Your Voice: Resurrection is foundation for evangelism, Dew says

Your Voice: Quotes, quips, opinions and reflections from people of faith in Alabama and beyond
Jamie Dew speaks at First Baptist Church Pelham during the Sunday evening session of the 2024 Alabama Baptist State Evangelism Conference.
Photo by Travis Frontz/The Alabama Baptist

Your Voice: Resurrection is foundation for evangelism, Dew says

By Carrie Brown McWhorter
The Alabama Baptist

Jamie Dew said he never set out to be an academic, but a passion for evangelism changed the direction of his life.

Speaking Jan. 28 at First Baptist Church Pelham during the Sunday evening session of the 2024 Alabama Baptist State Evangelism Conference, Dew said he came to faith after making some poor decisions as a teenager, and what followed his salvation was a deep desire to share Jesus. He learned quickly what others also know: “not everybody is as excited about Jesus as you are. They have questions, criticisms and objections.”

Dew, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College, said his desire to answer his own questions and doubts and to respond well to the objections of others led him to apologetics and philosophy.

The Apostle Paul had to face questions and objections as well, in particular conflicting opinions on resurrection generally and the resurrection of Christ specifically, Dew said. And in 1 Corinthians 15, “the great resurrection chapter,” we have “the foundation laid for taking the gospel into the darkness.”

Because Jesus is raised from the dead, “every sermon you preach, every gospel tract you hand out matters,” Dew said.

Three questions emerge from Paul’s defense of the resurrection, Dew said.

Why is the resurrection important to our faith? It’s not something we affirm only for Easter. Paul reminds us that without Christ’s resurrection, “those who have fallen asleep in Christ (v. 18) are still in their sins, and they have perished. … If Christ is not risen, our faith is futile.”

Is there any reason to think the resurrection actually happened? Paul catalogs in verses 3–8 the reasons we are confident the resurrection is a true historical event, Dew said. Paul speaks of eyewitness testimonies, including that of James (v. 7), the brother of Jesus, who Scripture suggests became a believer after seeing the risen Christ. “Something about seeing [Jesus] raised converts James,” Dew emphasized.

What hope does the resurrection give us? As the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (v. 20), Christ is the “path blazer … the paradigm maker. … He himself is the one that takes what seems by every earthly calculation impossible and shows that it can be done. And not only can it be done, but we the second fruits shall also be raised.”

How does the truth of the resurrection affect evangelism? “You preach the gospel to dying people … [but] death is not final,” Dew said.

“Death is hard. You’re supposed to grieve but not like those with no hope. We give the grief its place and its moment, but we stand waiting as a people assured by an empty tomb that as Jesus Christ has come back from the grave, [He] will come back and bring me from the grave too.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Video from the 2024 Alabama Baptist State Evangelism Conference is available at

Letters to the Editor

I have been thrilled with the changes you have made in the content and look of the paper [these past five years] and share anticipation for what God can do through the staff at The Alabama Baptist.

I enjoy the current balance in commendations, recommendations, information and inspiration and would like to see (teasers to inside stories) on page 1. I think the “I See Jesus” column will be a great addition and look forward to how it will bless your readers.

Congratulations to Jennifer on the highly successful completion of five years as president and editor-in-chief of TAB.

Patsy Williams

What does it take to make disciples of Christ?

By Brian Harper
Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions

  1. You cannot reproduce what you do not have or know.

Disciple-making is not a formula or program, but it is a relationship with Christ as master. It is a relationship where He is dictating our focus and direction in life. As we are following Jesus in our daily life, we are able to model and help others follow Jesus.

  1. Disciple-making involves an older/obedient follower guiding another believer to walk closer with Christ — but one step at a time.

We tend to over- or under-feed our disciples and forget the process and steps of maturity that must take place.

Growth is not information; it is when truth is discovered and applied into one’s life.

Obedience is the mark of maturity, not knowledge.

  1. Discipleship must be evaluated by transformation and reproduction.

An effective discipleship focus is not measured by our delivery or Bible study but by us participating with the Holy Spirit in seeing a believer take on his or her faith and live it.

As that happens, we can then guide the believer rather than pull them to follow Christ.

EDITOR’S NOTE — An excerpt of a blog post that first appeared at

In case you missed these nuggets

Excerpts from the Feb. 15 edition of The Baptist Paper:

A new Pew Research Center report shows America’s religiously unaffiliated, labeled as “nones,” are a complex group.

About half say they are not spiritual, but the other half says they are. Still, the current study doesn’t pinpoint exactly what respondents mean when they say they are spiritual or believe in a higher power.

While no clear answers emerged from the study, it does show they don’t all think alike and indicates the category is growing with 28% of the U.S. population.

Religion News Service


The religiously unaffiliated group known as “nones” aren’t actively seeking a church and are being characterized as “morally directionless.”

Some tips for engaging with the nones include: highlight community-centered activities, share powerful testimonials and personal stories, utilize social media with quality messaging and visuals, focus more on low-pressure invitations to activities that are easy to attend, and demonstrate how your church addresses relevant issues.

Mark MacDonald


Alabama Baptist pastor Harold Fanning uses his woodworking gift to create a surprise family treasure.

He built an oak model of University of Mobile’s Lyon Chapel for his daughter and son-in-law, both UM alumni, who describe the chapel as “a little heavenly haven” where they grew together in their faith. “We spent countless hours [there] reading our Bibles, praying together and discussing our future together.”

Kathy Dean


We live in an age of busyness and distracted priorities. “Too busy not to pray” is an inverse logic, but it is a true and necessary logic at the same time. Excuses will always abound in communing with God in prayer but let us not allow ministry to keep us from Jesus. Let us not forget the barrenness of busyness.

Jason Allen, president
Midwestern Seminary

“I feel this deep need to do something for the Lord,” said Makayla Sloan, a high school senior and member of Smithville Baptist Church in Mississippi. “I have this deep need to serve Him, not this deep need to just want to be used by Him. I’m not exactly sure what that means yet. So to come to a place that I’ve struggled with a question for so long — to come somewhere that is helping me slowly but surely understand what He’s calling me to do — is a blessing in itself.”

Sloan was among those who attended the Discern retreat which brought 49 ministry-minded high school and college students from across Mississippi together.

“The gospel of sin management produces vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else.” —Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy

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