Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Abstract of Principles

The Abstract of Principles is the statement of faith of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. All professors who teach there are to commit that they will teach according to it and not contrary to it (a link to the statement is below).

I really like the Abstract as it's language to me has always seemed "tight". I don't find obvious places in it where you can have two dramatically divergent views both claiming that the language of the Abstract supports them both. I see such language and interpretation in the Baptist Faith and Message. How can a person like the Dr. Tom Nettles embrace the same wording regarding the doctrine of election that the late Dr. Hobbs supported?

What do you think? Should the convention have a statement of faith more like the Abstract where viewpoints are more pointed/defined or is the BF&M "big tent" language the way to go?


Friday, April 25, 2008

The Long Term Picture of Unemployment

This graph shows the annual rate of increase in our national unemployment. The number of months that we have grown unemployment on a Y/Y basis and the percentage growth we are now seeing strongly suggest that we are in a recession.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Lifting Up the Name of the Lord during a Recession

It is getting harder out there. Both unemployment and prices are increasing at pretty fast paces (inflation will likely cool as the economy does - but so far has not) and no doubt there is concern among many in our churches about how they will make ends meet.

The needs of our brothers and sisters give us all opportunities to lift up the name of our Savior. Please be on the look out for folks in your church who might be in need during this time of economic decline.

Some may stop attending church (Job loss can be very defeating to a person. An unemployed person may just stop attending the regular worship of the church because of the resulting shame. Several years ago when I lost a job I did not want to go to church because of the shame I felt. That type of feeling may originate from excess pride but it does occur) or have financial needs that might not be seen on the surface.

When we as believers reach out and help our hurting siblings we honor our Lord. Lets not miss a chance to do that. That is our chief end afterall.


Decline in Job Openings

Data from the BLS JOLTS program shows the number of vacant jobs in the nation declining. Just another indicator that our economic activity is likely contracting.
Also of note is the fact that the cycle high (around the end of 2006) was below that of 2000.
Looks like we may have to wait a while before the onset of the great labor shortage predicted by so many"futurists"!

March 2008 Payroll Data

The BLS and many state workforce agencies today released both establishment and household survey data for March.

Of particular interest on the establishment/payroll side is that there are now eleven states who saw a decline in Y/Y NSA employment. The eleven are... Rhode Island, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and California. I have followed the number of states showing employment declines now for several months and this is the largest number of states seen yet (also the largest total population represented so far).