By Mark A. Taylor
This week’s remarkable baptism story from San Dimas, California (see “CHRISTIAN STANDARD Interview: Jeff Vines”) would have fit well with baptism articles featured in our March 1 and 8 issues. But such stories are welcome anytime in CHRISTIAN STANDARD.
Last fall, for example, both our weekly e-newsletter and blogger Arron Chambers reported on a similar story from Savannah (Georgia) Christian Church. Senior pastor Cam Huxford walked into a pool on the church platform October 5 and invited attendees to declare God’s “power as Lord and Savior through baptism—baptism on the spot, in the clothes people came to church in.” According to the church’s weekly newsletter, “It . . . was amazing as people streamed down the aisles while applause thundered.”
The church reported 196 baptisms during services at its three campuses that day!
Such stories underline the appeal of baptism when it is presented without apology in simple, biblical terms. But in past years some in Christian churches have emphasized baptism to the exclusion of other important doctrines—while some others seem not to have emphasized it at all!
Thankfully neither happened in San Dimas or Savannah—or suburban Philadelphia where Brian Jones preaches. As he reported in our March 1 issue, he credits his uncompromising stand on baptism as a key factor in his church’s growth. We believe the same is happening—or could happen—in many places.
So we’ve put Brian’s story, along with the other features about baptism from our March 1 and 8 issues, into a convenient downloadable teaching resource. It also includes essays by Bruce Shields and Jon Weatherly, an interview with Joe Grana, a book review by Mark Krause, an introduction by Paul Williams, and a classic reprint by Robert O. Fife. It’s available at www.standardpub.com for only $2.99. (Item number 02973.)
While you’re at our Web site, you may also discover our newest download, a digital version of our popular “What Kind of Church Is This?” This has been available in a paper version (item number 13266) for many years, and hundreds of thousands have been distributed.
Now, for only $9.99, you can also order a digital copy to post on your church’s Web site or distribute to anyone who wants to know more about the history and unique plea of Christian churches and churches of Christ. (Item number 02974.)
Meanwhile, please keep telling us how the beauty of baptism is making a difference in lives your church is touching. We’re ready to publish more stories like these.