Race issues fundamental to Christian witness, says Southern Seminary professor in televised program

The biblical story can speak to racial tensions in the modern world because such issues are critical to the gospel, said Jarvis J. Williams, associate professor of New Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on the regionally televised “Connections” program hosted by Renee Shaw on Kentucky Educational Television.

“Racial reconciliation and issues of race are part of the Christian gospel because Jesus, a Jew, came to save Jewish and Gentile people. He came to save people — not an idea but actual people,” he said on the program, which first aired May 15. “So therefore then if you do not believe or practice horizontal reconciliation, I would argue you have an incomplete gospel.”

More

Vogel retires after 12 years of faithful service to Southern Seminary

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler (right) congratulates veteran preaching professor Robert Vogel (left) at his May 12 retirement luncheon.
Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler (right) congratulates veteran preaching professor Robert Vogel and wife, Kathy, at his May 12 retirement luncheon.

Veteran preaching professor Robert Vogel enters retirement after 12 years of faithful service to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and 37 years of teaching in the classroom.

Faculty and administrators gathered to celebrate Vogel’s retirement from Southern Seminary on May 12. Attendees included Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr., Vogel’s fellow members at Highview Baptist Church, colleagues, friends, and family.

Mohler recalled when he first heard about Vogel: “The more I looked at what Bob Vogel had already done and already accomplished, and what I came to know that Bob Vogel believed and taught, that’s was exactly what we needed.”

Living in the Pacific Northwest as professor at Western Seminary at the time of his appointment to Southern, the Vogels’ move to Louisville did not come without a cost.

More

Southern Seminary student leads relief work in native Nepal

When N.D. Lama first heard about the earthquake that struck his home country of Nepal in April, he immediately started thinking of ways he could help.

N.D. Lama, a native of Nepal, is planning ways to help his home country after the April 25 earthquake.
N.D. Lama, a native of Nepal, is planning ways to help his home country after the April 25 earthquake.

Lama, an M.A. student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and pastor of Asha Church in Louisville, teamed up with some of his friends in Nepal to raise $50,000 for initial relief work, more than half of which has already been distributed to provide food, clothes, and other basic needs for the Nepali people.

But that has only given Lama bigger aspirations. He soon learned that the April 25 earthquake, which killed over 8,000 people, had left Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu and many surrounding cities without running water. Most of the water in Kathmandu is run into the capital through pipes from outside the city, but those pipes broke during the earthquake. Finding clean, drinkable water has become a major problem throughout Nepal, something Lama’s friends told him needed to be resolved quickly.

More

Mohler receives Meese religious liberty award

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. receives the Edwin Meese III Originalism and Religious Liberty Award from Alliance Defending Freedom President Alan Sears (left) and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins (right).
Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. receives the Edwin Meese III Originalism and Religious Liberty Award from Alliance Defending Freedom President Alan Sears (left) and Council for National Policy President Tony Perkins (right).

For his “significant efforts in publicly promoting and defending religious liberty,” R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, received the 2015 Edwin Meese III Originalism and Religious Liberty Award from the Alliance Defending Freedom, May 15.

“This award is presented to those who clearly demonstrate through their lives and callings a profound understanding and commitment to defending the original meaning of the United States Constitution and our liberty,” said Alan Sears, ADF’s president, CEO, and general counsel.

Speaking to Mohler, Sears said, “You’ve acted as an eloquent ambassador for evangelicals and as a tireless advocate for religious freedom for all,” noting Mohler’s commitment to religious liberty for all persons no matter their religious convictions.

More

Ministers called to serve ‘children of light,’ Mohler says at Southern Seminary commencement

During the May 14 commencement, 286 master's and doctorate students received their degrees.
During the May 14 commencement, 286 master's and doctorate students received their degrees from Southern Seminary.

God calls ministers of the gospel to affirm the church and serve its members faithfully, said President R. Albert Mohler Jr. in his May 14 commencement address to 2015 graduates of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

During commencement exercises on the seminary lawn, 297 master’s and doctorate students received their degrees. A week earlier, 107 Boyce College graduates received certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degrees in a historic commencement that marked the first time a child of a Southern Seminary president graduated from the institution.

In an address from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 titled “Children of the Day,” Mohler said ministers are called to serve the “children of light” who are destined for salvation and to preach with urgency “knowing that the day of the Lord is coming.”

More

Mohler’s son among 107 Boyce College graduates

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. with his son Christopher and wife Mary. Christopher is the first child of a Southern Seminary president to graduate from the institution.
Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and his wife, Mary, stand with son, Christopher, following the May 8 commencement. Christopher is the first child of a Southern Seminary president to graduate from the institution.

For the first time in the 156-year history of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a child of a seminary president graduated from the school during the May 8 commencement for Boyce College.

Christopher Mohler, the son of Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr., was one of 90 Boyce College students to participate in the ceremony. A total of 107 students graduated from the seminary's undergraduate school this year.

“A college degree is no small thing,” Mohler said in his charge to graduates. “The graduates who cross this stage and receive these degrees are not receiving trophies given out without regard to achievement and distinction. Boyce College represents the finest traditions of Christian scholarship, teaching, and learning.”

More

Tripp encourages parents to disciple children at Counsel the Word

Tedd Tripp, noted author and pastor, speaks at the Counsel the Word Conference on "Confident Parenting," May 2.
Tedd Tripp, noted author and pastor, speaks at the Counsel the Word Conference on "Confident Parenting," May 2.

Biblical parenting is driven by submission to the grace of God in children’s lives, said noted author and speaker Tedd Tripp at the Counsel the Word Conference on "Confident Parenting" at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, May 2.

Tripp, pastor emeritus of Grace Fellowship Church in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart, said parents often misapply the principle of Proverbs 22:6 — “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” — as an if-then promise. According to this interpretation, if parents guide their children faithfully, they will always grow into faithful Christians.

This misunderstands the nature of biblical proverbs, Tripp said during the conference’s opening session, noting that the genre of wisdom literature simply lays out general principles for wise living.

More

Boyce College student Josh Lewis released from hospital

A Boyce College student who was stabbed and carjacked outside of an emergency room while making a pizza delivery was released from the hospital Thursday, after being held for observation one additional night.

Josh Lewis, 19, has been employed at Spinelli’s Pizzeria since last August and is a sophomore at Boyce, the undergraduate school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While delivering a pizza to the emergency room at downtown Louisville’s Norton Hospital on Sunday afternoon, he says a man confronted him outside of his car and demanded his keys. When Lewis noticed the man had a knife, he dropped the keys and ran toward the hospital, but he says the man caught up with him and stabbed him in the back before taking off with his Jeep Cherokee and the pizza inside the car.

Josh Lewis, 19, is a sophomore at Boyce College and pizza delivery driver for Spinelli's Pizzeria.
Josh Lewis, 19, is a sophomore at Boyce College and pizza delivery driver for Spinelli's Pizzeria.

“I’m not really holding a grudge against him,” said Lewis, who is from Detroit. “If he was in the same room as me right now, I would tell him what he did isn’t okay, but I would tell him that I forgive him and try to share the gospel with him and show him Christ.”

More

Boyce College student says he forgives attacker who stabbed him during pizza delivery

Josh Lewis, 19, is a sophomore at Boyce College and pizza delivery driver for Spinelli's Pizzeria.
Josh Lewis, 19, is a sophomore at Boyce College and pizza delivery driver for Spinelli's Pizzeria. (Courtesy: Spinelli's Pizzeria Facebook page)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Josh Lewis remains hospitalized. After initially discharging Lewis, his doctors decided to rescind the order and keep him for one additional night of observation, Terri Lewis told Southern Seminary News at 5:15 p.m.

A Boyce College student who was stabbed and carjacked outside of an emergency room while making a pizza delivery says he forgives his attacker while he continues to recover in the hospital, May 6.

Josh Lewis, 19, has been employed at Spinelli’s Pizzeria since last August and is a sophomore at Boyce, the undergraduate school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While delivering a pizza to the emergency room at downtown Louisville’s Norton Hospital on Sunday afternoon, he says a man confronted him outside of his car and demanded his keys. When Lewis noticed the man had a knife, he dropped the keys and ran toward the hospital, but he says the man caught up with him and stabbed him in the back before taking off with his Jeep Cherokee and the pizza inside the car.

In an interview with Southern Seminary News, Lewis, who is from Detroit, said, “I’m not really holding a grudge against him. If he was in the same room as me right now, I would tell him what he did isn’t okay, but I would tell him that I forgive him and try to share the gospel with him and show him Christ.”

After checking into Norton’s emergency room, Lewis was transferred to the University of Louisville Hospital where he was treated for a collapsed lung and torn muscles. Doctors later realized that the knife also punctured part of Lewis’ liver. Lewis’ mother flew in from Detroit and says the stabbing could easily have killed him.

More

Southern Seminary student ministers behind the scenes at Churchill Downs

Chris Wong, a Master of Divinity student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, delivers a morning devotional in Spanish over the intercom at Churchill Downs.
Chris Wong, a Master of Divinity student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, delivers a morning devotional in Spanish over the intercom at Churchill Downs.

As a chaplain, Chris Wong is used to talking to people he’s never met. As a chaplain at Churchill Downs, sometimes that gets you on TV.

After last year’s Kentucky Derby, Wong struck up a conversation with a woman on the grounds. That woman turned out to be the wife of Steven Coburn, owner of the winning horse California Chrome, and they just happened to be in the background of NBC’s post-race interview.

Wong, a Master of Divinity student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, immediately received a text message to let him know he was on national television. Wong laughs about it now, saying the whole event was a unique experience.

“To see it live and right there on the track was really exciting,” he said.

More