Students and alumni of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary can have confidence in the gospel in face of mounting cultural changes because of Christ's death and resurrection, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said during the June 17 alumni and friends luncheon.
“We have been stripped of the illusion that we're in control of the culture,” Mohler said. “We've got a stewardship and a witness, but clearly we're not in charge; we're not ashamed and we're not afraid.”
Mohler spoke to a gathering of seminary faculty, alumni, trustees, and others during the annual Southern Seminary Alumni and Friends Luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention, held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Instead of presenting an annual review of the seminary's growth and developments, Mohler spoke about remaining steadfast to biblical orthodoxy as the sexual and moral revolution confronts the church. Attendees of the luncheon received a copy of the “President's Report,” a new 36-page publication providing a summary of the 2014-15 academic year.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, presented Kentucky Baptist leader Paul Chitwood with the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award at the seminary’s June 17 alumni luncheon during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Columbus, Ohio.
“In his public life and in his private life, in his role as a denominational statesman and his role as a pastor, in his role as an alumnus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Paul Chitwood has brought great pride to this institution,” Mohler said. “I can’t tell you how much easier it is for Southern Seminary to communicate how important state conventions are when students in Louisville, Kentucky, get to see a state convention like the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the kind of leadership that Dr. Paul Chitwood has brought.”
Southern Baptist seminaries are “ground zero” for how churches respond to the rapid moral shift in American culture, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in his June 16 report to messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
“We're living in a world that's going to demand more and ever more when it comes to faithfulness on the part of our students and graduates,” Mohler said, speaking about the imminent Supreme Court decision on the legalization of same-sex marriage. “There will be no place to hide. And that just reinforces for us how important what happens on our campuses is, and I say that for all six seminaries. It reminds us at Southern Seminary what's at stake and why it's so important.”
Christian leaders and pastors consider the necessity and nature of church revitalization in the 21st century in a new guide book released by SBTS Press, sponsored by the Mathena Center for Church Revitalization of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In A Guide to Church Revitalization, which released today, editor and Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. highlighted in the opening chapter the need for a new generation of church revitalizers. Replanting struggling churches about to close their doors is a critical calling for contemporary pastors, Mohler writes.
When Southern Seminary alumnus Drew Griffin launches Cross Church NYC in the fall of 2015, he hopes for it to be one of the first successful Southern Baptist plants in Manhattan in nearly seven years. He will minister in Yorkville, a neighborhood on the upper east side of Manhattan that has nearly 50,000 people and only one known gospel-preaching church.
“I can’t emphasize enough that there’s still tremendous need for church planters in urban areas and church planters up here in New York,” he said.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently named David Bosch as the new business administration professor for Boyce College.
Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College, expressed excitement for Bosch’s hire.
“We are thrilled to announce Dr. David Bosch as our newest faculty member at Boyce College, and as the director of our business administration program,” DeWitt said.
When Jeremy Westbrook sensed the call to plant a church in Central Ohio, he didn’t know exactly where the Lord was calling him. When Dublin Baptist Church in Dublin, Ohio, wanted to plant a church in nearby Marysville, they didn’t know who to call. When a missions director connected Westbrook to Dublin eight years ago, “my where met their who,” the Southern Seminary alumnus recalls.
Westbrook was on staff at Kirby Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, when he entered the Doctor of Ministry program at Southern Seminary in 2007. Recognizing Westbrook’s calling to plant a church 35 miles north of Columbus, Ohio, Kirby Woods and Dublin established a church planting covenant in February 2008 to support the work of Living Hope Church.
When Travis Kerns was a child, a certain commercial kept popping up on his parents’ television. A man is riding his bike along the road when a Jeep speeds by and sends a cascade of water all over him. Drenched from head to toe, the cyclist catches up to the driver, whose Jeep is broken down on the side of the road. Instead of yelling at him, the cyclist pulls over, gets off his bike, and starts helping the driver as narration kicks in: “This message brought to you by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
The ad made an indelible impact on a young Kerns, lodging itself in his memory and reappearing at key moments throughout his life.
“I can still see it,” he says now. “Just like it was yesterday.”
He thinks of it in 1996, as a college student in his New Religious Movements course. The professor is lecturing on Mormonism, and Kerns feels the weight of the thousands of people who haven’t heard the true gospel. On that day, he resolves to live in Salt Lake City someday and take the gospel to Mormons. He thinks of it in 2007 when, as assistant professor of worldview and apologetics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he begins leading short-term mission trips to Salt Lake City, first just with Boyce College students, then Southern students, too. He thinks of it when he cycles — a regular habit he’s developed in recent years and his way of building rapport with unbelievers in his community.
After persevering for nearly two years through many difficulties, this Southern Seminary alumnus and current Ph.D. student has led a great awakening resulting in thousands of Christ followers and scores of churches in a spiritually dry region of Africa.
Six months after he and his family arrived to their new home in an African* village, Timothy* knelt beside the bed of his ailing daughter not knowing if she would survive. His family had battled constant illness acclimating to the mission field, and with scarce medical help, a combination of malaria and typhoid fever threatened his 9-year-old daughter’s life.
President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and other faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will participate in or host six scheduled events at the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting and related gatherings in Columbus, Ohio, June 16-17, including a panel on same-sex marriage with SBC President Ronnie Floyd.
During the week of the annual meeting, Mohler will participate in the following events: