In May 2006 I embarked upon a conversation with my computer. Even my wife wasn't reading my blog. I told nobody about it. So why would any rational person start writing essays to nobody? I read a document entitled the Memphis Declaration. I differed with its analysis of the Southern Baptist Convention. It made me feel better to express my thoughts in writing—so I did so. Thus began what is now more than a year of periodic contributions to this forum. I have provided here the barely-filtered sentiments of my mind and heart. Some of it has been personal (the birth and adoption of our daughter, the discovery that our congregation included a sexual predator preying upon our community), a bit of it has been embarrassingly wrong, a bit of it has been prophetically correct, all of it has been very human, and the vast majority of it has been denominationally political. So, here we are today, a year later. Some of you comment, so somebody somewhere is reading with regularity (I don't use a hit counter for fear of the sin it might provoke in my ego, either by being too high or by being too low—thus, I don't really know who all is reading. Maybe I should commission a poll? :-) ). The denominational politics continue. An historic meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention is right around the corner. It is important for every voting messenger to understand the issues. Between now and Monday, I will provide a series of posts seeking to articulate my views on the topics that seemingly differentiate myself and those with whom I have disagreed so often throughout this journey. Although the themes will obviously cover ground that I have treated before, I do hope to bring some fresh insight to the task. I trust that every reader will digest these posts carefully, if you wish to be an informed observer of current events. Unlike Bro. Burleson's latest posts do with me, I will not at all seek to caricature his position. I am simply going to speak for myself about some things that are important to me. After the convention is over, I am going to be presenting a multi-post series entitled The Fifth-Century Initiative. Most presently-living Baptists trace the origins of the modern phase of Baptist life to John Smythe's Baptist church, founded near Amsterdam in 1609. Two years from now, we will embark upon the fifth century of modern Baptist existence. Now is a good time to contemplate how the New Testament witness will endure until Christ's coming. The Fifth-Century Initiative will close with a set of proposals to be considered at the 2008 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.