Evangelical Christians must not compromise the gospel when cooperating with Catholics on social and political matters, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at The Gospel Coalition National Conference on the Protestant Reformation.
Evangelicals partnering with other groups in shared matters of social concern is often necessary — such as with Catholics in the pro-life movement — but should never eclipse the importance of doctrinal differences between the two.
"We can be involved in common moral concerns with Catholics, but we should not call what we are doing a ministry,” said Mohler during his April 4 workshop titled “When to Stand Together, When to Stand Apart: Principles for Social Cooperation without Compromise.”
Southern Baptists should prioritize prayer for unity and evangelism, said Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s April 11 chapel service.
“I’m praying that the priority of the Southern Baptist Convention [is] that we will become literally a house of prayer. I’m praying that when people think about the Southern Baptist Convention the very first thing they will think of is this: That’s the group of folks, those are the folks that pray,” Gaines said.
Examining the method of the early church, Gaines explained 10 truths about the importance of prayer from Acts 4:23-31. Gaines said the early church provides an example of how prayer reveals the intimacy of a Christian’s relationship to God. People talk with and about those whom they love, and prayer is one way Christians talk with God, he said. The book of Acts is about people praying to God and sharing Scripture with others.
“Everywhere they went, they prayed and they witnessed,” said Gaines, senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. “They loved the Lord. And so just naturally, out of their lives flowed prayer toward the Lord and evangelism and witnessing toward other people.”
Trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary unanimously approved all recommendations in the board’s April 10 meeting, including the installation of Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines to a visiting professorship honoring former SBC President Herschel H. Hobbs. The board also approved an expanded budget for the 2017-2018 academic year and elected three faculty members.
The trustees established the Herschel H. Hobbs Visiting Professor of Christian Preaching to honor the life and legacy of Hobbs, a two-time graduate of Southern Seminary. Hobbs was the president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1961-1963, served as chairman of the committee that revised the Baptist Faith and Message in 1963, and pastored several SBC churches.
“One of my encouragers all along the way was Dr. Herschel Hobbs — he was so committed to this institution, so committed to Southern Baptists,” said Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. to trustees during the meeting. “Very regularly we will have a visiting professor in his name come to this campus in order to educate students and honor Dr. Hobbs.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Young Christians are called to be “salt and light” and share the gospel where God has placed them, said Southern Baptist leaders during Boyce College’s Renown Conference, March 17-18.
“You don’t have to have a Bible college or seminary degree to get this understanding that Jesus has put me in the place he has me; he said, ‘Go home to be salt and light,’” said Eric Geiger, author and vice president of LifeWay Christian Resources.
Southern Baptists need to unite in order “to advance the kingdom of God together for God’s glory,” said Texas Baptist leader Jim Richards during The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s March 21 chapel service.
“What we have [as churches in the Southern Baptist Convention] is definitely much more in common than we have apart. And our heart and our soul is that we are to be together,” said Richards, executive-director of the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention.
Preaching from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Richards’ sermon focused on how Southern Baptists can work together. Church cooperation through associations and conventions created efforts to train ministers and support feeble churches, he said. The Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program supports worldwide missionary efforts and promotes doctrinal accountability.
Southern Seminary students visited Dearborn, Michigan, home of the largest concentration of Arab-Americans in the United States, to pray for and evangelize local Muslims, Feb. 24-26. Led by Ayman S. Ibrahim — Bill and Connie Jenkins Professor of Islamic Studies and director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam — the team interacted with a few of the more than 100,000 Arab Americans who comprise at least 45 percent of Dearborn’s population.
The 13 students from Southern and Boyce College visited local Arab bakeries and restaurants, starting conversations with Muslims and discussing the Christian faith. The team also visited the Islamic Center of America, which was one of the largest mosques in the United States when it was built in 2005. Several students received the contact information for Dearborn residents they met during the trip with the intention to have follow-up conversations about the gospel.
Christians should model the Apostle Paul in praying with purpose because God is personal, powerful, gracious, loving, and generous, said Oklahoma Baptist leader Anthony L. Jordan at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s March 14 chapel service.
“The fact of the matter is that if you ever want to wonder about how generous your Father is, just look to the cross,” said Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
In his personal study, Jordan has been walking through the prayers of the Apostle Paul and describes reading them as entering into the prayer closet with Paul. Preaching from Ephesians 3:14-21, Jordan said Paul approaches the throne of God on his knees, not in a casual way, but with intensity.
The theatrical release and controversy of faith-based film The Shack represents a “theological disaster,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in a March 8 episode of “The Briefing.”
“The real danger, the seductive danger of The Shack, is that it’s presented as a retelling of the Christian story,” Mohler said on his daily podcast. “Christians armed by Scripture and committed to the Christian worldview should highly value fiction and thus evaluate it by Christian norms. But we can never value a vehicle for importing heresy into the church or misrepresenting Christianity to the watching world.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Theological reflection on technological advancements in communication and science must counteract an uncritical approach to technology that threatens human existence, said bioethicist C. Ben Mitchell during the Norton Lectures at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, March 1-2.
“We have to reject uncritical consumeristic adoption of digital technologies,” said Mitchell, provost, vice president for academic affairs, and Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University. “Remember our humanity and resist excarnation. ... Resist the notion that efficiency is the summum bonum, the chief end, and seek to have our desires formed by the good news of the incarnate Christ.”
Life is about more than a healthy body, said Joni Eareckson Tada along with her husband, Ken, during two events at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Feb. 10-11. Tada, a quadriplegic, is a speaker and author who uses her testimony as a platform to highlight disability ministry.
“Go find someone hurting worse than you and help them,” said Tada in a talk given to 350 Southern Seminary students and their families for the Feb. 10 Student Life Conference. Tada told her personal story and focused on practical ministry to the disabled in local churches. Tada is the founder of Joni and Friends, a ministry seeking to show Jesus’ love to people with disabilities.