Nathaniel Long's Reviews > One Sacred Effort: The Cooperative Program of Southern Baptists

One Sacred Effort by Chad Brand
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's review
Mar 07, 2014

it was ok
Read from September 05, 2010 to March 07, 2014

This book is replete with influential figures in the Southern Baptist Denomination. These people contributed much to the formation of American character. This is the story of the joint giving program within the Southern Baptist denomination.

But is shows more than the flow of money. Following the money reveals much about the shaping of the larger umbrella organization of the Southern Baptists. I believe the Southern Baptist Convention is a 3-day organization, and this is the extent of the legal existence of that body.

Baptists stick closely to Scripture, and seeing no larger, umbrella organization in the New Testament Church, cannot justify one of the sort Presbyterians and others take as normal. All the giving is done on a voluntary basis, from individual churches. There is no higher authoritative organization than the individual church.

This is useful in many ways, as a check against corruption and power abuse. For one thing, it makes large-scale scandal and corruption, which we see with the Roman Catholic church and Boy Scouts of America, impossible. Though he may be charismatic, one fallen preacher does not sink the whole ship. There is something to be said for that.

And when one church does have problems, criticism is quick from neighboring churches, as is defection to neighbors. This institutional level instantiation of the individual command for "one Christian to sharpen another" works well, I think.

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Reading Progress

09/05/2010 page 112
03/07/2014 marked as: read

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