Fulfilling Our Purpose

by Matthew Pinson


The purpose of the Commission for Theological Integrity of the National Association of Free Will Baptists is threefold: “(1) to alert our people to theological trends that could threaten our theological integrity as a denomination, (2) to prepare materials that will contribute to the continued preservation of the theological integrity of the denomination, and (3) as need and opportunity arise, to conduct seminars on subjects which are pertinent to the purpose of the Commission.”

Great things are happening with the Commission for Theological Integrity as we continue with tried and true ways, and seek new ways, to fulfill our purpose as a Commission.

This new blog is part of our attempt to do more to advance the vision laid out for us by our denomination. It is our hope that you will find this blog helpful, and we would love to hear from you about how we can improve it.

This blog will not have a set format. Our goal will be to post at least one post per week. The blog will be a platform for the members of the Commission to offer personal reflections that fit within our broad purpose as a Commission. The posts might be simply brief notes or comments on books we have found helpful, discussions of various issues of theological significance, or even longer, scholarly explorations of a topic. The opinions of each contributor will not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Commission or the National Association of Free Will Baptists.

It was our pleasure this past year to welcome two new members to the Commission who were elected at the 2013 annual session: Randy Corn, pastor of Bethlehem Free Will Baptist Church in Ashland City, Tennessee, and Jackson Watts, pastor of Grace Free Will Baptist Church in Arnold, Missouri. We also wish to commend Craig Shaw, who resigned from the Commission last October, for his years of service. Our other members are Kevin Hester, chairman of the Department of Theological Studies and Director of Institutional Planning and Assessment at Welch College, and myself. A fifth member will be elected at the annual meeting of the National Association in Forth Worth.

Last October, we sponsored our seventeenth annual Theological Symposium. The Symposium met on the campus of Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College in Moore, Oklahoma. Our eighteenth annual Theological Symposium will meet this October on the campus of Welch College. The theme will be “Theology and Practice: Evangelism in a Post-Christian World.” We will host a panel discussion on the symposium theme, and Dr. Mark Coppenger, Vice President of Extension Education and Professor of Apologetics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will be our featured guest speaker.

We invite paper proposals for this symposium. While preference will be given to the conference theme, proposals will also be accepted on other topics. All who are interested in submitting papers for possible inclusion in the Symposium program are encouraged to contact Jackson Watts at fwbtheology@gmail.com.

The Commission will publish the next issue of Integrity: A Journal of Christian Thought, this year. The journal is provided free of charge to Free Will Baptist pastors, as well as a number of theological libraries, and can be purchased for a nominal charge.

The 2014 Commission Seminar at the National Association meeting will feature Tim Campbell, executive director of Arkansas Free Will Baptists. He will present “A Solemn Appeal for a Serious Approach to Licensure and Ordination.” That seminar will be held Monday, July 28, at 2:00 p.m., in Hall CD of the Fort Worth Convention Center.

We’d love to hear from you. Please email us or comment and let us know how we can serve you better through this blog and the other initiatives of the Commission for Theological Integrity.

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