people living in an unseeded generation.” David Bryant, chairman of the School of Christian Studies at Charleston Southern University, pointed out that  our culture is growing “increasingly more anti-Christian.” Our country is different today than in years gone […]

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Scripture makes it crystal-clear that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1 and Luke 2:4). That makes Bethlehem important for believers but insignificant among the cities of the world. Even today, it is a small town of approximately 25,000 people. Bethlehem is located in the Judean mountains on the West Bank. Tourism accounts for 65 […]

Thanksgiving Is Always in Season

I dearly enjoy the Thanksgiving season, even though so much of it in our culture has little to do with giving thanks — and even less with thanking God. In fact, it’s relatively easy to enjoy the holiday season and put together a great Thanksgiving Day meal — when compared with the challenge of obeying […]

You Do WHAT Kind of Ministry?

Jamie Ballentine is in the “mascot ministry.” What does that mean? He says, “My talent is performing as a stuffed animal.” He was “Cocky,” the mascot for the South Carolina Gamecocks, from 2002 to 2006 and planned a career as a professional mascot. Working in different places, he eventually landed in Charleston and was the […]

Coming Home … To Plant a Church

In Mark 5:19, Jesus said to the formerly demon-possessed Gerasene demoniac who wanted to travel with him, “Go home to your people … .” That is what Cleveland native Tony Loseto and his wife, Beth, are doing. “At first, many people shy away from the idea of planting a church where you came from. It […]