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Author Jeffrey Vickery

Hippolytus was a leader in the early Christian church who lived from 160 to 235 C.E. He wrote “The Apostolic Tradition” which is best described as a “church manual” that includes information about the role of bishops, presbyters, deacons, sub-deacons, widows and readers. It also includes some humorous (by today’s standards) instruction about which occupations […] Read More

It’s an election year and faith and religion is a hot topic, both for the candidates and for the voters. That is great! As a First Amendment-loving Baptist, the more we can dialogue about faith and politics, the better we understand the issues involved. A difficulty arises, however, when religious-political propaganda masquerades as cultural-religious fact. […] Read More

Sometimes in private and sometimes with great fanfare, important religious leaders or teachers from various faiths gather for a formal time of inter-religious dialogue. These meetings are often important and sometimes produce statements of unity or some other tangible end-product. The contemporary study of world religions has given us a method of labeling people based […] Read More

“Thou shalt not use running illustrations in thy sermons.” This commandment is non-negotiable in my sermon preparation. I know that Isaiah 40 offers wonderful words of encouragement that “those who wait for the Lord … shall run and not be weary.” The saints in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Corinth are encouraged to […] Read More

Congregations around the country are doing their best to respond to the current military crisis in Iraq. Church members and children of church members are serving in various branches of the military on active duty in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. We pray for the soldiers and their families. We write them letters and […] Read More

My brother and I learned to juggle with billiard balls while watching television in our parents’ basement. The three smooth, heavy balls were easy to juggle because they were identical in size and weight. We soon realized that juggling a banana, a bottle of aspirin and a softball presented more challenges, because each object was […] Read More

An oxymoron is when two words with contradictory meanings are used to describe a person or thing. Some oxymorons are humorous: submissive cat, slow-growing kudzu and Yankee-style grits. Other phrases become oxymorons depending upon one’s point of view: corporate ethics, liberal Baptist or fun committee meeting. But a new oxymoron has recently become my favorite–forced […] Read More

I have grown accustomed to these Internet parables, though I rarely use them in my preaching. But these good luck messages still bother me, especially when they come from church members. As a pastor I wonder how to respond. As a pastor, I am called to a particular congregation and to love and lead a […] Read More

We left chastened by one man’s honesty. And one among us left deserving of more credit than he will receive from us. But I have a feeling his reward comes from Someone else. How refreshing it was, then, to be sitting in a meeting of pastors and have one speak his frustrations honestly, watching them […] Read More