Istoria Ministries Blog Posts

  • The History/Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man

    Oct 19, 2018 | 19:00 pm

    The History/Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man I will sometimes look at the metrics of Blogger and be surprised at the number of hits certain blogposts receive. In 2014 I wrote a post entitled The Rich Man and Lazarus: A Warning to Preachers and was recently surprised at the large number of unique "hits" this post has received. I've gone back and read this post and realized it is also one of my favorites.In an effort to connect with some folks who may have missed this post when first published, I'm re-posting with a couple of edits. My hope is that those who are truly interested in Scripture[…]

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  • The Official End of Paige Patterson's Control and Domination of the Southern Baptist Convention

    Oct 16, 2018 | 07:31 am

    The Official End of Paige Patterson's Control and Domination of the Southern Baptist Convention Photo: Matt Miller of Baptist PressUnited States President Donald Trump has sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to ask direct questions about the disappearance and presumed murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.In the Saudi world, opposition to the absolute power and authority of the royals means imprisonment or death.In the Southern Baptist world, at least for the past forty years (1978 - 2018), opposition to Paige Patterson meant occupational, personal, and vocational banishment.The forty years of wandering in a spiritual desert are officially over for the Southern Baptist Convention. The trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological[…]

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  • The 3 Attitudes that Transform Any Organization

    Oct 10, 2018 | 08:03 am

    The 3 Attitudes that Transform Any Organization Years ago my father, Paul Burleson, taught me three principles that he required his church staff to follow. I have found these principles to be invaluable in keeping working relationships healthy, whether it be in business, personal relationships, or ministry.The reasons I value them is because, in hindsight, I can see how implementing these principles have enabled me to avoid many pitfalls. In addition, any organization will thrive in its mission where these principles guide the attitudes and actions of its employees. There may be some who wrongly think these principles apply only to Christian people, but I would propose that because[…]

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  • Oklahoma's Football Coach a Pulitzer Prize Winner

    Oct 3, 2018 | 12:47 pm

    Oklahoma's Football Coach a Pulitzer Prize Winner This Saturday, October 6, 2018, the #7 ranked Oklahoma Sooners will play the #19 Texas Longhorns in the Red River Rivalry Game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.I've been attending this game since 1974, and Rachelle and I will be going again this year. I've written about my familial connection to it before, and if one loves football (as I do), the game is a highlight of the collegiate season.Invariably, Texas fans will make jokes about the ignorant Sooner fans, and the Texas band will stop just long enough in their marching to chant "Beat the hell out of OU,"[…]

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  • Brett Kavanaugh's Problem of Proving a Negative

    Sep 27, 2018 | 05:49 am

    Brett Kavanaugh's Problem of Proving a Negative

    Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images fileTime magazine declared that the denial of my motion to track sexual predators who work as clergy in one of America's largest Protestant denominations "one of the top ten most underreported stories in America" in 2008.Holding accountable perpetrators of sexual assaults and giving support to victims is a decades-long desire of mine.I believe it is high time that America wakes up to the problem of sexually predatory behavior and strengthens the laws that hold perps accountable. In other words, I laud the work done in the Bill Cosby court case.But read carefully the[…]

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  • The Difference Between My Church and His Church

    Sep 19, 2018 | 07:40 am

    The Difference Between My Church and His Church The other day I went to a fast-food restaurant and ordered a couple of salads. It was my turn to do dinner, so I did it the easy way. After arriving home, I realized the restaurant hadn't given me the condiments for my salads (dressing, nuts, etc.). I got back in the car and took my second trip across town, back to that same fast-food restaurant. Arriving home the second time, I realized that the condiment packets didn't have what should have been in them.Argghh. Frustrating.I didn't get what I wanted. I felt poorly served. Nobody at the restaurant recognized[…]

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  • Authoritarianism, Fundamentalism, and Religious Leaders Who Control Those in Front of Them

    Sep 11, 2018 | 07:31 am

    Authoritarianism, Fundamentalism, and Religious Leaders Who Control Those in Front of Them Mariam Ishag, a Christian woman in Sudan, was hanged by fundamentalist religious leaders for 'apostasy.'In Sudan, there is no difference between 'civil' authority and 'religious' authority. The civil authorities in charge of Sudan believe it a crime to be a Christian.Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa sentenced Mariam to death with these words: "We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death."The Sudanese judge believes himself to be God's authority over this woman's life. He sentenced Mariam 'to death' because he believes he possesses his power and authority from the Divine. When the[…]

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  • Abraham Lincoln Converted to Christ at Gettysburg

    Sep 5, 2018 | 14:51 pm

    Abraham Lincoln Converted to Christ at Gettysburg I recently came across a post I originally shared 10 years ago. It's the story of how President Abraham Lincoln consecrated his life to Jesus Christ while walking the battlefields of Gettysburg.  My heart was warmed as I read the story as originally shared by D. James Kennedy, the former pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.   Dr. Kennedy preached this message more than once during the course of his ministry at Coral Ridge, and I understand why. History books do not portray Lincoln's faith. It's a story, however, that needs to be repeated at least once a decade. TEXT: "Therefore being justified by faith, we[…]

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  • Patterson, Pressler, Cole, and SBC Fundamentalism

    Aug 29, 2018 | 06:56 am

    Patterson, Pressler, Cole, and SBC Fundamentalism I am the son of a Southern Baptist pastor, grandson of an SBC evangelist, and have pastored the same SBC church for over a quarter of a century. I'm an SBC insider.And I feel like the Southern Baptist Convention has dodged a bullet. Fundamentalism.In 1979, at the beginning of the SBC Conservative Resurgence, I was about to enter my senior year of high school in Fort Worth, Texas, but I remember my parents coming home from Houston ecstatic that Adrian Rogers had been elected President of the SBC. My family was friends with the Rogers' family, and Adrian's election was "a surprise"[…]

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  • Criticism Willingly Given and Freely Received

    Aug 27, 2018 | 07:10 am

    Criticism Willingly Given and Freely Received A few years ago I came across an article in the National Review called The Duty of Harsh Criticism.The National Review has a tagline "Where intellects collide," so most National Review articles are intended to be read by intellectuals.The Duty of Harsh Criticism was written in 1914 by a twenty-one-year-old woman named Cicely Isabel Fairfield (picture left), who wrote under the pen name Rebecca West.Rebecca believed that was the duty of free-thinkers to listen in a disrespectful manner.In her mind,  criticism should be the norm.And, according to West, critical thinking has become a lost art which is in need of recovery. Listen to just[…]

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