Southern Seminary panel discusses the ‘darkness of Islam’ and its ‘challenge to the church’

J. Scott Bridger (left), director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam, moderates a Sept. 2 panel discussion with Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Michael A. Youssef, founding pastor of the Church of the Apostles, Atlanta, Georgia.
J. Scott Bridger (left), director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam, moderates a Sept. 2 panel discussion with Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Michael A. Youssef, founding pastor of the Church of the Apostles, Atlanta, Georgia.

Students will not be prepared for ministry challenges if they do not leave seminary with “a workable, apologetic, missiological, theological understanding of Islam,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in a panel discussion hosted by the school’s Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam, Sept. 2.

J. Scott Bridger, director of the Jenkins Center, moderated the panel featuring Mohler and Michael A. Youssef, Jenkins Center fellow and founder of Leading the Way, a worldwide evangelical radio broadcast ministry. Youssef is also the founding pastor of the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia.

“The only thing we have in common between Christianity and Islam is basically one sentence: ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,’” Youssef told students and faculty. “From that moment on, we’re going in two different directions.”

Following the inaugural Jenkins Lecture delivered by Youssef, the panel covered the rise in modern awareness of Islam, Islamism compared to moderate Islam, insider movements within Islam, and apologetics against Islam.

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Hellams named VP, president’s chief of staff at Southern Seminary

Tom Hellams, vice president for denominational relations and chief of staff, Office of the President
Tom Hellams, vice president for denominational relations and chief of staff, Office of the President

Tom Hellams has been named vice president for denominational relations and chief of staff, Office of the President, at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. announced Aug. 19.

“I’m very pleased that Tom Hellams is re-joining the Southern Seminary executive team,” Mohler said. “He is a man of rare gifts, deep commitment and an incredibly warm heart. He is also a man of incredible experience. This a welcome home to a friend and fellow servant. We are thrilled to have him return to Southern Seminary.”

Hellams, who will begin Sept. 1, is returning to Southern Seminary to a similar role he served previously, 1997-2006.

As vice president of denominational relations, Hellams’ responsibilities will include “assisting the institution to relate to the whole Southern Baptist Convention, including state conventions, in a way that would be most helpful to Southern Baptists in accomplishing all the Lord has assigned to us,” Mohler added.

Since 2006, Hellams has served as vice president of corporate relations at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. In that capacity, Hellams represented LifeWay’s president in a variety of capacities to the LifeWay board of trustees, Southern Baptist Convention, state Baptist conventions and the Nashville business community.

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Stinson cautions Southern Seminary students on the gravity of words

Randy L. Stinson, provost of Southern Seminary, delivers a sermon on James 3:1-2 in Alumni Chapel, Aug. 21.
Randy L. Stinson, provost of Southern Seminary, delivers a sermon on James 3:1-12 in Alumni Chapel, Aug. 21.

Teachers of the gospel must restrain their tongues, said Randy L. Stinson, provost of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, to students and faculty in Alumni Chapel, Aug. 21.

Speaking on the importance of words in life and ministry, Stinson said, We’re all sinners; we’re all going to stumble with our words ... sin with our words.”  Preaching from James 3, Stinson showed man’s inability to tame the tongue because of sin, but pointed to the hope of the gospel.

Stinson noted the constant refrain of the passage to emphasize the human impossibility to restrain the tongue apart from God’s work.

As he spoke, Stinson used personal and often humorous examples to demonstrate the power and the sinful potential of words. “One minute you’re talking about ‘somebody left socks on the ground’ and the next minute you are talking about each other’s mother.  How did this happen?”

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Mohler emphasizes centrality of theological education in convocation address

R. Albert Mohler Jr. delivers the fall 2014 convocation address, Aug. 19.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. delivers the fall 2014 convocation address, Aug. 19.

Biblical teaching and theological education that promotes it are essential to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in an Aug. 19 convocation address.

Seminary students are called to steward the gift of education in a way that honors God and works for the good of the world. Southern Seminary was established in order to fulfill and stand for teaching that serves the church, which “is a calling worth all that we do,” Mohler said.

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New home of Boyce College dedicated in grand re-opening of Mullins Complex

President R. Albert Mohler Jr. leads a dedication ceremony of renovated Mullins Complex, Aug. 19. He is joined (left to right) by Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College; trustee chairman Philip Gunn, speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives; and first lady Mary Mohler, who performed the ribbon cutting.
President R. Albert Mohler Jr. leads a dedication ceremony of renovated Mullins Complex, Aug. 19. He is joined (left to right) by Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College; trustee chairman Philip Gunn, speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives; and first lady Mary Mohler, who performed the ribbon cutting.

The newly renovated home of Boyce College, the undergraduate school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was dedicated Aug. 19 in a ceremony led by President R. Albert Mohler Jr.

“This is a day that marks a significant step forward for Southern Seminary and Boyce College and one we celebrate together,” Mohler said. The grand re-opening of the historic Mullins Complex comes after a seven-month project that totally renovated the interior of the 130,000 square-foot, nearly 90-year-old facility. The project was “retrofitted to the needs of college students and a growing, thriving college for the next generation,” he said.

Throngs of students, faculty, and trustees convened for the dedication service in Mullins Courtyard. Other seminary officials joining Mohler in the brief ceremony included trustee chairman Philip Gunn, speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives; Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College; Daniel S. Dumas, senior vice president of institutional administration; and first lady Mary Mohler, who performed the ribbon cutting. The event also featured an open house in Sampey Commons and a tour of a model dorm suite.

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McConnell discusses religious liberty at forum with Mohler, evangelical leaders

Sen. Mitch McConnell shares his views on religious liberty, abortion, and immigration reform with an audience at Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Sen. Mitch McConnell speaks at an Aug. 14 forum with evangelical leaders R. Albert Mohler Jr., Bob Russell, and Paul Chitwood (left to right) at Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky (KBC photo by Robin Cornete).

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (SBTS) — Evangelical Christians in Kentucky have “a clear choice in the U.S. Senate race” to preserve religious values, said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in an issues forum with Kentucky evangelical leaders, Aug. 14.

“Elections have consequences,” said McConnell, describing the challenges facing voters after President Barack Obama’s election in 2008 resulted in a trillion-dollar stimulus and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. “We ought to go in a different direction,” the five-term Republican senator said, “and there’s only one thing that can be done in 2014, and that would be to change the United States Senate.”

McConnell participated in a forum discussion at Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention; and Bob Russell, retired senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky. The Democratic challenger for McConnell’s seat, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, did not respond to the invitation, which remains open for two other events.

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Boyce College appoints four new faculty in key academic roles

Boyce College, the undergraduate school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has appointed four new faculty members to play key roles in leading academic programs, including the popular worldview degree and the new business management program.

Bryan Baise, 30, will oversee and direct the worldview and apologetics degrees at Boyce College and serve as assistant professor of worldview and apologetics. Baise graduated from the University of Kentucky, received his master’s degree from Southern Seminary and is a Ph.D. candidate at the seminary.

“Bryan provides an intelligent, energetic personality and a winsome voice that will excite young Christians to think carefully about their worldview and how to engage other beliefs with confidence,” said Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College. “I am excited for his leadership in our worldview and apologetics program.”

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Southern Seminary faculty announced as members of new ERLC Research Institute

 NASHVILLE (ERLC/SBTS) — The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention announced Monday the launch of a new Research Institute under the direction of its president, Russell D. Moore, and the appointment of an array of new scholars and professionals as research fellows, including 16 faculty and doctoral students at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“The aim of the Research Institute is to be a catalyst to connect the agenda of the gospel to the complex questions of the day—and to do so at the highest levels of academic scholarship for the good of local congregations,” said Moore. “I am thrilled to get to work together with an exceptionally gifted band of scholars and leaders as we seek to be a persuasive, prophetic witness engaging the academy and equipping the church.

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Southern Seminary professors urge churches to participate in missionary activity

Raymond Johnson moderates a discussion on global missions with Zane Pratt, Jeff K. Walters, and Adam W. Greenway during Alumni Academy, July 31.
Raymond Johnson moderates a discussion on global missions with Zane Pratt, Jeff K. Walters, and Adam W. Greenway (left to right) during Alumni Academy, July 31.

Local churches must take ownership of the grand mission of God to the nations, said three professors at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary during a learning intensive on global missions for alumni, prospective students, and leaders, July 31–Aug. 1, 2014.

The Alumni Academy event on global missions featured Zane Pratt, associate professor of missions at Southern and director of Global Theological Education with the International Mission Board; and Jeff K. Walters, assistant professor of Christian missions and urban ministry.

The experienced theologians and mission practitioners taught on fundamental elements of global missions and the local church. They recently co-authored the book Introduction to Global Missions, from which the conference sessions derived, allowing them to narrow in on important concepts.

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McConnell, Grimes invited to ‘Issues Forums’ with Kentucky evangelical leaders

Three Kentucky evangelical leaders will host three “Issues Forums” with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to explore matters of concern to evangelical Christians.

McConnell has accepted the invitation. Grimes is reviewing the invitation.

The forums will be hosted by R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention; and Bob Russell, retired senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville.

The Issues Forums will be held:

  • August 14 in Bowling Green at Eastwood Baptist Church (500 Eastwood Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42103).

  • August 20 in Louisville at Highview Baptist Church, East Campus (15201 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40245).

  • August 28 in Somerset at Somerset Christian School (815 Grand Central Blvd, Somerset, KY 42503).

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