Without the Holy Spirit’s help, aspiring church planters are “doomed to fail,” according to mission strategists in a panel discussion on church planting and revitalization at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Oct. 2.
“I think the most important thing you can do is figure out who you and and who you are not,” Aaron Coe said, vice president of mobilization and marketing for the North American Mission Board. He emphasized the importance for those interested in church planting to realize their leadership capacity in certain contexts. “People who enter ministry with an uninformed idea of its realities result in disappointment,” he said.
Coe began the panel discussion, saying he thinks much of the struggle in church planting — a spiritual activity, he said — stems from men who “plant the church in their mind long before they plant the church in the field.”
A western Kentucky youth minister pursuing a master of divinity degree at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was killed along with his family in a six-car pileup near Nashville, Tennessee, Oct. 3.
Michael Cruce and his wife Monica, both 43, and their teenage sons, Caleb and Joshua, died in the crash after authorities say their car collided into two cars parked on I-40 East for unknown reasons. Four other drivers were injured in the crash, including 24-year-old Chase Fakes, who was charged with a DUI. Authorities say everyone involved was wearing a seatbelt and the investigation is ongoing.
A youth pastor for 10 years at Rosebower Baptist Church in Paducah, Kentucky, Michael Cruce had recently attended a philosophy course at Southern Seminary and was taking his family to Gatlinburg for fall break.
Free enterprise the solution for impoverished nations, scholars say at Southern Seminary’s Commonweal Conference
The Bible provides a blueprint for impoverished nations that gives hope for flourishing, said Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Commonweal Conference, Sept. 26-27.
“Our message is that there is hope for poor nations,” said Grudem, research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary. “The Bible supports a nation producing its own products and building its own [economic health].”
Grudem and Asmus, senior economist at the National Center for Policy Analysis, co-authored the 2013 book The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution, which argues a biblical case for a free enterprise economy. The conference theme, “The hard work of human flourishing,” arose from the book.
A holistic vision of God forms the center of Christian life, freeing believers to be “God-centered in our thoughts, God-fearing in our hearts, and God-honoring in our work,” said David F. Wells in the Gheens Lectures at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Sept. 24-25.
Wells, distinguished research professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and author of numerous books on evangelicalism and culture, lectured on the “holy-love” of God, which is the central idea in his most recent work, God in the Whirlwind.
In the first lecture, Wells presented his vision of a fully Godward identity, centered on the union of his holiness and his love. While God’s love cannot be fully comprehended without his wrath and judgment, Wells said, his holiness similarly is not completed without his love. Therefore, the holy-love of God brings together both fundamental aspects of his character.
Sufficiency of Scripture essential to counseling, speakers say at Southern Seminary’s Counsel the Word Conference
Affirming the sufficiency of Scripture in biblical counseling is a “radical idea,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at the school’s first Counsel the Word Conference, Sept. 18-19.
The conference, co-sponsored by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC), featured popular practitioners Paul David Tripp, David Powlison, Heath Lambert, and others during the two-day event.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Eighty years after his death, Southern Seminary's A.T. Robertson is remembered for the monumental achievement of his life and work. Robertson published extensively in New Testament studies, and below are some of his most notable sayings in his writings and classroom lectures.
"The Greek New Testament is the New Testament. All else is translation."
“The greatest proof that the Bible is inspired is that it has stood so much bad preaching.”
“After a poor recitation one day, Dr. Robertson said: ‘Well, excuse me, brother, but all I can do for you is pray for you and flunk you.’”
“The Lord won’t hear your prayers if you don’t treat your wives right. Don’t look at me, Brother! It’s a dangerous thing to get married if you still mean to pray.”
On the afternoon of Sept. 24, 1934, Archibald Thomas Robertson pondered over a difficult text in his Greek New Testament. Leaving a mark on Matthew 6:11, Robertson walked out of his office in Norton Hall at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to teach his Greek class.
He would never return.
As students recited their translations of New Testament passages, sweat poured down Robertson’s discolored face. The eminent scholar dismissed class early, an occurrence so rare that a junior professor rushed to Robertson’s aid and took him home. Shortly after, with his wife Ella at his side, the 70-year-old Robertson died of a stroke.
According to his biographer, Robertson’s sudden death left the Southern Seminary campus in a state of shock. A student is recorded as saying, “If a storm had blown away the buildings and left Doctor Robertson, the seminary would have been more real than it was with him gone.”
A partnership between The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention will allow students to pursue a modular Ph.D. in Christian ethics with an emphasis in public policy, with classes beginning in spring 2015.
“Public theology at the intersection of the church, the gospel and the culture will represent one of the greatest challenges to the coming generation,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary. “I can’t think of any better news than the fact that Southern Seminary and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission are combining strengths in order to provide an unprecedented Ph.D. program that will prepare a new generation for frontline service and leadership where it will matter most.”
“Filled with stripped-down worship songs via the medium of reclaimed classic hymns, Be Thou My Vision is the all-around favorite,” wrote the magazine editors in the July/August issue. “It’s hard to beat beautiful production applied to cherished songs of the faith.”
Discipline without direction is drudgery,” writes Donald S. Whitney in a familiar opening to the revised and updated edition of his classic book on biblical spirituality. The book contains new material with more emphasis on the gospel that will help both first-time readers and those who enjoyed the first edition to ground their disciplines soundly in Scripture.
Whitney’s bestselling work, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, is used to train one out of four seminary students in the country. According to Whitney, NavPress approached him to revise it for a 20th anniversary edition, in keeping with a tradition established with the spirituality books of Dallas Willard and Richard Foster. “As it turns out, it is a 23rd anniversary edition, so it is just called revised and updated,” said Whitney, professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Whitney improved on the 1991 edition of his most influential work by adding 11 new methods of meditation on Scripture and including a more explicit Christocentric focus in each chapter. He bolstered the content with more Scripture references in order to distance himself from a mystical approach to spirituality and removed any cultural references that would fade with the passing of time.