LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS)—With secular culture increasingly marginalizing the Christian faith, believers should leave behind political battles and embrace the communal life exemplified by St. Benedict of Nursia, said columnist Rod Dreher at the Gheens Lectures, Feb. 7-8, 2017 at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Although Christianity continues to spread to Asia and the Global South, in the West it is rapidly losing its influence in the public square, said Dreher, senior editor of the American Conservative and author of the forthcoming book The Benedict Option. His lectures were based on a book to be released March 14 by the Penguin Group. The political influence of orthodox Christianity has waned, he said, and believers should refocus their efforts on maintaining a quiet, faithful presence away from the world’s influence.
“Could it be that the best way to fight the flood is to stop fighting the flood?” Dreher said, comparing the rapid decline of Christianity’s influence to a massive flood threatening to wipe the church off the map. “That is, to quit piling up sandbags in a doomed effort to hold back the rising waters, and instead to build an ark in which to shelter until the water recedes and we can put our feet on dry land again? Rather than wasting energy and resources fighting unwinnable political battles, we should instead work on building communities, institutions, and networks of resistance that can outwit, outlast, and eventually overcome the cultural forces sweeping Christianity away in the West.
“If we are going to be for the world as Christ meant for us to be, we are going to have to spend more time away from the world, in deep prayer and substantial spiritual training — just as Jesus retreated to the desert to pray before ministering to the people.”
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will launch a four-day initiative in spring 2017 aimed at supporting the mission of the institution, announced R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary. From April 20-23, the seminary will hold its first Giving Days, providing students, alumni, donors, and faculty the opportunity to tell their stories, support the institution financially, and serve the community of Louisville.
“I’m inviting you to be a part of Giving Days — not only to make a difference in the lives of Southern Seminary students, but to be a force for the future of the church and for the advance of the gospel around the globe,” said Mohler in a Feb. 13 video announcement.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation must remind Christians that proclamation of God’s Word remains necessary for advancing the gospel and nourishing the church, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at the institution’s Feb. 7 convocation.
In an address titled “God Did It By His Word...Revisited: What the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation Means for Southern Seminary” on Hebrews 4:12-13, Mohler said the seminary’s own theological reformation in the 24 years of his presidency occurred solely because of fidelity and faithfulness to the living Word of God.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Four professors at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary are leading a new degree program that will allow students to continue to study beyond the M.Div. level in a modular format. The modular Master of Theology in Theological Studies will permit distance students to complete all the requirements for a Th.M. in 30 months with only five week-long visits to campus.
The program’s faculty will provide an interdisciplinary curriculum, with each professor teaching core seminars in their areas of expertise: Jonathan T. Pennington in New Testament, Peter J. Gentry in Old Testament, Michael A.G. Haykin in church history, and Gregg R. Allison in systematic theology. The modular student will also complete a thesis in their chosen area of study during the course of their degree program.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Conservative columnist Rod Dreher will deliver the Gheens Lectures on “The Benedict Option” at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Feb. 7-8.
Dreher, senior editor at The American Conservative, is set to release his book The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, in March. The series of lectures will focus on how Christians can adopt the practice of St. Benedict of Nursia, a sixth-century monk who withdrew from a chaotic society to live in intentional Christian community.
Dreher is scheduled to deliver four lectures in the seminary’s Heritage Hall. On Feb. 7, Dreher will speak at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., and conclude his lectures on Feb. 8, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The first 100 students in attendance each day will receive a free book.
The Gheens Lectureship is one of Southern Seminary’s most historic, dating back to 1960. Recent lecturers include Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and David F. Wells, distinguished senior research professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
The lectures can be watched via live stream at sbts.edu/live.
Everyone who has studied New Testament Greek has experienced some degradation of their skills with the language. But whether a student needs a brush-up after a month of winter break or a full makeover after years of neglect, there are plenty of resources to help the Greek student get back on track, said Robert L. Plummer, professor of New Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at the 2017 Alumni Academy, Jan. 13-14.
“It’s never been easier to both maintain and to grow in your Greek skills,” said Plummer, co-author of Greek for Life: Strategies for Learning, Retaining, and Reviving New Testament Greek, which releases in August 2017. “Whatever state you are coming [into your study], you can gain it back.”
Christian ministers should not settle for the comfortable and agreeable career of secular professionals, but courageously embrace their prophetic role, said President R. Albert Mohler Jr. in his Dec. 2 winter commencement address to 141 master’s and doctoral graduates of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“The Christian ministry is a terrible profession, but it is the greatest calling on earth,” Mohler said. “Professions are decent, respectable, recognized, esteemed, regulated, and rationalized … The greater scandal by far are the churches, denominations, and church members who cheerfully domesticate the preacher and the preachers who are so willingly domesticated.”
SAN ANTONIO (SBTS) — The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary led all participating institutions with more than 40 paper presentations from faculty and students at the 68th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Nov. 15-17. Of those, 15 presentations dealt with topics related to the conference’s theme on the Trinity in the areas of systematic theology, biblical studies, church history, and practical theology.
Bruce A. Ware, T. Rupert and Lucille Coleman Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Seminary, further defined his theological views in a highly anticipated session on authority and submission in the Trinity. Earlier this year, a debate on theological websites focused on the Trinitarian positions of Ware and theologian Wayne Grudem and their application to complementarian gender roles. Ware and Grudem have argued that God the Father and God the Son eternally have been equal in divinity but that the Son has submitted to the Father eternally. The view has been labeled as “eternal functional subordination” (EFS) or “eternal roles of authority and submission” (ERAS).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Like Paul in Romans 11, the worship leader’s doxology should be a response to the gospel and drenched in humility, said worship pastor Matt Boswell at the third Doxology and Theology conference Nov. 3-5, held at The Southern Baptist Theology Seminary.
The theme of the 2016 conference was “Worship Reformed,” which leaders said would demonstrate how the Reformation impacted the worship of the church. Drawing from the Five Solas of the Reformation, Boswell exhorted attendees to stand on and under the Word of God, marvel at the grace of God, cultivate their faith, trust in Christ alone, and seek the glory of God alone.
American politics cannot destroy the kingdom of God and should not leave Christians living in fear, said Southern Baptist leader Kevin Smith during a Nov. 8 chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Whatever’s going on in the American culture around us, the Bible-believing Christian never runs around like Chicken Little,” said Smith, executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.
In his sermon, “Politics and the Passion of Christ,” Smith reminded Christians to take a clear stand to show their main identity and commitment is to Jesus Christ as Lord and King. Smith said his main text, John 19:1-16, shows how religious leaders in the midst of political uprising verbally claim that Caesar is their only king rather than declare allegiance to Jesus as Lord.