In January 2007 I posted an article entitled "Something Hopeful in Baptist Life." In that post I wrote about the Celebration of the New Baptist Covenant that was then a year away. Now that Celebration has come and gone and I am hopeful that it will lead to a new era of cooperation in evangelism, missions and ministry between diverse Baptist groups.
Now comes word about another meeting that seems to me to offer some positive potential for Baptists. Next Monday and Tuesday, March 3-4, a meeting will be held in Arlington, Texas of pastors and laypersons who, according to Wade Burleson, will "gather for fellowship and discussion about forming a network of churches for the purpose of fellowship, partnership and encouragment in the expansion of Christ's kingdom." The effort is toward forming the "Antioch Network of Churches." You can read Wade's remarks about the meeting and his proposed "Doctrinal Confession and Statement of Cooperation" at his blog Grace and Truth to You: An Antioch Network Statement of Cooperation.
I mean to draw no comparison between the two movements. But I do sense that a fresh wind may be blowing. Perhaps enough Baptists will come to understand and believe that we can be united in common cause around the Lordship of Jesus Christ and missions and ministries that proclaim his name and do his work despite our differences on non-essential issues. I certainly hope and pray that it is so.