The Freed-Hardeman Lectures entered their first full day Tuesday with sessions beginning as early as 7:30 AM. Attendance appeared roughly equal to that of past years although there may be some slight decrease because of weather concerns.
A new lectureship track is offered this year on writing for religious publications. Three sessions were offered at mid-day. “Why I Write.” “What to Write” and “How to Write” were attended by more people at each session. “How to Write” enjoyed an overflow crowd as Neil Anderson, owner and publisher of Gospel Advocate offered his view of what publishers look for from prospective writers. Anderson’s session was especially helpful as he dealt with concrete, nuts-and-bolts answers to common questions writers pose.
The afternoon offered a non-eventful Open Forum session under the guidance of Dr. Ralph Gilmore. Discussions centered on baptism and the Holy Spirit. Gilmore defended the essential nature of baptism as the moment of salvation based upon faith and obedience to Jesus Christ. A questioner suggested that baptism was a sacramental rite and thus not necessarily required for salvation. While there are symbolic elements in baptism, Gilmore affirmed, it is far more than just a sacrament. Baptism is essential.
Another questioner asked if a person could “feel” the Holy Spirit inside of himself. Dr. Gilmore offered an answer with an important nuance. He said that in his judgment a person could feel the fruits of the Spirit or the results of the Spirit but not the Spirit himself. He affirms that the Spirit dwells within the Christian as does the Father and the Son. But he does not believe there is an objective feeling of the Spirit within the believer.
The Wednesday Lectureship offers more on the subject of the Minor Prophets as well as other topics not directly related to the theme.