LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — In the first-ever Boyce College chapel service preached in Spanish on March 9, pastor Jose Mendoza encouraged students to recognize their need for wisdom and work hard to obtain it.
“Wisdom requires a certain attitude,” said Mendoza, director of the Institute of Wisdom and Integrity and associate pastor of Iglesia Bautista Internacional in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. “For in the book of Proverbs, we have 31 chapters and of those 31 chapters, 10 are dedicated to a change in your attitude to show you why wisdom matters and why you should seek it.”
Jesus Christ’s death on the cross signals the ultimate death of human pride, said Minnesota pastor Jason Meyer at his March 15 chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Preaching on the relationship between Psalm 22 and its allusions in Mark 15, Meyer showed how the Psalms set the trajectory for the New Testament’s condemnation of pride.
“So many people think the Psalms are comforting and soothing. But many times they’re also downright disturbing, so jarring that they shatter any sense of swagger that we have,” said Meyer, a two-time graduate of Southern Seminary with both an M.Div. and a Ph.D. Meyer is pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, succeeding John Piper, who served in that role for 33 years.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — A Boyce College senior who never played organized basketball before donning a Bulldogs uniform took home the NCCAA’s top award for Division II athletes, the organization announced March 8. Ben Akers, a senior forward from Danville, Kentucky, is the first Boyce player to win the Pete Maravich Memorial Award, given annually to the most outstanding student-athlete in NCCAA men’s basketball.
“Ben has been a great example of the fact that hard work pays off,” said Boyce Bulldogs head coach Blake Rogers. “Ben never played organized basketball before coming to Boyce, but he has developed to be one of the best 3-point shooters in our league and has consistently led the nation in 3-points made.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Leaders at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary challenged more than 600 middle and high school students to seek wisdom with a Christian worldview, March 5-6, at the Renown Youth Conference, hosted by Southern’s undergraduate school Boyce College.
“If you start somewhere other than, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,’ you are not wise,” Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said. “That’s where wisdom starts.”
Mohler challenged the 646 students and leaders — the annual conference’s highest attendance in five years — to seek wisdom through a study of biblical wisdom literature.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — A “very influential person” can shape a lasting legacy, said Southern Baptist leader O. S. Hawkins in a chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, March 3.
“The world has a way of forgetting those folks who deemed themselves important people, but it has a long memory when it comes to remembering those who have influenced our lives,” said Hawkins, president and chief executive officer of GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Preaching from 2 Corinthians 10:13-18, Hawkins said the Apostle Paul was concerned with the areas of influence God gives his people. Hawkins redefined the commonly used acronym “VIP” with “very influential person.”
Based on his new book, VIP, Hawkins explained that influence comes from a person with vision, integrity, and purpose.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — An archivist with more than a decade of experience researching Baptist history has been named the new director of the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, the Council of Seminary Presidents recently announced. Taffey Hall, previously the library’s archivist, will replace Bill Sumners as SBHLA director when he retires in July.
“I’m very glad Dr. Taffey Hall will become the director of the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “She brings to this role a wonderful background as an experienced archivist and a strong advocate for historical studies among Southern Baptists. Dr. Hall has vast experience, having served many years on the staff of the Historical Library and Archives. She is also a certified archivist, bringing an excellent academic background and pedigree to this new responsibility.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Healthy churches understand conversion is impossible apart from God, said pastors and leaders at the 9Marks Conference at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Feb. 26-27.
“Conversion is an even greater work of God than creation,” said Mark Dever, president of 9Marks and senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. “Because at creation God had to do something with nothing, but when God comes to make the heart believe, he finds opposition and rebellion, he finds man against himself. As we read in the New Testament, we are at enmity with God. Christ therefore must … give new life.”
Preaching symbolizes God speaking to his people and must remain the church’s central focus, said Mark Dever in the Mullins Lectures on Christian Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Feb. 23-25.
“Whenever God speaks to man it is an act of love,” said Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and president of 9Marks Ministries. “He speaks as an act of grace. We do not deserve it; we contribute nothing to it.”
The gospel should therefore never be absent in sermons, Dever said, but present and central. Using Ezekiel 37 and Mark 7 to show the power of the preached word, Dever said sermons must call dead bones to live and the deaf to hear.
“Never preach without calling sinners to repent of their sins and place their trust in Christ,” said Dever.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — James William Cox, a renowned homiletics professor who taught at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for more than four decades, died Feb. 21 in Louisville, Kentucky, at 93.
Born in Kingston, Tennessee, on Jan. 18, 1923, Cox trained generations of pastors and wrote several notable books on preaching. He joined Southern’s faculty in 1959 as professor of Christian preaching and in 1981 became the first occupant of the Victor and Louise Lester Chair of Christian Preaching. He retired in 1993 and served as a senior professor until his death.
“Dr. James Cox was one of the greatest scholars of preaching of the past century. His knowledge of homiletics and the history of preaching was unsurpassed,” said Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. “He was also a Christian gentleman who was always ready with a kind word and a faculty member who warmly encouraged his colleagues. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his faithful wife of so many years, Patricia, and the Cox family.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Southern Baptists must consider racial reconciliation as important as abortion and same-sex marriage, said leaders and pastors at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary during a Feb. 17 forum.
“Southern Baptists got [race issues] so wrong for so long that we have to deal honestly with it, because we do not have credibility,” said Matthew J. Hall, vice president for academic services and assistant professor church history. “Southern Baptists were not just implicated in racial injustice, we were directly feeding it. We have blood on our hands so we can’t try and address other issues of injustice and kind of leap over this one.”
Hall participated in a “What’s the Word” panel discussion on racial reconciliation hosted by the ONE student group, which says it seeks to reconcile ideas across race and gender lines through cross-centered conversations. Other participants included Felipe Castro, director of Hispanic initiatives at Southern Seminary; Curtis Woods, associate executive director for convention relations at the Kentucky Baptist Convention; and Kaitlin Congo, member of the leadership team for the Arise City Summit. Jarvis Williams, associate professor of New Testament interpretation, moderated the discussion, which focused on the historical and biblical issues surrounding racial reconciliation.